If you are thinking of selling, my tip of the day is: Stage it! Unless your home has been outfitted by a top designer already then this may not apply, but for the majority of people that is not the case. Besides de-personalizing a home so your buyer doesn’t get distracted, you will essentially need to create a lifestyle so they can’t wait to call it home and start living the dream. Sounds a bit LA LA Land I know, but it works!
Meridith Baer is iconic within the staging community. So why not go straight to the top to get some secrets worth sharing. Here’s an interview I conducted with her illustrious team. Enjoy! And the pictures are stunning! Eye candy for sure. Now you’ll get what I mean when I say “so they can start living the dream”.
Where does such impeccable style come from?
Great style is born locally and fluctuates between cities, often dictated by the people that inhabit them and their own cultures, demographics, and unique ways of life. This is evident in many areas of art and fashion, and especially so in interior design. Meridith Baer Home has both observed and influenced the home decorating style in multiple locales. As observers, the firm quickly adapted to stage any property to fit seamlessly with the aesthetic of its surrounding area, ensuring that buyers walking through will feel immediately at home in the community. As influencers, MBH has fused local styles with its own iconic brand, making sure that their signature look is ever-evolving in each individual market. With almost 20 years of experience as the premier staging company in the nation, one aspect of Meridith Baer Home’s staging expertise lies in knowing how to stage and therefore help market one’s home based on the design aesthetic and market demands of each locale.
I see from your portfolio that you work in various cities across the nation. What are your key cities and what types of design do you incorporate?
We are nationwide, most notably in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Orange County, Santa Barbara and Montecito, San Francisco and the Bay Area, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, the Hamptons, and Florida and in design aesthetics including Modern, Transitional, Mid-Century Modern, Eclectic and Minimal, Mediterranean, Traditional, and Coastal to name a few.
What about the Los Angeles market? What is the demographic and how do you taylor to them? The city is so large, I would think there would be various styles used depending on what neighborhood and type of home. Can you tell us about that?
Los Angeles is a metropolis known for its sprawl, and different areas of town have radically different cultures and aesthetics. In areas like Downtown LA, the Hollywood Hills, and West Hollywood, where the demographic may tend to be younger and very design-forward, residents want a minimal and curated look and feel. Minimal lends itself to a more modern aesthetic, with streamlined, sleek furniture and accessories made of exotic woods, metals, and glass. Minimalism also guides furniture placement and color schemes, with large open spaces desired throughout a home, and neutral whites, grays, and taupe providing a clean background for eye-catching pops of color.
Elsewhere in the city, more traditional style still reigns supreme. In Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood, and the Pacific Palisades home buyers may tend to have more mature and sophisticated tastes, and prefer traditional or transitional design. This means larger-scaled, more comfortable and elegant upholstered furniture with an emphasis on tasteful layering of pillows, throws, luxurious rugs, and artwork.
Outside of Los Angeles lies Palm Springs, a city widely-known for its iconic mid-century modern architecture. Meridith Baer Home’s usage of iconic mid-century pieces, such as the Eames lounge chair or the Saarinen table, accompanied by trademark bursts of color as is notable in classic mid-century design, ensures that the finished product reads authentic to the most discerning Palm Springs buyer and also adequately highlights the home’s unique architecture. Furthermore, Palm Springs home buyers also want to take advantage of the spectacular indoor/outdoor living opportunity that the desert offers, which means chic, modern patio furniture is a must in any staging installation. Meridith Baer Home has staged properties that are quintessential Palm Springs in Rancho Mirage, CA and in Palm Springs, CA proper which demonstrate the Palm Springs lifestyle.
Orange County, which sits just down the coast from Los Angeles, is all about glamour. Meridith Baer Home’s large scale upholstered furniture in shades of cream and white provides a fresh, clean background for the infusion of glamorous furnishings such as mirrored cabinets and metallic nightstands, luxe patterned pillows in deep colors, rich fabrics, faux fur throw blankets, and plenty of crystal and glass accessories. Artwork in Orange County tends to be more conservative, a different selection and aesthetic than the edgier pieces that might be featured in a home in the Hollywood Hills. Amidst the traditionalism, however, a small but growing number of modern homes are being developed in Orange County. One such home that exemplifies is Meridith Baer Home’s staging of a beautiful, modern property in Dana Point, CA. These modern properties require a deft touch, marrying traditional glamour with contemporary crispness.
I’m a native San Franciscan myself so I would imagine that the look would be different in Northern California from other parts of the country. What do you emphasize for this audience?
In Northern California the general trend lies between contemporary and transitional, with emphasis on curated, quality artwork and crisp, clean lines. Outdoor living and creating an seamless transition between the interior and exterior spaces is paramount, especially in areas like San Francisco, where additional square footage is at a premium. Similarly, Meridith Baer Home highlights the expansiveness of the outdoor areas in the larger estates in Silicon Valley, where buyers expect to be able to entertain indoors and out. While smaller scaled homes in the city need be furnished in a manner that exhibits multi-functionality, these larger properties need to cater to the buyer who wants it all, from the screening room to the in-home spa suite.
For the East Coast what are the design traits and is there a certain color palette you use?
On the East Coast, buyers in south Florida seek a more transitional look that is slowly but surely starting to trend toward the slightly more contemporary. Since the inception of the company’s branch in Florida six years ago, Meridith Baer Home’s comfortable yet refined aesthetic has helped lead the migration from the heavy traditionalism once favored by Florida residents and designers alike to the beautifully clean, light and bright aesthetic that draws buyers from all locales seeking to purchase their second or third home, or perhaps their dream home in which to enjoy retirement. Calming blue and seafoam tones echo those of Florida’s beaches, and tranquil artwork creates a serene environment which epitomizes south Florida living.
I would think that the Buyer for a New York property would be pretty distinguished and want a refuge from the hustle bustle of the city. How do you attract this audience so they’ll want to stay?
Like Los Angeles, New York is always design-forward and continually evolving. Meridith Baer Home’s staging in Manhattan incorporates the newest trends and pieces, sourced globally and hand-selected by Meridith and her team, mixed with upholstered pieces in muted colors and exceptional artwork. While minimalism is highly popular in the city, Meridith Baer home seeks to highlight each home’s unique features through the incorporation of well selected, memorable key pieces, which is paramount in a city of highly discerning buyers from around the globe.
How do you feel about your role in the whole real estate marketing experience?
When done beautifully, staging creates an emotional response within buyers that help them make the decision to purchase the home, which is so key to the marketing and sale of the home. Staging helps write a buyer’s story, perhaps before they’ve even begun to fully imagine it. Through their continuous adaptation to different styles in cities across the country and her never ending pursuit of collecting treasures from around the world, Meridith Baer and her team have the incredible ability to tailor a home to appeal to the exact person whom will someday call it their own.
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