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The most luxurious part of a luxury property is often the primary suite. When agents list up-market homes, bedrooms boast a unique selling proposition that needs to be maximized during the staging process — if well-designed, they have a magnetic pull that enables buyers to picture the comfort and elegance they could soon enjoy.
“The bedroom is a critical consideration in a prospective buyer’s decision-making process, as they spend so much time there,” notes Gina Kuhlenkamp, Global Real Estate Advisor and Associate Broker at Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage. “Naturally, they want to be surrounded by an inviting ambiance to have a restful night’s sleep or unwind from the day.”
For buyers, the bedroom holds unique value
Traditionally, bedrooms aren’t at the top of the list when homeowners prepare their properties for sale. “For the interior of a home, kitchens consistently rank high in value because they’re the center of the home,” says Francine Huss, Sales Associate with Sotheby’s International Realty – Wine Country – Sonoma Brokerage. “They also have great ‘wow-factor’ potential because of all the elements that are possible.”
It’s a common refrain among agents. “Generally speaking, a renovated kitchen and/or bathroom offers the greatest value for a prospective buyer, as they make the home more turnkey and appealing,” agrees Kuhlenkamp. “However, the bedroom is also a very important aspect of the home, as it’s viewed as a sanctuary where you begin and end your day.”
Huss points out that “a luxurious bedroom suite can offer the promise of a quiet place to get lost in a book, a sumptuous nest to watch a movie or the place to indulge one of the most coveted of luxuries for today’s buyer — getting a good night’s sleep.”
“Bedrooms that promise great comfort and sanctuary can generate a visceral response. Well-designed bedrooms can inspire a heartfelt reaction that buyers won’t be able to ignore.
Thoughtfully designed bedrooms go beyond showing features. They’ll cause buyers to desire — and sometimes pay any price for — the life that’s being promised.”
Designing a sanctuary is surprisingly simple
So how can sellers elicit such responses? “Every great bedroom needs the same necessities,” says Huss, though not all need to be extravagant or expensive.
Here are some of the features sellers would be wise to invest in because if executed effectively, they’ll be well worth the return.
1. Create the aesthetic of a luxe boutique hotel
Should a bedroom be timeless, trendy, or totally one-of-a-kind? The answer may vary in different contexts, but Kuhlenkamp advises agents and clients to err on the timeless side and emulate the best the hospitality industry has to offer.
“Agents can improve the bedroom design with a simple, cost-effective approach by creating more of a hotel-like environment with luxurious bedding and pillows,” she says. “White crisp linens and sheer curtains, along with a chaise lounge, can create the most sought-after tranquillity.”
In most cases, the bedroom is not the sort of space where personal touches enhance the appeal. “Removing owner-specific memorabilia, keepsakes, and photos will create a space that buyers can imagine as their own,” says Huss.
2. Present a blank canvas — but not too blank
The bedroom is best suited to a calming palette without any visual noise. “My advice to sellers is to prioritize neutral colors and tones,” says Kuhlenkamp. “Aesthetically, fireplaces are a timeless design for a top-of-the-line bedroom to include.”
However, it’s worth noting that universal appeal can also be perceived as bland if it lacks personality — which is why coordinating accents, accessories, and discrete areas are so important.
One of the best ways to do this is to craft lifestyle-themed areas within the room. “These make the bedroom a refuge of enjoyment for writing in your journal, relaxing with a cup of tea, or reading a novel,” says Kuhlenkamp. “Sitting areas or reading nooks create a luxurious, inviting oasis to get the greatest return on a seller’s investment.”
3. Spaciousness can make or break a bedroom
An attractive bedroom layout can help close a deal, but not if it’s cramped. “Too small of a bedroom really can hinder the deal for buyers,” explains Kuhlenkamp. “Buyers desire a gracious space for a good night’s rest and rejuvenation.”
Thankfully, sellers won’t need to tear down any walls if the bedroom is designed intentionally. “The basics of a great bedroom include thoughtful space-planning and strategic orchestration of light,” observes Huss. Selecting furniture and furnishings that allow for ample floor space while emphasizing ceiling height and window size should be a key consideration when staging.
A beautiful bedroom inspires the imagination
As Kuhlenkamp has seen time and time again, “a bedroom can stir the heart of a buyer.” That’s why sellers need to pay attention to these spaces, and not just the kitchens and bathrooms.
“Approach each bedroom with an eye for highlighting its best features,” advises Huss. “The end goal is to make the life that is implied by it as inviting and irresistible as possible.”
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