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.

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