This large, (5,055 sq. ft.) house in the affluent, Chicago suburb of Naperville, ILL is a grand home. With 5 bedrooms and 5 1/2 baths the 1992 construction offers a lot of space, with airy rooms and beautiful “park-like” views.
It’s a relatively young house, and was in good condition when we arrived to stage it for sale. But, built in the early 90s, that was the impression you got when you walked through it — dated. Buyers today prefer new construction – 2:1 according to a 2014 Trulia survey – yet only 46% are prepared to pay the premium. They want the latest technology, the sleek look of today’s clean lines and the [presumed] easier maintenance. Yet, many of those surveyed also said they preferred a more established neighborhood with trees, good schools and a mailman who knows where your box is. Bigger closets, a kitchen island and a home warranty – are also must-haves for buyers today.
For us in this Naperville home, there was already a kitchen island, granite countertops, good closets and thick heavy glass doors in the 2 major bathrooms. So we had some good things to offer. We didn’t have the whole package. And, there was a lot of oak, green marble, and brass fittings. A few minor upgrades later and voilà, we have something quite fun to offer.
What a coat of paint can do!
There’s nothing wrong with all that oak, it’s just not today’s trend. Buyers like the clean lines and smooth surfaces of painted woodwork. Now the sleeker look, the emphasis can be solely on the Palladian windows and lush views beyond. Nothing distracts from the wrought iron metal railings and the sweeping grace of the lofty ceiling.
Dark stained cabinets not only emphasize the impressive Italian granite, they also add an updated, on trend look. The now painted coffered ceiling adds texture without taking center stage and, by leaving some of the cabinets in their original oak, we achieve the mix-and-match look so many favor today.
The dining room, before upgrading, WAS gorgeous. It was a warm mustard color and textured faux-painted ceiling. WAS, being the operative word here. We only painted the upper part of the walls an elegant gray, neutralized the ceiling and lay down an area rug. Plus, 2 upholstered club chairs. No major expense, nor upgrade, just a dignified, stately touch. The bang for a little buck here was truly POW!
And as to the Bathrooms…..can you tell what we did?