Saturday, July 05, 2008

All the world's a stage...upon which a tragedy or a comedy occurs.

(Our house is now officially a stage as well. See below for details.)

Yesterday I spent from 7 am until 11 pm racing around getting everything in the house absolutely PERFECT.
Why the big push?
Because I am sensitive.
Or maybe just touchy.
Probably both.

You see, when our realtor came over a few weeks ago to meet with us (she is the same realtor that we used when we bought the house) she said the house looked great, aside from the need to update the wall paper and a few other small thing; things that I was in total agreement about.

She also told me at that time that she is teaching a certification course for "Home Stagers", the name for those people who come into a house that is on the market and help the owner rearrange their items to make the house more appealing.

In case you are unfamiliar with the concept, Home Stagers redecorate homes that are about to go on the market with decorative items, rugs, bits of furniture, or arrange for new furniture to be leased.

This is a very helpful service for those who have furnishings that are the worse for wear due to raising children, or financial challenges, or simply lack of energy, talent or interest in make the interior decoration look the best possible. Even in the most lovely home, a fresh look at everything is useful to elimate that which the homeowner thinks is wonderful, but a buyer might find quite offputting.

When I heard about the class which was to be held last Wednesday, I was so excited. How fun it would be to go into people's homes and gussy up the place. Why, it would be just like play! It would be just like on those HGTV shows where a few touches and changes change a room from blah to FABULOUS! Oh wouldn't my course work in interior design be just the thing to put to use?

I could just see it all now: Me going into some interior decorating challenged soul's home and bippity-boppity-boo, I would turn a homey (or sloven) mess into a masterpiece.

The timing for taking the Home Stager certification course didn't quite fit into my schedule. The painters/polishers/buffers got behind schedule, and next thing I knew Bernie was informing me that our realtor would be over in two days, on Saturday, to sign the contract to put the house on the market.

I was fine with that.

The film crew would arrive three days later, on Tuesday, to take pictures of the house and film the "virtual tour" footage so anyone with Internets access could see 360 degree views of our rooms.

I was fine with that as well.

Then Bernie added one more detail.

Our realtor would be coming on Saturday, while I was at work, (where I am right now...) with her HOME STAGER!


Suddenly the shoe was on the other foot.

How dare anyone suggest that I needed a home stager! With that bit of news I was off to the races, spending every waking moment making every detail of my house perfect.
This effort on top of needing to dust every crevice of the house because of all the dust from the painters/polishers/buffers (dust which is still settling by the way...)

Now I have often heard the expression "Unsought advice is felt as criticism" or words to that effect.
Now I truly understand that phase.

Once in the past I won a consultation with an interior decorator, and found her suggestions for wall colors and rug placement to be most helpful.

It was sought advice that she offered.

To have it suddenly announced that advice was about to be given, asked for or not...let's just say that I had a totally different response.

I guess you could say when it came to decorating advice I was ready to dish it out, but I sure was not ready to take it.

Adding insult to injury: Two women would be coming into MY home, and advising MY husband on how MY house should appear.
If I could have been there, I might have enjoyed learning the "why" behind their suggestions. Now I just imagine them clucking to themselves about how much I sure did need their help!
I imagine them shaking their heads at my inept decorating skills.
Worse, I picture them simply pointing their flawless manicured fingers at furniture and things to be re-arranged from here to over there and my husband trotting swiftly to make their wish his command.
Believe me, B. may be an Very Superior 1930's husband (see previous post) but he is rather disinclined to leap up to move furniture or pictures at merely a snap of my finger.

I can't figure out the right word for how I feel, but it isn't a happy word.
Us women: Possessive of our homes and our husbands.

All the world's a stage all right.
I'm just surprised my feelings are so dramatic about this!

Update: I talked to B. from work to pry from him exactly what sort of changes have been made.

All our art work has now been lowered.
(Hum along with me the song "Short People")
Yup, the stagers were short.
Yup, I am annoyed.
I will be stopping by the Petite section of Macy's to vent my irritations with the world's overwhelming capitulating response to the vertically retarded...enough with babying the bitsy ones!

Is it possible that putting pictures at a child's level might make a tall buyer feel like the room is sinking???

Rant time: I personally hate art work that is at the placed at the level of my throat. If you want the cats to enjoy the art, then put it a little lower on the wall. If you have children or midgets your home, then put it low on the wall. If you want normal sized women (like me and Laura and Sara...) to enjoy the art work, put it a little higher.
If you want men to enjoy the art get my drift.

Surely it is easier for short people to stand on their tippy toes for a moment than it is for a tall person to squat down or bend to a crouching position to enjoy seeing the art!

Rant over, for now.

Our bedroom furniture has been re-arranged. I'll have to see how that looks. Oddly, I'm feeling pretty OK with that idea as I was never totally happy with the really oddly shaped room anyway; it is shaped like a rectangle with a bay window on one side at the end. Kind of like a backwards letter "P".
The bed faces the window, but the wall space for the bed make it center on where the bay window area begins. Awkward...

I didn't get a chance to arrange our kitchen open shelve area; it was cluttered and I knew it had to be cleared, but I just didn't quite get to it last night. I'm OK with them arranging that...whatever is fine.

Apparently our kitchen table is now set with some of their dishes. I'm not sure where we are now supposed to eat. Are we supposed to clear their dishes, reset with my own, then reset with theirs?

Bernie just called to ask me to bring dinner home, as he is afraid to cook now. I countered with going out for dinner. The house had better sell FAST, I'm pretty sure we can't just eat out three meals a day until the house sells.

The sun room, office, guest room and hat room passed with flying colors.

I get off work in about a half hour. Stay tuned for more news and REACTION after I see all these changes in person.

Who knows, maybe there will be even more rants/raves/tragedy/comedy... maybe I'll be up for a Golden Globe award before I'm done!


Lovella ♥ said...

Ah Jill, I so enjoyed your rant. . I can nearly hear you. OH boy .. how funny. I am like you, I also think I might enjoy the job of staging. . since I so enjoyed it for the travel brochure. I also welcome sound advice from anyone I consider to be better at decor than I. . .not from unsolicted help that is for sure.
I am so curious to know how low or high your pictures are now. I thought it was a set hight according to the hight of your walls. There must be some info on this . . .surely there must be. I know that I would certainly have mine hung far to low for you but then our walls are old school short. Oh well. . .please pretty please send me the link to the virtual tour. .

Islandsparrow said...

I've never heard of a home stager.

How did the bedroom turn out? Hope you liked it.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

I've always thought it would be fun to stage homes....but I've never had the tables turned on me like you did this time!

I love that you included me in your short list of "normal sized women" - I was cheering you on during your rant!