I just finished an all day shoot for a new HGTV show to air this spring, "The Decorating Adventures of Ambrose Price." He was one of the contestants on the last season of HGTV's Designer SuperStar Challenge.
In one of the 13 episodes of this new show, I take Ambrose under my wing to teach him about how to stage a home. We visited three houses today and I talked through what was done right and what was wrong in each one. All were staged (though it was hard to tell in two of them!).
This January, we'll get together again on camera to have a first look at a home he will stage on his own. I'll be the judge in the last segment of the show and come back to evaluate how well he has applied the principals of home staging.It was great to visit a couple of "staged" homes to see why they weren't selling.
One had been on the market for 45 days, despite being in a hot market. It screamed "vacant" the minute we walked through the front door despite the attempts to furnish the main floor. There were no proper focal points or cohesion to the design, they set the dining table badly, the house was dirty, the list of mistakes was endless.
I've never been a fan of setting the dining table, though I know some people are. But if you're going to do it, for God sakes make sure all the cutlery is in the right place, put some candles and flowers in the center, and don't put dishes right down on a glass top with no place mats under them. It just looked sad!
In another, they'd done a beautiful job furnishing the living and dining room and then left the rest of the house empty except for a lone desk and broom in a back room and a dirty threadbare towel in the en suite bathroom off the master bedroom! Why bother staging at all? Once you're paying for the truck and the furniture for two rooms, it doesn't cost all that much to finish the rest. I don't believe in staging only a couple of rooms because then all you're doing is emphasizing to people that the home is vacant and that the vendors are probably desperate. When I'm a buyer in that situation, I immediately think "low ball offer." And I know, because I've bought 7 homes in 11 years.
It was great fun today working with Ambrose and the crew. Here we are pictured above after the third house. I'll report back after our next two shooting days in the new year and when I have the schedule for the new show. Apparently each of the 13 episodes will focus on a different aspect of decorating. Our episode is staging of course, other topics include: cake decorating, floral design, interior design. I'm not sure what else.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, also known as The Staging Diva, has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNNMoney, CBS and CBC Radio, Reader's Digest, Woman's Day, MoneySense, Entrepreneur Magazine, House & Home, Style at Home, National Post, Globe & Mail, and HGTV, CityTV, GlobalTV, CBC TV, LifeChannel among others.
She created the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program and has almost 700 graduates across the US, Canada and in Australia, New Zealand, Wales, England, Italy, Portugal, The Philippines and South Africa. Discover her secrets to business success in the Staging Diva Home Staging Training Program, here's a FREE 90 minute preview.