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Molly Marshall specialises in transforming homes to make potential buyers fall in love with them so she knows all about how even the smallest of additions can make a big difference to the look of a room.
She launched Molly Marshall Home Staging & Styling seven years ago after seeing how popular and effective home staging is in the US.
“I’d worked at Radio City since I was 18 and when I was approaching 50, I decided I wanted to do something completely different although I didn’t know what it was,” she explains.
“I had a friend who worked at the station who went to live in America, she became a home stager and had a really successful company out there. I went to visit her and ended up helping her while I was on holiday and realised what a massive thing it was.
“If you want to sell your house for top dollar you call in a home stager. Sellers give it the best shot from the start and they have the attitude that if the price is right and it looks right, it will sell.”
Bringing that back home, Molly set up her own company and now presents properties throughout Merseyside, Lancashire and Cheshire, tailor-making décor for each one.
“To make a home most saleable you’ve got to give it broad appeal and that’s what I try and do. I look at a property and think, who’s going to buy this? Then I style it to that market.”
Molly and her team bring in everything – furniture, soft furnishings and accessories – for up to four months then watch the offers come in. “I did one the day before Christmas Eve, a three-bed detached, and it went on the market on January 4. They took it off on January 7 because they had six offers at the full asking price and it ended up going to sealed bids,” she says.
With a passion for interior design, and trade access to all the latest trends before they hit the high street, Molly is constantly refreshing her own stock so she’s never short of new ideas.
Here are her top five tips for giving your home a simple spring makeover …
“You can completely change the look of a bedroom with a new throw for the bed, new cushions, new lightshades and a new rug and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. It’s the furniture that’s the big money change but accessories make the difference. Even just a couple of new cushions will help – a girl can’t have too many pairs of knickers or too many cushions! Quite often, if you buy cheaper cushions, the inners will be fibre but if you put a feather pad in, it will plump it out and make it look more expensive.”
“Places like Dunelm and Matalan copy the big boys so if you see a nice lamp in somewhere like John Lewis, look there and you’ll probably find one very similar for a fraction of the price. TK Maxx and Home Sense are among my favourites, they’re brilliant for bargain homeware that looks absolutely fabulous and I’ve found things that are cheaper even than the trade price. It could be last year’s range, but does it matter? Although if you see it, buy it because it’s never there when you go back.”
“Greys are definitely on the wane; the colours people are looking at now are the ochres, mustards and teals in furnishings. Brass is really strong at the moment, all the lamp bases are brass, so maybe look for colours that will go with brass. If you still love your grey, then you can always accessorise with colour because mustard goes beautifully with grey and so does teal or a deep green.”
“If you want a simple way to refresh paintwork, without changing the colour of an entire room, use the woodwork as a contrast. So instead of white window frames or skirting boards, or architraves around the doors, go for a darker colour like dark navy or anthracite. That gives a completely different look to a room, and you can accessorise around whichever colour you choose.”
“Lots of blogs about transformations on a budget use Frenchic which is an amazing paint that works especially well on furniture and in bathrooms and kitchens. If you’ve got tiles, wooden floors or kitchen cabinets that you don’t particularly like, Frenchic paint goes over and covers them completely. It looks absolutely incredible and once it’s sealed it’s very hardwearing.”
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