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  • Writer's pictureJessica Doberneck

5 Tips for a Cohesive, Updated, and "Move-in-Ready" Home

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

The number #1 rule for renovating a home (over time, or a quick flip) is COHESION. This can be hard to achieve if your renovations take place over the span of years, or if your style and preferences have a quick turnaround rate. It is crucial, nonetheless, ESPECIALLY if you plan on selling your home in the next 5 years.

I've created this cheat sheet blog post to provide tips, resource links, and help with these problematic decisions.

Tip #1: No more than 3 flooring types

Giving your home the same flooring throughout is the most impactful way to create a cohesive design. This is especially important if your home is on the smaller side (under 1,800 sqft), if your home is larger (2,500+ sqft) you could get away with more than 3 flooring types. IF ANYTHING, your main living area (entry, kitchen, living, dining, family room, nook, hallways, and bathrooms) should all be the same flooring. Pick something waterproof and neutral. This reiterates an open concept and makes the space feel larger and more fluid.

There are 2 areas I would consider accent flooring:

1) Bedrooms can be carpeted, especially if you live in a younger family-friendly neighborhood or in a cooler climate. However, continuing the same wood/laminate flooring into the bedrooms is rarely a bad idea, especially for the master bedroom.

2) You could give an accent tile flooring in a laundry room or mud room - smaller areas where it wouldn't be a major undertaking if the buyer didn't like it. This is also true for the master bathroom; the whole master suite should be leveled up compared to the rest of the house and different flooring in the bathroom is one way to achieve that.

**Be sure that any accent flooring still falls under the overarching umbrella style of the home.

Tip #2: 1 paint color throughout

Almost as important as flooring is cohesive paint color.

This is a hard one for me to swallow! I love color. But, when it comes to resale, you want your buyers to feel like they can move in TODAY and not have to change one thing until they are ready to take on the project. For example, once they have kids they can paint the nursery pink or the playroom yellow. But you can't pre-determine that for them because odds are, they won't like it. Give them a blank canvas that will be appreciated by all.

The best colors right now are a simple white, soft grey, or taupe.

Tip #3: Mix Metals (but don't get too "mix-ey!")

Mixing metals are totally ok! In fact, if all your knobs, door handles, faucets, curtain rods, and light fixtures are the same finish throughout the entire house, your buyers might start feeling like they are having a Deja Vu with how matchy-matchy everything is. However, the less variety you have the more likely you are to appeal to the masses, so keep it simple - no more than 2 metals is a safe rule of thumb.

Tip #4: Your bathrooms should be twins/siblings and your kitchen should be the parent

As for your bathrooms and kitchen, it's also best to use the same/similar materials (tile, countertops, cabinet color) throughout. Again, we want to achieve a consistent and cohesive home where buyers don't have too many opportunities to develop opinions. Less is more!

The best way to tackle bathrooms is to have a copy-paste approach. Have the same vanity set, hardware, tile, and countertops in each of your bathrooms. If you have 3 or more bathrooms, you could add a little variety by installing board and batten, bead board, or shiplap so they aren't all too matchy-matchy. Your goal is to make all your bathrooms look like twins, with the master being the older sibling; similar in style with a hit of sophistication.

You can venture out a little with your master bathroom as a "more enhanced version" of the other bathrooms by implementing, maybe, a different (but complimenting) shower and/or floor tile, a nicer shower head, and faucets.

Shower Pan:

Shower Walls:

Let's talk about your kitchen! Your bathrooms should all feel like they came from the same gene pool, and your kitchen should be the parent genes of the home. The heart of the home's design; every other room should be a vein off of the kitchen. Though the kitchen is mentioned fairly later in this list, it should actually be one of the first things you design, and let the other design choices stem from this. Why? Because after all your furniture is moved out of the home, the kitchen is the most interesting element your buyer is left with.

New cabinets (RTA is my go-to) or painted cabinets are ideal, with quartz countertops, and a nice clean backsplash... Chefs Kiss! Keep with the grey, taupe, and white color scheme - it's your safest bet.

Tip #5: Features

This is where you can channel your creativity! Try to have 3 Wow-Factors in your home; at the very least, one that you can see the moment you walk into the home, and one in the master bedroom. This could be board and batten in the entry, master bedroom, or living room. This could also be a stunning fireplace or shiplap on the back of the snack bar.

While having all the walls painted the same color, the same flooring throughout, and copy-and-pasted bathrooms with a little variety in the master bath to make it feel special, you do need to give the buyers a reason to LOVE the home, not just simply move into the home tomorrow. Warning: If you do more than 3 features, you're giving your buyers too many opportunities to not like something. If they don't like 1 of the 3 features - that's not a make-it-or-break-it! Easy fix. But if your home is scattered with unique features in each room, that could easily make your buyer overwhelmed by all the changes they would want to make. You're no longer giving them a clean slate.


There is a sweet spot between over-designing and under-designing. It's a very fine line! The best way to ensure you're in the right lane is consistency and cohesiveness. This will help create a stunning home for you to enjoy AND future buyers! If you're unsure of your choices in materials or feeling stuck - reach out! I'd love to help.


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