It’s the run-up to Christmas and New Year now, so if you’re on the market or about to hit it, you need to think about injecting some comfort, togetherness and joy (what the Scandinavians call hygge) into your home to help it to sell.
Create a warm atmosphere
This doesn’t just mean physically warm, although you should give the heating a quick boost half an hour or so before a viewing; it also means you should make the place feel more inviting and comforting.
What you need to do is to replace as many lightbulbs as you can with brighter and warmer versions. Try bulbs with a slight pink or orange tinge, as well as bringing in lots of plush, fuzzy and velvety throws.
Use subtle and organic Christmas decorations
Ditch the glitz this year as metallics can feel a little cold and impersonal. Try some Nordic-themed (after all, who invented hygge?) wooden, felt and straw decorations instead. Stick to red and white if you can and aim for humble and rustic rather than in-your-face impressive.
Remove some furniture
If you have some rooms or spaces that you always have to take extra care to walk through, then they’re overcrowded with furniture. Hygge is soft and welcoming, with no hard or jutting edges, so if you think you can soften and open up a room by putting some larger and not strictly necessary items in storage, then do it.
Bring in more natural materials
Recently there’s been a trend towards shiny and metallic soft furnishings, like sequinned cushions. While they’re certainly eye-catching, you can’t imagine snuggling up among them with a cup of hot chocolate. Get back to basics with knitted fabrics, velvets, fleece, lambskin and so on. You want people to crave the comfort of your throws, cushions and rugs.
Appeal to the sense of smell
Viewers might not even be aware of it, but if you can put some cinnamon sticks behind radiators, or some drops of vanilla essence in a bowl of warm water before they arrive, they’ll “feel” the welcoming smell. If you follow this up with handing over some spicy cocoa and a cookie, you’ll be onto a winner.