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Furnish to Sell

What a dream it would be if all it took were amazing views of the sparkling waters around the BVI to sell a property. As the property market becomes more competitive, homebuyers have raised their expectations on what they want for their money—whether it's a new build or an existing home. The chances are that houses with great interior design will have more appeal and sell faster. The challenge of a seller is to captivate the buyers’ imaginations the minute they enter the property.

Buyers will be enticed by walking into a lifestyle—a home that has been thoughtfully decorated to enhance its best features—more than by empty rooms or rooms partially decorated with cheap furniture. When buyers can visualize themselves happily cooking in a well-appointed kitchen, dining on an amazing outdoor terrace or relaxing in a spa-like bathroom, their emotional attachment has already started to form with the property. And if other criteria such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms or location are met, it will likely lead to a sale.

  All photos courtesy of Dawn Southgate.

Many homes in the BVI are sold furnished, something not typical in other countries. Given the logistical challenges and the high costs associated with buying and shipping building supplies and furniture from overseas, it makes sense to do it right the first time. Even if you plan to live in your home for a few years before selling, think ahead. With great interior design, you can create a home that you love and still sell it later as move-in ready.

Take, for instance, kitchens and bathrooms. Many buyers will make their decision based on how well designed these rooms are. Given that these are the most expensive rooms to renovate, spending a little more upfront can go a long way. Invest in quality products—buy the best you can, whether you’re buying wall or floor tiles, cabinetry, kitchen appliances, lighting or bathroom and kitchen fixtures such as sinks or faucets, you’ll only benefit later. Style is also important. Products should be selected based on their design and durability, not just their price point. Quality flooring and lighting creates the platform around which the rest of the interior is designed.

When selecting colors, a neutral or subtle palette has the broadest appeal to buyers, unless the house has been designed with a specific theme that commands bright colors such as Caribbean or Mexican style. If you love bold colors, go ahead, just tone them down before you sell.


Choose furniture that fits with the design style of the house and the price point in which you are looking to sell. The furniture in a $3 million home should reflect the price. Recently I worked on the interior design of a brand new vacation property in Brewers Bay. One of the prerequisites was that the interior design matched its high-end rental price tag—from the designer furniture to the door handles to the lighting, every piece was selected with its target user in mind.


Selling your property doesn’t have to be the only motivator for good interior design. In any home, well planned layouts that allow for a good flow of traffic and furniture of the correct scale and proportions will greatly enhance a room’s usability and appeal. If you don’t have the time or are not design-oriented, working with a design professional can help you achieve a fully custom home. They take care of all the hard work, including handling the shipping and installation, and you get to enjoy a beautifully designed home.  

Coldwell Banker Real Estate BVI: (284) 340 3000
Southgate Lifestyle Design:

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