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.


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!


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.

2015 NAR Profile of Home Staging Survey Releases Dismal Stats


NYC Home Stager reports on NAR survey's best statThere were high hopes for the 2015 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Staging .  We had hoped to see the NAR home staging survey would demonstrate that staging is a widely accepted practice. We hoped for big numbers that prove the marketing tactic works.  We did get some good numbers, if you mine the data carefully, but on the whole, the report suggests that there is both opportunity and an uphill battle still ahead.

Home Staging Survey Highlights


Home Staging NYC where staging improves offer numbersThe Good News

We are seeing that most realtors® who represent Sellers believe a benefit of staging is that Buyers will offer more for a staged home.  This tells us that staging increases the perceived value of a property. Home stagers have been saying this for years, and it’s great to finally have such a concrete stat to back this up.  Some realtors® – a whopping 20% – think the offer is over 6 to 10% higher. That’s the Buyer’s initial offer so the whole transaction starts on a higher plane (and if it goes into a bidding war, which has happened to the last 3 properties staged by Amazing Space NYC, the final sale price could soar beyond that 10% figure).  This is great proof that staging works.


Home Staging Survey slide 4

The Opportunity

If only 34% of realtors® stage all homes, then to be a listing agent who stages is a fairly substantial differentiator, no?  Wouldn’t you want to be a realtor® whose listings warrant negotiations that start 10% higher than ask?


home staging nyc

The home staging survey also identified which rooms are the most important to stage if the budget is tight and you can only do a few.  Obviously, it is more helpful for the buyer is you stager their most used spaces – the living room, kitchen and master bedroom.  Depending on where you are the dining room is a “long to have” feature.  As in anyone moving out to the suburbs from an apartment in a city.  For them, the dining room is critical. That space may be used for other things, but they want to know that it is possible in the space. The rest, you do as you can. Rooms with weird shapes or sizes are better staged. It’s just easier for the buyer to have a sense of what might fit.

The Battle

The home staging survey also identified which rooms are the most important to stage if the budget is tight and you can only do a few.  Obviously, it is more helpful for the buyer if you stage the most-used – the living room, kitchen and master bedroom.  Depending on your market, the dining room is coveted, especially for buyers moving out to the suburbs from an apartment in a city.  For them, the dining room is critical. Though the space might wind up being used for other things, buyers want to know that there is a dining room for Thanksgiving dinner with the extended family. The rest of the rooms, do what you can within the budget parameters. Note that rooms with weird shapes or sizes are better when staged. It’s just easier for the buyer to have a sense of what might fit.

Click this link to read the NAR home staging survey yourself.

Call Debbie for your staging consult

2015 Design Trends

Continuing trend BrassI called it! As reports trickle in from the Las Vegas Market, and MSN casts about for “1- Home Trends That Will Take Off This Year“, I am patting myself on the back for the calling the 2015 Design Trends — the trending brass fittings in bathrooms, particularly, but kitchens, too.  What has already become popular  in the  NYC home Staging is now morphing into a widespread, perhaps nationwide, trend.

Organic Modern gaining strength and identity as a movement.  Eggs?  “The first trend is a farm-fresh surprise. Though I suppose with hip urbanites harvesting eggs from their backyard chicken coops, it was only a matter of time before eggs caught on as a design trend.” writes Shannon Ggem from Vegas. Urbanites with backyard chicken coops, who are these people?

What kind of backyards do they have and which city has an ordinance that allows for that kind of noise, mess and smell? Mind you, dogs make a lot of noise too –  and NYC is FULL of them!


I absolutely LOVE the teak remnant tables that are filled with resin that looks like quartz!  The organic trend continues – albeit with EGGS.

2015 Design Trends - Wood and Resin

Aren’t they gorgeous?  I’ve seen Holloway Teak and Cracked Resin; I’ve seen tamarind wood in layers of clear acrylic resin. Here is a set of nesting tables with barely any wood and frankly, I think those are even more remarkable: –

2015 Design Trends - Wood and Resin

The organic source – the color and texture of the wood – preserved in plastic (essentially another word for acrylic) epitomizes the “organic modern” movement for me. Spectacular, exotic woods are made timeless in this kinds of pieces.

Another advantage of these side tables is that they have see-through sections. I use a lot of acrylic pieces in smaller apartments because they don’t fill a space like a solid piece would.  By keeping the sight-lines open, buyers can see the functionality of a space and still feel like there is room for more. It has served me well, and I couldn’t be more excited about these items. Anthropologie is already sold out. Hopefully there will be options costing less than $3,000 available to the trade soon.

What are you seeing as far as 2015 Design Trends go where you are?

Home Staging NYC Kitchens Take A Light Touch

Kitchen - AFTER

1. Throw down some style!

NYC kitchens tend to be small. How much actual cooking gets done is hard to imagine, though many New Yorkers proudly proclaim they can create multiple course dinners in theirs: “it’s all in the timing”. So as home stagers, when preparing a NYC apartment for sale, we need to be able to suggest cooking could happen in the space. some place to eat whatever’s been created?  Well, that calls for even more creativity!  Here are a couple things I keep in mind when home staging nyc kitchens – with examples from a few of my favorite recent successes.

1. One Big Bold Design Statement

Add style in the form of a design element – just one – whether it’s a striking piece of art, or a hide rug, or a state of the art coffee pot… even a retro fondue pot – and you will find the space packs a punch beyond its size.

NYC home Staging a kitchen

2.  Deep Clean – grime and gunk has to be removed, and grout given a good bleaching.

2. “White Glove Clean”

Seriously, clean even if you need to re-grout as a result…because with less accessories to look at, the buyer stares into the corners. It is worth hiring a pro for this, unless you’re newly single and vigorous scrubbing would be therapy.

NYC home staging

3. Find Seating – somewhere close

3.  Seating

Even if there’s only a counter  or even a shelf, add a few stools and now buyer’s can see a separate space for a chai latte. The reality is that space will become where everyone uses their laptop, pays bills, and wraps presents, but in a small space, the horizontal spaces are a premium.

NYC Home Staging

4. Dress the kitchen sparingly, but with useful things

4. Dress Barely, One Flimsy Layer More Than Naked

Nothing on the counter is too barren, and as we’ve discussed earlier, it gives buyers nothing to look at beyond the grout lines and corners. A coffee pot, if gleaming, is fine as is shiny toaster. 3 trendy cookbooks in a row, if in mint condition is eye-catching, but one open is fine, too. A bowl of glossy red apples is an easy play, though it might suggest Fall to local buyers. Those red apples are grown upstate in lovely rambling orchards. Lemons, limes adn grapefruits last a little longer, and as they age, they can do you a great turn by cleaning out the insinkerator while aromating the room pleasantly.

NYC Home Staging with red accents in a kitchen

5. Accessorize the stove with a punch of color.

5. Put a pot on the stove.

Otherwise, its an awful lot of black! Just make sure the pot or kettle is in mint condition; a beaten up old favorite only sells “country”!

For advice on staging your kitchen when you go to sell your apartment, do reach out to me – my team is available for staging consults by appointment. The wait’s not too long!! :p 917-428-3965

Home Staging A Greenwich Village 2 BR

Beofre Amazing Space NYC has had time to work its magic.Before we started home staging a Greenwich Village 2 BR unit we went to see it and get the lay of the land, so to speak.  This 2 bedroom on the second floor of a quaint walk-up building left buyers scratching their heads. Immediately welcomed by a massive refrigerator ion the middle of their living room, the living space looked teeny and boring, not at all what a hipster who wants to live in the heart of the Village wants to see when they open the front door.

We got to work.  We transformed the place by adding color and furniture tailored to the space and the target demographic. By adding a small bar height table and stools we successfully created a dining area that takes some of the attention away from the refrigerator’s location.

You might think that we chose red as our accent punch because Fall is on its way and our instincts turn to seasonally warmer colors. In actuality, my inspiration was this fabulous chest which would be considered a Must Have by any generation, and the likely demographic for this unit.

The 2 bedrooom, 1 bath apartment, what used to be called a 4, is listed by Jeffrey Wachtenhiem, with Town Real Estate.

Amazing Space NYC adds pops of red to glamorized an expensive 4 room walk up

Both bedrooms lack a closet, a fundamental flaw in the room designs. By placing a dresser in each room, in the location where a closet or a large wardrobe unit could easily be placed, we allow potential buyers to see that this situation can easily be overcome. We staged the second bedroom to be a den/guest room using a futon bed and colorful art and pillows to jazz it up.

amazing Space NYC works wonders home staging the master bedroom

As you can see, we are not dealing with large rooms; yet it feels chic and fun.

Asking $965,000. Here is the broker’s description:

Incredibly charming and perfectly located, this two bedroom home is situated on Prime Leroy Street in the heart of Greenwich Village / West Village neighborhood. A RARE offering, this sponsor unit requires no board approval and is ready to be moved into. This home features a renovated windowed kitchen, windowed bath and the perfect Village location. Just one flight up in a charming, prewar walkup building with beautiful iron work, this is one not to be missed.   Just steps from at least 50 bars and restaurants, multiple train lines and incredible eateries such as- Murray;s cheese, Faiiaccos, Joe’s Pizza and so much more. 


For more information on staging your NYC home for sale,

please call 917-428-3965 and ask for Debbie.




Curbed And Flourishing in Brooklyn!

It’s always nice to see your own work in the press! These lovely models were featured an article on Curbed.  These models were in the process of being finished, I had yet to hang the artwork. Nonetheless, I think the photos make the units look real, spacious, stylish, and good fun. What do you all think? Apparently, they’re being snapped up really quickly.

This was a NYC home staging in Brooklyn, where a 1 BR can cost north of $700K!!  It was fun to focus on the mid-century modern designs here, as that is the taste of the target buyer.  The appliances and finishes are impressive; lustrous quartz, Viking cooktops and refrigerators – and in a “sponsor apartment”, no less!!  (Of course this is a builder, not a sponsor and those early co-op days of the oak-trimmed Formica cabinets are long behind us. Still, there are many who remember…)

There are rental units mixed in, and those units have GE appliances, but still textured gray cabinets and quartz counter-tops.  That and lovely 3″ gray wash oak floors.


I love home staging NYC!



For more information on how you can have your own home staged for sale by Debbie Oulvey,
please call 917-428-3965

Thank You For A Great 2013!

Inner City Scholarship Fund is one charity Amazing Space NYC believes in wholeheatedly2013 was a great year for Amazing Space NYC. We achieved a record growth of 34%, and have been able to sponsor a child through the Be a Student’s Friend organization.  We are sponsoring an elementary school student attending an archdiocese school in the Bronx by providing 70 per cent of the tuition for the 2013-2014 academic year.

I never went to catholic school.  These students that I help live at or below poverty level. Most are minority, being raised by a single parent, and in some cases a grandmother. The public schools in their neighborhood are dangerous. These families know education is the way out of poverty and welfare. Helping them with tuition is such a small token. We also collect and send gently used toys and books to the schools to help other students who might not have the means to purchase life’s little luxuries.

It has long been a personal goal of mine to give back, and so this first step is truly deeply meaningful.  I could do not it without my wonderful clients and their clients.  Here is a cross-section of their kind remarks this year:-

After our loft sat on the market for 4 months without an offer, leading us to change brokers, our new broker recommended Debbie. I have to confess I was skeptical about real estate staging – the idea that  a few bright pillows and vases could magically sell an apartment.  Debbie quickly demonstrated that effective staging is far, far more than that. Her implementation of straightforward but dramatic changes to furniture placement, decor, and use of color, made an immediate, palpable difference in the presentation of our apartment. Not only did the offers come in quickly, but our place became more fun to live in while we were waiting for our sale to close.  I should also add that Debbie works at the speed of light. Its truly amazing how fast she got our place looking fantastic.

Stephanie, TriBeCa

Debbie, just a quick note to thank you again for working with us to stage our apartment last week.  Over the past few days we’ve noticed the tiniest of details and the amount of care that you took with our space from storing our most-used items in easy reach right down to fixing the torn under-linings on our dining room chairs…I don’t mean to gush, but we really, really appreciate everything you did for us and I know the time frame was a special concession for you.  Thank you again.
As an update: we accepted an offer well above asking price today, and we owe this in large part to your timeliness and creativity.  We’re very pleased, and just wanted to thank you again.  If there is anything we can ever to do help you: letters, referrals, anything; please let us know.

Amanda, Upper West Side

 Thank you for all your help! .. We feel you had a huge impact on the “new” look that helped sell the apt.  Separately, We have a bid out on a one bedroom  on park ave and 36 street — if it goes through — would you be open  to schedule a consult at  the new place?

 Pearl, Upper West Side

Well apparently your staging job was TOO good for 79 street as we are about to get an offer.

Jackie, Upper East Side

Just wanted to let you know that we have an accepted offer on our place!  We have several offers straight away and we had a small bidding war.  We hope to have the contracts signed next week.  You did great work and I will, for sure, recommend you.

Chiara, Upper East Side


Red is NOT Dead!

Red in Home Staging NYC
Red – it is alluring and seductive, evoking feelings of hunger and passion. But is it appropriate for Home Staging? Those formal dining rooms and accent walls painted in candy apple, crimson or cranberry certainly are vivacious and alluring, but when Staging a property for sale, do those dramatic walls add value or cause buyers to run in the opposite direction?

When combined with the right furnishings and accent colors, red is extremely elegant. From a designer’s vantage point, I love red – especially when it is high gloss and lacquered.  And there is no reason why those same techniques cannot be incorporated into a staging plan, in the form of picture, art or mirror frames, trays, or small appliances (think retro toaster or ice cream soda maker).  Red in accent pillows and artwork are also great ways to seduce a buyer into a room.

Subtle hints of red in the furniture and accessories makes it pop – pop – pop!  We want the buyers to be moved emotionally, to be spurred to action.  Action to make an offer.  Red is a great color to inspire such action.

Red in Home Staging NYCModel Designs For Home Staging NYC

For more information about booking Amazing Space NYC for your own home staging, please call Debbie at 917-428-3965.

Cold War: Neutral Home Staging NYC Gone Too Far!

When home staging NYC, most home owners know to neutralize the look of each space. You can go too far. You can create a hard, empty space that no-one wants to own.

Such was the case with this loft space. Modern, clean and barren, this space was so cold, even Eskimos were running in the opposite direction!  By adding warmer hues with art and accent pillows, then toning down the frigid feeling of the floor tiled floor, this Owner Occupied took on an entirely different vibe – and got several offers before accepting one at 99% of list!

Home Staging NYC's most cold, barren spaces

For more information, please call Amazing Space NYC at 917-428-3965 and ask for Debbie.