Home Staging a NYC 3 BR Rowhouse

home staging a nyc triplex135 Cambridge Place, Brooklyn

This Clinton Hill historic home was a renovation that maintained a lot of the original charm and character of the architect’s design. It is a two-family home with a 1 BR apartment below and a family triplex above.

As you can see from the floorplan, the rooms are narrow.  Being only 15′ wide, the front sitting room is challenging (it is the room with the 2 white Corbusier love seats, fireplace with round mirror and skin rug) and the bedrooms all have small closets so we had to show storage in the form of dressers and chests in every room.

home staging a brooklyn living room

The developer wanted all of the furniture to be as true to the character of the period as possible but the broker wanted a more current decor to appeal to the 30-40 year old buying demographic. This front room was a back-and-forth as white leather was not what the client wanted, but when he saw his choice in the room, it was clear that light and low was the way to go. The front room is now a sitting/conversation area that feels intimate but not crowded. Home staging is often a compromise, and we had a really good result with this home.

Midcentury modern dining room

The advantage to mid-century modern furniture is 1. it appeals to our target buyer, and, 2. by being lighter than many of the more traditional pieces, it takes up less space – physically and visually. Now you can focus on the fireplace and the extraordinary amount of natural light flooding through from the kitchen, not on whether you’ll bruise your hip on the giant table as you go to turn on the fireplace!

Family Room

To accommodate the children, we created a family room for watching TV, lounging and gathering time on the second floor. We also took one of the 3 bedrooms and gave it a serious, k.i.d. vibe!

Kids BR

For the master bedroom, we combined the warm, gold tiled hearth with the trees outside to create a green, serene scene. Everything leads your eye outside to sky and trees. It is now a calming space but practical and romantic.

home staging with Amazing Space NYC

The second bedroom can be interpreted in a variety of ways –

home staging a second bedroom

whether for a teenager, a set of in-laws or perpetual guests, this room provides a stylish, on-trend welcome.  You might think we’ve run this skin thing into the ground, but these cowhides are gaining in popularity month by month!  We have used several here to connect this home to its chic, up and coming Clinton Hill location.  Currently one of the hottest neighborhoods, it has ample places to play – quality dining, shops, coffee shops, bars, transportation (2 short blocks from the house is the subway), The Barclays Center, BAM, Pratt Institute and downtown Manhattan.

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.

 

Staging Is Not Just Furniture!

Home Staging NYC Estate Sale

When Amazing Space NYC arrived at this estate sale, there were bookcases in the living down one long wall. We knew the room would look bigger without them, so removed those bookcases. Only to reveal a wall that was not only discolored but crumbling in areas.

Staging is not just furniture; we had to let buyers see that this estate was not only loved and lived in but also maintained.  Buyers see cracks and crumbles and worry that there must be water damage from leaks.  We repaired the wall and made it part of the library / lounge side of the oversized living room. But at 31′ wide, this is a hard room to imagine usable. Where do you put your furniture, how do you furnish the double room so that it doesn’t just look like the place you sit in hotels when your room’s not ready.

Living Room

Other half of Living Room

Staging is not just furniture

Notice the unifying pops of orange.  Nothing too strident, but bold and fun.  As is the hide side chair.

In the foyer, we added transitional pieces, with a variety of art, typical of our intended target buyer.

Foyer

The dining room used to have Wedgewood blue trim and window frames with heavy blue toile or damask drapes.  We lightened up the room with a new paint job and allowed buyers to see out the windows and enjoy the natural light.

Formal Dining Room

125 East 72 Street 9D is now under contract. There was an accepted offer and a contract issued within 4 weeks of releasing the staged property. That deal fell through but another buyer jumped in shortly thereafter.

This is a great example of making the first rooms the buyers see create the tone, the mode, the “this is what the property can be  if . . . .”.  And it worked – again!

http://www.bhsusa.com/manhattan/upper-east-side/125-east-72nd-street/coop/10920325

 

Lifestyle Marketing Sells Condo Plus All Of The Contents!

Living Room Staged with Lifestyle Marketing

Photos used with permission from Brown Harris Stevens

A few years back, advanced home staging training programs started talking about Lifestyle Marketing. It was the anti-thesis of generally accepted staging principles. Simply, the concept is staging for one specific person, where home staging is preparing a home for sale to appeal  to the most people possible.  Surely you limit the potential buyer pool if you design for one person, what happens if they’re not in the market to buy a $3 million condo?  It’s a logical question.

However, niche marketing has been proven successful many times over. The narrower the niche, the better it works.  Consider how effective people find Facebook Ads, and the huge savings you get when you put your message in front of only the right audience. In many business situations, you don’t want every buyer, or even a lot of buyers, you just want the right buyer.  And that, sooner rather than later.  But don’t take my word for it, here are some other credible opinions:

Dining Area

For this listing – 388 Bridge Street in Downtown Brooklyn – I listened carefully to the developer and the marketing/sales director as they said –

“Let’s position this unit for a bachelor with money.”

Aha, lifestyle marketing at its finest! We often apply this principle at Amazing Space NYC; it works very well for high-end listings where the buyer is often quite specific. More often than not, there just aren’t a wide pool of target buyers.

Here, we kept accessories to a minimum, opting for the kinds of things a busy, single guy might have around. Sleek, modern, efficient – for sure; and calming, soothing, a zen-like private space where he can scrutinize his strategy and plot his next move.

 

home staging nyc

 

The city is laid out at his feet. Glorious light pours in day and night. It is a stunning set of views, comfortably at arms’ length. The owner here can feel high above the fray in this unit.

Kitchen Closeup

Should he want or need to cook, the space is there. And there are lots of cabinets for the juicer and whatever else goes into those guys’ gruesome morning shake.

And if there is a girl… or a friend…there’s a place for them on the deck. They shouldn’t get too comfortable though.  #Justsaying.

Lifestyle Marketing in living example

 

Our Lifestyle Marketing strategy worked.  A bachelor bought the pad, alright.  The buyer turns out to be a hedge fund executive.  And, he bought every piece of furniture, lighting and textile that we installed as part of our design.

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

BEFORE

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!

Backyard

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!

Floorplan

 

 

Owner Occupied Staging: 350 E 77th Street Owner Follows The Plan

Owner Occupied StagingOwner Occupied Staging

For this Upper East Side owner occupied staging, I gave a full plan for the seller to implement. She did a great job! She had good space with a simple layout in a solid, traditional, pre-war building, right in the heart of the most residential part of Upper East Side. She simply needed guidance to present the best features with maximum prominence.

We spaced out her series of floral art to lengthen the living room.  A large chest hides all of the toys and doubles as a coffee table. The children’s table by the window explains the child safety bars (which are an unattractive necessity), gives a defined play space and also shows where a dining set could be situated.   The room shows areas for the entire family to be together: a children’s play area and an adult area on the sofa with the large tv. Buyers can imagine story time on the comfy sofa, snuggled under the soft, fringed blanket.  She added some additional lighting for the darker corners and rearranged the master bedroom furniture to equally distribute the weight of the wood pieces.  The bright piece of art was hung in between the 2 windows to bring the buyer’s eye to the trees outside.

Even when doing owner occupied staging, we still need to demonstrate how life will work in a space.  By keeping the furnishings minimal, buyers can appreciate the inlaid floors and art deco arches give this unit some historical provenance.

Buyers are able to see what they are buying, the bones of the property.

You find out more about this listing – http://streeteasy.com/building/350-east-77-street-new_york/4l – or by calling Dan Gotlieb | Digs Realty Group | (917) 675-0037

 

And for home staging your apartment, please call Amazing Space NYC at 917-428-9365 and ask to speak to Debbie.

Amazing Views In Carnegie Hill Co-op Triggers Fun Home Staging Ideas

Apartment Stager in Carnegie Hills

BEFORE STAGING

We were recently hired by a Seller to Home Stage a 2,900 square foot apartment on the upper east side.   Fabulous, right?  Well, the problem was that the apartment’s renovations were never completed – and the Seller was fed up dealing with people who took her money and did not give her what she expected.

Home Staging Ideas Needed

Home Staging Ideas Needed!

Type “A” personality selling a property she designed from top to bottom and had to sell before she could even buy a sofa.  This was my kind of client and my kind of project. High pressure.  High energy.  Go!

Home Staging Ideas

Using the color palette of the views as our foundation not only emphasized them but gave a harmonious flow between the inside and outside.

Home Staging continues to evolve at Amazing Space NYC into a combination of design and staging.  This is especially true for Owner Occupied properties.  This 27th floor beauty was being listed at $7.995 million.  The Seller was ready to put some time and money into the Staging but she wanted it to look “real”, not staged since she and her family would be living in it through the selling process.  We had 2 short weeks to pull it together.  A contractor was hired to build and install custom radiator cabinets in 3 rooms, install closet systems and doors, finish the baseboard tile in several areas, install art lights, and paint accent walls, a bathroom, the entrance hall and ceilings.  Speakers were installed.  Unused wires hidden.  Wine racks built.  At the same time, the Seller and I were busy selecting furniture from both rental sources and on-line vendors to showcase the room sizes and uses.   We had 2 weeks . . . . and the team successfully pulled it all together so the brokers could list the property mid-March, in time to capitalize on the spring selling season.

The den / third bedroom was also a combination work area, guest room, TV room.  It was like a dorm room with a 60 inch flat screen TV at the head of the room.  This room had to have a strong presence as it is right off the kitchen and dining areas.  We turned it into a den/TV room.  We rented a leather sofa and love seat, combined them with the Seller’s rug, end table, cocktail table and art, then purchased pillows and throws to complement the colors in the artwork.  We extended the room into the space between the den and kitchen by adding an Eames walnut and leather chair with matching ottoman.  Instantly, this room became one of our favorites!

Ideas for home staging NYC

This is a study that can be closed off with sliding mirror doors or kept open for entertaining. It opens to the kitchen, and thanks to the breakfast bar, we were able to create a reading chair.

The master bedroom carpet is very distinct and we needed to figure out a way to work with it, not against it.  We added a golden-hued accent wall behind a new linen-colored upholstered headboard and 2 mirrored console tables to flank the bed. A more feminine crystal and organza ceiling light fixture was installed and was complemented by the 2 crystal table lamps we also purchased.  Decorative pillows with brown, beige and warm rust tones were used to add a layer of luxury and elegance to the bed.  The finishing touch – plush throw blankets at the foot of the bed.  The master bedroom was transformed, using both rented and purchased items, from a home office with a large bed into an elegant oasis.

Home Staging Ideas for a Master Bedroom

Going WITH the rug – a “fun, animal print carpet” –  in the Master bedroom so that it not only some adds good texture to the space but adds a nod and a wink as to how one might behave there. ;)

10 Rooms for $7,995,000 on the 27th Floor of Carnegie Hill’s 45 East 89th Street.

Second BR Before and After Staging Photos

The Second Bedroom, with art we could hang more prominently elsewhere,  and work stuff enjoying the mighty view!

The real “wow” factor had to occur when the buyer walked down the hallway towards the living room.  Everything in this space was carefully chosen to complement the views and the dramatic piece of original art.  The rented furniture and accessories coupled with the purchased decorative pillows and the Seller’s art turned what once was an empty room (that looked rather small) into a grand, eclectic entertaining space with the most amazing views on Manhattan!

Home staging Ideas Put into practice

Like in the foyer – so that we set the tone, right from the front door.

apartment staging by Debbie Oulvey has wine room

Is this not the sexiest wine room you’ve ever seen?

This is was a somewhat unusual floorplan for a Manhattan Upper East Side apartment. Yet the open flow set some parameter that were easy to work with once we acknowledged and adhered to them.

Making the floorplan work

And from this experience, we were able to write down some sucesses, that you all might find useful –

Home Staging Ideas

1. Find the biggest selling feature and create interiors that emphasize and flow with it. In this case it was the views.

2. Make the crazy permanent things work in a logical, AND whimsical way. For us, the animal print carpet.

3. Use what the owner has in the most valuable places; items, like art, antiques and ….wine?  We moved the art into the most prominent spots, and added picture lights. That’s how millionaires live, don’t you know?! 🙂

4. Always finish up an in-progress reno. Buyers will usually overestimate repair costs and find the very idea a huge hassle.

5. Perhaps my favorite home staging idea from this project is to give yourself a deadline. While it nearly killed me to pull this together in 2.5 weeks, it forced us to be super-creative, resourceful and smart. There was no time for second guessing and the feedback from our results has been amazing. It’s a great looking space now.