Your home is a place you feel comfortable—you’ve made memories there and you continue to do so. Plus, you feel able to relax and settle in. But if you know how you feel about your abode, have you ever wondered how it strikes others? If you entertain much, you may think about this topic all the time. And if you’re about to put your home on the market, you may have already thought it through and made adjustments.
Thinking about how guests might perceive your home can help you create a beautiful space that others love to be in. Plus, you may find that some adjustments appeal to you, too.
What homebuyers like
It may seem like an inverted approach, but who better to look to than homebuyers when you’re wondering what features of a home stand out? If homebuyers like certain elements, chances are they’re not alone. So, here are some features to think about.
A well-colored front door
According to Zillow, “Homes with black or charcoal gray front doors sell for $6,271 more than expected, the highest sales premium of all the room and color combinations analyzed.”
If buyers like certain colors of doors, we’ll assume that even some people who aren’t in the market for a new place, will also find them appealing. Plus, black doors can have plenty of variation—from expansive to modern to window-full. Choose a kind that blends with your mobile home’s style.
The right color walls
Zillow also says, “Homes with cool, neutral wall colors like blue bathrooms and light taupe living rooms also sold for more than expected.” If this is a far cry from what you have currently, now’s your time to renovate! Take a look these 10 Beautiful Blue Bathrooms from The Spruce. Also try this one—Using Taupe To Create A Stylish, Family-Friendly Living Room.
Duo-chromatic kitchen cabinets
According to Zillow, “Tuxedo kitchens, or kitchens where the upper and lower cabinets are painted in two different colors, sell for a $1,547 premium.” If guests at your home often congregate in the kitchen, why not make it a beautiful place to socialize? Use two tones to create a classy look or an outside-the-box aesthetic. Or blend a tuxedo kitchen with a white and wood look. You can even harness it for a sophisticated, almost glamorous appearance.
Start by listening up
Your guests may give you subtle cues about what they notice when they come into your home. For instance, let’s say a friend is drinking a cup of coffee and chatting at your kitchen table. She takes a satisfied breath and remarks, “You know, your houseplants are so relaxing—I wish I had that kind of green thumb.”
Eureka! A simple, impromptu compliment can have deeper utility for you. You’ve just been given a totally unsolicited insight into one thing that a guest notices in your home.
Obviously, not all guests are the same. And if you happen to have a guest who despises living plants (if such people exist), then naturally, they’re not going to have the same reaction. Still, over time you can build a repository of guest-volunteered information that helps you get a sense of what they’re noticing in your house.
Keep your own eyes open
On the flip side, begin building your own arsenal of things you’ve noticed positively (and negatively) in homes or other locations where you were the guest. No matter how strongly averse you are to clutter (and we’ll get to that later), you may have noticed a home so devoid of decor and furniture that it just seemed sterile. So, begin building your knowledge base with experiences like that—a home that was conspicuously barren left a lasting impression on you and might do the same for others.
Continue to build your arsenal when you smell cookies baking at a friend’s house and consequently want to stay forever. Or when you see a red candle glowing in the bathroom during a party and are tempted to linger.
This also goes for experiences you’ve had that weren’t in peoples homes, per se. For instance, think back to the best hotel experience you ever had. Was it the comfortable chairs or the fact that a desk was included in the room’s furniture? Or was it expansive windows flooding the room with light? Maybe it was the fact that the whole space was impeccably neat, not overcrowded, and designed to incorporate just a few key colors.
These are your prompts—tidbits of information that remind you of what makes people feel comfortable in living spaces. Things like cleanliness, aesthetic appeal, and even comfortable places to sit.
Ways to appeal to your guests
Here are three simple changes you can make to up your home’s appeal. And you’ll find there’s more than one way to make each of these changes happen.
1 – Oust the bad smell and bring in the good
Ever step in a house and get a whiff of something strangely unidentifiable or overpoweringly nasty? If you have, chances are you don’t want to perpetrate the same experience on your own innocent guests. And you even want to take things a step further, making your home smell good instead of bad or just neutral.
How to make the change
Keep good smelling things on hand. It’s actually simple. Assuming your house isn’t smelly because it needs a scent-causing problem remediated, tackle the issue by bringing in good scents.
- Introduce candles or scented oil diffusers.
- Bake aromatic things like bread or cookies when you know company’s going to come over. (Note that you need to avoid this strategy if guests have food sensitivities or allergies—not only could it be the opposite of appealing, it could be downright dangerous).
- Spray room spray.
- On a beautiful day, open windows to let a breeze freshen your home.
- Place orange peels and cinnamon sticks (or ground cinnamon) in a pot of water and simmer for a smell so good you’ll wish you could eat it.
2 – Crush clutter and cultivate tidiness
Imagine yourself welcoming guests into your mobile home. You’re delighted to see them, you say, and you hope they had a good drive. They make it through the front doorway and you lean in for a warm hug or a handshake. Everything’s going as planned.
Until you trip over your four-year-old’s rain boots, somehow invisible in the path, and the hug is interrupted as one kind guest tries to save you from hitting the floor. One half of the mysterious rainboot pair hits the umbrella propped in the corner and your recovery is interrupted by the umbrella’s noisy fall. (It narrowly misses you—and also misses the heroic guest who’s busy helping you regain your footing) .
Goodness, would your guests like you to take their coats and purses, you ask. And they do because they’re mercifully trying to divert everyone’s attention and give you something you can actually succeed at. That’s fine, how about you just set purses or on this handy, nearby bench? Maybe one can go on top of this towering stack of library books without starting an avalanche. And let’s balance another one or two on top of this backpack that never made it back up upstairs.
Now that that’s over, wouldn’t everyone like to join you in the kitchen? Pull up a chair at the table, actually. Just disregard yesterday’s mail (and last week’s and the week before that). And wait a minute while you remove the folded laundry that’s waiting to be put away.
And give you a second to remember whether these light bulbs were the ones you’re supposed to throw away or the ones you’re about to put in the living room fixtures. On second thought, why don’t we all just sit in the living room? Excellent idea, let’s just ditch the kids’ pajamas draped like throw blankets on the armchairs.
How about we pull the empty DVD boxes into a tidy-ish pile (and kick the DVD’s themselves under the couches)? Please, don’t anybody trip over that plastic bin of broken Christmas lights. And, oh dear, did your guest who politely removed his shoes on arriving just step on a Lego?
You get the idea. Clutter is a real-life problem. Not only is it inconvenient (just ask the guy who stepped on the Lego), it can be visually unappealing, too. And getting rid of it doesn’t have to be rocket science.
How to make the change
If your mobile home is buried deep, take a moment for 7 Strategies For Clearing Clutter When You Don’t Know Where To Start to help you start digging out.
And here are three more ways to tackle the clutter in your home.
- Stow it temporarily if you’re in a hurry, then return to it later. This could mean placing it in an unused bedroom. Or hurrying around the house with an empty laundry basket to collect all the stray items. Just be sure you actually do return to it later.
- Commit to tamping down clutter at a set time each day. This is a way to head off the problem before it starts.
- Let each family member be responsible for clutter in a particular area.
- Establish a “carry in, carry out” policy for the most commonly cluttered spots.
It doesn’t have to be perfectly clutter-free
Clearly, we advocate the usefulness of clutter-busting. However, you can’t assume your guests are offended by a house that looks “lived in.” In fact, when talking about “your real-life mess” and “cleanliness, tidiness, and organization,” Gabriell Savoie on MyDomaine.com offered this insightful point: “For some readers, it rubbed their neat-freak tendencies the wrong way. For others, it made them feel better about their own mess.”
3 – Be the person with a perpetually clean bathroom
Be the person with a bathroom that’s actually a nice place to be. As awkward as it may be to admit, some of us do find bathrooms a place of quiet solace in the middle of an overstimulating environment. When a guest needs a moment to collect their thoughts and take a break from constant entertaining, the bathroom provides a convenient excuse.
It offers a spot to fix one’s tie, check one’s teeth, and practice one’s I-am-delighted-to-meet-you smile. Just like being backstage gives actors a chance to prepare, being in the bathroom gives guests a chance to get ready or refresh for networking, chatting, celebrating, eating, or doing whatever it is they’re doing.
How to make the change
As the host, you have the opportunity to make or break this experience. Here are some ideas to make your bathroom the best one in town.
- Start by burning a candle for scent and for ambiance.
- Clean hand towel. You can put up with your own musty towel for as long as you can stand it. But it’s not exactly considerate to expect your guests to.
- Toilet paper. Though it’s obvious, you really don’t want to forget this. It leads to the opposite of a pleasant experience for guests.
- Provide toothpicks. Unorthodox? Yes. Appreciated? Also, yes. At least if your event includes food that can get stuck in the teeth, anyway.
- Cleanliness. As a rule, your bathroom should both look and smell clean when you have company. It’s not hard—by quickly wiping down the surfaces on a daily basis, you’ll make it easy for yourself to spruce the space up when you’re about to entertain.
Bonus items to think about
Now that we’ve tackled those three things, here are some extras your guests could notice when they arrive at your home.
A messy, cluttered yard
Fix this one by mowing the lawn and raking the leaves, if applicable. Remove scattered lawn chairs and toys. Send lawnmowers back to their sheds, gardening tools back to their spots, and random trash cans to their usual homes.
On the other hand, invest in regular lawn maintenance, and you can eliminate the last-minute scramble to tidy up.
- Mow weekly (or however often is appropriate for your climate and your grass).
- Put temporary lawn furniture away after use.
- Have the kids clean up their outdoor toys at the end of every day.
- Put away tools when you’re done using them.
Your home’s cleanliness
Wait, you thought this article was about a lasting impression. Isn’t cleaning more of a transient thing? Maybe “clean your house” isn’t quite the impression management strategy you’re looking for. Fair enough. But it turns out that sometimes the appearance of a clean house isn’t just about routine washings.
Actually, sometimes the dirtiness is deeper than that. If you have painted or papered walls that are stained and simply don’t wash up well, then a new coat of paint or new paper may help you out. It’s like a fresh start.
Similarly, if your kitchen backsplash’s grout lines are all washed up (and not in a good way), consider painting your grout. And if your carpets have a reached a point where they never look clean, despite washings and vacuumings, consider installing new carpet (or even hardwood).
Delight your guests
Of course, making your home look, smell, and feel appealing isn’t the only way to give your guests a delightful experience. You can also feed them good food and ensure that overnight guests have a comfortable spot of their own. Check out The Complete Guide To Entertaining Mobile Home Guests This Summer for more inspiration as you plan to host friends or family. Plus, take a look at How To Make Your Mobile Home A More Relaxing Place To Live.