Schöner Wohnen - interview
Schöner Wohnen - interview
Last week in Schöner Wohnen, biggest interior magazine in Germany, Fantastic Frank was featured in an interview with Lea Kaufmann from our Berlin office. This is an English translation of the text.
THE APARTMENT BECOMES A STAGE (German text here.)
Cleaning up is not enough - it has to be home staging. That's the name of the trend of decorating properties in a neutral way yet making them appealing at the same time, all that to increase the sales price
Sometimes it takes imagination to see the potential of a home. Even the greatest imagination fails in dark, empty rooms, crowded corridors and the fug of the previous owners "sitting" in the ugly curtains. That is why so-called home staging is used more and more often: Homes and apartments are being prepared as attractive as possible before being offered on the market. The practice of using interior styling to promote sales has been common in the US since the 1970s. And in Germany, too, it is definitely not enough anymore to only put away the drying rack. It will be redecorated, stuff taken away, repainted, kitchen handles and even worktops exchanged and sometimes a design classic will be added, so that even an older ambience appears contemporary. If the apartment or house is empty anyway, it will be furnished: with just as many furniture pieces, lights and plants that every interested party will feel like finishing up the rooms themselves. In other words, it is about creating the largest possible projection areas for potential buyers. This requires a great dexterity. So no wonder it is a (new) area for professionals. Some stylists and brokers have nowadays even specialized in home staging and achieve up to 15 percent higher sales prices - and that with a comparatively low investment.
"We want to write a story for the house," explains Lea Kaufmann from Fantastic Frank, a Stockholm brokerage agency with offices in Berlin, Frankfurt and on Mallorca. The company is known for its particularly elaborated staging. It is not uncommon that the brokers together with stylists spend a whole day in the property to observe how the sun falls into the rooms and what atmosphere thus is created. At the same time, it is good if the houses and apartments are "instagramable". The agency is known for its images, with which the respective properties are presented in their own blog or on social media - and ideally, are liked and posted - as often as possible.
From this trend, a whole new business branch has been born. The Society for Home Staging and Redesign sees itself as a professional association and sets standards for professional education. On the homepage of the association (dghr-info.de) tips can be found if one is handy and wants to stage his/her own apartment (including the removal of family photos, bringing in as much light as possible - and mowing the lawn in the front yard).
Lea Kaufmann from Fantastic Frank, however, relies on experienced stylists who have a professional eye for furnishing - and above all - for living. The Berlin studio Salty Interiors, for example, has already styled numerous objects for her. Lea Kaufmann sees it more pragmatically: "One seldom addresses the masses. In the end, only one person can buy the property anyway - and that's exactly the one who needs to be found."