By Barbara Ballinger, Architecture Coach columnist and guest blogger
Design glitches draw attention away from a home's best features. Don't let out-of-date fixtures and unappealing decor cost you a sale. While some buyers may actually appreciate "vintage" features, home and design experts say these 20 features almost always serve as a turnoff.
1. Dated and excessively bold or dark paint and tile colors, such as "Pepto Bismol" pink, avocado green, deep plum, or jet black. "Dark can be cool, but it has to be a color that's popular today," says sales associate Jennifer Ames, crs®, of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Chicago.
2. Lacquered or high-gloss painted walls that are expensive to repaint and show all defects. Likewise, faux- and sponge-painted walls can be so passe.
3. Painted trim that's very dark-and costly to remove.
4. Wallpaper, which is a lot of work (and potentially expensive) to remove. Most disliked: Dated flowered or striped patterns.
5. Kitchens that lack any dining space. Also, outdated, small-scale, and dirty kitchen appliances that look like they won't perform.
6. Worn, cracked laminate countertops, and backsplashes or plastic cultured marble.
7. Outdated bathrooms with small sinks, short toilets, squatty bathtubs, and tight showers-all of which aren't conducive to unwinding after a long day's work, says Ames.
8. Lack of ample closet space in bedrooms, or no closet at all and no place to build one or add an armoire.
9. Dens, libraries, and family rooms without built-in bookcases or a space to include shelves.
10. Stained and worn wall-to-wall carpet in rooms or on stairs. Worst choice: shag. Also, worn linoleum that suggests a house was never updated.
11. Poorly built additions that don't blend with a home's architecture, such as a sunroom with tinted glass.
12. Shortage of windows or very small windows, which makes a home feels dark and gloomy.
13. Ceilings with so many recessed lighting spots that they resemble Swiss cheese and are expensive to remove. Worst offenders: big 6-inch diameter lights.
14. Too many rooms outside the kitchen and bathroom that have cold ceramic tiled floors.
15. Children's bedrooms with a theme that runs through the carpeting, wallpaper, murals, ceilings, light fixtures, curtains, and furnishings.
16. Homes without a foyer or garage.
17. Too many mirrored walls, ceilings, doors, and backsplashes in a single room. The effect is dizzying, Ames says. One mirror magnifies, but many cheapen the look.
18. Skimpy molding and trim, such as 1-inch baseboards.
19. Noisy, grinding fan in a bathroom that's attached to a light switch so it can't be turned off.
20. Inexpensive gold-colored light fixtures in any room. Also, Hollywood-style lighting with huge bulbs in a bathroom is also out of date, design experts say.