So, I went to a wonderful Open House a couple of weeks ago. It was for a another agent in the office and I have to say I was very impressed. I never really knew what to make of the "hire a person and they make your home look nice" idea. I mean, really? A person spends all this time and money not just cleaning your home, but making it look like a showroom? People do this for a living? I didn't buy it at all. I can barely put together the words to tell the client to clean the bathroom, now how am I going to get them to understand this? I can relate with the listing on this one. I mean, I clean, sort of, and decorate. OK, I wipe down with bleach and put things away, then I hope no one looks in the closet. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it don't , but no one is perfect all the time. OK, maybe my mom. She has more animals then a zoo, but you wouldn't know it to walk in her home. No smells, no hairballs, you can tell I'm not her. I don't even think I carry her genes, although my daughter can put together a great closet.
Anyway, I go through life thinking most people are kinda like me. You know, keep it all nice, close the junk drawer, and get on with your day, but every now and then I get proven wrong. Now, the agent at the office strikes me as one of those people that keeps a VERY good house. Someone who keeps the sink clear, folds her clothes perfectly, she couldn't possibly need help in the designing department. She has my mom's good genes. So you can't imagine how surprised I was to find out the home she was showing had been "Staged". Take one look at her and you just thought that she lived this way. Did she really just hide all her junk in the garage? I had to find out more.
Turns out that all the sutle things you didn't think about were what made the home so welcoming, and great staging wont just make the home look nice, it will make you think about that home as one you could see yourself living in!
First, the colors. Each room was painted slightly different, it was the stagers idea. It gave the home a very natural feel and almost moved your eyes from room to hallway, down the stairs... The house was just soothing to be in. It felt warm. The illusion was done using just color and texture. I was glad for the bold hues, nothing says, "You don't want to live here" more then white walls. An hour in her house and I wanted to check out the Sherwin-Williams selection at Home Depot.
Second, the borrowed paintings. The professional who staged the home received some of the paintings on the walls on loan, and, if you liked them you could buy them. The paintings filled the walls, but you didn't find yourself staring at personal photos or blank egg white emptiness.
And Third, the home still looked like someone lived there, not like the model homes you see to often in a new development. I'm not a big fan of the model home, the beds are make of cardboard and the fake microwave isn't fooling anyone. Model homes never have soda in the fridge.
The thing that I found most surprising in the way that objects in the home were set up. I remember the feeling of the house, how everything was in its place, the paint, the rooms in the home, but what I didn't remember was the personal property. It was almost like the staging left you feeling like you could imagine living there because the distraction of someone else's furniture wasn't what left the impression on you.
I'm going to spend some more time getting to know more about the people who do this type of work. This will be great tool to pass on to my soon-to-be clients. I just wanna know, did they really just stuff everything in the kitchen drawers?