Staging Problems Using Multiple Styles – Home Stating Tips with Melinda Potcher

Ugly Room

Some of the most shocking mls photos I ever saw were from a custom patio home in the NE Heights of ABQ. In this one home, there was a mix of Southwestern, Victorian and Tuscan that did not blend well at all. I was actually surprised that the top notch Realtor who had the listing had not addressed these issues with the homeowner prior to photographing it and taking it live on the market.

Picture if you will; a formal dining room. In the center of the room is a large, wood, rustic, southwestern, white/gray washed table with chairs. The table top is set with wine country/Italian décor items plates and glasses in a dark evergreen and merlot color palette. To the left of the table is a wall that is painted a lighter evergreen/forest green. On this wall a very ornate side table with a black glazed brass filigree base and heavy black marble top in a half moon shape. On top of this side table is a green/burgundy/white tapestry runner, on top of that is a very ornate faux floral arrangement, and above this is a gilded framed Thomas Kincaide print of a painting of a cottage and garden at nighttime. To the right of the dining table is another wall, and it is painted an intense southwestern coral and the wall is covered with southwestern décor accents like Kokopelli, a painted lizard, Santos and crosses, all very southwestern. In the far back right corner of the room is a large china hutch that matches nothing – it is glass and heavily varnished cherry wood and is filled with fine china. Above the dining table is what I would describe as a French country chandelier with little black lampshades on the lights.

After I got over my initial shock of this schizophrenically designed space, I actually chuckled and sent the Realtor a message; “Hey! What’s up? Did you actually see the house or the MLS photos? Why didn’t you call a design professional to help this person out? The conflicting styles are distracting and jarring – how are you going to sell this home quickly?”

As crazy as that sounds, I’m not saying that you can’t mix design styles well and make them speak to one another, harmonize, and blend into a cohesive design and style of its’ own. But it takes time and thought, and if you don’t have a design eye, you best find someone who can see your vision and make it work for you – whether that is a design consultant and staging specialist like myself, or home furnishings consultant, like Marie Kowalski at American Home, painting professional like Jennifer Schulteis Smith with Paintsmith, etc. If you don’t know how to execute your plan, get professional help who can.

Agave Blue Home

Example – in one of my other blog contributions we talk about custom paint and colors when staging your home for sale. In the builder’s model living room example I shared with you, their vision for the space was a blend of southwestern contemporary, mid century modern and traditional/contemporary styles.

You can see the results of this blending of styles in the photograph below; There’s actually not a lot of mid-century modern in the space, other than the triangle shaped glass coffee table in the center of the room above the faux cowhide rug. But do you get a sense that there are multiple styles working together in this space? The rug, the coffee table art and the rustic color block chest to the left of the fireplace are all very contemporary southwestern. The furniture upholstery is actually quite mid-century – it is a nubby multi-color tweedy fabric that was all the rage at the 2014 Las Vegas Winter Market for Interior Design. The print of the painting above the fireplace straddles a couple of different styles – it is actually a reproduction print of a painting by Georgia O’Keefe, a well known southwestern artist, but very unlike her more well known florals. The seating arrangement itself is actually a pretty traditional/contemporary design style.

The message I’m trying to convey is that you may certainly combine different styles of furnishings and accessories, when and even if you are trying to sell your home. However, if you receive less than stellar feedback from folks who view your home, consider consulting a professional who may be able to redirect your vision and execute it flawlessly by a simple interior re-design and re-arrangement of your things.

(Ugly Living Room photo provided by a blog maintained by Leif Swanson of Realty One in Phoenix

Contributer: Melinda Potcher, Design Consultant and Staging Specialist with MAP Consultants LLC. Check out more before and after staging photos on her Melinda Potcher Pinterest site or her MAP Consultants Facebook site.

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