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January 2020


A belated Happy New Year!  Here we are in 2020, the beginning of a new decade.  I started this business over 10 years ago and have seen a lot of changes over these years.  My first full year of business was in 2008 and we all know what happened by the end of 2008.  Home staging and real estate tanked.  However it slowly built up, and the past few years have seen some ups and downs in terms of pricing in the Manhattan NYC market, especially at the higher end, as developers felt confident to build once they saw some hope after the end of the financial crisis of 2008, but now we are oversaturated.

The good and bad news for us is that the number of home staging companies or interior design companies doing home staging has increased 10 fold since then, so more competition for us, but certainly speaks to how the importance of home staging has increased as well. There are many real estate agents out there who wouldn't put a listing on the market without staging, whether the space is homeowner-occupied or vacant.  And homeowners as well know the value of putting their best foot forward when presenting their home to potential buyers.

Here's to a good 2020 for all of us - health, wealth, success and happiness!

Warm Regards, 

Do nna M. Dazzo, President
Designed To Appeal
In This Issue
Testimonial of the Month
Featured Staging: 35 Sutton Place Penthouse $1.95M 1 Bed / 2.5 Bath
Market Overview: New York, NY
Tips and Tricks of the Trade: Decorating 101: How to Start a Decorating Project by Fred Albert, Houzz Contributor
Did You Know.....? Ways to Get More Natural Light to Dark Rooms By Decorated Life
FREE Closet Organization, Open House & Moving Checklists

"I knew when I first visited the apartment that it needed to be spruced up and staged, and I knew just whom to call.  I knew Donna would enhance the apartment with just the right look and amount of furniture.  Donna has staged a number of my listings, and she has always made them look appealing to potential buyers.  Her choice in paint colors is spot on.  She accomplished an amazing transformation of this apartment.  I will definitely call on Designed to Appeal for my next listing that requires staging."

Wendy GreenbaumA ssociate Brokers 
New York, NY
Perched high above the East River with huge terraces
$1.95M 1 Bed / 2.5 Bath 

This apartment is still on the market, so out of courtesy to the sellers, we are not showing any of the "before" photos , except after painting and improvements.  However, we can tell you that the apartment was overwhelmed with a collection of dark and mismatched furniture and artwork accumulated over the years by the elderly homeowners.  

While it had sweeping views of the East River, the buyer would have immediately been hit and distracted by the unattractive decor.  So we brought in our contractors and our home staging team and did the following:

  • Painted the entire apartment a neutral light gray color
  • Painted the red-walled elevator landing a neutral color and brought in some updated furniture and artwork as well (this was the buyer's first impression getting out of the elevator)
  • Replaced outdated light fixtures
  • Ripped up the carpet in the master bedroom and replaced it with an attractive but inexpensive carpet from a big box store
  • Brought in a landscaper to plant pots with year round greenery supplemented with season changes of flowers
  • Made some minor repairs as necessary
  • Staged the apartment and terraces with updated and sophisticated furniture, artwork, and decorative objects

Living Room Before Staging

Living Room After Staging

Bedroom Before Staging

Bedroom After Staging 

Bedroom Before Staging

   Bedroom After Staging

Terrace Before Staging

Terrace After Staging

Kitchen Before Staging

Kitchen After Staging

Description of the apartment from the listing:

This potential two bedroom apartment has an enormous living room/ dining room with breathtaking views and 10 foot ceilings, a luxurious master suite with huge bathroom, an eat-in kitchen, powder room and an outside staff room with full bathroom. The entire apartment is flooded with natural light. The wide wrap terrace is accessible from the living room and master bedroom and is perfect for dining al fresco. The double-sized master bedroom has huge closets, a sitting area and a solarium. 
To view the entire report from Corcoran click  here.

NYC home prices nearly doubled in the 2010s. What do the 2020s hold? 
Decorating 101: How to Start a Decorating Project 
by  Fred Albert, Houzz  Contributor

Congratulations. You've decided to decorate your home. Now what?

Whether you're furnishing your first place or redoing the house you've owned for decades, decorating can be a challenging task, filled with costly decisions whose outcomes could haunt you for years. How do you figure out what style is right for you? Should you tackle the job yourself or hire a pro? How much should you spend? And what steps can you take to ensure you'll be happy with the results?  But before you do any of that, look around you.

Take a Critical Look at Your Current Home
What do you like about it? What do you dislike? Are your feelings prompted by the aesthetics of the decor? The comfort? The fabrics? The colors?

Learn from that. Repeat the things you like, and don't repeat the things you don't like just because they're familiar to you.

Write Your List for Santa
Create a wish list - your Santa Claus list. Write down everything you would like to do if money were no object. Then figure out which things you can  do, which things you can't  do, which things have to be done now and which things can wait.

Collect Photos 
Start collecting pictures of rooms you like. Even if you're going to hire an interior designer, this will help him or her get a sense of your taste.

Don't try to do this in one sitting - give yourself a few weeks or months to compile your photos, as your tastes might evolve during the course of the exercise. Something that appealed to you on Day 1 might seem trite by Day 23.

Get Your Better Half Involved
For many couples there's often one person who's more interested in decorating than the other. The other person might say, "Do whatever you want."

Do not do whatever you want.  Because as soon as you start buying things, Mr. or Ms. No Opinion will suddenly have an opinion. So make him or her spend some time with you at the very beginning just looking at pictures of interiors. "Spend an hour or two on the computer and look at some things together and talk about them.  As you review each room, ask your partner, "What do you like about it? What don't you like about it?"

Alternatively, you can each collect images independently, then sit down and compare what you've chosen. This way your initial selections won't be swayed by the other person. As you review your selections together, your differences and similarities will immediately become apparent.

"I Don't Know What I Like"
Many people find it difficult to articulate what they want. Don't let that bother you. Those photos you've collected can convey that information for you. Look at the characteristics that pop up again and again: the style of furnishings, the color palettes, the patterns, the materials, the quantity of furniture in each room. Let those characteristics guide you.

Take Another Look Around
Now that you've started to zero in on the look you want your interior to have, make a list of all your significant pieces and figure out which items should stay and which should go.

Designed to Appeal can help you not only figure out what should stay and what should go, but can help you source the right pieces to create the look you love.  Contact us for an interior decorating consultation. 

To read more on, How to Start a Decorating Project, click here.
Didyouknow    Did You Know.....? 
Ways to Get More Natural Light to Dark Rooms

"Buyers like light and bright!  Though artificial light through overhead lighting and lamps can help, abundant natural light is what buyers treasure most.Here are some ways that you can increase the natural light in your home, whether you are selling or not."
- Donna M. Dazzo
Designed to Appeal

The amount of natural light in your rooms can really affect your mood. Those blessed rays, filled with sunlight and vitamin D make you feel positive.  It's natural that bright rooms make us feel happier, more alive and vibrant.

Getting more light into dark rooms is important; making the most of that natural light is vital. Did you know that you can double, even triple the amount of light in your room?

Often natural light is trapped by the door or window; use these decorating ideas to make the most of your light. Move it away from the edges and into the room.

Decorate Using a Mirror Effect

The entry and hallway above has used light painted walls, large windows and a large entry mirror to reflect and magnify every piece of available light.

Large wall mirrors are a perfect decorating touch; and there are so many styles to choose: antique mirror, beveled mirror, sunburst or Venetian mirrors. Wall sconces with mirrors magnify light, day or night.

Window Treatments

Thick window treatments and curtains often absorb precious natural light. Removing heavy or dark curtains will instantly add light into your dark rooms. Light colors and light weight fabrics both help to preserve natural light.

If you need curtains for privacy, use sheer, light fabrics. Darker colored fabrics absorb light. If you prefer a flush, minimalist look, shutters could be the answer. They control the amount of natural light into your room and protect your privacy. 

Be Transparent

Using glass in your doors is a great way to get more natural light further into your home. You can use frosted or tinted glass for privacy.   Where possible, use glass doors to keep light flowing through hallways, entry or stairwell into rooms. In some cases, skylights are the only option that will really help but they are costly.

Paint Colors for Dark Rooms

Paint ideas for dark rooms include neutral colors; like mushroom, gray  and white walls to improve light in dark rooms.  Lighter paint colors will make your room feel lighter. Even so, many colors, no matter how light, absorb light. Select a light color that reflects, not absorbs, light.

To read more on Ways to Get More Natural Light to Dark Rooms, click  here!
Market Overview: The East End

The following is a comparison of Fourth Quarter 2019 vs. Fourth Quarter 2018, according to Town and Country Real Estate's Quarterly report for The Hamptons and North Fork.
Click  here  to read the full reports.  
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HomeStagingConsultationHome Staging
(occupied homes) 
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