Too Much Information?

One of the things that stands out in a Lifestylist® Designed model is lifestyle - the pictures in the frames, the artwork, the shoes by the back door... all of these staging items have been carefully chosen and placed for a reason. There is a constant debate  - especially when companies stage a resale home - if it's a good or bad idea to have evidence of the family that lives there and their lifestyles in the home.

We have done a lot of research on this topic, and when we have questioned actually buyers they say that they are drawn to homes that have personality and character as opposed to those that just look and feel like a furniture showroom. They WANT to know that the home is filled with great memories and that their family will have the opportunity to enjoy that great lifestyle as well. There is a difference between lifestyle and clutter - that is the role of the Lifestylist® or stager. A little secret - every time I finish a room or a model home I always force myself to go back and remove at least one item. It's so easy to get into the mindset that every table should have something on it, and every part of a countertop should be merchandised, but there are many times when less can me more.

The XTreme models that we just did for Champion Homes of Texas I think are a great example of showing lifestyle on a budget -the homes were promotional / entry level and we didn't want to make the potential buyer feel uncomfortable by over-shooting the decors and furniture by adding expensive elements this customer just could not afford and still be able to afford the home. The photos in the frame were of people enjoying things this buyer would enjoy - The State Fair, gardening, horse shows and NASCAR.

The next time you visit a model home, see if you can tell who would live there, or if it is just a showroom. Or, try staging two homes in an area - on merchandised showing lifestyle, and one just decorated. Let us know what your customers tell you and which one sells - we'll share the results here.

Champion Homes of Texas Debuts New Xtreme Model Homes

We just finished part two of the Extreme Model Home Challenge and I couldn't wait to share the results! Champion Homes of Texas is doing an incredible job bringing truly affordable homes to market that are full of amazing options. It's hard to believe that these are budget conscious homes - all of the extras add up to a lot of value.

We had three weeks to add the Lifestylist® Designed touch to these homes and it helps to have great companies that help us meet our deadlines. What was really important to us as far as the merchandising went was to use the right color and scale with the furniture and accessories to show people how they could live in these homes. Even the smaller home has room to do a dining set to seat 4, and the larger home featured a great room large enough to fit a huge leather sectional that will be perfect for football watching parties.

There were too many great ideas in these homes to put in one article, so we are going to do a few separate stories to share the different features. If you want to take a look at these homes in person you need to do it quickly - customers are already fighting over the merchandised smaller home so they probably won't be at the plant for long. For more information contact Marc

Shaw Living Debuts New Area Rug Introductions

Today is an absolutely perfect day The weather has cooled off to where I'm thinking about changing my home decor to suit the cooler temperatures. - it sounds like a lot of work, but a few changes can make all of the difference in how you enjoy your home. One of my favorite ways to warm things up is with area rugs.

One of my designers with Shaw Living just sent me a copy of their 2010 introductions and they are stunning! Whether you are looking for a bold, urban look or a more classic pattern they have something for you and the colors are right on trend.They also have rugs in their Ever-Touch yarns which feel amazing underfoot or make a great place to lay down and watch the football games.

With hard flooring surfaces becoming more popular every day, and area rug is a great way to add color and warmth. This is a model home for American Custom Builders that was Lifestylist® Designed, and you can see what a difference it made adding this Shaw area rug. It was a long, narrow space and the rug helped add color and define the space. In The Home Idea Factory I have summer rugs that are lighter and in more coastal textures, and in the fall I bring out my area rugs that are in deep, rich colors. Add a few new pillow covers and a throw on the sofa and I'm ready to go!