Orange Leather, Black Ceilings, Neon Lights—the Latest Design Trend Is Pushing Home Stagers to the Max

The once universal way of staging a home – reduced to harmless contemporary furniture in whites and neutrals and spaces devoid of color – has given way to bolder hues, vibrant prints and layered textures as maximalism grips the design industry.

According to Brittany Marom, founder of an eponymous interior design firm in New York that designs luxury apartments, maximalism is the current interior design darling. Elements include patterns, vibrant colors, various textures and layers.

“It’s about standing out and not being shy. You will experience this shocking moment,” Ms. Marom said.

“It’s a look with a strong personality that everyone is striving for today, even if it’s a small area in their home,” she added. “And it pushes the staging in the same direction.”

More: Integrating wine storage in or near the kitchen

Advertisement – Scroll to Continue.

But this is a shift of the standard playbook for decorating professionals whose core job is to make homes as attractive as possible.

Andrew Bowen, partner and principal of ASH Staging, a design firm specializing in staging high-end homes in New York City, the Hamptons and California, agreed. Historically, staging is a practice that subtracts personality in favor of a common denominator to appeal to the widest audience. “This leads to simple spaces with no character,” he said. “Lately, however, maximalism has also found its way into the upscale staging.”

It’s also a lot more work, Stagers said.

Staging a home to have a distinctive personality is a challenging process that takes more time and money than staging biscuits, Mr. Bowen said.

Read  Ex-parent of failed SVB goes bankrupt in move to protect assets, repay creditors

“We start by imagining the personalities that will inhabit the space and creating a style to match,” he said. “A vignette for one household will not necessarily work for another. We approach it as we would a traditional interior design job, where every detail is chosen for that specific environment.”

Case in point: Mr. Bowen recently staged a downtown Manhattan residence with a maximalist vibe, where the top half of the walls and ceiling were painted black in contrast to the soft gray of the lower walls. The bed featured a chrome frame, and the ceiling, upholstery, and accent chairs were thickly textured. For the study, Mr. Bowen chose all-black walls, neon light sculptures, a vintage bar cart, a vintage orange leather desk chair, and a white desk and curtains. “Each piece tells a story and we would never replicate the same look for another residence,” said Mr. Bowen.

Developers are also using maximalist styles to differentiate themselves from their competitors, Ms. Marom said.

“With rising material costs and long lead times, developers need a way to differentiate themselves,” she said. “Rather than building new developments that are for anyone or everyone, they are designing model homes that are loud and demographically specific.”

She recently staged two show apartments on a rental development, 1510 Gates, in the bohemian neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn, with designs inspired by the graffiti art found throughout the streets and on the building’s exterior. “I wanted the interiors to reflect the surroundings,” she said. “I went for green kitchen cabinets, graphic tiles, patterned rugs and jewel-toned upholstery.”

Read  Ukraine Latest: British Guard for Spied for Russia Jailed in UK

Maximalist staging is largely confined to the rarest sector of the housing market, said Blake Sutton, founder of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Sutton Staging.

“You can see that in the luxury sector. The more expensive the property, the more homeowners are willing to invest in selling it,” he said. “Maximalism requires four times as many accessories as your usual contemporary-themed home, and most sellers just aren’t willing to spend that much. They want mass appeal.”

More: Creative ways to create space in an open floor plan

Still, at least in the upscale market, custom staging like Ms. Marom’s can help attract buyers, according to some developers.

Kelly Geng, director of marketing for DMG Investments, a US developer with luxury buildings in New York, Milwaukee, Houston and elsewhere, said the company staged two maximalist-style apartments at its One condo in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. Located on the Hudson River, the building offers unobstructed views of Manhattan and has apartments for sale starting at $1 million.

To gain a competitive edge, the company hired interior designer Joe Human, founder of Designs by Human based in Sarasota, Florida, to redesign its model units with flair.

Mr. Human’s interpretation included a living room in one of the residences, which he furnished with large format wildlife-themed art, chrome-backed and leather armchairs, leopard-print cushions and a red-patterned rug.

More: Shaping the interior of a modern log home without losing the atmosphere

In the office of the three-bedroom model unit, Mr. Human said he created an atmospheric space with dark fabric upholstery, dark bookshelves, and dark-toned abstract artwork.

Read  Warrant, Quiet Riot, Helix among latest acts coming to Casino Rama

“I made the bookcases very specific to make them feel like someone’s real home but give them a slightly more over the top feel,” said Mr. Human.

Once potential buyers saw the maximalist units, sales in the building went three times faster, Ms. Geng said. “Now most of our 200 units are sold,” she said. “Joe’s homey style really speaks to people today and is so different from the way homes are typically staged.”

Jay Chen, an investment banker, was one such buyer who was won over by Mr. Human’s over-the-top interior design.

“I loved the show homes and thought they were really fun. They felt like a real home,” he said. “They excited me to live in the building and sealed the deal for me when I had to make the decision to purchase.”

More: Fabulous Farmhouse Sinks: Tips for incorporating those deep, wide sinks into kitchen design

Since moving in, Mr. Chen has aimed to emulate the attention-grabbing interiors by purchasing accent pieces and fabrics in similarly bright colors and eye-catching patterns.

“My apartment isn’t quite like the one Human designed, but that’s the whole point,” said Mr. Chen. “I took inspiration from his work and created a maximalism look all my own.”


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button