How To Stage And Sell A $5.5M NYC Apartment Model Unit


Narrator: This model apartment
unit in New York City is listed for just under $5.5 million. It has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and is located in a prime location in Chelsea. Today, Cheryl Eisen and her
team are going to stage it and turn the blank canvas
into something completely new. Cheryl: This is exactly
what we’re looking for. Narrator: Cheryl is the
go-to luxury-apartment stager in New York. For this project, she’s
hoping to create a space with a Scandinavian look and feel. Cheryl: It’s a very minimalist,
light, airy design style. It uses raw natural materials, natural wood tones, monochromatic colors. Think Ikea, but way upscale. Narrator: Once she’s done,
she’s hoping the space will convince potential buyers to, well, buy. This apartment is one of
seven three-bedroom units and one duplex penthouse in
this new boutique development that was put on the market
at the end of October. But before a unit like this is ready to be put on the market, the
developers need an actual place they can show a buyer. That’s where a model unit comes in. Cheryl: So because this giant space hosts the dining room,
living room, and the kitchen, we have to delineate the
three spaces very clearly. So to achieve this, we do three things. One is we use a large area
rug to create the space that is the living room. So then we have the dining
table, which has its own space, and its chairs. And then thirdly, to
delineate the kitchen area, we have the stools. And now we’ve got three
different functions in one large room that create three separate spaces. Michael Kirchmann: Once
we have the furniture in, it actually gives the
buyers a very good sense of how the space feels with furniture, how the space flows with furniture. Narrator: That’s Michael Kirchmann. He’s the architect and
developer for this building and is the one who has enlisted
the help of Cheryl Eisen and the staging team at
Interior Marketing Group. To get a project like this
done in a timely manner, because time is money in this industry, there are a few key players: Alexandra Newman, the
art department manager, Wira Quesada, the textiles
and fabrication manager, and Marissa Eleccion, the project manager who will be overlooking the
design in progress on location. Cheryl: We want to create a Scandinavian sort of clean-lined style, and we’re gonna search the warehouse today for pieces that speak to that style. There’s somewhere in this section… These are a little too
colorful but very cool, sort of also Scandinavian. Definitely Scandinavian. This is the one I was thinking about. OK. So we’ve got the boucle
fabric, which we put on, and this chair is just so simple and clean and classically Scandinavian. I think Michael’s really
gonna love this one. So now dining tables. Follow me. What we’re looking for
is seating for eight. This is a three-bedroom apartment. You’d think, how many guests? How many kids? And you sort of get eight. But also eight actually is the max you can fit in this space. So we’re limited there. This is a 79-inch table. So now you need a base for this. So I saw once on the cover of a magazine when they paired a wood-top
table with a Saarinen base, which is usually a round marble tabletop. I think they’re gonna
look really neat together and just sort of make it
a little more authentic, less matchy-matchy, which
is always nice, right? It adds a little touch of “Who knew?” Now we’re going to art, and I’m really excited
to pick some pieces. Come on! All right, Alex, show me what
we’re doing for this space. Alex: All right, so come on over here. Our artists Pat and Corolla are working on what we call a diptych, which is gonna be a double-paneled piece. It’s gonna be 5 feet high by 10 feet long, which is just gonna
accentuate the massive wall that it’s gonna be living on. Cheryl: Marissa, I just wanted to find out what has been going on while we’ve been gone. Show me what the progress looks like. Marissa: Yeah, absolutely, let’s go. So first we are here in kind
of our main living space, and we have this beautiful dining area. We wanted to bring in this,
like, gorgeous, live-edge table with these really cool chairs that we, like, custom upholstered. So next we’re here in kind of, like, the main living-room space, and it was a bit challenging
’cause it’s kind of tight. Cheryl: Right, so the challenge is, like, this is such a small living room, and it’s right next to the dining room, which is right next to the kitchen. So to define the spaces individually, you use this big rug. Marissa: We created this
really cool custom media wall, and it’s making this
space feel very useful and just, like, very
welcoming to come sit here. Narrator: The furniture is moved in and reevaluated by Michael and
the team in the actual space. Sometimes, things don’t look as planned, and the team works quickly
to make the changes. Cheryl: Right, now tell me the bad news, because my idea about the Saarinen bases Michael didn’t love. Marissa: Didn’t love.
Cheryl: It was worth a try. Marissa: I mean, you know, sometimes we try something, and sometimes it’s great and successful.
Cheryl: So what are you gonna use instead? Marissa: We’re gonna do a nice
burnished-brass classic leg, which I think will just
show off the the table just as nicely. Cheryl: Next, bedding. I wanna stay in beiges and whites, and black is the only
sort of color in there. And I’m gonna choose a couple of pillows that I think are gonna
look nice on bedding and as accessorizing. So the reason I like to choose these very neutral,
calming tones and colors is because we don’t want to compete with what’s really selling the homes, which is the architecture and
the finishes and the windows and the views. We want to make sure that we honor that and speak to it gently, but we don’t want to compete with it. That’s the star of the show. Now we’re gonna head over to fabrication and check out some fabrics
we’re gonna use in the space. Follow me. Wira, what are we doing today for Michael? Wira: Here we’ve chosen to make
curtains for these two rooms out of these two fabrics. This one will be light and airy, and then this one will be nice and crisp, but they’ll both hang really nice and give us the achieved
look that we want. Cheryl: It’s nice to have,
like, a curtain like this ’cause the light comes through but you’re not necessarily looking at what’s outside the window if it’s not the greatest view in the world. Marissa: Here we are at
the final walkthrough. I just want to get some of your feedback and see what you think
about what we’ve done. Michael: I think the
original brief was to come up with a sort of a
Scandi-modern type of look. Lots of soft tones. I think what you’ve done is great. We have all the ochre colors,
the lights, the sofas. So I think, all in all, it’s
come together quite nicely. Marissa: Awesome, I’m so
glad you’re happy with it. We just walked through
the space with Michael, and now we’re gonna have Cheryl come by to add her finishing touches. Cheryl: I wanna start by putting this warm throw on the sofa. It adds some texture
and warmth and coziness. We added this great light fixture, which pulls in the black
color, which is very dramatic. So moving into the dining
room from the living room, we’ve got this gigantic wall. So again, what we did
was we chose this art, which is filling the wall, the scale’s super important, and we’re also bringing
you into the dining room by using these horizontal lines. Again, even the art speaks
to the Scandinavian style by the color palette, which
is very neutral and black. The dining room here, we
changed the table base and these legs look fantastic.
I think it was a good call. And I think this really, again,
speaks to the minimalist, Nordic Scandinavian style. So now we’re gonna come into the kitchen. And when you’re staging a kitchen, here’s the important thing to think about: You don’t want to compete with this beautiful
marble or the finishes. You just want to be very
subtle in the way you stage it. Use just simple little accents here, nothing that’s gonna distract the eye from the real selling points. OK, so here we are in the master. We’re just doing some finishing touches. I’m actually adding extra
pillows in this master bed just because when you layer a few layers it actually feels way more plush, way more inviting. All right, so now I’m gonna
go over here to the drapes, which are now installed. They look great. They’re adding light. The trick to draperies is to hang them as high as you possibly can and then have them just kiss the floor. It makes your eye go up, and it makes the ceilings look taller. So now here we are in the guest room, which is really
sophisticated and beautiful. This really speaks to the Nordic style, not only because of the
warm, deep tone here, which really adds drama, but also because of the natural woods, you know, sort of the neutral fabrics, the natural wood element here. But really my favorite
part of this whole room is the cool rug. It’s a really thick recycled woven rug. Got, like, depth and texture. Really is a wow statement
in a model apartment that you wouldn’t see in other places. So when staging in a new development also, it’s important to consider
dual functionality, or as much functionality
as you can in a small room. So even in a bedroom, we make
space for a desk and chair so you can imagine anything else than just sitting in a bed in a room. So when you’re designing
for a new development, it’s important to keep in
mind not to have the design be too personalized
and too taste-specific. This could possibly
alienate a large percentage of your buyer demographic, and that’s why, especially
for this branded unit, we stick to the minimalist,
neutralized Scandinavian style. So now I’m going into
the youth/guest room, and I’m taking a look. This looks so great. One of the best things
about this room I think now is the dual paint color. It just adds a little wow factor, and it’s a little unexpected, and it differentiates this
room from the other room. Narrator: So now that the
model unit is complete, hopefully it will strike a
chord with the right buyer.

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