Richard Black, expert for QVC shopping channel’s home interiors, Property Developer, Interior Designer and Podcaster looks into why it’s important to have a minimalist aesthetic when selling a home.

Richard Black

Richard Black

Very few estate agents have ever been asked by an eager house viewer “oh if only it had a tiny kitchen” or, “thank heavens, a double bedroom I could never squeeze a double bed into”

When it comes to buying a home, very rarely does the phrase ‘less is more’ feature in the search.

Demands for more space between us and other people, both inside and outside are high on many a house hunter’s agenda. It’s almost a certainty that dressing (or even undressing) a home for sale will easily outrun a similar property which is busy and cluttered and appearing small.

Interior Designer, Dee Gibson of Velvet Orange Interiors sums it up:

“Styling a house for sale can be a dance between creating an interior a wide audience can see themselves in and cutting off sections of the market because they don’t like the interior style.”

It’s a dilemma anyone who has sold a home would have faced as the For Sale board was being bashed into the front garden. We all like our ‘stuff’, but guess what, other people might not and it’s other people you have to hope will write the cheque for your six or seven figure home.

Let the space do the talking. This played out in a property I developed where despite a brilliant agent and a raft of viewings, no offer was forthcoming.

We decided to move the furniture out except for a handful of items: a sofa, the kitchen appliances and a king-sized bed remained. Hey Presto! The house sold to the next viewer.

I was lucky enough to have another house to migrate the furniture to before it had sold, so when I opted to move most of the furniture out, I’d left the house in a state of ‘temptation’ without realising it.

House buyers know they’re visiting a home with other people’s belongings in it. The reason they’ve booked a viewing is because they might like to see their belongings in it. It’s up to the seller to create that picture and the agent to paint the buyer into the picture complete with their belongings.

Sowerbys Estates Agents sell higher end and often older style homes in rural Norfolk and Suffolk. Often the houses have been in the same hands for years, even more often an older home can be filled with possessions the owners have surrounded themselves with over time, simply normalising the piles of books, magazines and other countless ornaments.

Jonathan Wood a Manager at Sowerbys Norwich office says:

“You need the potential new owner to create their own dream and not feel they will still be living with the previous owner”

Interior Designer Dee Gibson again delivers the simplest of advice:

“Co-ordinated pops of colour throughout, a well chosen jacket or two in a wardrobe and a table laid for dinner, a beautiful plant and a couple of (non controversial) books on a bedside table and Buyers will get a tease on a lifestyle in the property and how the house flows without distractions”

Fight the temptation to cram the space you’d like to sell, with stuff about yourself.

More or less, I’m saying less is more!

Richard Black is home interiors expert for global shopping channel QVC, he presents Home:Work Property Podcast

Go to for a selection of his completed properties.

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