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May 2016 Newsletter




One of the things I LOVE about my job is that I get to see and stage various styles of apartments in New York City, from ultra-modern glass walled apartments, to sprawling high ceiling industrial lofts, to more gracious and grand traditional Upper East Side apartments. And we never reproduce the same staging twice, even within each style.


This past month we staged an Upper East Side "Classic 7", a term used to define pre-war (that's WWII) apartments with 7 rooms: living room, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms and a maid's room.


This particular apartment went from "estate condition" (meaning that it was inherited recently but has not been updated or renovated in a very long time), to light, bright and updated.  


As the real estate agents who brought us in say in their Testimonial below, most people don't even know it's an estate apartment.


See the Before and After photos below showing our transformation.


Warm regards,


Donna M. Dazzo, President

Designed to Appeal 

P.S. Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend.  See our article below on how wearing red poppies came about.



In This Issue
Testimonial of the Month:
Featured Staging: Estate Condition Transformation
Market Overview: New York, NY
Tips and Tricks of the Trade: Tips for Staging Historic Homes!!
Did You Know...? The Significance of Wearing Red Poppies on Memorial Day
Market Overview: The East End
FREE Closet Organization, Open House & Moving Checklists
  Testimonial of the MonthTestimonial

" WOW! That one word truly says it all. The transformation from clutter-filled and worn-out estate to gorgeous and gracious grandeur was nothing short of miraculous. Donna and her team provided not only expert guidance on how to tackle a project that seemed monumental, but also executed it all flawlessly. Her costs are very reasonable; care was spent to ensure that every dollar spent was efficiently used to achieve the most impactful result possible. Prospective buyers have no idea it is even an estate. Brilliant staging and amazing result."

Lisa Larson                                                                            Claire Groome
Warburg Realty, New York, NY                  Warburg Realty, New York, NY

Estate Condition Transformation

As Lisa Larson and Claire Groom of Warburg Realty said in their testimonial above, the challenge of this apartment was to transform it from a dark, furniture and clutter filled estate-condition apartment to a bright, fresh and updated residence that Designed to Appeal felt would appeal to families due to its number of bedrooms and proximity to Upper East Side private schools.

The family cleared out the furniture and belongings, and Designed to Appeal chose a bright and neutral paint color to be used throughout the apartment.  

One of the two bathrooms was renovated and a former maid's room was restored back from a workroom.  The old linoleum floor in the kitchen was covered with new linoleum tiles. We selected two updated ceiling light fixtures to replace the old ones. Other than these small improvements, no other major work as done.

However, after bringing in rental furniture and our own decorative accessories, the apartment looked completely transformed and updated!

In order to highlight the value and purpose of the 35 foot long Gallery, we worked with an artist,  Max Makewell , to lend us his original artwork to display on the walls. Though his style is modern and abstract and the rental furniture we chose leaned toward the traditional in honor of the style of the apartment and the building, the gold and black colors in his art complemented the brass furnishings we chose. 

Gallery Before

Gallery After
Note:  original artwork provided courtesy of artist Max Makewell.

Dining Room Before 

Dining Room After

Living Room Before

Living Room After
Master Bedroom Before
Master Bedroom After

Children's Bedroom Before

Children's Bedroom After

Guest Bedroom Before

Guest Bedroom After

Kitchen Before 

Kitchen After
 Market Overview: 
      New York, NY

According to   Corcoran's April 2016 Report: 
" Overall sales were down year-over-year, with declines in both the condo and co-op markets. Compared with April 2015, there were more inventory listed in April 2016. Pricing was also down year-over-year across the market, with average sale price for condos and co-ops being down. Total inventory was up from April 2015, with condo listings making up the majority of that inventory. "
The following is a comparison of April 2016  vs. April 2015 :
Market Wide: 
  • The listed inventory of 6,6004 units was a 10% increase.
  • The median sale price of $1.719M was a 1% increase.
  • The average price per square foot of $1,809 was a 4% decrease.
  • The listed inventory was 3,420 units which was a 17% increase. 
  • The average days on the market of 99 was no change.
  • The median sale price of $821,000 was a 9% decrease.  
  • The average price per square foot of $1,112 was a 9% decrease.
  • The listed inventory was 2,773 units which was a 4% increase.
  • The average days on the market of 68 was a 14% decrease.
The Manhattan luxury market (priced at $4 million and above) was down 25% in the first 4 months of 2016 vs. the same period in 2015.  Read why  here
Tips and Tricks of the Trade: 
Putting a period home on the market requires a unique level of attention to detail. Here are some tips from Houzz contributor Kristi Barnett, on how to preserve its historic appeal.

                                 Choose Classic Wall Colors
" If you need to paint the walls, choose a color from a period-inspired palette. Use fresher, cleaner historic options, such as Benjamin Moore's Palladian BlueAdams Gold or Georgian Green."

Clear Out the Clutter
" Historic homeowners tend to be collectors and don't always tune in to the crowded look that can create over time. Clear away clutter and create symmetry in the furniture arrangements, and buyers won't miss your home's good bones and architectural gravitas."

  Emphasize the Architecture
" Put the focus on the architecture by toning down the patterns and ornate decor. Effective use of color keeps the attention on the fabulous architecture of this room: the coffered ceiling, the trim and the cabinetry. "

 Maintain a Functional Kitchen
" Even a charming period kitchen needs to appeal to 21st-century buyers. Make sure your kitchen provides plenty of storage and boasts up-to-date appliances. With period charm in the mix, old house lovers will be sold after viewing a kitchen like this one."

To read the entire article click  here!
Didyouknow    Did You Know.....? 
    The Significance of Wearing Red Poppies 
on Memorial Day
In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. This tradition spread to other countries. In  1948 the US Post Office honored Ms. Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.

To read more on the history of Memorial Day click  here!

    Market Overview: 
          The East End

The following is a comparison of April 2016  vs. April 2015 annualized, by town, according to Suffolk Research Inc.
East Hampton Town:
  • The median sales price of $1.1M was no change.
  • The number of sales of 726 was a 3.7% decrease.    
  • The dollar volume of sales of $1,778M was a 24% increase.
  Southampton Town:
  • The median sales price of $800,000 was a 13.97% decrease.
  • The number of sales of 1428 was an 11% decrease.
  • The dollar volume of sales of $2,295M was a 22% decrease.
Southold Town: 
  • The median sales price of $510,000 was a 0.2% increase.
  • The number of sales of 480 was a 5% increase. 
  • The dollar volume of sales of $324M was an 8% increase.
Jonathan Miller, well known real estate expert, says that his analysis shows high end sales (over $5 million) seem to occur in the 4th quarter in The Hamptons. Read more here.
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