Johnny Depp’s rustic-chic home might not be rustic-chic at all

Have you ever flipped through the photos of a celebrity house and I admired him for his flawless designOr how does it all seem together? Did the photos convince you that the famous actor had his own style?

Often times, the photos on the list have nothing to do with the celebrity’s personal style, but are rather a tasteful mirage crafted by a professional set designer.

The services of professional set designers or interior design experts who prepare homes for everything from open houses to ad photoshoots are becoming more and more common as the property increases in price.

Because the homes of the rich and famous often dominate Tens of millions, professional stagers are a prerequisite when it comes time for the house to be listed. Brian Ferrick, lead designer at staging company Meredith Baer Home, told Inman that agents and developers who specialize in upscale housing often have relationships with staging companies and professionals. When they get a head start, they will reach out and start making plans for a specific look.

A Tribeca Apartment Once Owned By Meryl Streep, Hosted By Meredith Baer Home | Photo credit: Meredith Baer Home

“They invite our team to take a look at the property and talk about what is needed – how big the property is, what it looks like, and what buyers they hope to attract,” said Ferrick. “Our salespeople come up with a proposal and then we bring in the designer and make a plan for what we’re going to take home.”

For homes in Los Angeles, the default layout is what Ferrick calls a “Californian casual” style of natural wood, white furniture, and accessories that are stylish but not too flashy. The design is meant to be aspirational and attractive. Ferrick said that if the landlord is famous, his personal style – a guitar on the wall, a movie star poster – can make a brief cameo, but it rarely has much influence on how the house is decorated for sales purposes. .

In other words, those neat images of domestic happiness are not emblematic of how, for example, Seth Rogan actually lives.

“We’re trying to update it and market it to a new owner because if someone lived in their home for 15 years, what they loved or appreciated 15 years ago might not be what’s in style right now,” Ferrick said, adding that Esta The company has a 200,000 square foot warehouse from which they extract all the furniture and decoration items they may need. “Even if it is very well done, it is often too specific. We try to neutralize that and make it a little more accessible to everyone. “

A Home Organized by Meredith Baer Home | Photo credit: Meredith Baer Home

In the case of Meryl Streep’s apartment, which was decorated by Meredith Baer’s set designers before selling for $ 15.8 million In 2020, that meant sleek, light-colored furniture to accentuate its most notable feature: a wraparound garden terrace offering 360-degree panoramic views of New York City.

A Los Angeles home that was once owned by Johnny Depp was also staged before being listed by Meredith Baer has a more restored, rustic-chic look: wood furniture, leather couches, pendant lamps, and eccentric pieces of art. and accessories.

Ashley Quinn, vice president of Creative Services at luxury design and real estate marketing firm Interior Marketing Group, also said a nod to the former occupant is preferable to a comprehensive look, as the goal is always to look ahead and create. a vision a new buyer can imagine living in. Billionaire home buyers are often unfazed by celebrity and prefer to see the features of the home, Quinn told Inman.

“The goal is always a high-end, attractive appearance, regardless of the occupant,” said Quinn. “We achieve this by working in neutral tones and adding texture and color through accessories and art. Sometimes we have a little fun with it. When designing Keith Richards’s house, for example, we created a rock and roll-style living room with a fun purple sofa and guitar-inspired art. “

Quinn said the typical staging process also involves meeting with a real estate agent to fully understand a potential buyer’s demographics and jot down details like the number of bedrooms, as well as any unique architectural and finishing details. After that, the creative process begins: Scene managers take measurements, choose paint and wallpaper, decide on floor finishes, and draw an overview of how they want the house to look.

A Tribeca Apartment Once Owned By Meryl Streep, Hosted By Meredith Baer Home | Photo credit: Sotheby’s International Realty

“Clean, modern low lines are our picks for stage furniture,” said Quinn. “There are some things that my little designer heart loves, but they just don’t work in the staging. A four-poster bed, for example, takes up too much visual space in a room and often takes away the views. “

Aspiration, or creating an image and atmosphere that is only a few notches above what the potential buyer currently has, is a key part of most real estate and staging is no exception: Ferrick said This often results in situations where the photos and the open house that comes out make the owner feel a hint of nostalgia or even doubt about the sale of the house.

“There are some people who, when given the opportunity to have someone reinterpret their home, suddenly wonder why they are moving,” Ferrick said.

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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