What not to do...

Annie DeighnaughJuly 31, 2014

Looking for something awful for another thread, I came across this web site. Oh my! The mother lode of bad design.

At work the HR guys always said we can learn from bad managers what not to do...I guess the same s true of ugly rooms.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ugly house photos

This post was edited by AnnieDeighnaugh on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 8:20

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Oh dear. There are no words.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:06AM
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Since I am still open to buying another house I look at a few websites for homes in my area.

I can't tell you how many times I am shocked by the photo's the agent put up. I do not have a problem with a house needing updates, painting, new drapes etc. What gets me is when the kitchen counters or other areas are LOADED with junk and the agent posts it!
Or the trash can is overflowing and it's in the picture, drapes all dissheveled - cats on counters, kids toys everywhere and just a messy looking house and the owner is still living there..

I think shame on the realtor - make them clean it up before you post pics. I dismiss a house immediately if it is messy/trashed.

These are homes that are listed in the 250K - to 450K range which is mid to low high price range in my area.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:36AM
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I think in a market where things are selling the realtor doesn't push the seller to even clean up, especially at certain price points.

I see the knotted curtain thing so much at the lower end of the market here that I think there are three things going on.
And I mean lower end per each neighborhood. The lower end in my neighborhood is in the $300s, in some it's $50.

In the lower cost and subsidized housing near me you never Ever see a window uncovered with the curtains open. Blinds or curtains firmly shut at all times against prying eyes, I guess.

That is coupled with the lack of lighting you see in a lot if these photos. So a dark room with inadequate lighting.

Add a Realtor or photographer who is pressed for time and they knot the curtains if they can't open and close them to get some light into the room so they can snap a quick picture.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:02AM
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We are listing our house for sale next week and have been window shopping for our next house, primarily online at this point. It has been very surprising some of the photos that agents use in their online listings, photos that seem to say "stay away" rather than invite me to schedule a showing or visit the open house.

Most bad photos fall into:

House crowded with too many things. Sometimes the house appears clean, other times not so much. When I only see piles of stuff and can not see the house, it is hard to tell if it is worth my time to schedule a showing.

Bad lighting, why do they include a photo where you
cannot actually see the room.

Photos taken of objects in the house rather than the actual room; nice coffeemaker - can I see the kitchen please. This is very common.

Blurry photos, same as bad lighting.

Agent's who just do not understand that small things make a big difference, such as closing the toilet lid, straightening out the crooked painting, wiping the dirty fingerprints off the fridge...

Messy homes, similar to too much stuff but in this case it is not a huge volume of things, the house just looks too lived in. Too many things on the counters, old ugly towels that look like a teen just threw them on the towel bar - that type of thing. Apparently the seller does not know how to clean up for company or just does not care.

Old photos - My neighbor's house was listed with photos of the master bedroom during remodeling, no drywall even. Photos stayed like that even after the room was finished - 4 months into an 8 months listing.

Too few photos, 3 so-so photos of a 3300 square foot house, I am imaging the worst.

Recently saw a photo of a toilet sitting in a tub - another toilet was where the toilet should be. Two photos - each of a side of the same bath. If for some reason the toilet can not be moved out of the tub,leave that photo out.

While it is likely some sellers just refuse to do anything to get their house ready for market, in many cases it appears to be that the agent just does not care or put in the effort. Our market is neutral - so a quick sale is not a given. Do they not want to sell the house as quickly as possible at the best price? Just don't get it.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:18AM
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My guess is there are probably some agents who don't care...but probably more often than not they have told the seller to clean up, remove clutter, etc..and they just don't. They come back later to take the photos and nothing has been done and they need to get the listing posted on MLS.

It even drives me crazy on shows like House Hunters when they don't put the toilet lid down before shooting....sometimes they show a shot and it is up then in the next shot it is down....HELLO.....go through the house and do it before the cameras start rolling.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:50AM
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The toilet lid up is a pet peeve of mine. I mean, unless the toilet is in use, in our house, the lid is down. Granted, we don't have kids, but do that many homes have the lids up? LOL

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 3:50PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Beyond the knotted curtains, in just the pic above I posted, look at all the basic decorating errors... the drapes are too skimpy for the slider, and you can't really get out the sliders with the drapes like that, the clock is hung way too high, impossible to see from the bed and why would you want a kitchen clock in your bedroom? The other pictures are also too high and not centered on anything, the loose cord on the floor is a real trip hazard and the bedding is orange, with white and yellow, something purple with a blue rug while the walls have a rose cast. It looks like there was no attempt to coordinate anything....and yet there was an attempt to do something.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:16PM
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Spent lots of time at that website that your posted Annie -- Wow!! Some really incredible photos there!! :)

As for the photo above -- it looks as if they have moved the bed to the current wall because the nightstand is sitting in front of the doors .... odd! Plus the bed would look better if it was placed under the artwork .....

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 4:22PM
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lov_mkitchenIOWA zone 6b

Wow! remind me never to show that person anything in my house! It would never be good enough for her. I really wonder what her house looks like. Perfect in every way? Up to date on everything? You can do that if you have enough money. Money doesn't buy good taste.

Some of those really had issues but the person who was critiquing didn't know a lot about some things. For instance, that ugly tree with no leaves is a pine tree and that's how they grow. I have 20 or 30 of them around my house. And the MCM plywood. No, it wasn't a white shaker kitchen with granite countertops so it's ugly? Not every person in this world would trade that plywood home for the white kitchen. I wouldn't. The whole site turned me off. I won't waste my time there again.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:08PM
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One cursory glance was enough for me. Why would anyone waste time on a site like that?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:17PM
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Well, the point of the site is that these are photos that are meant to Promote the property. Sometimes I look at listings where they are clearly trying to demonstrate the amount of destruction or the amount of cleanout the buyer will have to do, but some of these photos are supposed to be showing the house in a positive light. Neither the homeowner or realtor is doing a good job of it. I do agree that some of the commentary seems rather picky and pointless especially about the distressed properties or things like the radio tower. Showing that tower is probably to avoid wasting the realtor's time with anyone who would avoid such a property.

Why do other people look at it? Why do people watch reality television? They are interested in what other people are doing.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:09PM
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I think the "Don't forget to check your sugar" was meant for the diabetic in the house.

I have two schools of thoughts about realtor listings.

1) I'm really turned off by junk and mess and don't understand why - out of 35 photos - 20 or so are of blank walls, floor and ceiling fans. Really? There's nothing more interesting?

2) When everything is staged to the teeth, I'm suspicious that it's intended to draw your eye away from substantive issues that you'll pay dearly for after your purchase. Plus, the ultra-staging plays on emotions. People stand there and don't realize it's not going to look like that when it's empty and they're trying to get their less-than-glammy furniture in.

I look for photos that show off important features and don't much care if the rooms are not well-decorated. I want to see front and rear elevations, back yards, kitchens, baths, laundry rooms, etc. I don't want pics of every bedroom complete with your furniture; just tell me what size they are!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:12PM
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I want to know *who* decided it was a nice look for drapery panels to be tied in a big ugly knot, and consider it No House Beautuful photo, Traditional a Home, Veranda, Southern Living, Dwell, or any of the decorating I've had privy to have used this truly 'unique installation'. Please use the drapery panel to make a knot around your own neck if this has ever been a design choice in your home, god forbid. (don't take me too seriously!)

As for the other photos, like my son always says, 'you can't fix stupid.'

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:26PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

It's not that knotted curtains are always bad...when done deliberately with taste, it can be interesting.

Great for an outdoor area

Tropical Patio

Or when repeated deliberately to add softness yet not block the view

Farmhouse Bedroom by Wenatchee Photographers Travis Knoop Photography

Or here where they broke up the long expanse of drape with a knot

Contemporary Bedroom by Durham Interior Designers & Decorators Heather Garrett Design

And then there are the knot tops on panels which can be very cool

Contemporary Living Room by Weston Interior Designers & Decorators Myriam Payne

Eclectic Bathroom by Bethany Beach Interior Designers & Decorators DECORATING DEN INT. SHELLEY RODNER C.I.D.

Contemporary Family Room by La Grange Interior Designers & Decorators Interiors by Mary Susan

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 8:36AM
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When my friends were selling their house, the agent just stopped by one afternoon when the whole family was out and took the pictures.

The house wasn't a mess--they are very neat people. But there were clean dishes in the dish drainer, a sweatshirt plopped on a chair in the bedroom, some kids' toys out in the playroom--the normal day to day stuff of a family living in a house. The house wasn't on the market at the time, although it was due to go on the market in a few days.

The agent was completely puzzled as to why my friends demanded he come back and take better pictures, and why they wanted several days notice before he came.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 9:21AM
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Of course, some of the photos/remarks are a little bit misleading. I bet you that the pictures of the mold are from listings (perhaps foreclosure or short sales) to show the actual "as in" condition, not to advertise the wonderful walls.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 9:24AM
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my thought was that the very post photo was trying to mimic the look of the 1st photo in the grouping of pics... tho not quite as elegantly!
but, i really believe that some people really truly don't see how unsuccessful some decor choices or 'mimics' are--- i would guess that maybe the person in the very 1st photo feels they pulled off the knotted panel look pretty well!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 9:27AM
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Annie - I can forgive those decorating errors and even skinny drapes - not everyone comes to this decorating forum for help. LOL

My neighbors put their home up for sale and I looked at the pictures - OMG - her bedroom drapes were a disaster. Hung below the woodwork and way too skimpy and short. They looked like pigtails on her windows....LOL

I found it funny since she's always dressed to the hilt and classy looking - but, hasn't a clue on her home.

They recently relisted and I saw they took the drapes down and have plantation shutters - it certainly helped her bedroom look better.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 9:37AM
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Really like the look with the knots at the top of the panels.

Agree on the pine tree, we have a similar one in our front yard. I don't find it ugly, but to each their own.

Looking for my new home I really don't care about bad decorating, that is such an easy fix and if bad enough may reduce the competition for the home.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 10:00AM
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Outdoor knot = keeping wind from getting the drapes and blowing them around. The indoor ones on that site are kinda gross. I do agree with some of the pics showing the damage to areas, or the fact that the copper has been stolen - they aren't supposed to make the place look nice but show what the physical condition currently is.

Others though (most) just look like someone doesn't care at all and that you may want to wash your hands once you leave.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:14AM
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