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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mixing it up

Update:  This was one of 4 units and was used as a model.  Before we staged it they had been on the market for 5 months empty.  We staged it and all units sold in a month!

One of the tenets of good staging is to bring cohesion between the spaces so that they flow. We usually do that by using consistent furniture styles and colors throughout. In a recent project, we stepped outside the box a bit to bridge 2 very different styles, make it interesting, yet blend them together.

This is a 1913 Craftsman condo conversion in NW Portland that had been bumped out in the back utilizing different architectural details and colors than in the original space. The front of the building has amazing, original dark wood mill work and wainscoting. Just luscious. Additionally, it features leaded glass windows, arts and crafts era tile, and original light switches for the vintage feel. The back of the unit, including the kitchen, nook area and master bedroom are largely new and are lighter and brighter. So our challenge was how to make them cohesive?

We chose to use the intrinsic colors and run them throughout: red (from the tile), blue (from the rear portion's walls) and green (because you always need some green!). Then we pulled black for contrast in the back and ivory to lighten in the front. Juxtaposed some contemporary lines to update and a great leather-and-caned Campaign chair for a vintage touch that also added texture.

The developers had identified an area behind the kitchen as an additional area by hanging a chandelier low - even though there is already a formal dining room. We thought that a 2 bedroom condo doesn't really need a second full eating area as much as it could use a casual tv area, so we asked the clients how they felt about raising the light fixture. They were great about it and saw the virtue of the idea. Here is what we did with it... We put a fun pub table on one corner for morning coffee and casual rattan chairs for conversation or watching tv. Now buyers have options!

And lastly, we put an updated vintage 4-poster bed in a satin black finish and a seating area by the window to seal the deal. In other spaces not shown here, we placed a cute red bench and pops of red in a china cabinet to continue that color scheme. There are splashes of blue from the back of the house to pillows, table settings and art in the front of the house. The green softens and freshens the dark wood and shows off it's richness. With a nod to vintage style but with today's current sensibilities, we stepped outside our staging box, had some fun, and love the results!

Hope you do, too! Remember: You can try mixing styles and colors as long as you keep some things consistent, such as colors that run throughout. Have fun with your decor and don't be afraid to try new things - even we have to be reminded to do that!

To see photos of other rooms not shown here or to view this property in person, please follow this link to the Dan Volkmer Team at Windermere Realty

Also want to give a HUGE shout-out to Jennifer Myers, J Myers & Associates, who pushed, nudged, and inspired us to stretch outside our borders. She's an immensely talented interior designer, herself, and experienced model home merchandiser. Thanks, Jennifer!!

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