The Devil wears Prada and makes one hell of a Real Estate Merchandiser.

Real Estate Agent with HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 RS-76763

There are many marketing and merchandising truths in the fashionably funny film "The Devil Wears Prada" based on the novel by Lauren Weisberger of the same name. When it comes to real estate merchandising, color selection is serious business and a priority in Real Estate Merchandising as well as in the Fashion World! The film clip below is one of my favorites.


Cerulean Butterflies

There's an old adage about God and the devil being found in the details and when it comes to real estate merchandising there is a fine line between too little and too much color. So if you want a heavenly versus hellacious color experience, take color missals from the color designers as they set the trends in the industry along with the coordinated accessories. Home stagers might find Cerulean on the walls as anathema; prosetylizing anything other than neutral will lead one straight to you know where but believe it or not color, and it's use in merchandising, is a multibillion dollar industry that effects everything dyed, stained, painted, and or applied.

Photo from the film

Color Marketing Group, and a handful of other associations, located in more than 20 countries, dictate color trends nineteen months or more in advance for manufactured products and services. These organizations provide a forum for the exchange of non-competitive information relating to all phases of color marketing: color trends and combinations; design influences; merchandising; sales; and education. Merchandisers use this information to help coordinate all matters of color selection. Pantone is another company that provides color R&D information to merchandisers.

Color forecasting is a profession that, originally dates back to the 18th century when Parisian milliners first issued color books or cards, made from paper and ribbon samples, offering the colors du jour used by dressmakers and textile manufacturers during any current season.These samples were passed on to tanners, leather, feather, and fur workers so that accessories like hats, shoes, parasols, and gloves could be matched accurately to the latest fashion. In essence these organizations began to dictate to the public what colors would be en vogue in any particular season, allowing them to fine tune, coordinate and market their products without any surprises.

Real Estate Merchandising BeforeReal Estate Merchandising After


Today color designers are hard at work interpreting, creating, forecasting, and selecting colors to enhance the quality, function, and saleability of anything and everything manufactured from automobiles to blenders. Real Estate Merchandisers utilize the services of color designers to access the latest color trends designed towards specific tastes and lifestyles in their target market. Marketed through fashion and lifestyle magazines and other media outlets. Consumers are offered a limited seasonal selection of "new" colors with specific shades, tones, and color combinations that are reinforced by advertising and designers of all kinds.When consumers, after seeing a designer on HGTV apply Cerulean Blue to a Bathroom, decide they want the same; manufacturers are already prepared with product on the shelf. The choices are made for the consumer in advance, subtly fed through the media. Everything from prom gowns to coffee grinders will come shellacked in Cerulean in an endless parade with complementary colored Chocolate and Jet accents... and you thought you were being original.

 Cerulean Butterfly


The Devil wears Prada and makes one hell of a Real Estate Merchandiser.

JDS Consulting- Staging Hawaii nei! Providing Real Estate Merchandising services including: Home Staging, Interior Decor, Turn Key, Landscaping, Remodeling, & Open House Hosting. Visit our Blog: Questions for Kimo: Decor Design & all things Hawaiian-   Kimo Stowell Copyright ©2009

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Erin Shawver 05/28/2009 02:25 AM
Home Selling
Stage It Forward...
LGBT Referrals
Luxury Home Marketing
Vacation and Second homes
real estate merchandising
color selection
merchandising with color
the devil wears prada
jds consulting

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S&B Real Estate Team
Capstone Washington Real Estate, LLC - Vancouver, WA
I think homes show better with a little color on the walls. It gives them personality and, as Sharon said, a "designer" feel. As long as they're not TOO strong or bright!
May 28, 2009 03:39 AM #16
Realty Dot Com ( - Charlotte, NC

Very cool.

May 28, 2009 06:55 AM #17
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Dear Kimo:

Great post on color...the hue, the tone and the saturation can make the biggest difference as well as the lighting.  Thanks for your insight

May 28, 2009 07:22 AM #18
Anna Banana Kruchten Broker/Owner, CRB, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

Very interestingly written post Kimo.  I totally agree that color make a huge difference. It evokes powerful emotions in most.  And  never really thought about the whole marketing end of color........I'll see it differently from now on.

May 28, 2009 07:47 AM #19
Karen Dembsky
Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA - Peachtree City, GA
Atlanta Home Staging

interesting, my friend!  I like the history and the lesson.  Good job!

May 28, 2009 08:47 AM #20
Heather Chavez
Second Self Virtual Assistance - Caldwell, ID
Real Estate Virtual, Assistant (928) 692-3235

"...selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of 'stuff'."

Deliciously evil, Kimo.  Great post with fantastic examples that set off your points brilliantly!

May 28, 2009 09:22 AM #21
Cleo Shahateet
Weichert Realtors & DCC Marketing/Cyprus - Bristow, VA

Great post, great writing, very interesting and relevant!

May 28, 2009 11:23 AM #22
Kimo Stowell
HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 - Honolulu, HI
REALTOR Associate® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i

Aloha Lenn, thanks for the thumbs up! Color should not be caustic to the consumer.

Aloha Fernando, yes staging is important but merchandising is more so.

Aloha Cindy, I hear you sister, I think most of the designers in the 70's were still high from the 60's and still hallucinating. 

Aloha Bettina, Real Estate Merchandising is much less patriotic and more practical.

Aloha Kathy, fashion is seductively tyrannical and pervades everything.

Aloha Mary, it's startling how little is left to chance in marketing and merchandising.

Aloha Marcus, details sell!

Aloha Rebecca, Characters like Miranda Priestly are a force of nature, beautiful, powerful, uncompromising, swift and cruel without conscience. A perfect role for Streep.

Aloha Joe, merchandisers make great stagers. Thanks for helping this person through the hard times!

Aloha Yvette & Dennis, Color can work miracles or crucify you, thanks for visiting.

Aloha Patricia, the movie was a lot of fun, I smile just thinking about it.

Aloha Candice, color is simply trans-formative for better or for worse.

Aloha Exit Hill Realty, mahalo for stopping by!

Aloha Frank & Sharon, I agree 100%. Mahalo for visiting

Aloha Melissa, Color forecasting in my opinion is less a niche and more a control mechanism developed my manufacturers.

Aloha Jamie, color works wonders, color choices help motivate consumers to buy or fly.

Aloha, thanks!

Aloha Ron & Alexandra,  very true, you cant' have color without light!

Aloha Anna, color branding is huge business, a business worth investing in.

Aloha Karen, it's alway good to know how we got to where we are today, thanks for visiting.

Aloha Heather, mahalo! I'm glad you found my diatribe to devilishly delectable.

Aloha Cleo, thank you!

Cerulean Sweater

May 28, 2009 11:32 AM #23
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Aloha Kimo~  I had never really thought about it.  Very interesting to realize where these trend begin and end!

May 28, 2009 12:48 PM #24
Cindy Bryant
Redesign Etc. Home Staging - Houston, TX
"Houston Home Staging Pros"

I've always thought that was interesting how the fashion world dictated styles and color for interiors.  Very informative post!

May 28, 2009 04:26 PM #25
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

I hadn't given much thought to how far ahead and how color trends are chosen.  Interesting - thank you.

May 29, 2009 02:41 AM #26
Allegra Dioguardi
Styled and Sold Home Staging and Staging Training - Westhampton Beach, NY
Home Staging & Training, Suffolk Co. Long Island

Great post Kimo! And beautifully written. In my next incarnation I want to come back as someone who works for the Color Marketing Group, I want to be the one who names all of those colors. Thanks for making me smile!

May 29, 2009 08:44 AM #27
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Kimo, another great post.   I remember after the 1st time I saw "Devil" (have to admit I've probably seen it at least a dozen times), I became more aware of how we're all influenced by those outside powers- that-be as to what colors would dominate in the coming seasons. 

May 29, 2009 01:22 PM #28
Beverly Carlson
Carlson Properties 325-721-2429 - Abilene, TX
Abilene's Staging Realtor

Kimo, this is the second post I have read and enjoyed, am pretty new, but I am already a fan of  your posts.  I enjoyed looking at the photos of the bathroom.  I like to make a list of the changes I see.   I am also amazed at what is free to do to make rooms look better,  let's see, put the commode lid down, move the toilet paper out of the photo, move the soap off the counter, crop the  photo before posting, etc. 

May 29, 2009 06:04 PM #29
Margaret Ann Innis
Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging - Andover, MA
Real Estate Staging - MA & NH

  We can't have too much color!  In these times we need color more than ever. We rarely suggest paint - unless the walls are a mess - color can act as its own balance in Staging!  Great movie moment!  

May 30, 2009 01:22 AM #30
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

Loved your blog!!  Loved the clip and loved your commentary.... you do know how to put a point out there, don't you?

May 30, 2009 09:42 AM #31
HANNA & BILLY's Health Blog

Hi there! This is a cool stuff, I like your blog. I think I'm gonna be back more often...

May 31, 2009 08:07 PM #32
Kimo Stowell
HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 - Honolulu, HI
REALTOR Associate® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i

Aloha Vickie, so much of our lives is bombarded by advertising, marketing, and visual imagery you have to wonder whose behind this coordinated effort.

Aloha Cindy, lifestyle imagery is a powerful lure.

Aloha Christine, it takes a lot of time to coordinate all the various outlets that set market trends from to design to manufacture.

Aloha Allegra, mahalo for commenting, it would be a very interesting job to have, but why wait for the next life?

Aloha Kathy, the fashion world is about living in the details and it can certainly be heavenly exquisite. The movie really reinforced that for me.

Aloha Beverly, thanks Beverly. It's all about the details.

Aloha Melissa, mahalo nui loa Melissa!



Jun 01, 2009 09:00 AM #33
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Great insight to the world of color.  It's funny isn't it, the psychological and monetary effects that colors can have.

Jun 01, 2009 04:38 PM #34
Kimo Stowell
HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 - Honolulu, HI
REALTOR Associate® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i

Aloha Georgina, we human beings are all a bunch of head cases, hahaha.

Jun 05, 2009 09:04 AM #35
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