When prepping and improving their home for sale, there likely comes a point in the process when a homeowner steps back and thinks, “Do I really want to leave now?”
Indeed, once you see the shiny new appliances and hardwoods in place, you might wonder why you didn’t make such upgrades sooner so that you could enjoy them yourself — rather than the next owner of your home.
One couple in Greenwich, Connecticut, had that foresight. They knew they wanted to sell their five-bedroom, five-bathroom home somewhat soon, so they tapped Leia T. Ward, founder and principal designer of LTW Design in nearby Ridgefield to update and stage the 5,000-square-foot space.
The home had great bones, including high ceilings, tons of windows, and elegant moldings. To make these features shine, Ward refinished the wood floors, painted the walls a crisp white, updated light fixtures, and removed heavy drapery. With that clean slate, she set out to create an open and airy vibe by refreshing the furnishings, finishes, and decor.
One space saw a major transformation that Ward considered an absolute must: a living room — one of three in the home — located right off the kitchen. Inexplicably, the house had no dining room, so it only seemed fitting to create one there.
The room, which hadn’t been updated in years, was crowded with too much furniture, and vibrant patterns just added to the feeling of clutter. “This posed a major problem because it was all too distracting, and unfortunately isn’t what buyers are looking for,” Ward says. The contents of the room obscured its appealing features, including abundant natural light, high ceilings, crown molding, and wainscoting.
Determined to make the new dining room “casually sophisticated, approachable, light, open, and airy,” she emptied everything out. Since she wanted a modern aesthetic in the space, none of the old furniture would have worked.
After sanding down the wood floors to a light hue and sealing them using Bona NordicSeal, Ward painted the mint green walls. “That color is very taste-specific, and, to appeal to the targeted demographic for this home, we knew a clean white was necessary to create a blank slate and a more modern palette,” she says.
Layers of window coverings were removed to let more light in, while table lamps and wall sconces made way for a black-and-white chandelier in the center, which serves as the focal point of the room.
Underneath, a modern, round dining table — custom-made by Ward’s woodworker — is ringed by white upholstered dining chairs that “add sculptural detail” and echo the table’s shape with their curves, she says. Their open design allows the fluted detailing on the table’s base to shine. Meanwhile, a simple piece of pottery on top of the table serves as a centerpiece yet maintains the minimal look.
Sticking to a palette of bold neutrals and soft textures, Ward finished the serene dining room with a low-profile console on the back wall, topped with a bowl and greenery in a vase. A neutral artwork featuring two figural sketches hangs just above.
So, did the homeowners like Ward’s modern updates — and are they enjoying living in their new-again house? She says: “They loved it and are enjoying their ‘new’ home!”
Given the final result, I wouldn’t blame them if they took their time listing the place.