Put home’s best foot forward

Design your own carpet with easy-care FLOR carpet tiles that are interchangeable and can add a bright, new focus to any room in your home.

Q I would like to help my son and his wife spruce up their home for selling purposes. It’s a quaint little house, but the fact that it has only one bathroom and stairs has limited the market. I’m looking for any ideas that would make this home more attractive to potential buyers.

A: It is kind of you to offer your help, not always easy, as you don’t want to injure feelings about the way the house appears at this point.

There are a few common-sense rules that make a house appealing to perspective buyers. I wouldn’t be concerned about the size; at one point it was just right for your son, and everybody has to start somewhere. But how does it show? Cleanliness and order head the to-do list.

If it is obvious that care has been taken in maintaining the home, its good qualities will shine through. It is often difficult for us to see details that we have lived with for years, but these can be a deal-breaker, so be gently honest about how you view their home. Organize clutter and edit extra furniture so that the existing space glows.

Personal collections can be packed away for their next home. If there are any eyesores, such as cracks in walls, broken faucets, mildewed grout, stained floors or carpets, it is worth every cent to repair or replace the damage.

Eliminate the negatives wherever possible. A fresh coat of paint will brighten up any room; it’s not necessary to repaint the entire house, but you can’t go wrong with a welcome hallway or kitchen. I would keep the color neutral for resale. A warm white is probably best.

Think about the floors. There are area rugs and runners that are not costly and will add a fresh touch to the interior. I’d suggest carpet tiles that can be applied wall to wall or as an area rug. They will fit perfectly in the entrance hall and living room, seen as soon as you open the front door.

FLOR carpet tiles are available in traditional and contemporary patterns and textures. You can mix and match colors and designs to create any look and size.

Visit the website at www.flor.com to see the eclectic offerings available. The tiles are stuck down with adhesive, not glue, so they can be removed and taken to another room or home. (Replaceable tiles are also a clever way to deal with stained or damaged sections.) Good luck with the sale; I’m sure it will go well.

Q: I painted my kitchen Thai Green (a mellow, yellow beige). I love the color, and it works with my ruddy brown cabinets. However, the window and door trim is white and doesn’t look good at all. Can you suggest a good trim color please?

A: Your kitchen colors sound lovely. The base for both the cabinets and walls is brown (light and dark), so the white trim, rather than being fresh, makes an unappealing contrast.

Look for the antique whites or a butter-cream shade that has a brown tint to it. The softer tone will complement what you have, bring out the best in both colors and present a warm yet clean trim line.

Debbie Travis’ House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Email questions to house2home@debbietravis.com. You can follow Travis on Twitter at www.twitter.com/debbie_travis, and visit her website, www.debbietravis.com.