I often refer to Kim Dalton as the chameleon. She is the interior designer my wife, Kim, and I hired to be a member of our design team—a team of professionals that included our architect, general contractor, landscape architect, and interior designer. I describe Kim Dalton as a chameleon because there were days I did not recognize her. She would show up at the job site completely transformed with a totally different look and a totally different energy. She would change as the nature of the project changed. She was that flexible, and design flexibility is essential for an interior designer.
Today, when people walk into our home or our business offices, they often say "ooooh" and "aaaah" because the impact of Kim's work is powerful, yet subtle. Kim's input to our projects is priceless. Not only does she increase the immediate sales value of our projects, her work gives our home and business environment warmth. Her work increases our desire to stay at home and also to be at work.
As a professional real estate investor, I think there is nothing worse than a multimillion dollar project that goes cheap on interior design. I have been in homes, condos, and commercial projects where the developer went cheap or went boring, leaving the interior design up to him or his wife. Rather than inspire a sale, cheap and tacky interior design can drive buyers away. You'd be surprised how inexpensive coats of paint in different or unique shades can make a $100,000project look like a million dollar project. That is why Kim Dalton's professional design touch is essential to our success in real estate.
Perhaps I'm biased, but I consider interior design to be an essential part of real estate investing. Whether you are planning a spec home, preparing an existing home for resale, rehabilitating a multifamily complex, or renovating a commercial property, appropriate interior design can always help to increase the value of a property. It can also dramatically shorten your sales cycle. Thoughtful interior design will carefully organize space while integrating color, light, pattern, and finish in order to supplement function, flow, and performance.
Don't be confused. Interior design is not home staging, which was developed years ago to help homeowners sell residential properties. Staging specialists are trained to maximize the perception of space and light using principles that appeal to a broader audience of potential buyers rather than family, friends, and guests. Interior designers do all that plus include the elements of aesthetics, temperature, sound, smell, balance, and harmony. All of these are value-added elements that will help your property sell quickly and easily. They are certainly worth your consideration as an investor and could very well be the difference between selling a property and getting top dollar for a property.
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