Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Joy of Staging: It's not always glamorous!

I know I said I would post pictures of the office today, but Scott needed my help ... and you know how that goes. You see, Scott's a new realtor, and is really doing a fantastic job of making a name for himself in the Western New York market. He works hard, and has a lot of passion and drive - so it's no surprise that he is doing better than even we had expected. One of his most recent listings, a large ranch in one of Buffalo's most esteemed neighborhoods is a fixer for sure, but at the low low price of $275,000, it's definitely got room for improvements and magnificent resale, as houses in the area trade in the mid-$400K to $1.7M range.

The first time I saw the house was to take pictures for Scott's real estate listing. Filled to the rafters with every imaginable item, the house was in severe need for a deep cleaning and purging of personal trash and clutter. The estate concluded the same, and hard working Scott set out to help them do just that ... in 3-days!

Of course, I got to do the fun part ... setting up vignettes and space planning. Scott, busted his rump filling up TWO 30-yard dumpsters. Still, with a nothing budget, and essentially a dumpster full of accessories and the existing furniture - we were able to throw these rooms together in just a few hours so that Scott's real estate photos didn't have the producers of hoarders calling.

The very large, and very dirty Master Bedroom when I Scott and I first saw it.
The same room after some help from Scott and me.
Another view of the room (before) different angle. And the same room, same angle after. The estate elected to leave the antique pieces because the appraised value wasn't what they had hoped. After a little digging, I was able to find those great yellow leather bags, a couple of dresses and books for the table beside the bed. The Victorian settee was crowding a corner in the living room - but it looks right at home here proving how large this master suite really is!
The den/family room before. What a mess.
The den/family room after. The built in's are actually not that awful. Solid mahogany, they're perfectly functional and in beautiful condition. The set of doors to the far right close up a built in wet bar, complete with mirror and tri-colored fluorescent lights. I spared you that photo!
Same room before, different angle.
Same room after, same angle. The floor in this room is one of the only ones I'd keep if we were to move into this massive house. It's cork, and dates back to when the house was built in 1953. A sort of satillo pattern with diamonds and hexagons it's in good shape and certainly adds more interest than the wall to wall in the rest of the house.
And lastly, one of the better vignettes. There wasn't much to work with after the house was ran-sacked of treasures by the family. No art, no impressionable accessories ... but I did the best I could, and though it's still dated and the furniture is destined for the curb, it's far better than the before - don't you agree?
Right out of an episode of hoarders, isn't it? This was disgusting, and if you could only imagine the stench that comes from this sort of uncleanliness! Truly vile. The heirs of the estate came in and literally ran-sacked the place turning drawers upside down looking for the million dollars they were sure existed ... but in what drawer?
After, and without the million dollars (that was never found by the way). A special thanks to our friend Dorothy who came in tonight to help clean up the kitchen. Scott had done a great job of getting rid of the clutter, but we wouldn't have been able to see the true value of this mid-century kitchen without Dorothy.
They went crazy with those veneered walls, huh? Same room, looking into the breakfast area and through the doorway to the living/dining. Again, if smell-o-puter existed ...
And now - the table perfectly dressed for a breakfast in 1954. I found these plates, a pre-curser to the similar melamine plates, but not fiestaware, in the cabinet. So out they came. Washed up, they're too cute!
Wanna do dishes in that sink? Yeah, we didn't either. To the dumpster it goes, making room for:
And yes, even more clutter and chaos. It still shocks me to think that someone lived this way for such a long time. Devastating. Especially when it could have looked like this:
Just behind that wall of darling 1950's ovens is the laundry room. See that green glow in the background? I'm not a fan of fluorescent fixtures - but the glow you get from that light on that green - just spectacular.
And the last image of filth. The darling space for table and chairs on the other side of the breakfast bar ... begging for a table, and some love.



If you're interested in purchasing the house, check out the MLS listing here and give Scott a call. And if you're local and need someone to help you stage for sale: email me! And if you're local and you're looking for an excellent and reputable professional cleaning service for one-time or daily housekeeping, email me and I'll pass along Dorothy's info.

By the way, are you looking for the perfect home accessory in your new home?
Click on the photo to be redirected to some of the most beautiful glass art ever made!

59 comments:

  1. What a daunting task! don't you wonder what lays behind the doors of the houses you drive by everyday?

    Be afraid. Be very afraid!

    Nice job...I am exhausted just looking at the photos.

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  2. Arty, I can't believe that mess! But what a nice transformation, you all did a great job-best of luck with the sale!

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  3. OMG what a mess that place was and I can’t believe you were willing to walk in it. You guys did an amazing job of cleaning it up and staging and I have to admit, those cupboards actually look wonderful.

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  4. You did a great job and I, too, cannot believe that people live like that!

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  5. UNBELIEVABLE...I think I would have lit a match! I can't even imagine how many hours went into this. At first I could not see past the mess...and now it looks like a beautiful home! Well done, I am sure Scot will have it sold in no time

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  6. What an amazing transformation! I can't believe the heirs wouldn't have cleaned this up and left it in such a state.

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  7. Unbelievable transformation. I don't know if I'd even know where to start, I guess dumpsters would have been my first choice too. This could be such an amazing home, why on earth would the heirs leave it in such condition? Those yellow luggage pieces are adorable. And are those kitchen chairs as fantastic as they look in the pictures? You did a beautiful job with this, hope Scott gets a quick sale! Kat

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  8. WOW....Artie that is an amazing transformation. Scott, Dorothy and yourself should start your own little reality cleanup show. You all did a fabulous job from cleanup to cleaning to the staging. The house actually looks really appealing. Without the hardwork you put into it, that house wouldve sat on the market forever. Good luck to Scott, Im sure he will get alot of lookers now. Great job!

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  9. uhm, wow
    greed is amazing and powerful
    you did a great job...and that was a lot of work, as former apartment managers I hated to clean up after people and most of them took the stuff out with them, we had one man though that you literally could not walk through his apartment. sad. he had good decorating taste though....weird

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  10. nice work- man if that house was in my neighborhood i'd buy it! I love ALL those retro features!

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  11. I have to say that filthy looking as it was, its features look in remarkably good shape and condition! Someone who likes this style {and era} would be very happy in this house. You both did a wonderful job {miracle} in cleaning this place up and getting it looking good. The pictures do it justice, too!

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  12. Arty,
    What an amazing transformation! Bravo!!! Good Luck with the sale. By the way we are selling our house in Williamsville. I am sorry that I didn't know about Scott...if you know anyone looking for a house email me.

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  13. I flipped when I saw this. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see all the work that you and the agent did to clean this place up and make it presentable again. Beautiful job!

    I'd love to feature this on my blog. I'd show a photo of the kitchen and send everyone over to see the rest, if that's okay with you. I know they'd like to see this. Thanks!

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  14. UNBELIEVABLE! what a fantastic job and what an undertaking...I bet you get a lot of reward after the fact! I know I would but wow what a huge job! I can't believe people live like that...and I think that the heirs...probably live the same way! Hope...nope I know it will sell quickly!

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  15. I am tired just looking at the clean up.. Have to say it's NIGHT and Day. It's a jewel now.
    yvonne

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  16. You both did an amazing job Artie. I see potential in this house.

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  17. I think I just threw-up in my mouth a little bit. AH-MAZING job! I hope you wore some type of mask around that place. The home has such potential and it's so sad that people live this way. Great work!

    Can I re-post a picture on my Friday Favorites?? Thank you so much for visiting last week and leaving a comment! I would love to collaborate sometime.

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  18. OOh this is scary. I mean really scary. I think I'd have had to have one of those airline in flight bags. What a wonderful transformation. I have a garage that could use your help! Hey, it doesn't smell.. LOL

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  19. eeeeuuuwwww!
    aaahhhhh.
    Debbie@houseatthelake

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  20. O, Artie...I see things like this on tv...but can't really imagine ANYone living in this.
    Ya'll did a hell of a job getting this all cleaned up.
    The house sure has a lot of orange...:))
    Great job..
    I'll be back tonight to link...
    xo bj

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  21. GOOD LORD!!! How the hell do you keep a straight face!?! A-FRICKIN-MAZING transformation Artie!! It's a great vintage space now - thanks to you!

    :D Lynda

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  22. YIKES!!! Amazing transformation of a horrendously cluttered and dirty house! It is truly amazing how some people live. Tell Scott I hope the house sells soon. :-)
    ~ Sue

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  23. Artie, I can't believe I missed this (though if you check our blog, you'll know why) It's been a tough week. You guys did a SPECTACULAR job! Scott should be selling down here- there are realtors that need to see this! Gorgeous job and it's amazing under all that clutter that everything appears to be in such good shape
    xoxo Pattie

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  24. amazing-- like a time capsule! What a great realtor!

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  25. Wow! Love it! You did a great job honoring its style. It's nice to see a blog from Buffalo. I know exactly where this house is as my husband is from Buffalo and lived not far from here for a long time. I just love the city.

    We just moved into a classic mid-century home in Rochester. But ours is more like a California ranch with 15' wood beam ceilings. It still has lots of paneling, though. Built in 1965, decorated in 1965, by the same owner! Ours is a time-capsule, too.

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  26. Wow, wow, wow!
    Great job staying with the time frame of the home. Love the kitchen floor that you couldn't even see before.

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  27. Wow!! That was crazy! Great job on getting rid of everything (what a great realtor!!!), and great job on staging on a shoe-string budget. I'm SURE you'll get asking price.

    I can't believe the transformation!

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  28. Yes, "Hoarders" should have taken that one on! The heirs should be embarrassed to death. It looks to be in good shape, guess there was so much stuff the surfaces were protected.

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  29. Wow, you did a great job! It's like stepping back in time!

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  30. Wow, it looks wonderful now. Fantastic job. It's hard to believe it never had any updates. It's sad that the estate people ransacked on top of everything.

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  31. OMG...you are amazing...thanks for showing us the un-glam part of the bus. Are you sure Mad Men wasn't shot there? lol

    Best,
    Michelle

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  32. What a CHARMING house NOW! Impressive work!

    I LOVE the wall ovens!!!!!

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  33. You did a great job. I can't imagine the undertaking that was. They actually had some decent peices hidden under all of the junk too. Now you can actually see them and appreciate them.

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  34. I have to ask....is this typical? So people really allow you to see their house like this? Did you have to clean it up, or did the owners help?? I cannot imagine.....but the "after" shots are amazing!!

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  35. My guess is that the person who lived there was elderly and no one came to help and care for them. Then, after they died, the rats came out of the wall and literally vandalized the placed looking for and taking anything of value. So sad . . . but you did a fabulous job cleaning and staging this place. I hope it sells quickly - for Scott's sale - not for the greedy, money hundry heirs of the estate. :o(

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  36. Had to come over from Julia's blog and see the rest of your mad clean-up & staging skills!
    Be proud...very, very proud! This transformation took me back to my childhood except all our accents were turquoise (even the dish drainer). So well done...and thank you for not trying to make it look like something it wasn't!
    Jessica~

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  37. Came from Julia's blog. You did an amazing job! I would buy this house now that its cleaned up if I lived near it.

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  38. Also came over from Julia's blog - love the kitchen floor. Everything else looks amazing, too. I'm with Margot - I hate that the heirs who trashed the place will benefit from all your hard work. Great job! Great house!

    Barbara H.

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  39. Fantastic clean up! I love the way you staged it and showcased the house.

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  40. Stopping by from the post at Hooked on Houses... WOW!

    I don't think I could handle that: it made my stomach flip to just see the photos!!

    Your great at what you do! :)

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  41. You are a gem to tackle cleaning up that space. I almost can't believe what my eyes are seeing...that mess is beyond anything I could comprehend! Off to check out more of your blog.

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  42. You are a gem to tackle cleaning up that space. I almost can't believe what my eyes are seeing...that mess is beyond anything I could comprehend! Off to check out more of your blog.

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  43. You did a beautiful job! You definitely made this retro home shine!

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  44. It's amazing how some people can "live"! What doesn't amaze me though, is what a talented person is capable of doing with a dump like this!! GREAT JOB!!

    I was disappointed though, when I went to look at the MLS listing. NOTHING was done to the outside of this place (unless maybe more trash hauled away) prior to putting it on the market. The bushes and trees are overgrown, the lawn looks sparse and there are weeds growing up in the cracks of the driveway!

    You know what they say...first impressions are everything. I'm sure some people won't even make it into the interior of the home to see the WONDERFUL JOB!!

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  45. Wow. That place was disgusting before. Nice work. It looks beautiful now.

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  46. You and Scott are amazing. The house is wonderful. I hope someone buys it and can show it the love you guys showed it.
    xo xo

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  47. wow just amazing - that kitchen is to die for - you two are an amazing team - well dome - best le

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  48. First of all Artie, you, Scott and Dorothy did a fabulous job!

    It is so sad to think someone may have lived in such squalor and makes me question, where were ' the heirs' (Attila the Hun's barbarian offsrpings) all that time before they pillaged the residence? -Brenda-

    P.S: Am loving the new look of your Blog format.

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  49. Chilling! That's what I have going up my back-chills. It looks amazingly like my childhood home. I CANNOT believe what my father has done to the house in the 12 years my mother has been gone. And I CANNOT believe what an awesome job you done on this home. I hope it sells for top $ soon. Congratulations on your efforts.

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  50. omg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    you are unreal. this actually looks good now. i love the kitchen floor - and the bedroom looks so great! wow. you are unreal.

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  51. You made a house that kinda made my skin crawl into a place I would love to live. Great work!

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  52. My husband and I are redoing our loft space in mid century modern. Two months ago, I would not have seen the beauty in this gem. Now I do. I LOVE what you have done to the place!! If I lived there, I would buy that home and beg you not to remove any of the furniture.

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  53. The transformation is incredible. It looks perfect now and I'm glad to see the built-ins are in such great shape. I'd kill to have that Chinese Chippendale bedroom suite.

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  54. I am in love with the kitchen floor. For reals. : )

    Great job, bff!

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  55. Hi there! I just loved this post. What a mess and yet you turned it into beauty. I've been there! As a home stager, I've had a few homes that were utterly cluttered and were forgotten little treasures that needed some organization, paint - and some creativity to coax the beauty out of them! You dis a fabulous job!

    I have to learn to always take a lot of Before Pictures. I did one home where two rooms were just awful - and I changed them dramtically (but alas - no before pic - only the realtor had a picture of it in her head!).

    Keep up the great work!

    Linda

    www.beautifulstagedhomes.blogspot.com

    www.studioofdecorativearts,blogspot.com

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  56. Kudos to you for a nice finished presentation, but from the pics it really looks more like cleaning and less like staging....no disrespect intended. Staging is taking a clean place and making it look better. This place mostly needed a dumpster and a broom, I think.

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  57. So sad to see the state of the house in the before shots. Too bad nobody helped them or introduced them to Fly Lady!

    Excellent results in the after shots. Good job!

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  58. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THE WET BAR PIC!! DAAAAANG! :)

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