Monday, March 23, 2009


Rhoda, of Southern Hospitality has challenged us all to get going on spring updates.I am accepting the challenge! It's a work in progress, but I am giving the buffet a spring transformation.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Setting the Scene

There is a reason that this blog is named Mise en scène, "Setting the Scene". Staging a home is just that, setting a scene so that a potential buyer sees themselves in it and so that it is the home that the buyer remembers, favorably. Many say that a staged home isn't about interior design, because interior design is a personalized plan and staging is depersonalizing. My philosophy is that staging a home is visualizing who the potential buyer is and tailoring, or personalizing if you will, to this buyer. Sometimes the buyer and the home owner are demographically similar, sometimes they are not. Sometimes the owner is a builder, so no demographic information can be drawn upon from the owner.

Who's buying this house?

When I start to stage a home, I visualize who will be living in the home. For example, in this Builder Parade home that I staged, a few years ago, there was no actual historical demographics to rely on as it was a new part of the addition. The developer anticipated that this house would appeal to a slightly younger buyer than had historically purchased in the other areas of the addition, but only slightly younger than retirement age. As it was a builder house, it was a ground up staging. The task was to furnish a four bedroom house with furniture from a local furniture store, in two days, less if the construction ran over schedule. My first tasks was to create a client for the house. I created a buyer based on the layout and location of the house. I saw it as a house for a young families. I visualized a family with two girls under the age of 10, still in the "sweet phase" but older than toddler age. I visualized the parents as sophisticated couple, who enjoyed art and time with their children, as well as time to enjoy chess, backgammon or scrabble after the children were in bed. On the floor is a floorcloth painted by Tulsa artist Marjorie Atwood.

The great room, being long and the only living space in the house, was staged to accommodate a variety of family activities, reading, games and a television, housed in the armoire. Placed to the right of the fire place are two chairs and a game table.

The Dining Room was papered with an Historic Natchez paper from Schumacher. This gave it a formal but not stiff appearance. Another of Marjorie Atwood's beautiful floorcloths centers the table.

The girls' bedroom featured twin beds and Laura Ashley decor. Not over the top with fantasy finishes or paintings, Just fresh and memorable and feminine.

Now, the question is, who bought the house? Who do you think bought the house? Was it the young family or the older empty nester couple?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

OCD design on steroids

Maison 21 has a new OCD design challenge, combining industrial and antiques. Well, OCD is right up my alley! Did you know I had cat hoarders in my family? I myself have only had as many as six and that was a kitten incident, though that might be how cat hoarding gets its start!

His challenge is to design a loft space, but with few rules. Okay, I don't have a client with a loft, neither do I have a loft. But I do have a living room needing some change and a desire to do something completely different.

So with those parameters in mind, I give you the new living room, even if it is only virtual.

First, I plan to change the flooring from white carpet to cherry wood. The white carpet is beautiful, but gets bombed by cat barf altogether too often! Although I adore the deep color of the Walnut on the right, I am concerned about it being too dark in a small space. However, it is very Hollywood 'Regency-esque', so I might decide to head that direction, after all. The walls are painted Benjamin Moore's Ashwood and the trim is either Alpine or Atelier White to coordinate with the Dover White Wood Blinds.

I adore antiques, but, budget limitations permit a new rather than antique Chesterfield. This one, from Ballard design, is well priced and, at 74 inches, should just fit in the space, 142"-74" leaves enough space for two tables. I plan to live dangerously and upholster it in white again. This time, I'll use sticky paws to keep it from becoming a cat scratching post. And to keep my black and white cat, Patches,

and my black cat, Niko,

from covering it with a more cat inspired upholstery.

I plan to drag the old Sears pressed paper trunk in from the Garage, paint it black, then silver leaf it to give the impression of this antiques stainless trunk.

As a nod to Maison 21's beige, I contemplate beige, daily, I am adding antique leather luggage stacked to make a table and top it with an acrylic lamp from Target.

From the Cologne Design Festival 2009, comes the Chandelier, which goes at the opposite side of the Chesterifeld sofa, over this lamp, though I may decide to switch the lamps once in the space. The table is from Homelements. The Chairs, are a take on a classic antique.

Finally, the image on the wall is from the Cologne Design Festival, 2009. I'd like something of this sort as an oversized art on the wall behind the sofa. I may get this photo I took a long, long time ago, blown up very large. Or, even better, I can reward my frugality with a piece of art from ugallery. See the Lana Williams piece, below.