As Cassie Freeman and her husband prepared to sell their house, they knew a revamped living room could help get an offer.
After giving the living room a quick yet effective makeover, the house sold in a weekend — with a whopping 19 offers. See what they did to make it happen.
Brightening up the place
“I move at a snail’s pace, mostly because I work full time, but also because I like to add new things in layers as I find them,” Cassie told TODAY.com. “We hurried through the final things on the to-do list because we unexpectedly decided to move.”
Those last to-do list items included giving the walls a fresh coat of paint. As a major lover of color, Cassie didn’t expect she’d ever want to have white walls. But it turned out that a coat of basic white paint over the pale yellow walls really helped create a canvas to showcase all other pops of color that were color in the room.
“It was immediately brighter and happier, and so was I,” she wrote in her blog.
Another quick fix contributing to a quick room overhaul? Decorative accents. “Other simple changes included bright pops of color through throw pillows and bookcase decor,” Cassie said.
Cassie sourced many of the decorative objects in the Freemans’ living room from big-box and chain retailers like Target, World Market, West Elm and Home Goods. But the room has nothing but a totally individual feel, given her impeccably curated and diverse mix of objects.
“I am lucky enough to have a lot of pieces from my grandparents, so those help give my rooms character. I think bringing in all big box store items makes your home look generic, so scouring Craigslist for older things helps to break that up,” she said. Beyond that, she said she shops a mix of accessible retailers instead of just one to avoid an impersonal look.
By adding custom touches to ordinary objects over the years, Cassie was able to make the room really pop—and totally her own. For instance, she’s added pompoms to mass-retail pillows and throws, lined trays with fun paper, or thrown a tassel garland over a mirror.
She also transformed ho-hum wooden bookshelves into designer-looking furnishings with a coat of paint and fabric backing trimmed with ribbon.
Filling the hole
Sometimes it’s the littlest things that make a huge impact in a space. One small detail that had always bothered Cassie about this room was something it turned out was very easy to correct: a hole that opened to the next room. A contractor who was already on site doing other work said he could fill in the space with drywall and feather the texture around it for just $100 — a teeny investment Cassie felt transformed the look of the wall with the showpiece mantle she frequently changes out for holiday displays.
Bang for the buck
Many of the decorative items and furnishings in the room were objects the family already owned and repurposed or were inherited. So Cassie said it’s tough to identify an approximate budget for the room’s gradual transformation — but it was definitely all done in a budget-friendly way.
“The only real purchases were the rug and decor items like pillows,” she told TODAY.com. “I do try to create things on a budget — to save money, but also because I love creating them myself, which is generally cheaper than buying them pre-made from a store.”