Does your living room need a prop stylist?
By Alison Manheim
When all the world’s a stage, is it any wonder your living room needs a prop stylist?
“The way you live and the way you present your home are two different things,” says Aimee Miller, founder of Designed to Move, a company offering “property enhancement” for the real estate market. She’ll stop at nothing. Miller once convinced a Fortune 500 CEO to ditch a beloved but rusty pinball machine in the middle of his living room; she purged a den of a Bobble Head collection.
Home stagers say these kinds of interventions — and appropriate replacements — make the difference between selling your home for top dollar and sending a
buyer running. The changes can be as simple as a new coat of paint, as subtle as luxury bath sheets in the linen closet and as elaborate as brand-new landscaping. However, the goal is always the same: Create the appearance of effortless and opulent domestic bliss.
“The popularity of shows on HGTV means that consumers know what they’re looking at,” says Miller, who is quick to distance her high-end home makeover company from decorator/housewife home staging. In sophisticated markets like L.A., stagers have to go beyond glass bowls with seashells and potted orchids on every flat surface.
However, like any good plastic surgery, staging should never be too obvious.
Says Miller, “When an agent has to ask, ‘Is this house staged?’, I know I’ve done a good job.”