Staged for Living - Page 2

Enhancing interior design aptitude to make your home look as special as it really is
Staged for Living
Staged for Living
Staging for living is much more personalized—like with the art-filled Los Altos Eichler living room of Tracy Gibbons (top) and the seemingly cluttered (but actually well organized) living room (above) of Eichler’s late design consultant, Matt Kahn.
Staged for Living
Closet and garage organizational systems, like the one featured here from Modern Mecca designer Claudia Desbiens, are a good way to put clutter out of sight and bring visitors’ eyes back to the architecture.

Getting started

When it comes to designing and decorating your modernist spaces, the basics include decluttering, cleaning, and letting in fresh air, paying special attention to the glass, since it's such a prominent feature of Eichler homes. Dealing with organizing, lighting, furniture (style and placement), and color are also important. After that, it's finishing touches—art, texture, and textiles.

Declutter, clean and freshen

Declutter, but personalize. Make sure your horizontal surfaces—tables, desks, and counters—are clear and clutter-free. Nobody likes to enter a home and see things piled on top of tables and kitchen counters. So get rid of those eyesores, either temporarily (boxed in the garage or storage unit) or consider donating useful items to someone who needs them.

Severine Secret suggests paying special attention to the living room. "Here, clutter makes the room feel messy. It makes it feel smaller," she says. "Your eye needs to flow and to dance around the room in order to feel good, but that's not possible if it's constantly having to stop at every pile [of clutter]."

Personalizing just means that this is your home and should reflect your personality, family memories, and preferences. So, unlike staging for sale, keep those family photos and children's art on display but consider organizing them on a wall rather than a tabletop.

We all know what cleaning means, and some of us may be fortunate enough to have a cleaning service on hand. Regardless, cleaning your glass (windows and doors) is especially important for making your home shine. Who wants to look at a garden through smudged fingerprints?

Paying attention to the floors, including removing trip hazards, is also important. So is basic dusting of furniture and getting rid of cobwebs.

Bring in fresh air. First impressions matter, whether it's a home or a job interview, and "the first impression when you walk into an unfamiliar home is usually smell," says interior designer Rachelle Padgett of Synthesis Interiors & Color, based in the East Bay. "Opening up the house and letting in some good, fresh air before hosting guests is really important."

Visitors to your home will notice scents you don't because of a principle called olfactory fatigue (or 'nose blindness'), the inability to distinguish a particular odor after prolonged exposure. Furthermore, many people are bothered by strong smells, especially chemical ones, so air out your house often, paying special attention when guests are expected.

Replacing tired plants with new ones can also add a clean, fresh ambiance to your interior.

Organize

"Everything in your home should have a home," Boyenga says of the placement of personal items inside the house. "And while part of Eichler's architectural beauty—clean, bright open living areas and unbroken lines—makes these homes so sought after, it can also create storage challenges." Closet and garage organizational systems, such as those offered by Valet Custom Cabinets & Closets, California Closets, and other companies, can provide additional solutions to this oft-encountered conundrum.