Life on the Flipside: 3 Tips to Making Smart Finish Selections for Resale

Interior design is all about the client. My job, when done right is a game of getting inside the head of each client and defining the distinct combination of elements that make them feel at home the moment they walk through the door. But what if you’re not designing for a client?

Can this strategy apply to flipping a house or remodeling with resale at the forefront of the decision process? The short answer is: nope.

With clients, I work to include elements of where they grew up and happy memories. I strive to find colors that wake them on the right side of the bed or patterns that they like to snuggle into for a netflix binge session…. On the other hand, flipping aims for a look that’s as general, and even as generic as possible. When you get down to it, flipping is really the ‘Flipside’ of design.

So how do you flip well?

I’m going to give you 3 invaluable tips that are sure to activate the Flipside of your design sense:

1. Keep it simple

You’ve heard the expression “To feel like a stranger in your own home”. The key to flipping is to make selections that leave no one walking through feeling like a stranger. Make it as simple as possible for the buyer to picture their own stuff sitting in the space - this means basic selections. You are providing the blank canvas for them to paint on as they please. The best selections prompt the buyer to feel like they are already at home and all that remains is to fill out a little pesky paperwork, roll out the rugs and relax. Flipping is a game of giving potential buyers not just what they want but also what they didn’t know they wanted. What is that magic secret thing? It’s feeling like the house is a natural setting to the kind of daily life they want to live - whatever that looks like for them.


2. Less is more

People have enough stuff already. When they’re looking at potential homes, they don’t want to feel like they’re buying more of it. What they really want to buy is space to put all that stuff in. A successful flip feels roomy, simple and clean. Even if it includes hand carving or hip accents, the buyer craves a space that welcomes their impending truck load of stuff into very open, and very empty, arms. This can be as simple as maximizing natural light for an airy feeling, considering storage opportunities that make them feel like organization will be a cinch. Keep this in mind if you’re staging the space as well - follow the mantra: Bigger and fewer.


3. The carpet should match the drapes

I don’t mean to be a design purist, I am a huge fan of well executed eclecticism (i.e. mixing and matching styles), it’s how I would describe my personal style. But that’s not how it works on the Flipside.  When choosing all the individual pieces of your design, you want to match them to the style of architecture. If a potential buyer is drawn to a craftsman bungalow, it’s unlikely will like it with a clean, hyper contemporary backsplash tile. Similarly, if they’re looking at a new modern build, they will not likely be attracted to hand carved balustrades or antique cast lighting. If you like, you could say that the curtains should match the drapes - or more appropriately, the tile should match the trusses….

Keep these 3 in mind and you’ll not only have opportunity knocking, you’ll have plenty of potential buyers as well. Still feeling overwhelmed? Stop the guessing game and phone a friend! I would love to help and my 13 years in the business can fill your selection process with better, faster decisions that will appeal to your target market. Find out more at, or contact me at, 720.402.7407.


Good luck with your ventures on the ‘Flipside’!

Mandy StraightComment