The latest from Lili about Boston Real Estate.

Elaborate Decor in Victorian Homes and Condos for Sale in Boston

October 20, 2012 |

As I mentioned in a previous blog about young real estate buyers in Boston [link to blog from last week], the lighter and more neutral the décor of your home, the more buyers can relate to the space and imagine themselves living in it. Most homes and condos for sale in Boston’s Back Bay, Beacon Hill or South End neighborhoods are historic homes and many were built in the Victorian era.

Preserving the Historic Character of Your Boston Luxury Home
Many Boston condos have fabulous Victorian details with heavy woodwork, elaborate molding and dark, rich colors. It makes sense that some owners try to reflect the historic look and feel of the home through the interior décor, typically the same circa as the property.  That is fine if your property isn’t on the market, but sellers should always think of the magic word “resale”.

You can preserve the architecture of your condo for sale in Boston, but keep in mind these tips to also ensure its mass appeal:

  • Use more modern color palettes - softer and more neutral colors. Some homeowners have done the impossible and paint the dark woodwork. Let me tell you, it looks fabulous and brings it into the 21st Century, giving the house a totally new look.
  • Don’t use heavy drapery with floral patterns. There are gorgeous fabrics that will do the trick, and are more understated than heavy floral patterns.
  • The kitchen and baths can be designed to match the period of the home, but with modern appliances and fixtures – as I’ve said before, these are key selling features of real estate. Make sure colors and layout are functional and appeal to the majority of buyers.
  • If the bedrooms are small, stay away from heavy poster beds or high beds that make the rooms look even smaller.
  • Owners of historic homes typically love collecting antiques, memorabilia and traditional artwork. Once you’re ready to sell, de-clutter as much as you can. The less “stuff” you have in any given room, the more buyers will notice architectural details, ceiling heights, etc.

I had a listing for an historic condo that was beautifully renovated, but was unable to convince the sellers to remove all the heavy velour drapery and antique pieces. After a few months, the property was taken off the market for a year, until the sellers finally acquiesced and decided to modernize their home. The architecture and details were much more visible. The staging worked - it sold within 48 hours of being on the market.

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