Friday, January 3, 2014

New Cheer


For whatever reason the first few days of January always feel like I've landed after an incredibly long flight and the tower has held us on the tarmac.  I'm tired, sad that vacation is over but anxious to get a move on!  While some might use those agonizing delays as quiet moments to reflect, I just feel jumpy, jittery and ready to jump out of my skin..but in a recent "forced hold moment," I calmed myself down by reflecting on the incredibly hectic year that was 2013.  While I sometimes describe what I do as part interior design and mostly therapy (I'm often caught in the middle of couples with very different opinions, goals, taste, etc.) I love what I do because no two jobs are ever the same.  One day might find me designing a $250,000 kitchen and buying $20,000 stoves while another will find me trying to furnish an entire house for under $1,000.  Both ends of my design spectrum are interesting, challenging and fulfilling.  My only hope is that I can continue doing what I love to do in the new year…my other hope is I have more clients that actually listen to me and less that become argumentative and crazy (thankfully I haven't had the latter at all lately).  The home staging part of my business is where I run into more roadblocks with people that just don't understand what it is to sell a house and/or prepare it for the market.  I understand that peoples homes are sanctuaries that hold both possessions and emotions, so letting go of those (or having others judge them in any way) can be daunting. If you are planning on selling or renting your place, however, the one major bit of advice I would give…detach emotion from the process.  If someone like me comes in and suggests removing the pink paint and over-sized crosses, don't take it personally, take it as advice that puts you a step closer to your goal.  The home I stage above last year found its owner reluctant to sell (although she'd never admit that) but I arm-wrestled her with just about every thing I suggested.  This high-end listing had dated fixtures (like the sconces in the living room..all twenty of them…and when the home-owner decided to add color she did two things to the room.  By adding a pop of color (top photo) she not only accentuated the ugly sconces, she stopped the eye from focusing on the money maker here…million dollar views of the Hudson River.  By letting go and allowing me to buy a cheap can of monochromatic paint, I was able to hide the ugly and bring the real beauty to the forefront (bottom picture).  When this house was re-listed the first people who saw it made a multi-million dollar offer.  So, even if you aren't selling a house this year, add this to your list of resolutions…if you ask for advice, take a deep breath and listen…it could help you out big time!