The dining room in this Edina home had a lot of great features, including hardwood floors, enameled crown molding and trim, an original brass chandelier and French doors that open onto a tiled three-season porch. But the strongly patterned wallpaper drew more attention than all these features combined.
"Wallpaper is a very personal decorating statement," said Lori Matzke of Centerstagehome.com. "If you decide not to remove wallpaper before placing your house on the market, neutralizing the pattern is your next best option." Here's what Matzke did.
+ Removed excess furnishings and accessories, including a mahogany occasional table that blocked access to the room and the owner's vintage silver collection. "Since you can't monitor everything that goes on during a showing, it's always better to box up pricey or irreplaceable items to decrease the risk of losing them to damage or theft."
+ Painted the navy blue walls an oatmeal color that's more complimentary to the background of the wallpaper. To save money, this homeowner used a lighter-colored paint she had used in other rooms, but a color more like the wallpaper background would help downplay the busy pattern and make the space seem more open. Hanging a large decorative mirror instead of artwork that blended with the wallpaper pattern helped downplay the wallpaper, too. "Anytime you're dealing with colorful patterns on the wall, visually breaking up the repeat with bolder pieces in neutral tones will grab just enough attention to keep the buyer's eye from completely focusing on the print."
+ Removed the area rug to decrease the amount of color in the room, and replacing it with a beige rug helped to open up the floor plan and add visual square footage to the hardwood floors. "We still needed something to break up the tones between the table and the flooring without drawing too much of its own attention," she said. "In this case, the smaller rug acted as a neutral and added enough bulk to anchor the setting and balance out the heavy chandelier."
+ Removed the white shades of the chandelier and installed more attractive low-wattage bulbs to update the fixture. To make the room brighter, Matzke put a table lamp on the buffet and opened the shutters and mini-blinds in the porch.
+ Added a few larger accent pieces, including a white ceramic soup tureen on a small cabinet below the window and bouquets of daisies, to help calm the vibrant wallpaper pattern and draw visitors' eyes around the room.