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?

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