Apartment Staging in NYC’s Upper East Side

Apartment Staging is not so different from home staging, but there’s a knack to it.  Like so many of the successful home staging principles, the key is to try and match the style and layout to fit the needs of your target buying demographic.  I’m sharing this particular listing, though there have been many this season, because this apartment staging illustrated a tenet I hold close – When staging an occupied apartment, you do not always have to move everything out and start again.
Often the buyer of a property will be a version of the current owner and is attracted to the finishes and style that have been already implemented in the residence.  How the owner has made the apartment a home, if it has been any length of time at all, can often indicate a good use of space.  And, frankly, just as often not.  The key is in the compromise and elevation – to highest and best use!

Second Bedroom

Before Apartment Staging of the second BR

Apartment Staging of the Second BR
A murphy bed might not be the ideal choice for a second bedroom but we think we made it work. A fresh coat of paint, then organizing and accessorizing the shelves took us a long way.  We added bed linens, art, a dresser, lighting and an accent chair then layered the desk with suitable props to create a story.

By bringing in blues and greens, we transformed this dungeon into a bright and inviting guest bedroom. The benefit to keeping this room somewhat flexible is that, yes a family member could be here, but also this space quickly transforms into a media room, should fit the buyer’s lifestyle more nimbly.


The Master Bedroom

Apartment Staging MBR

The bookshelves that surround the headboard and king size bed needed to become an architectural feature of this room – and it needed to feel like a master retreat.  Hotel style bed linens, a white dresser, and an oversized white leather chair were added and the shelves were organized to make the room feel fresh and welcoming.


The Dining Area

Dining Area

Simply removing the round rug, cleaning the floors and swapping the gold chairs for white leather ones brightened and updated the dining area.  A vase with white calla lilies gave the finishing touch.

Apartment Staging


Home Office BeforeThe Home Office

Apartment Staging This small 3rd bedroom is the prefect example.  I repurposed the brown leather daybed in the living room, creating a separate lounging area that faces the large gold sectional.  This room was painted and a floor lamp, white desk, skin rug, large piece of art and accents were added.

Now you can focus on the rich hardwood floors and the lush, rich cabinetry that turns this home office into a library, where you can plot world domination, world piece or just hone your version of the great American novel.

Apartment Staging in NYC Upper East Side

Once thoroughly cleaned, freshly painted and staged, with lighter furnishings, this residence woke up! We utilized many of the client’s current furnishings – notice the brown leather daybed that used to hug the home office wall is now floating in the living room, creating an additional seating area – and augmented the apartment staging with accessories and colorful punctuation (where appropriate).

floorplan Listing Card


To explore apartment staging when you want to sell your co-op or condo, please call 917-428-3965 and ask for Debbie.

NYC Home Staging FAQs

Home staging like any industry has FAQs

When I consult with a real estate broker or a home owner on home staging their property, there are 3 questions I am prepared to answer, as at least one (if not all 3) are always on the “ask” list:

  1. How much will it cost?
  2. How quickly can it be done?
  3. Can you recommend and oversee the contractors and purchases (for projects that involve more than furniture)?

Home Staging FAQ: How Much Does It Cost?

This question is a tough one as there are a lot of variables that must be taken into consideration:

  1. The primary (and even secondary) target buyer’s lifestyle
  2. How would the buyer use each space in the property
  3. What will modestly yet stylishly illustrate “highest and best use” (a real estate axiom) within the context of our objective. (if there’s a game room or library, do we need to have more than one game on hand, or can a single chess set make the point?  Do we need a grand piano, guitar and violin or just a chair next to music stand to indicateMusic Room?)

These are the primary variables, then there is time on the market (we rent furniture and accessories for a 3 or 6 month term), which will also affect the overall cost.
NYC Home Staging


Another variable is how much work has to be done to the property to get the property market-ready.  When competing against new construction, the charm of old word details is lost when those details are crumbling, cracked and covered in 30 years of paint. All a buyer sees is ha$$le.  Dated appliances, lighting, carpeting can all cause a property to lag on the market while its neighbors are receiving multiple showings and offers.

Home Staging FAQ: How Quickly Can It Be Done?

I think my record is 2 weeks for a light renovation, furniture design, art sourcing and installation!  The sprawling apartment on the 27th floor in a full-service Carnegie Hill co-op looked fantastic when we completed the Staging, though it nearly killed us to pull all the components together in time for the launch!

Home Staging Ideas

I think this is my favorite view:-

apartment staging by Debbie Oulvey has wine room


Home Staging FAQ: Can you recommend and oversee the contractors and purchases?

Yes.  I actually prefer handling the entire project from beginning to end.  It is simpler in many ways for me and much better for the Client. At this point, the home staging is the least of it. Managing the project – from securing insurance and alteration guidelines, coordinating freight elevator and deliveries, scheduling the work  – this can become very tedious and overwhelming.  My company is fully equipped to handle the prep work that might be required prior to placing any furniture, art or accessories into a property.


If you would like your New York City Apartment home staged, please call 917-428-3965 and ask for lead designer, Debbie Oulvey.


Occupied Home Staging in the East Village

Owner-Occupied Home Staging Advice

BEFORE, the living room and view, across the dining area, to the kitchen

This open-plan two bedroom apartment has soaring ceilings and exposed pipes, the perfect combination for people who want to live in the trendy East Village. With a wall of windows facing fourth Avenue, the main-living-entertaining space should be awash with light, sun streaming in at all hours of the day. Alas, that is not what welcomed us when we were called to this East Village property to prove an occupied home staging consultation.

occupied home staging consultation

AFTER, the living room bookshelves are pruned back and the leather sectional repositioned to make the living area open to the dining area.

There were 6 oversized frames tapestries lining the walls.

apartment staging NYC

BEFORE – Yes, this is urban living, but storing a bicycle in the dining room just makes the apartment feel cluttered, cramped and not aspirational.

By reducing the framed tapestries to only two, buyers are able to focus on the exposed brick, the high ceilings and the large, open space itself.

NYC home staging

AFTER, the addition of a sideboard creates a more graceful entertaining layout. As for the bike, it finds its way to temporary out-of-sight lodging during showings!

For this occupied home staging plan, we rearranged the living room sectional which opened up the entertaining space and created a direct path to the dramatic wall of windows.

A thorough cleaning of the unit as well as fresh accents in the form of decorative pillows, vases and statues, bed linens, towels and candles added a well deserved layer of color and warmth to the rooms.

Master Bedroom

BEFORE – comfort trumps style

Master BR ndel

AFTER – comfort AND style prevail in glorious harmony!

Occupied Home Staging Tip

The challenge with an occupied home staging is devising a plan the homeowners can live with – for as long as it takes to sell the apartment. We think the key to a sustainable plan is to keep the layout as similar as possible but minimize the personality, the clutter, the particulars that take buyers’ focus away from the space.  Of course, the most difficult part is keeping the property tidy, clean and ready for an imminent visit from….your mother-in-law?  A seller who is serious about releasing his property understands. In the case of this East Village apartment, the seller cam home from a business trip and absolutely loved what we had created.  Thankfully, he still wants to sell it!






Home Staging NYC’s Legendary El Dorado

After Staging Home Staging NYC

Barney Pressman lived here. (Yes, of Barney’s fame) Alec Baldwin, Garrison Keilor, Faye Dunaway and Michael J. Fox lived here.  Nucky Thompson, of Boardwalk Empire, considered living here and it was the focal point of Jackie Kennedy Onassis’ view from 5th Avenue.  It is the El Dorado, at 300 Central Park West.  It’s ridiculously prestigious given how far north it is, covering the full block from 90th to 91st Street. 30 floors of large, spacious apartments, most with fabulous views of NYC’s coveted Central Park.

While it was comfortably decorated before, the two bedroom apartment needed a fresh contemporary twist to be properly showcased at its $4.5 million price tag.

Before home staging NYC

The living room is a sizable 18′ x 28′. The owners, while living in the apartment, split the room in half with a formal seating area that faced the park view  and comfy seating by the TV.  Great for living perhaps, but not for selling.  The back of a sofa is not the way to greet prospective buyers into the room.  While we agreed that the room could easily support several zones, the better floor plan was one in which the various seating arrangements were open to each other and allowed the buyers to get to the windows without a large sofa blocking their path.

The Road To El Dorado

The formal dining room has lovely molding, and also enjoys views of the park thanks to the wide open 10 x 9 foyer.  But a mission-style dining set did not depict glittering evening dinner parties or festive family holiday gatherings.  Also, when  staging a formal dining room, a rug does you no service. It always makes the room feel smaller.  Most people use rugs that are one size smaller than what they should actually put in the space.   Rugs  also become hazardous, especially when you have a room that invites buyers to look UP at its lighting, moldings, coffered ceilings, etc.  and not pay attention to the corners of the area rug.


Before home staging nYc

We added a transitional table, with high-back, tufted upholstered chairs and a gorgeous globe over an abundance of  hydrangeas. This is where the “Less is More” style helps make the room grow and breathe.  The monochromatic artwork of textured circles in white relief  adds a little eye candy to the room without making the walls cave in.  The pattern of  circles emphasizes the beautiful ceiling!

After Home Staging NYC


El Dorado kitchens are typically substantial, and this one had been recently renovated.  It just needed a little styling and pops of color.  The island offers extra flat surface for food prep – or a central place for a cup of coffee.   To the right of the kitchen window is a breakfast nook, with a built-in banquette.  We added a new orb light fixture and a piece of art to finish the area.

Kitchen in home staged in NYC

Home Staging the road to el dorado


In the Master Bedroom, we wanted to emphasize the Reservoir views  (how many movies have you seen in which someone is running the 1.58 mile perimeter of the Central Park reservoir?).  Adding a more prominent bed yet keeping a simple, neutral color palette allowed the attention and the focus to be on the views of the park.

home staging nyc

Who wouldn’t want to wake up here?

Brooklyn Owner Occupied Staging

Staging an owner occupied home for sale presents an obvious challenge: the people have to live there.  Few homeowners can sustain “show-to-sell” condition for very long.  Our professional consultation provided this couple, relocating back into Manhattan, a step-by-step plan of action to make their one bedroom apartment look clean, updated, de-cluttered and ready for the next owner’s toothbrush!

Master Bedroom. The enormous armoire had become the focal point of the room (not to mention all of the clutter on the night stands , the floor and under the bed).

Bedroom Before

BEFORE – Master Bedroom

We added a bedskirt (a great way to hide clutter under a bed!) and rearranged the furniture in the master to allow the tree-lined street to be the focal point of the bedroom and balance the weight of the furniture across both sides of the room.

Home Staging New York City

Master Bedroom AFTER Staging

Living Room.  The living room was dripping with clutter and the seating arrangement did not make the space feel spacious and accommodating. Our plan included removing recognizable photos, organizing the shelves to show space and leaving the top of the bookcases bare to accentuate the ceiling height.

Bookcases and Living Room

BEFORE staging the Living Room

We offered a new furniture arrangement (which included removing one of the 2 area rugs). Wires were neatly tucked away. Electronic safely stored inside consoles. The result: a very welcoming space to watch TV or entertain guests.

Home Staging NYC in owner occupied

Check out the color coded bookcase! Notice how much taller the ceilings look now.

Dining Area.  In the dining area, there was bad lighting, poor furniture placement and a tablecloth. The problem with table cloths is how often they get cleaned, and the deep suspicion we all carry that that happens rarely, at best!

Owner Occupied Apartment For Sale


We gave 4 simple suggestions for this dining area overlooking the main living space:

  1. Remove tablecloth
  2. Remove rug
  3. Change light fixture
  4. Move the table away from the railing to show rooms for chairs all the way around the table
Dining Area

The Dining Area AFTER Amazing Space NYC added the WOW!

The net result?  An accepted offer on this property – 7 per cent above ask  – one week after listing.

We love those numbers at Amazing Space NYC. Call 917-428-3965 to see what we can do for your owner occupied listing!





A Vacant Home Staging in Morningside Park

Vacant Home Staging is the best strategic play when marketing today’s NYC homes for sale.  Buyers find empty rooms confusing. Let’s face it: few people can correctly guess the number of jelly beans in a jar, much less figure out how to fit a living room set along with a dining area that seats 4 to 6 people into a space that poses a sizeable column as you enter the room and two huge PTAC units jutting out from under the windows.  Buyers see awkward shapes in rooms that feel barren.  There’s nothing to connect to, no warmth, just rooms that feel SMALL.

Unappealing vacant home staged by Debbie Oulvey

Here is what we saw when the rooms were vacant:  pleasant views, good light and height, new wood floors, the angles are…. wow, those AC units are huge! This two bedroom in Morningside Park presented plenty of upside, but it was impossible to focus on the plusses when the minuses were staring you in the face.

home staging NYC

After vacant home staging – look how big the room looks with furniture in it.   The glass dining table makes POW-erful statement!  The corner, floor length windows are emphasized, stylishly and there is a ton of seating in this room: 10 easily!  And now, you don’t even notice the radiators

MBR Before

Really, this room could be anything. Buyers were wondering how to place the bed and would there be room to actually get out of bed without knocking into the PTAC unit.

Vacant Home Staging in Morningside Park

Yes, there’s plenty of room! We took the modular feel and kicked it up into a chic design. The modular looking chest of drawers and the sleek bed give us a design motif that is completely congruent with the space. We brought the outside in with our linens and artwork – a subtle way of reinforcing the views.

2nd bedroom

The original listing did not even have a photo of the second bedroom because it looked too small. Now, thanks to the staging, it shows a bedroom for 2 children, exactly what this area is attracting . . . young, growing families!

A room that was too tiny for even one child becomes a great place to play, [sleep, live, etc] for two. Is there anything more American that boasts family-values than Mickey Mouse and red, white and blue? There is a connection that will happen here.

The square footage of this apartment might not be overly abundant, but there is plenty of space for lots of living.  This is vacant home staging at its best – moving the target buyer to emotionally connect with the space and see themselves happily growing in the home.



Long Island City – A Look Inside Just One Of Many Renovated Buildings

Home Staging in Long Island City

Flickr – c/o daydaygonzalez

Long Island City was “put on the map” in 1990 when Citibank built One Court Square. Fifty stories of green glass with 27 elevators, this structure was the lone ranger, towering above the warehouses and 2-story buildings that comprised its skyline.  No matter what your status on the Citi corporate ladder, you relied on the 7 train to get you to the glass tower.  It took 12 minutes from 42nd St. to One Court Square.  After your meeting, you jumped right back on the 7 to Manhattan.  There really was nothing else to do or see while in this section of Queens, despite its close proximity to the Big Apple.

Long Island City was one of the first areas outside of Manhattan to develop. The “evolving Queens, New York, neighborhood seems to change from block to block—a short walk takes you from desolate, early-20th-century industrial streetscapes to the gentrified “main street” vibe of Vernon Avenue and the urban riviera created by gleaming high-rises fronting waterside Gantry Plaza State Park.”  [TimeOut’s introduction to their neighborhood guide of some great bars, brunch places, restaurants and local hole-in-the-wall stores with surprising finds.]

BHome Staging by Debbie Oulveyut perhaps you really know that a neighborhood has moved up the residential status ladder when a high-end, Manhattan lifestyle stager is called upon to create a fun, urban and sophisticated lifestyle, one that, in former years, might have only been considered for a townhouse in Brooklyn Heights or the Village.

Long Island city Duplex with staging

Main Level
Main floor living -dining space. Left empty, even the most sophisticated, experienced buyer would be challenged to see the possibility of entertaining and dining in this room.

Long Island City Duplex is staged for sale

Staging in Long Island City


The Master Bedroom is huge and can easily accommodate a king bed, a lounge chair and a dresser. But all the buyers focus on is the window that overlooks the street.

Debbie Oulvey Staged this Master Bedroom

The Lower Level
We transformed this room that leads to the yard into an inviting, comfortable and fun TV-Family room. While parents entertain upstairs, the kids can come down to watch movies, play games and be loud!

Staged duplex in Long Island City

In this next photograph picture is a narrow bedroom with a nice walk-in closet. We added 2 daybeds, a dresser, pops of black and green and lifestyle accessories, turning it into the bedroom of an aspiring artist and thespian! One of Long Island City most well-known venues is a theater called The Chocolate Factory.

children's room staged


It’s not every urban oasis that has a lawn to mow!


And lest you think Long Island City hasn’t hit the big time yet, this home is listed at $2,350,000.  That’s getting closer than 12 minutes to Manhattan pricing!