Diana Gill is an acclaimed Los Angeles-based decorator. She is a New Yorker at heart with a penchant for international travel. Her style is best described in one word: luxury. When it comes to residential interiors, she is a self-proclaimed artist. Armed with only her trusty vision and knowledge of design, Diana has earned a place amongst L.A.’s “it” crowd. She agreed to speak to us about home staging.
1. Can you explain what home staging is all about and how it's different from what an interior designer does? Contrary to popular belief, home staging is not a new idea - it actually originated here in the West Coast during the 70's. Basically, the main point of home staging is to sell the house as quickly and for as much money as possible. Therefore, during the creative process, professional home stagers will carefully decorate the house with fresh décor and neutral colors that are not taste specific. The reason being is we want people with all different tastes and backgrounds to find the home visually appealing. The difference between staging and Interior Design is that staging involves de-personalizing a home so that the person can imagine themselves living in it. Interior Design is ALL about personalizing! Staging is more about accentuating the architecture and also making you feel so cozy you'll want to immediately buy and move in. Studies show that staged homes stay on the market 80% less than non-staged homes.
2. Before you take on a new project, what is the most important thing the homeowner and/or realtor needs to know? What is the most important thing you need to know from them? The first and most important thing the owner/realtor needs to know is that although the staging can have a hint of their style if desired, it is best to let the home stager choose the appropriate colors, plants and art needed to make the home look as professional as possible. The whole point of staging is to have the home exude peace, tranquility and a sprinkle of style. Think of those beautiful five-star hotels. When you enter, the entire design draws you in immediately, making you never want to leave. And we do it subconsciously, of course. You head over from the grand lobby, luxurious chandeliers lead you into the clean sleek bathroom, and it goes on and on. Every room that you enter is designed to keep you in that dream, to romance you and make you fall in love, like a love story. That's the power of design/staging. So, it is crucial to let the professionals do their job and try to not intervene with the staging process. To be competitive, your home needs to look better than all the other homes in that price range. And that's basically our job to deliver that standard of quality.
3. What hurdles are most common during home staging projects? Honestly, the entire process is so much fun for me that I rarely have any hurdles because I'm too busy having so much fun. But, don't get me wrong it is a lot of hard work, long hours, attention to detail, obsessing over the right piece until 4 o’clock in the morning. However, I don't mind it at all. Working with people who don't take design/staging seriously or value how hard you work for them would have to be the biggest hurdle.
4. What should homeowners or realtors expect the first time they contact a home staging professional? Don't be intimidated, come prepared, have professional photos of your home handy, ask questions, and make sure you are working with someone that you like. Very important.
5. Share a piece of advice you can give to homeowners who want the look of a staged home but prefer to do it themselves. It is not recommended to stage your home if you are not a trained professional. If done incorrectly, it can look tacky. It is always best to hire a professional; however, if you think you are up for the challenge, you can check out my blog post on "Quick Tips to Staging Your Home Like a Pro".
If you want to learn more about Diana Gill or her design work, see the links below to her website and social media pages.