Home decoration ideas for expats in Dominican Republic


After moving to the Dominican Republic, setting up home and turning your accommodation into your personal abode can be a great way to start off your new life and feel at home. We would like to know whether expats are keen on decorating and furnishing to warm up their space whether for the festive season or all year-round.

Upon renting a new apartment or house in Dominican Republic, do you redesign your accommodation to suit your taste? Are your choices influenced by price, climate, etců?

Have you brought any interior decoration items from your home country or did you consider buying any once in Dominican Republic?

As an expat in Dominican Republic do you find it worthy to invest in home decor? Could you share what you have bought and perhaps some interesting places to shop for home decor?

How would you describe the local style of decoration? Have you picked up any item which reflects the local style?

Would you be inspired by the festive season to decorate and add a festive touch to your living space?

Thank you for sharing your experience,


Okay this is interesting. 

We are in the tropics. Anything you do at home requires you remember that.  Much of what you did before may not work here! 

We have much different issues here.  Like: air flow to stay cool and prevent mold from growing.  Damaging salt air and sand - depending on proximity to ocean.   Furniture needs based on humidity levels which are almost always high!

So my guess is almost all expats want to make it their own when they move. Degree is different for everyone.

Moving here bring the things you cannot part with because of sentimental attachment.  The rest - it can all be replaced here with what is appropriate for here. 

Electronics and appliances here have built in gizmos to manage electricity surges. 

Fans - the all time best is a brand called KDK they last forever and really throw air.  New styles so now they look decent.  Don't buy fans cause they look good, if they don't move the air they are worthless.

Decorating here by locals is a big deal.  Christmas decorating is huge and gets started in homes in October.  May not come down until February!

Thank you very much Planner  :)

"Don't buy fans cause they look good, if they don't move the air they are worthless." same here (Mauritius  :D ) specially December to Feb. They just move hot air around  :sick

We were just thinking about this topic the other day. We will certainly want to "travel light" (i.e. not drag old baggage with us) and only put the minimum in our residency container.  We will buy furniture and such in the DR once we have moved. Although I think we will be a bit "lost" with how to find what we need/want. We were thinking of using a local interior decorator just to help us with the basics and make the house more personal for us. Some of the posts here have guided us as to where to get appliances.

Good info regarding fans since quality seems to vary greatly. And we will definitely bring some of our Christmas cheer in the form of string lights and such. We've noticed they decorate a lot for Christmas in Las Terrenas.

Honey come to Santo Domingo,  I will take you shopping!!!!!!!!!!!  Woooo hooooooooo.  My idea of fun. 

You will find "interior designers" here will be different then you are used to.

Hey offer accepted    :top:   Hopefully it will  be sometime next year.

We've never hired a decorator before. We're not that fancy, but in DR we'll just need some guidance as to where to buy and not make any stupid purchases. Was thinking a decorator would be a pipeline for that. We know the decorator at one of the large condos in LT, but ultimately would like to do this ourselves.

Oh heck no honey. Will not work that way.  They will take you to the stores based on your budget and where they get a kickback or commission on top of whatever you will be paying!   

And anytime!  Seriously, come visit!

I have had a great time furnishing our place. It is a thoughtful hodge podge 😊. I am good with color and space but I don't think you would think we hired a pro! It certainly does not look like hotel rooms.

Our house is colorful, fun, comfortable, and eclectic. And it all sprang from a colorful table runner I found at Home Goods.

Some furniture came from IKEA. Some from Hidelisa, some from Atlantic Mueblas. Same for appliances. Knick knack stuff from the states, the beach, even a couple of cheap but cool looking bowls from Pappaterria!

I have hit Jumbo, LaSirena, Super Pola and everywhere in between. Our carry-on suitcases haven't carried clothes in a year. But, they are crammed full of stuff that speaks to me and says "hey lady, I wanna live in the DR!"

We commissioned a beach painter to make us a couple pieces. We only have 2 teeny tiny clocks, discretely hidden in case I need to corral the troops or need a time reference for the beginning of cocktail hour. Lots of candles, Buddah, some cool vases from a roadside Haitian stand, wind chimes, and a string of prayer flags from Barcelona.

I love making it breath happiness.

Sounds fabulous!!!

An interesting topic. When you live with a Dominican lady as I do, you soon learn much of their general tastes in decor.BIG, Bright, flashy and large knick knacks - I call it junky,but hey, I'm a guy - seem to be big everywhere I have been. Some prefer to use paint to highlight rooms but generally, and fortunately, my wife likes to use her many knick knacks against off white walls. Roadside stands, Jumbo, La Serena and many more local stores plus trips into IKEA in Santiago will be used when we decorate our house when built. Bartering with roadside stands is fun (my wife is unconsciously great at it). Some of the recommended places for appliances are quite expensive for identical items I found elsewhere. As warranty work is an issue, I have learned to get precise info from stores and have found a company from Santiago that services  everything - fridges,stoves, A/C units - inexpensively and very great service - I now verify if this company meets warranty work approval if needed - so far, every store appliance manager/manager has said yes.

Man.... you guys are blessed.     My house is all white walls with a few framed pictures and maybe a dozen knick knacks spread throughout the place.
A decorator I ain't!  lol
That's what happens when a guy is single.

Yes the local style is often way over the top full of what I call crap. 

There is a need.to show you can afford all this crap and stuff your house with it.  I have been in homes where it's hard to simply walk through a room it's so overfull!

planner :

Yes the local style is often way over the top full of what I call crap. 

There is a need.to show you can afford all this crap and stuff your house with it.  I have been in homes where it's hard to simply walk through a room it's so overfull!

Ha ha .... that is easily a subject for a separate thread, along with the "Keeping up with the Joneses" mentality

Hahahaha - yes exactly - unfortunately, most of her crap has been given to her by aunts and friends. I have now told her and them, nicely, that if get any more I will be opening my own roadside store.....or have to use gifts for gifts  becasue we have absolutely no more room.....effective threats for a minute or two...they laugh and jabber on between looks at me.....just keep nodding my head yes....hehehehe... not sure if they believe or not. More seriously, there are some great local artworks available everywhere. Some very good pieces I saw were up the mountain on the cable car at Puerto Plata - and the people were willing to barter......with an impressive variety!

There is some.beautiful artwork here!  And a whole.lotta junk!

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