Reverse home staging
Home staging: what you do to make your home attractive to prospective buyers, when you're trying to sell it. You highlight the strengths and downplay the weaknesses. We went to Olivia's godfather's house over the weekend for a lunch and a swim in the pool. Paul and his wife live in a home that looks permanently staged. (I say this enviously.)
They live in a sumptuous home in Kahala with no kids and one cat. They are both working professionals. Their home looks like it could be in the pages of a magazine. Clarification: not Real Simple magazine's "before the home makeover my house was a total wreck" photo shoot. The Architectural Digest magazine with only nice looking houses.
When his wife invited us to their house, I asked, "Are you sure your house is child-proof?" Previous encounters have all been at our house.
"Oh, sure. It'll be fine. We have a cat," she responded, I think a little too trustingly.
"No, really. A cat is different from a three-year-old," I pressed. It turned out this is a small cat who hides in a basket in the closet. A cat is very different from a toddler.
"Naw. It'll be great. Plus, we have Paul." I'm not sure what that meant, but I accepted her answer. I bet Paul leaves his toys all over the floor, too.
The three of us poured into Paul's house on Sunday bearing snacks and swim wear. The first thing Olivia saw was the pool, and she gasped. "Mommy! They have a big AND a small pool!" she cried. The small pool was actually a hot tub, but her point of reference is a kiddie pool.
Predictably, she asked to go in immediately. I love to send her in the pool because it keeps her occupied and wears her out, so I was happy to oblige. I brought all her pool toys, too.
In the space of 30 minutes, the entire 25 meter pool deck was covered with a sprinkling of kiddie toys and accessories, not to mention the lanai and the floor inside the house. It was a little funny that we come, and within minutes, so easily destroy the carefully cultivated appearance.
We left a half a day later. The carnage was a little bit worse, since Olivia had briefly also spent time in the living room and the dining room. Claus and I looked around and laughed.
It looked like a really nice house when we walked in, and it looked completely lived-in by the time we were ready to leave. (We cleaned up after ourselves, naturally.)
I'm wondering if there could be a new, niche industry here? We could give you the opposite of traditional home staging: we could make your beautiful house look like someone really lives there, primarily with the help of one small toddler. If there's a market for this, I've surely got it cornered.
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