Archive for the ‘faux greenery’ Category

Going GREEN – The Natural Way and the Faux Way

March 11, 2010

I just read an HGTV article about going green the natural way… so to speak.  No, its not about using chemical free cleaners or HEPA filters, but rather the natural air cleaning qualities of house plants.  Yes, house plants.

I grew up with lots of house plants, and have always had plants wherever I lived.  I guess I inherited my green thumb from my father, who grew up on a self-sustaining farm and even now, in his early 80’s, is still an avid gardener.  And one of the first things you learn in science class about plants is that they absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen – a very compatible relationship with humans and animals, to say the least.  So it just always seems natural to me (pardon the pun) to have plants around the house.

house plant

What intrigued me the most about the article, though, are the psychological and intangible benefits that house plants seem to offer.  People report feeling less stressed, can work and solve problems better, feel more attentive and think clearly when plants are around – even images of plants seem to have the same effect.

So how does this apply to home staging and presenting houses for sale?

Well, I’m already predisposed to bringing a bit of the outside into the house.  I naturally incorporate this fondness for greenery in the houses that I stage, and not just with a beautiful floral arrangement here and there, or a fichus tree in the corner.  Plants and flowers often end up in kitchens and baths, but also on end and cocktail tables, and often on nightstands.  I’ve never know anybody who doesn’t like a plant (just like I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like a donut), so there is no hesitation to place a plant in a variety of locations throughout a house.  (The images below are of a HUGE master bath where I created a “magic garden” – my most elaborate use of greenery yet.)

Sawbridge Master Bath

Of course, when staging both vacants and occupieds, I use faux greenery– preferably silk (by the way, FAUX is NOT a 4-letter word!).  For home staging, silk greenery has obvious multiple advantages.  They can be arranged and rearranged to fit the location and placement, and best of all, they don’t need to be watered and won’t die. 

I’d be pretty foolish if I though that potential buyers viewing one of my staged homes didn’t know that the plants are faux.  But I do believe that the benefits of the presence of house plants mentioned in the article – feeling more attentive and thinking more clearly – could very well be a part of the decision making process of buying a house.  One of the goals of staging a house is to create an inviting atmosphere for buyers and to help them envision themselves living in the house.  In my opinion, house plants go a long way to help achieve that goal.

All the best,

Monica

Preferred Staging

703-851-2690

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Don’t Pack Away the Personality or the Charm!

March 11, 2010

I was on a consultation a couple of weeks ago for a Realtor who hires me for every house she lists. I really like this Realtor, and she always seems to have the nicest clients – mostly young families that are moving up to a larger house.  Such was the case with this consultation.

I met with the wife, who is currently a stay at home mom.  If I didn’t know any better, I would never have known that there were 2 boys under the age of 3 in the house.  The house itself was spotless and completely decluttered. (And the boys were very well behaved!)  She was a dream client.

What made it so easy to work with her was that she already understood the value of staging, and she and her husband had already made great strides in preparing the house for sale.  They had already packed away personal photos and sentimental items, and put into storage those items they didn’t immediately need as well as about half of the boys’ toys.  They had cleared out closets to make room to store what needed to remain at the house.  All repairs were made, walls were freshly painted, and little maintenance touch ups were planned for this weekend, including washing all the windows.  

The only problem was that when it came to decluttering, they went a bit too far.  Not much – just a bit – which is something I often see. In the zeal to declutter, and the fear or concern that various furnishings or wall art may be too style specific, or that people won’t like the current owners’ furnishings and style and therefore not like the house, sellers put away too much and the house is left lacking that special touch of personality and charm – the very elements that can help sell the house.

Of course we wanted to use what the seller already owned or could borrow from friends and family.  So some art work will be put back into the living room, which will really add charm to the space.  White candles will be replaced with gold ones for warmth, and a large faux plant will be added to a shelf to add some life and color.  Now, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – “faux” is NOT a 4-letter word!  And in this case, it’s the perfect solution for this mom, as she doesn’t have to worry about dirt on the floor or broken pots or ripped up leaves if her boys get to the plant. 

If you find you have clients in a similar scenario, where they need to declutter but aren’t sure what to keep and what to pack, a walk through consultation may be the solution.  A trained and experienced professional stager can provide the guiding hand needed to help keep the personality and charm in a house.

All the Best,

Monica

Preferred Staging

703-851-2690