Does Your Listing Pass the Interior Design Test?

August 15, 2017

If an interior designer walked through the front doors of your listing, what would their first impression be?

Give the house an interior designer spot test before opening it up to buyers.® offers a few tips from behind a designer’s lenses in a recent article :

Traffic flow

“The first thing I notice is whether or not the furniture placement promotes good flow of traffic,” says Lorelie Brown, a Showhomes franchisee in Charleston, S.C. Open floor plans can make it tricky. For example, many living and family rooms have a focal wall anchored by a fireplace or television. The chairs and couch should be arranged to face this point but not in a way that prevents you from being able to walk around them, Brown says.

The fix: Remove extra chairs and side tables to make sure there is a clear path in and out of the space.


“Usually when I walk into a home, the overall look is dark and drab because there’s not enough of the right kinds of light,” says Anna Shiwlall, a designer with 27 Diamonds in Los Angeles.

The fix: Sit in every section of the room and see if you can read easily. Don’t just rely on overhead lighting. Add a table or floor lamp where needed.


Give the home a sniff test. Some main offenders include pets, cooking smells, and overwhelming candle scents.

The fix: Open the windows to air out any stale spaces, particularly the kitchen or bedrooms. Read more: Good Smells, Bad Smells


Watch the size of furnishings in the home. Are they overcrowding the space? Or are the furnishings too small? I always notice the layout and scale of the pieces in a bedroom, says Jeanne Hessen, senior designer at Closet Factory in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Hessen says many homeowners buy entire packages at furniture stores without taking into account what the best size would be for the space.

The fix: To fix this, try to mix and match your styles and the stores where you shop, Hessen told®. You'll end up with a more interesting, inviting space.

View more home-sprucing tips from interior designers at®.

Source: “8 Things Interior Designers Notice the Instant They Walk Through Your Door,”® (Aug. 14, 2017)