Fantasy and Reality: Can They Connect?

Exteriortidewater Part of my business is helping people gussy their home up so that someone will want to buy it.  Fast.  Right now.  Today.  I love this part of my business because I can let my imagination run free... no annoying dream busters like whether or not a hide rug is practical with 3 children under the age of 5 in the house, or whether all white upholstery will work for the regular Sunday football nachos and wings fest.  I work for people who have already moved and taken all of their stuff with them.  They have emotionally separated from their house and could care less if I put a giant bird cage on the counter or paint the walls persimmon.... as long as it sells!   Yeah, I know what you are thinking.  It has to be neutral.  It has to be impersonal.  It has to look like a hotel room in order to sell.  Wrong.

People want an emotional connection.  They want to fall in love.  They want a dream of how life could be--bright, clean, happy, peaceful, romantic, fun, warm,  full of life, celebrations, good times.  An airbrushed version of life.   So that is what I try to give them in the houses that I remake for sale.  I often dream up an imaginary client and create a home for them, kind of as if I were designing a movie set with characters and a plot.  One time, I designed a model home for an imaginary cool bachelor in his fifties, who was an avid outdoorsman (I wanted him to be manly and exciting) but with very fine taste.  He liked fine wines, (and good interior design, of course!), was well-read and well-travelled and used the home as a second home.  He had a lady friend who happened to be an artist--a painter to be precise (she was prone to painting large scale abstracts in the middle of the night).  She used the bonus room above the detached garage as her studio when she was in residence.

Here is a photo of their living room:



And one of their dining area (this was their retreat and getaway so they would not be entertaining here):


I'm sure you are wondering if, shortly after the open house, a Maserati pulled up to the curb and out stepped a handsome, silver haired gentleman in a tweed sport coat and jeans  accompanied by a very attractive  woman more than a few years younger.   Squinting in the bright sunlight as they gazed up at the pleasing architecture, they knew this was it.  This was what they had been searching for--HOME!  Well, not exactly.  The home was purchased by a family of 4 from New Jersey.  But they did become my clients and friends.  And, shortly after I finished that model house, I met a handsome, silver-haired, sport coat and jeans wearing exciting man of refined taste who was well-travelled and well-read.  And also happened to be an artist. A painter to be precise.  I showed him the house and he became my client.  And then my husband.  Cue the closing credits...