Our Homes: Staged for Living

San Jose Eichler owner explores strategies for staging interiors in new CA-Modern ish
Fridays on the Homefront
The outdoor-in glass aesthetic, floor plan, and simple, clean, angular lines of an Eichler help to gently define spaces that flow one into another—an important ingredient for our new 'Staged for Living' story. In the above design by Klopf Architecture with Da Lusso Design, this Palo Alto Eichler takes that aesthetic to an even higher level, flowing from outside, to inside, to outside again. Photo: Mariko Reed (courtesy Klopf Architecture)
Fridays on the Homefront
Staging for living is personalized—like with this art-filled Los Altos Eichler living room of Tracy Gibbons. Photo: James Fanucchi
Fridays on the Homefront
New Spring '18 CA-Modern magazine.
Fridays on the Homefront
Writer and San Jose Eichler
owner Cathye Smithwick.

"All the world's a stage," opined the Bard, and he could just as well have been writing about our homes as his actual topic, our lives. While his statement is true because homes are where our lives unfold, they in fact can be another type of stage as well.

Undaunted, San Jose Eichler owner and writer Cathye Smithwick explores both types of home stage in the Spring '18 issue of CA-Modern magazine in her story titled 'Staged for Living.'

"Applying certain universal themes—along with some personal ingenuity of your own—can help you enhance your own spaces, whether it's for everyday living or for hosting social events," states Smithwick. Furthermore, she notes, "Staging a home for resale differs from staging a home for everyday living and special family events in several ways."

In fact, one might compare it to staging a play and a movie, also quite different endeavors. Your home is an ongoing stage, hosting the evolving theater of your life day after day before a select audience. When it comes time to sell, it becomes a no-expense-spared, blockbuster production, staged to make a positive, noteworthy first impression on potential customers.

Smithwick, in a recent interview, said she was inspired to write the story by wondering what the best staging ideas are for special occasion entertaining.

"That got me going on it," she explained. Once she contacted a few design experts, a secondary motive arose: to provide "a little peek behind the curtain of what these extremely knowledgeable people do for us" in staging homes for every occasion.

Smithwick talked to a variety of interior design and staging professionals, including a few Eichler owners and others who appreciate mid-century modern homes. Their advice about both strategies for superior staging is sometimes surprising.

"The first impression when you walk into an unfamiliar home is usually smell," interior designer Rachelle Padgett of Synthesis Interiors & Color tells Smithwick. She continued, "Opening up the house and letting in some good, fresh air before hosting guests is really important."

Furthermore, Smithwick notes, you may not be the best judge of said smell because of a condition called olfactory fatigue, which she defines as "the inability to distinguish a particular odor after prolonged exposure."

The story also includes the perspective of professionals who make a living helping people buy and sell Eichlers and 'likelers,' such as realtor Janelle Boyenga of the Cupertino-based Boyenga Team.

"Many of the Eichler buyers we work with in Silicon Valley are engineers who want simplicity in their private spaces," she tells Smithwick. "They are drawn to Eichlers because of their simple, clean lines and relaxing, Zen-like qualities."