One Home; Two Styles: Why Buyers Should Look Past Decorating While House Hunting

by Susan Matthews

Some people can’t unsee a laminate counter or a kitchen painted eggplant purple. It’s difficult for most homebuyers to look past dated or ugly decor. But what about when a home looks like it should be featured in a design magazine? It can be easy to overlook major issues. And, then there are instances when a home is new or recently renovated but it doesn’t reflect the buyer’s personal style. Some people feel bad “undoing” work that was beautifully done, so they cross that house off their list. It’s important to look past any and all decorating when house hunting.

To make the best possible home choice, it’s important to focus on the home’s lasting elements such as the location, view, floorplan, condition and the quality of construction. Everything else gets moved out or can be changed.

Case in point: 1905 Lone Oak Point in the community of Rivertowne Country Club in Mount Pleasant, SC.

I listed this award-winning Mount Pleasant home for clients who have a real flair for design. The home had even won an award. But when Gail and Mark Lang purchased it, they already had revisions in mind. They bought their home for all the right reasons – setting, quality of construction and location. With the help of their interior designer, the couple made it their own.

Check out how one home has been decorated in two fabulous but very different styles. I hope this inspires your vision of how to make a home perfectly “you.”

The Living Room

buyers should look past decorating when house hunting

The original Poulios-Zalkin Living Room was masculine, comfy and casual. The focal point was a show-stopping mirror made by Drew Zalkin’s father.


1905 Lone Oak Point Listed by Susan Matthews shows why decorating should be ignored when house hunting

The Langs had the shiplap painted white and added several inches to the sidewall to accommodate an antique room divider that was transformed into wall art. Luxe textiles and soft colors create timeless refinement.


The Dining Room

Susan Matthews Realtor shows why buyers should look past decorating when house hunting.

The former Poulios-Zalkin dining room featured local artwork and was a gathering place for meals.


Susan Matthews shares why homebuyers should look past decorating when house hunting.

The Langs use what was once the dining room as a sitting room and had the silvery gray walls repainted in a creamy white. They also feature local artwork on their walls.

Kitchen Nook

Susan Matthews advises why buyers should look past good and bad decorating when house hunting.

Phil Poulios and Drew Zalkin designed their dramatic kitchen with gourmet cooking and entertaining in mind.


Kitchen nook vignette with Susan Matthews Charleston Realtor shows how buyers can envision space differently.

The Langs had the space between the pantry and the laundry room wallpapered. An antique chest sets the stage for a cheerful rabbit-themed vignette. They also swapped out the light fixture. The sellers chose the same one for their next home.

The Great Room

Susan Matthews shows why home buyers should look past decorating even when it's good.

Phil Poulios and Drew Zalkin used their upstairs great room as a cozy hangout area when out-of-town friends and family visited.


Susan Matthews is a 5 star Charleston and Mount Pleasant Realtor who shows why buyers should look past decorating when house hunting.

The great room is the Lang’s favorite spot to relax together at the end of a day. They installed hardwood flooring, repainted the walls and added wallpaper.

Lang residence photos by Margaret Wright.

Susan Matthews is a Realtor serving the greater Charleston, SC area with Coldwell Banker Global Luxury. Contact her for a complimentary home buying or selling consultation.

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