Have you been watching HGTV's hit show Design Star? Did you know that there is a home stager this year? Cathy Hobbs, a world traveller and home stager in NY did very well during the first challenge when presented with a living room and furniture showroom to choose items from. The white box challenge presented completely different obstacles.
***** This will discuss last night's show, so if you didn't see it, don't read below this point *******
Earlier this year I was sent a personal invitation to try out for Design Star. I thought about it briefly but in the end realized that I'm a home stager, not a designer. Now I know that some home stagers are designers so I don't want to say that this is true of all home stagers. For me, this was a pretty easy decision. My family, including extended family, thought I was crazy. For me, the bottom line is that I wouldn't want to play unless I was playing to win. Winning would be terrible though because the last thing I want is my own TV show.
When the show came on last night and the white box challenge was revealed, the first thing that I said was, "And this is exactly why I didn't want to try out." The thought of going to a home improvement store and creating a purely aesthetic room, no functionality needed, horrifies me.
Cathy, while she rocked her on-air performance was told she was too controlled. The judges stated her room was traditional. Vern Yip during the elimination told Cathy that Staging was the antithesis of this challenge and that she needed to let go of that control and bring out the creativity.
To me, it is often this control that makes us really good stagers. We are here to provide control in an orderly way that appeals to a large group of people (within the demographics of the likely buyer).
While we are often required to "think outside the box" and be creative, the wild side of the winning room is not typically part of our job description.
Few home stagers have taken on a challenge like the white box challenge. We've yet to see one on HGTV do it justice. Oh sure, we've had our share of vanilla box homes that we've had to stylize into perfection. But how often do we really do the unexpected?
The winning Design Star contestant really understood the conceptualism that the challenge expected. It was less about making an inviting living space and more about making something INTERESTING.
As a home stager, if we saw a room like this in a home we would likely tell them to paint it and change things up so they were more.... well, boring - but conventional.
I'm anxious to watch and see if Cathy can let her hair down. I really hope she can. I think it would be a very powerful statement for our industry and a personal victory for her. On a personal level, however I feel that she, like most of us is so used to working within the bound of "safe" that this is going to be more of a challenge to her than many of the other designers. In this case, it's not about good or bad design. It is about letting go and finding your inner style. Control, one of the factors that makes us so good at what we do in our business is going to be her hardest obstacle to overcome.
Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging
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For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit StageListSellNEFL.com or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at gmail.com), Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).