Styling is the New Staging

In today’s visually saturated Instagram/Pinterest/HGTV world, buyers expect their home search to feel like stepping onto a shelter magazine shoot. And the old staging rules: declutter, remove personal items, and bake cookies are no longer enough for today’s buyers who are more sophisticated than a vanilla Yankee Candle. Particularly with new construction options, buyers struggle to see past someone else’s “lived-in-ness” and don’t want to tackle even minor updates.

But as staging has evolved over the past decade, many real estate professionals say it has become more important — and more sophisticated — than ever. (The New York Times)


My staging approach is more about “styling” to find a balance neutral enough to appeal to buyer masses, while creating some personality – because no one wants to be labeled a Basic Box. I like mixing CB2, ABC Home, vintage, IKEA, Craigslist and flea market finds, and then like Coco Chanel, remove one accessory before leaving the house. This also helps fit staging costs into any budget. I might also suggest minor updates – particularly for kitchens and baths – to get the best return on investment, because whether you have a $3M penthouse or a $450 studio, you still want the highest price and fastest sale.


Design Trends: Are we in a mid-century-boho rut?

If the pages of CB2 and West Elm magazines are any indication, we can’t seem to get enough mid-century and boho. I grew up with Pendleton and braided rugs, and love some layered Kilims and my vintage reproduction Eames chair, but I’m wondering if we’re not in a bit of a mid-century-boho-saturated rut?

a few things I’m Into Now:

1980’s Memphis-Milano Inspiration
And I do mean inspiration as I’m not suggesting you craigslist your walnut credenza and sheepskin pouf in exchange for a Pee-wee’s Playhouse living room. But the blockiness and bold colors are refreshing and unabashedly not mid-century modern. This 1980’s Italian design group sought liberation from modernist design and experimented with “unconventional materials, historic forms, kitsch motifs and gaudy colors.”

"Donald" coffee table by SottssassCentury chaise by Andrea Branzi '82"Palace" chairs by Sowden '82New York Magazine 1982

Maybe just a little sprinkle here and there.
After the Civil War (1865), wealthy Americans facing increasing complexities from industrialization, urbanization, and massive immigration waxed nostalgic about a simpler past. Gothic Revival was one revival style that manifested in furniture design characterized by Gothic arches, geometric ornament, trestles, turning and straight-line form. Get your Gothic Revival on with these pieces from 1stdibs:
On a recent trip to Japan, I stumbled upon a wealth of stunning, vintage kimonos at a market in Nagoya. The prints are vibrant and have an “earthy” vibe, but are simultaneously more sophisticated, and a decidedly distinct alternative to boho interiors. Would love to see these as throw pillows, curtains, and even area rugs and bedding. For now, I plan to stretch my vintage kimono purchase on a wall in lieu of wallpaper.