Whether it’s their Fan District home that’s sought after for house tours, their perfectly staged sale properties that inspire homebuyers, or their chic Carytown office that makes clients feel at home, Bobby + April’s principal broker, April Straus, is often asked about their style. These are a few of their style rules.
Use a ‘wow’ piece to anchor a room
Whether it’s the pink dresser in the front of their Carytown office or a reclaimed wood table they custom-sourced for a client, often Straus anchors a room’s décor around one central piece. “You can get a really solid, signature, show-stopper piece and then build the rest of your look around it Straus said. This gives the room a focal point and can help you to lead the rest of the look.
Mix antiques with modern in a historic home
Whether it’s fixtures, furniture, or a few accessories, it’s nice to add some pieces to your home that reflect the era when it was built, and if you visit Hicks and Straus’s house, you’ll find plenty of pieces from 1923, when their house was built, but that doesn’t mean it looks like a museum. Straus has blended antiques with modern finds from local boutiques to create an individualized look.
Incorporate local art
“Choose pieces that make you happy,” Straus said. Her house is filled with hand-picked art from artists she admires and artists she knows. If you are staging your house for sale, you may need to swap eccentric pieces for simpler designs with mass appeal, but either way, art creates an easy focal point in a room.
Match furniture to the room’s scale
“For larger rooms, we choose more sumptuous, grandiose pieces and for smaller rooms we go with more petite, delicate pieces,” Straus said. Matching the furniture to the size and scale of the room ensures everything looks like it fits and that nothing overwhelms the space or leaves it looking too empty.
Finish the details
“Make sure the drawer pulls, faucets, and any other metal matches,” Straus said, adding that this small update can easily make a room look pulled together.
Ditch white walls and wallpaper
“White, cream and wallpaper look old,” Straus said, “Instead, choose a muted tone like a pale gray or green.” These shades add some feeling to the room without being too heavy or overwhelming.
It’s OK for your house to look like someone lives there
Forget the stark white rooms that look like no one ever actually enters them. “Your house can be pretty and comfortable at the same time,” Straus said, noting that her house invites people to settle on any chair or couch and relax. Even when a home is decluttered for staging, having it look livable invites prospective buyers to picture themselves in the space.
Don’t skip the flowers
Whether it’s a prospective buyer or a friend coming over for dinner, first impressions are everything, and with your house, those first impressions begin at the street. “A house with pretty potted plants in front always looks more loved,” Straus said. “Look at your house like you don’t live there and see what you would change.”