What It Takes To Stage A $14 Million NYC Apartment

What It Takes To Stage A $14 Million NYC Apartment

[Narrator] When you’re
trying to sell a place, you want to make potential
buyers feel at home. But when you’re selling
an apartment that’s, say, $14 million, that’s a 7,200-square-foot triplex penthouse with 3 1/2 bathrooms,
skylights, high ceilings, and over 1,500 square feet
of private outdoor space, well, that would sell
in an instant, right? Not necessarily. That’s where Cheryl Eisen comes in. She’s the go-to luxury-apartment stager in the New York area. She does more than help sell homes. She sells you on a dream life. The whole purpose of staging is to style and furnish a place for sale, to highlight its selling
points for potential buyers, and help them envision
themselves living in the space. Cheryl is the CEO of
Interior Marketing Group, a New York City-based company
that does interior design, staging, and marketing for luxury homes. Her past buyers and clients include Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West, Bethenny Frankel, and Swedish real-estate
broker Fredrik Eklund. The homes she stages? They start at $5 million and go as high as $230 million. The cost of the pieces for a staging is usually about 1% of the
listing price of the home. Today, we’re going to
follow Cheryl and her team as she stages a loft
that is expected to sell at around $14 million in Tribeca. But before we get to that, all the magic starts here, at this warehouse in Jersey City. Cheryl: This is where
all the magic happens. It’s 60,000 square feet of furniture, light fixtures, art, custom furnishings. Behind me here is the accessories section. And I’m gonna show you today how we tag and prepare for a staging and then we’re gonna go to the Duane Street Tribeca
loft that we’re doing. And you’ll see the whole thing
happen right in front of you. [Narrator] The aesthetic
we’re going for today: a modern, minimalistic look. After the preplanning, the most important part is
going into the warehouse and picking the exact pieces
she wants for the space. It all starts at the board. Cheryl: So here we are
at the projects board. These are the projects we’re
doing at any given time. A lot. This is the one I’m doing today, right here, with the blue tape. I’m gonna show you how we
tape for projects. Let’s go. [Narrator] Each staging starts off with a walkthrough with
the broker or the client to decide what areas are selling points they want to highlight. Cheryl: So I’m looking for
sofas for this project. It’s a really huge loft space, and I want the ceilings
to look super high, so I want something
that’s really low-profile. We’re doing, like, gray, neutral tones, so I feel like this sofa here, which is really cool and sculptural, is gonna be a good choice. I’ll pull it out, put some tape on it, and this will be part of our staging. This will be in the living room. Then upstairs, we’ve got a media room, and I want the sofa to
look a little different, so I feel like this one
could be really good. It’s modular, which means you can put it in any configuration. It
works in every apartment. I’m gonna put my blue tape on it, and it’s gonna come
with us to Duane Street. [Narrator] Staging with
Cheryl is not an easy task. All the homes she works on are staged from start to finish in only 12 days. That’s why her custom art, furniture, and upholstery teams are so important. She can get exactly what
she needs done quickly, all in-house. Cheryl: So I love this chair
for the dining chairs. The only thing is this
color’s a little too light so I’m gonna make it gray
in the upholstery room, and I’m gonna make these legs silver. So I’m here in the throw section. I wanna grab a really cool, textural throw for the living room. I’m gonna take these
two: a cool and a warm. So here I’m looking for
some cute, colorful pillows for the kids’ rooms, which I love doing. They’re so colorful. I’m gonna grab a couple
for the girls’ room and then one for the boys’ room. So for us especially, since I work typically in
neutral tones, tone on tone, I love to layer textures, and pillows and throws
are perfect for that. I can do, like, a gray velvet sofa, then I can do, like, a textured
pillow and a fur throw. And now I’ve got three sort of feelings in that space that really add warmth. I’ve got the sofas. I’ve
got the dining chairs. I’m gonna go to the dining-table section. Let’s go choose a dining table. So we need a huge table
to fit in this place, ’cause it’s huge. We’re gonna have to make
our own base, actually, because we don’t have
one that’s big enough. And I’m gonna top that base with this amazing piece of glass, and I think that’ll be perfect. So I’m looking for a round top, but I don’t see the exact one I want, and I’d love a black glass top. So I think I’m gonna have one made, send it over, and that’s
gonna be our coffee table. [Narrator] Cheryl’s staging strategy is to think about who
the demographic buyer is and choose furnishings and decor pieces to show them how they can
live in and use the space. Cheryl: So because we
focus in the luxury space, most of the places really are
sort of beautiful already. But they’re not selling
for whatever reason. You can’t imagine how someone
will live in the space. They can’t get a sense of where
you’d put your living room or, you know, how large it is
for how much large furniture, how many you can accommodate
for a dining space. So we tell that story. We think about who the
demographic buyer is. Is it a family? Is it a bachelor? How are they gonna live in that space? And then we tell that story
visually with the furnishings. And I do like a wooden
stump kind of a thing to put next to the bathtub and put some towels on it and some soaps, just so it’s, like, an organic moment. So these are all our side
tables, which I love. And this guy has been with
me for 25 years, this table. It’s amazing. We still
use it. Twenty-five years. So this is the lighting section, which is so important to staging because it really customizes the space. It adds ambient light, and it really makes a space
feel authentic and different. Lighting can change a room
[snaps fingers] like that. Now for this place, it’s gigantic, so we need two huge fixtures. So here we are back in
the accessories section. Now I’m gonna actually choose some pieces for this living room to add some color. And here we go. I think I want some blue and then a few things
that’ll sort of go with this. Now we’re gonna go over
to art and get some art. So here’s where custom art is made. And it’s amazing what they can do. Not only do they paint and do mixed media, but here’s some photography
prints that they print out on our giant printer, which
is amazing, onto canvas. And this girl, I love. And April, do you think
you can put pink on this to bring this, some color in this? And then we’ll frame
her and bring her over. All of these amazing
oversized pieces of art are so important to our
staging and our design, because it’s impossible to get,
like, a 12-foot piece of art in 12 days that’s gonna be
exactly what we’re looking for to fill our giant walls
and the spaces we design. And that really differentiates our design from other designers. You can always sort of tell an IMG place because the art is original,
gigantic, oversized art, and it really fills the scale of a wall, and it makes a place look bigger. So now we’re gonna leave art, and we’re gonna go to
the custom department, which does our upholstery. They create custom furnishings. And it’s amazing because
no one else does this. So if I want a coffee table
that’s shaped like a star, I do it in two days, because we’ve got every possible iteration of finishings, of wood. We make our own custom
drapes, custom pillows, custom headboards. I mean, it’s amazing what goes on here. So we didn’t love the color
of this really cool chair, so we’re refinishing it in gray like we’re gonna do to
our dining-table chairs. [Narrator] Once everything
is picked and tagged, the pieces are packed and
loaded for the move-in. Cheryl: Here we are at Duane Street. We’re on-site, and we’re
about to do this great room. So I’m gonna show you the design plan. So right over here, we’re gonna do the giant dining table, with the chairs all over. Here, we’re doing a giant rug. Cool comfy chair here, cool comfy chair here,
facing this fireplace. Here, we’re doing a huge sofa, another sofa facing it, and a cool triptych of
coffee tables in the center to bring it all together. We’re gonna move all the furniture in. All the rest of the rooms are done, and this is the last one to go, but you’re gonna see how it gets done. And then I’m gonna give
you the grand tour. All right, so here we
are for the grand reveal. All right, I’m gonna show you the things that we chose in the warehouse
that you might recognize. But here’s the gorgeous
finished grand space. I mean, it’s amazing. If you’ll notice, this sofa is the one we chose in the warehouse. The three coffee tables,
which anchor the whole design. And the coffee-table base
that’s mirrored right there is the one that the fabricators made. We added a couple of
pops of color, like blue, that you saw me choosing. And the rest we left really open and airy. And these chairs are the chairs that we made in the upholstery department. They used to be white with gold. And now they’re perfectly gray
and in the right color story. And now that you’ve seen the great room, I’m gonna show you the rest of the house. Come follow me. So here we are in the media room, right upstairs from the great room. It’s got some pops of color but you can really chill
out and relax in this room, and enjoy this gorgeous piece of art. Welcome to the master suite. It’s very soft and luxurious. It makes you wanna,
like, really jump in here and fall asleep. There’s some tips and
tricks we use in staging. It’s somewhat formulaic. To add light, you add lighting. You also add mirrors across from a window because then it’s twice as much light, twice as many windows, and it makes the place
look larger as well. To add height, you use
low-profile furnishings. It makes the ceilings look higher. You use floor-to-ceiling drapes, make the ceilings look higher. So here’s the pillow we picked
out for the girls’ room. I’m just gonna place it here,
casually, as a throw pillow on the floor to add a pop of color. So this is the final part of the story we’re telling for the buyers, where they would come and
relax in this library, have a glass of Champagne, and toast that we’re gonna
launch this apartment finally. [Narrator] So I bet at this point you’re left with one last question: What happens to all
the furniture and decor when the home is sold? Most of the time, they’re
sold fully furnished. And if they’re not, the pieces go back to the warehouse and get a new life at a different staging.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. i personally can't stand staged homes. I would prefer my money not go to house flippers and crazy monopolizing brokers, I'd rather buy from a family or actual owner that has lived in the house.

  2. That tables been with them for 25 years???? Hold up, how old is she? She looks like she's 40 max!

    Either way this whole business is so complex and well run, in in awe. She's a true business woman, she's created an empire ?

  3. Theres so many people that would be completely turned off by fur. maybe the ultra rich have a different morality and just dont care but you gotta think atleast a small persentage would be unhappy with the fur.

  4. $14 million but the kids have to share a room and get bunk beds lmao. The design is great, but the floor plan seems a little off. Imagine when the kids get older, then they'll have to move to a new $30 million place? I highly doubt a rich kid would want to share a room lol. I mean even if someone didn't have kids, those rooms are pretty small and would be a pretty small closet/office compared to the rest of the house.

  5. this is literally my dream job, and I’m good at it, would love to work here, but can’t afford college and don’t really want to ???

  6. i think paying 14 million and having to look at that creepy building in 0:21 is why this is so hard to sell.. looks like something from a horror or an insane asylum

  7. no kitchen tour??..and the other 2 bathrooms??..and all of that private outdoor space? it sounded impossible and amazing, to have that in NYC. ?

    a 13 minute video – but, alas! they couldn't be bothered with showing the rest of the property to us mere peasants…what a disappointment that we didn't at least get a peek..even if she wasn't doing much of anything to those spaces…

    feels like a dinner date where all we got was appetizers, some dessert but no main course. ?

  8. I can’t see it – I would much rather live in a new bldg with large windows, rather than an old building with renovated interior and small windows (not to mention all the other structural probs that come with old construction).

  9. If I would have the money, I would want to see the place empty without any furniture. I'm someone who would never change that! Well I can't afford an expensive flat, but when I look at flats, I want them empty, cause only then I see what I can do with it and what not! I don't like "professional" furnitured homes at all – I hate how they furniture etc. When I furniture my home, I want to have what I want and where I want it and not what someone else shows or tells! 90% what they do is plain uggly, 8 % sterile and 2 % it's partly okay…

  10. She spends money that is not hers in order to get you to to buy things you don't need.

    She is a whore but you only get to pay

  11. Paradoxically, you can get more exciting furniture from IKEA nowadays. I have only seen grey, black and grey again on the video! exceptionally boring and cheap somehow…

  12. Is it for the video or does she really go around looking for furniture and putting a blue tape on it? B/c that sounds unproductive. Why doesn't she have an online log of everything, sit in her office and arrange it in a virtual space and tag which furnitures work all online so that the people who arrange it physically just go pick up the things and take it to the apartment.

    She also doesn't have to go looking for a black mirror when online she can just search it to check if they have it or not.

  13. So she charges 1%, or 140k to stage this house. Who is paying the bill? The home buyer, or the agent? For example, was this place not selling at 14, so they hired a stager, or did they increase the price because they staged it. I'd be pissed giving up 140k in commission to a girl with that belt. The only way I could see that working is if they had like 10+ units and use the stager to toss them.

  14. My bedroom is the side of the 'girls' bedroom and I live in a $60,000 condo built in the 70s…. yet that place is 14 mil… how?

  15. I’m curious about the quality of the furniture. To be able to make it or reupholster it so fast and that fact that it’s not intended for the actual wear and tear of long term use makes me think they can’t possibly all be quality pieces. Right? It would be stupid to craft every piece as if it was going to be used for years, right?

  16. She is definitely a boss…she introduced no one but bossed them around. The workers looked terrified of her. Probably a nightmare to be around.

  17. I like the style and glamour she uses in her decor, however, New York spaces have too much ceiling height for me. Most of them expose spaces that could be used for the greater good, another room even another apartment.

  18. 1. Just based on the belt alone, I'm inclined not to trust her with designing my home.

    2. "How thick do you want this belt?"

    3. I came for furniture and got way more than I bargained for. I recommend blurring the buckle to increase my fellow viewers' attention to the subject at hand.

  19. wie oft wollen die den Teppich noch ausrollen und den Spiegel aufhängen? (3:33 – dasselbe Appartement – dasselbe Material!!)

  20. If you're watching this and feeling bad about your life… it's okay. You do deserve a home and career like this – and if life doesn't end up working out for you, that's okay and says nothing about your worth. Remember that most people that are out in this world creating, changing and saving lives (from teachers and soldiers to nurses and security staff) will never live like this either, but without them, the people buying and selling houses like this would probably not be alive today. Where you end up on society's scale says nothing about your worth! You can work hard all your life and never get to a place like this, but achieving peace and happiness is something money will never buy anyone.

  21. When selling our place in NYC we got a quote to stage, it was VERY expensive. Our place is 3000sf and they wanted $60k and then $9k a month rent we just ended up redecorating the place for around the same price and actually own the furniture.

  22. Wow, that is like being a kid in a candy store, all that furniture and decor at your disposal… but at the same time so overwhelming doing such a huge place, & filling it with giant pieces, and yet she doesnt even break a sweat !

  23. Even though this is a HELL of a lot of work, this really seems like a hella fun job! I already love interior decorating/interior design myself, so this would be an amazing everyday challenge. Kudos to this woman for getting to live, and experience such an amazing career! Great motivation!

  24. Staged means they don't live there, they just have celebs come into an apartment they cant afford and pretend its theirs. Awesome.

  25. I literally HATE her taste, and I love gray-scale and monochromatics. That's a media room? With a 65" tv? Are you kidding? What a waste downstairs. And you cover those floor outlets without using them? The chain. Wow. A plastic chain. I could do all this on Amazon, have it delivered and placed for me by delivery options and still do a way better job of color use, style, and unique aesthetic. Pathetic. truly. Her belt buckle really says it all. Just imagine, someone with money comes in, looks around, buys the place, then trashes just about everything she's done. What a waste. Meanwhile, back at the criminal enterprise, they snort coke off the 1.5 million dollars they just pocketed.

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