So, we had the Home Stager through our house tonight. She was a lovely lady, but unfortunately I think we disappointed her.
A Home Stager’s job is to “stage” your home – one’s home is a performer that needs to give its all in the lead up to sale, so they’re kind of like a coach for your house. They discuss furniture placement, dressing (of the house), and the creation of the correct “lifestyle story”. Anything that suggests “work” should be avoided, so you need to create the illusion of an utterly beautiful, yet practical and effortless home. Teacups and hardback books strewn effortlessly (and very carefully) throughout the home tell the story of drinking tea and reading. That’s good. Rubbish and recycling bins in view at the front of the home suggest rubbish and recycling. That’s bad.
I always knew that our problem was over-furnishing. We came from a much larger house and just crammed everything into the space we had. The front room became a study, a sitting room , an entry hall , a music room and a cat lounging area. The family room room became a TV room, a dining room, a reading room..and a cat lounging area. The bedroom became a bedroom…and a cat lounging area.
Basically, the message that came from the home stager was “reduce”. “Reduce”, I must add, is very different to “de-clutter”. Apparently de-cluttering can lead to the “soul” of the home being lost, and no-one in their right mind would want that. We have all the “right” kinds of clutter: crystal and glass is “all shimmery and gorgeous” and that’s good because it reflects the light and makes people happy. Groups of three are also a positive, and unfortunately – for our home stager – groups of three abound in our home. Three Wedgwood Jasper Conran crystal vessels. Three Jeanne MacDougall Tupton-Ware vases, three Kate Spade ornaments, three art deco vases. I threw open our wardrobes and said “What about this?” and she sighed, “Normally I say: make sure all your hangers are the same, that you have grouped like with like, that everything’s facing in the same direction – and that’s exactly what I see here! I don’t need to do anything!”. In the kitchen it was the same story: “The fruit in your fruit bowl is colour-coordinated!” She tried to hold back a tear.
I attempted to reassure her as I led her to the door: “Don’t worry,” I said, “Maybe this is your first gay house. I’ll remember what you said about moving the dining table one foot to the right – it will make all the difference. Thank you.”
As she left I greeted a lady in a Scout uniform from the Scout Hall who was loading up her car with the refuge we had put on our verge for the council’s hard rubbish collection tomorrow – old canvasses, a laundry trolley, an art deco coffee table that we never got around to restoring, two electric fans… “Great stuff!” she exclaimed as she stuffed our rubbish into her car…
We’re just glad it will find a new home. I hope it will tell the correct “lifestyle story”…