At KWD we work on such a wide variety of projects – new builds, renovations, apartments, holiday houses and forever homes. One of our biggest areas of growth is working on multi-density projects and designing developments for sale. It’s a very particular skill set, as the design isn’t based on the owner’s lifestyle or design preferences, the hard finishes have to have wide appeal.


We are increasingly asked to specify the hard finishes for these developments as we understand the importance of selecting materials that suit the build and have an instant appeal to a wide range of potential owners.


We work closely with the developers so we have an understanding of the architectural style and the location, and a clear vision of who the target demographic is. And of course as the development is designed to sell, we have to work to a budget and timeline. Specifying materials that we know will be available when the builder requires delivery, that are cost effective and that are functional and hard wearing, are all vital to the success of the project.


Kate Walker explains, “When we get a brief to create a certain look for a development that is being designed to go straight on the market, the hard finishes have to pack a punch and be attractive to a wide market. It’s important not to specify anything outrageous or controversial so that the properties have broad appeal.”


“Depending on the location (coastal, urban, rural) and on the price bracket, we specify a mix of beautiful porcelain or natural stone tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms, luxurious carpets in the bedrooms and natural timber flooring in the living areas. And we add a touch of innovation where appropriate with special features like a timber ceiling. The materials need to create a warm and inviting ambience. Floor-to-ceiling tiling makes a huge difference when selling a home and from our experience, everyone loves a white kitchen,” says Kate.


Understanding the local real estate market and knowing what local buyers are looking for is vital to ensuring the developers get the best bang for their buck. By engaging KWD, our clients know that we will specify the best quality hard finishes within their budget, saving them time and money and hitting the hot buttons for their potential buyer. They also know that our buying power ensures we can supply materials at prices that will make their project viable.


“It’s very important to specify crowd pleasing colours, textures and tones,” continues Kate, “like luxurious New Zealand wool grey carpet, natural stone where possible, and wide oak floorboards.”


KWD has worked closely with Coastal Styling on a number of new developments, and really admires their approach, their vision and their execution.


Explains Coastal Styling’s Julie Miskin, “The property styling world has changed considerably over the years. It’s no longer just about placing furniture in a room, it’s about maximising the potential of a space and enhancing the architectural features.”


“There has definitely been a significant increase the number of vendors and real estate agents who see the positives of styling a property for sale,” says Julie. “There is a true benefit for a well-styled property in terms of the increase in price of the sale of the property as well as the length of time on the market.”


“It’s all based on selling a lifestyle. When I first view a property I look at how the spaces can be best presented and how I can engage a potential buyer, showing them the lifestyle they will enjoy when they purchase the property. I want them to imagine themselves in the space, sitting on the sofa, enjoying a meal at the dining table, sleeping in the bed. We often have people asking us where they can purchase the pieces we use to style a property because the items are so suited to the home and the location. The key is to create an environment where the potential buyer wants to live. Helping people see the possibilities is important because so many people don’t have that vision and can’t space plan.”


“When we’re styling to sell, in particular in older properties, so much of it is about neutralising the space and removing the identity of the owners, so we have a number of neutral pieces that can be used in different styles of properties, and then we bring in artwork, accessories and soft furnishings that will add personality that suits the architecture, the aesthetic and the location.”

Coastal Styling has a warehouse full of stock to call on and they are always acquiring new pieces and liaising with new suppliers so that they have an eclectic as well as a classic selection of furniture and furnishings. They work closely with the client, discussing their ideas and advising them on how to appeal to a broad audience – to maximise their sale price and minimise the time the property is on the market.


According to Julie, when styling a property for sale there are three key aspects to focus on to achieve a sale as quickly and effectively as possible:

  1. Know the market based on the location of the property and understand who the potential buyer is
  2. Determine the key selling points for the target demographic so you can create the right lifestyle aesthetic
  3. Select the ideal furniture and furnishings so you promote the property in the best possible light, and focus in on the key areas within the home that will be the biggest drawcard for the potential buyer


For more information on designing developments for sale, give the KWD team a call on 5974 1800.

KWD images:  Brent Lukey



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