Friday, March 29, 2013

NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON'T


I've seen more houses lately than Lindsey Lohan's seen judges, and frankly, I've judged some of them! One of my biggest obstacles when staging a home is not how to make it shine, but how to dial down the homeowners.  Mind you, while I have a discerning eye for design, I never openly judge anyones choices (at least not in front of them..that's what blogs are for).  Trying to convince a seller to step away from emotion is often a bigger job than staging or selling the home.  Take, if you will,  a lovely woman I met last year who owned a fantastic estate, high atop a hill in the Hudson Valley with million dollar views.  The multi-million dollar asking price meant the house had to look pristine.  Realtors had commented on the dated feel, so I merely suggested we start with a clean slate and paint over bright walls with a monochromatic color.  Well, this sweet lady turned a bit sour when I suggested erasing her favorite shade of pink with something a tad more subtle.  I had to remind her that we weren't selling the house to her and we needed to feed a bigger, broader audience.  Eventually she gave in and so did the buyers a few months later.  In another home of a different style in a city far, far away (or at least in the owners mind) I found a homeowner equally as desperate to sell as he was to hold on to the Mediterranean design he'd introduced to this east coast home.  Every niche and alcove was painted with a Tuscan flare, and as our eastern sun shined on these pieces, my suggestion of painting over them nearly made him pass out.  I suggested next time he do what another client did in her Mediterranean home...she had an artist paint canvases the size of her niches, placed velcro on the back and when she moved (as she often did) she just peeled away her beautiful scene and carried it onto the next place!