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!