There's no JACK DANIELS in decorating!!!

Home Stager with Home Staging Online Services

I made a comment in another post that bachelors are my favorite clients. I think I want to clarify that. While the men are my favorite clients because they are so sweetly clueless, and so very appreciative of what I can do for them, their homes are definitely not my favorite projects! The staging my daughter and I did this Saturday was a perfect example of why I feel this way.

The agent paid for two hours of staging. Although it was  better than nothing, it was like putting a band-aid on a JDbroken leg. The homeowner was a 25 year old welder, and he shares the home with a buddy who works for a plumbing company. Here are just a few of the highlights this home had to offer:


  • Have you ever seen a coffee table painted with flames and exhaust pipes for legs? Well, now I have.
  • Everything on the walls was booze related, from neon signs to mirrors.
  • Literally, the only light source in the downstairs was a beer lamp.
  • We had the company of a Doberman named Sergeant, who just minutes before we arrived (this is according to the owner) got into some mud and ran through the home leaving paw-prints everywhere.
  • The dining room table was massive (perhaps a good playing field for beer pong) but the only chairs were two bar stools.
  • Every window in the house had closed blinds or shutters (for good reason)
  • The kitchen had the wickedest knife collection I have ever seen, stuck to a strip of magnet on the wall.
  • Even the kitchen had an electric Molson sign on the wall.
  • Though most of the downstairs was painted tans and burgundy, the half bath was blood red! And yes, this was off a burgundy hallway. I wish you could have seen my daughter's face when she stepped in and turned the light on (no window either!) We half expected to see a chalk outline on the floor.
  • We finally got enough nerve to go upstairs (the owner was home but out in the yard building a massive cage for Sergeant, so he wouldn't eat buyers) and the master bedroom was so stereotypical, we had to laugh. King sized bed with no headboard, black satin sheets, and a snack tray as a nightstand, complete with candles and lotions from someplace called!  The walls were painted dark gray, and the closet doors were mirrored, so everything was multiplied! Three more booze signs on the walls, a weight bench covered in dirty clothes, and the dog's crate completed the decor.
  • We were not permitted in the roommate's bedroom, because "he had black walls, and he's painting them". But, we did see a paint tray in the third bedroom with very dark brown paint (big improvement), and I really don't think we wanted to see that room anyway! 

MillerWe spent our two hours opening blinds, moving furniture, taking down all the booze art, clearing off the counters, and making notes to the homeowner suggesting things like repaint the half bath! And then we experienced something you only see on the staging and redesign TV shows...we found really nice artwork hidden in the basement, including a very cool wall clock, which I offered to buy after the home sells.

So, we covered all the screws with our new found treasures, threw the tennis ball one last time to Sergeant, and headed home. I think my daughter enjoyed the afternoon (did I mention that these guys were cute?) and I felt pretty good about what we accomplished, though I did feel a need to shower when I got home.

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Elaine Manes Gage
Home Staging Online Services - Denver, CO
Staging done ONLINE!

Andrew- Husband duties...that has a nice ring to it!

S & D- "Collected" bachelors, I like that! Sometimes, I feel more like I'm adopting them!

Kristal- Yes, let's just turn our "empties" into art! In a $700K home? Frightening!

B & C- Yes, this house was full of booze, but not a single sign of smut!

Julianna- I would have been thrilled to find any picture that didn't plug in!!!

Wayne- Did you name your kids Jack and Daniel? ;)


May 07, 2008 03:11 AM #67
Dawn Maloney
RE/MAX Haven - Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist - Hudson, OH
330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio

Elaine, soooo funny! btw, I love your REShow about staging - I'm not in your area, but I will send it to sellers to help them SEE what I mean.


May 07, 2008 03:13 AM #68
Elaine Manes Gage
Home Staging Online Services - Denver, CO
Staging done ONLINE!

Doreen- There's a lot of testosterone out there, and sometimes it crops up in decorating!

Renee- You are so welcome! Good luck with your project!

Debbie- I think that would be a dream-come-true for some guys!

Vicki- Yeah, I'm glad to see others find it as fascinating as I did!

Dawn- That's great! I hope it helps!

May 07, 2008 03:24 AM #69
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
Yikes!  That sounds like a staging nightmare.  Sounds like you handled it with grace.  I enjoyed getting a chance to speak with you yesterday.  Have a great week!
May 07, 2008 04:51 AM #70
Brett Noel
Keller Williams - Paso Robles, CA
I would love to find out if this property sells, Great story
May 07, 2008 05:22 AM #71
Suzanne Gantner
Sky Realty, Central Texas Real Estate - Round Rock, TX
I married one of these men (well just like your guys).  The look on his face that sad day of the GARAGE sale when the neon's had to go....along with the recliners, the workout equipment and crates used as coffee tables. Great post. 
May 07, 2008 05:49 AM #72
Emily Lowe
The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor
That is so funny!  Before I got married, I spent an entire summer just cleaning out my fiance's house.  It was a nightmare - even found a deflated animal carcas in the basement (finished basement)  Yuck!
May 07, 2008 06:49 AM #73
Audrey Hoffman
VoteAudrey blog - Columbia, SC
Wow, glad you were able to put in 2 hours!  PS--Had a feeling the guys were cute! 
May 07, 2008 06:55 AM #74
Elaine Manes Gage
Home Staging Online Services - Denver, CO
Staging done ONLINE!

Jason- Staging Nightmares--sounds like a good book title! Thanks so much for the call! It's nice to put a voice with the face!

Brett- I will definitely keep track of this one!

Suzanne- Ah, it's a rite of passage all men have to experience if they want a woman to share life with!!!

Emily- OK you win! That's more disgusting than anything I've found! And, you still married him? ;)

Audrey- There were a few things in the house that made us go "awwww". Like their love for their dogs was obvious (the plumbing guy had a pug that goes to work with him)

May 07, 2008 08:02 AM #75
Ana Hitzel
AccentPositives Home Staging - Corona, CA
Professional Home Stager Inland Empire
Elaine you do get some interesting jobs, I know someone who would love the coffee table you described.  Are they keeping it!
May 07, 2008 10:06 AM #76
Elaine Manes Gage
Home Staging Online Services - Denver, CO
Staging done ONLINE!
Ana- He said they made it for a Halloween party....right!
May 07, 2008 10:21 AM #77
Bradley S. Sanford
Open Sky Real Estate - Proctorville, OH
I am so upset!!!!!  You listed my brother's house and he did not call me.  LOL  It sounds just like his place but he likes it and that is all the matters.....until I go to sell it for him.
May 07, 2008 01:19 PM #78
Lynn Kennedy
simple transformations - Portland, OR
Julia, When I sold Real Estate in Greeley several years ago, I took a client to a house where we found a cow head carcus on the counter.  Apparently it is customary for the hispanic community to make a soup out of it.  The client knew we were coming yet there it sat.  Can you beleive it!!! And there were no cute guys here to make it all better.  AGH!!! 
May 07, 2008 02:37 PM #79
Elaine Manes Gage
Home Staging Online Services - Denver, CO
Staging done ONLINE!

B & S- LOL!!! I think this problem is bigger than we think!

Lynn- You win!!! OK, that I could NOT handle! Sometimes I wonder if these people really want to sell!

May 09, 2008 07:26 AM #80
Rob Baldwin
REALTOR, Santa Clarita

Thats one reason God made women, so when we met a good one she would help us with the decorating.

May 11, 2008 05:32 PM #81
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495

I searched "Jack Daniels" on AR, and there you were!  Come on over to my post; I've been looking for Jack.  LOL

Mike in Tucson

Oct 07, 2008 02:33 PM #82
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts




There is most certainly room for Jack in my staging business!


Oct 07, 2008 03:17 PM #83
Elaine Manes Gage
Home Staging Online Services - Denver, CO
Staging done ONLINE!

OK Michelle, but stage first, then say hello to Jack!

Oct 14, 2008 09:29 AM #84
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

Hi Elaine, you are too funny. Love your stories. You just never know what you will find behind door # 3 do you?

Oct 14, 2008 10:52 AM #85
Michelle Pimentel
Empire Home Staging Solutions - Upland, CA
ASP, IAHSP Empire Home Staging


A round of Jack Daniel's might be helpful in making potential buyers, sign on the dotted line! :)

Bachelor pads are certainly interesting to stage!  Sounds like you and your daughter had a few challenges with this house.  Before and Afters would be great to share, if you could!

Oct 14, 2008 12:50 PM #86
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