I get asked all the time what it's like being an Interior Designer and Home Stager and how designing spaces must be so fun! First, it is fun (most of the time, except for those few times when slimy people make it awful...but I digress.) And second, maybe to point out something that might not be so obvious...Home Staging and Interior Design are so, so, so different!! Yes, they both involve sofas and rugs and lamps and such, but the mission is so different!
When Staging a home for sale, I have to look at things like neighborhood, property values, potential buyers, home style and architecture, floor plans and photographs. After taking all that into consideration, I look at focal points, selling features, creating more value in typically unusable spaces, color combinations, art, walk-ability, lighting, and unfortunately "not-so-flattering" areas! There really is a lot to think about! (Not to mention logistics, I am on a never-ending treadmill of moving. Packing, loading, unpacking, styling, repeat!)
So, let's look into a few key areas where Home Staging and Interior Design Differ
1.) Time Frame: Days vs. Months
With home staging, I do the aforementioned host of research, followed by a proposal, with a set price for the materials and time I plan to use. The homeowner then agrees, we sign a contract, I move in and stage the property. Once I'm done, the photographer comes through to take beautiful photos, then the realtor lists the property, and *fingers crossed* it sells in a very timely manner. After appraisal and inspections, I go back to the home, pack up and move on. The End. From the first day of research to the moving truck saying, "So Long!" as it putters out of the driveway is on average about 45 days.
That's not the case with my Interior Design clients. With each new client comes a host of unpredictable (and exciting) fact finding sessions, sourcing, cushion testing, questions and answers, decisions after decisions. I would use the term "MONTHS", not "Days" to describe the normal amount of time spent on creating a client's dream space.
2. Appeal: The Masses vs. Personal
My goal, mission, job, desire as a professional home stager is to create a space so wonderful that buyers won't want to leave your home without making an offer! I focus so much on them, sometimes I even name them! HA! I walk through each space thinking about what they will do and how they will entertain (or at least convince them that entertaining could be in their future!) It once took me way too long to pick a page to display in the cookbook on the counter because I couldn't decide if the "Walters" (my make believe family) would rather have grilled peaches or a cherry tart for dessert...True Story- Don't judge me. LOL!
When designing a space for a client, it can sometimes be tricky. My number one goal is, of course, to please to the person or family I am designing for! But I also have to discern what they say they want versus what they could actually use in their home. I have to be able to visualize their main theme while editing their (sometimes) bad taste. Functionality is at the core of my being when designing spaces, so I'm also considering things like, How will it work? What will you be doing in here? How do you want to feel while you are in here? I really take all things into consideration and compile a curated space with all the things (you maybe didn't know) you would love into one space!
3.Scope of work: Fixed vs. Variable
Like I mentioned before, the scope is very different! It's my job as a home stager to "work with what I'm given" Make it look good! With whatever sad, horrible paint color, ugly cabinets, stained carpet, builder grade fixtures I've been dealt-- I am a Professional and I will make it look good!
When I am designing a space, I get to CHANGE all the ugly things!! I don't (usually) have to design around them! Anything from a new light fixture to a whole new main floor, we've done them all and the scope of work is always changing!
So, to sum up: Yes, it's fun. Yes, it's a lot of work. And Yes, it turns out LoveLee!
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Until next time!!