It is fair to say Blink Living founder Diane Conley was well ahead of the curve in seeing the huge potential of styling properties for sale.
While it is an increasingly sought-after service now, the experienced interior stylist remembers no-one was doing it on the Sunshine Coast when she started her business back in 2008.
Diane, who has a home in Point Lonsdale, says she realised there was a growing market for property styling after visiting America and seeing how popular it was there.
What began as a small interior styling business in Noosa has since expanded to a bigger team dedicated to servicing the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne, Geelong and the Surf Coast.
“In the beginning we had to work hard to prove to the local real estate agents the value of styling and now styling a home for sale is recognised as the best way to increase sale price,” Diane says.
“Once people see the value and effectiveness, they are converted.
“Most properties can be valued at least 10 per cent more after styling.”
Diane says getting professional help to present a home for sale also has the advantage of helping to reduce time on market.
“If a property doesn’t sell within the first four weeks, it’s perceived to be too expensive or have some negative issues,” she says
“This can drive down the price the longer it sits on the market.”
Whether styling a home for sale or a holiday house for rental, making an emotional connection is crucial and Diane says that is what styling aims to achieve.
“Potential buyers and holiday makers are both looking to find interest and inspiration,” she says.
“They want to connect with the property and feel comfortable there.
“If an interior is designed to suit the home and includes beautiful pieces that are stylish and comfortable, it will evoke an emotional response and the desire to buy or stay.
“As most people choose which homes to inspect, which displays to visit or where to stay by going online, it’s imperative to present the home as welcoming and desirable.”
Diane, whose design mantra is “the devil is in the detail”, describes her personal style as pared back and contemporary.
“I love beautiful fabrics like linen and hemp,” she says.
So which trends is she loving at the moment?
“Natural finishes such as stone and raw timbers, curved edges, a palette of naturals with putty, chalk, olive, rust and eucalyptus,” she says, without hesitation.
Those same natural tones are what Diane views as defining the Surf
“The coast style tends to include natural materials and a calming palette, linen, natural oak, rattan and textured weaves – and big comfy sofas.”
Blink Living has styled more than 3,000 properties on the East Coast of Australia with a impressive success rate of 95 per cent.
Diane, who started the business with her partner, photographer Peter Lillies, says each home has its own personal appeal and potential.
“We love to style all types of homes from huge to humble,” she enthuses.
“Every home looks amazing when styled.”
The average cost to style a home for sale is $4,000-$5,000.
Diane says it is their preference to style an unfurnished home to achieve the best result.
“Empty is best. That way we get to create the perfect interior for the property rather than working with an owner’s furniture,” she says.
“That said, we do partial styling if required.”
Blink Living’s local team is headed up by Louise Rowe, who has a background in fashion and has worked for Blink Living for several years in Melbourne and on the coast.
It was Diane and Peter’s own love of the coastline here that prompted them to expand the business into Victoria.
“We are originally from Victoria and we have a place at Point Lonsdale,” she says.
“We love it there and see opportunities for new growth for a professional property styling company.”
Discover more about Blink Living at blinkliving.com.au or for an obligation-free quote, phone Louise Rowe on 0429 955 534 or via email [email protected]