Sunday, August 3, 2008

OCD and Me

Me as an Erupting Volcano

I feel a bit of a rant coming on. I just got the Circlepix from the house we did this week and I want to erupt. I think that photographers do not necessarily make good picture takers of home interiors. If they do not have a eye for details...whoops, you get something like this one. Go ahead and see for yourself here.

Some of you may what is wrong with this? Well, let me show you as a point of enlightenment about staging, not criticism. Click on the virtual tour entitled Living Room and Dining Room. Because of the rotation of the camera you get one nano second of these two room and a whole lot hallway, lots of empty walls, stairs, etc. The camera man needs to know the focal point of the room which, in this case is the sofa and art work and it is poorly lit. When you look at the slides of the living room the pillows are messed up and I know that is very OCD but can I just tell you it is all about the details, man!

You would never use upholstered furniture as a focal point if you were living in the house, but the staging focal point can be different. I always put lots of pillows on the sofas to bring in more drama and color to the room and to deter people that come for a look from getting too comfortable and flopping down on the furniture. The tactic does not always work, but it helps.

When you look at the room your eye sweeps it in one kind of circular motion. This makes Circlepix a great idea if it is done correctly. Anything that is wrong, design-wise, stops your eyes dead in their tracks~like the messed up pillows or squinting to see because of lighting issues. It interrupts the feeling trying to be created of harmony, flow, beauty. This is important when 90% of prospective buyers begin their search on the Internet! They may not know what is wrong but they will sense something is.

Next look at the Family Room ~Kitchen virtual tour. This one is pretty much OK, however, and this is a little bit of very picky but look at the pillows in this photo. All messed up and the stripes are going horizontally...wrong, they need to be vertical! Again, it stops your eye right there, your brain knows this is not right. It is math or some crazy thing; maybe geometry finally finding a practical application. Also it bugs me because this room is mostly mustard with the primary accents being orange/rust. The art work, however has a lot of blue which is why I put the blue vase on the mantel. Now to the three big pillows on the floor, one is blue for a bring in a touch more blue as a secondary accent color. It is buried in the Circlepix and not how we left it. Argggh, I hate revealing myself to you all in this manner but I am compelled to purge!

The way it should have been in the Circlepix.

Now look at the Master Bed and Bath on the virtual tour. The only furniture in this room is the bed and an armoire. This translates to ~ the bed has to be fabulous. I love the art work and wanted to work it all together ~so advised the homeowner to buy some neutral beige bedding which he did. The problem with the bedding is the fabrication, it is primarily cotton so lots and lots of wrinkles. This totally bugs me, OCD~OCD. So Emily, Maureen and I all worked and worked with Downy Wrinkle Releaser on getting lots of the wrinkles out so that it looked pretty good. Now it looks like someone slept on it, not under it?

I have these great feathery black pillows and they look fantastic with the art and bedding. They even flutter in the breeze of the overhead fan. Now this is exciting stuff for a decorator~actual movement in the design. I know we are a weird lot! Then I went to Elegant Clutter in Danville and I found the crowning jewel, this amazing black and white nubby throw (not at all cheap) which we strategically placed on the bed. Voila! A lovely, romantic, Parisian scene. We walk away feeling so on top of our game.

Reality sets in when the homeowner sleeps in/on it for a couple of nights and the Circlepix person is a guy. Neither of these guys cares in the slightest bit about the placement of feathery pillows or fabulous chic throws. I think they think the words "throw pillows" and "throws" are a call to action on their parts, for surely these have been literally thrown on the bed and it apparently looks just fine to them (the homeowner and the photgrapher respectively.) Then because of the lightening for the Circlepix the "throw" looks like a big black lab sitting there! Hello People!! Geeeesh! I can hear you sigh and say, " Enough already...Bon, just get over it."

Too much to hope for?

One thing I know for sure no one has even entered that bathroom as it is exactly how we left it! PTL!

What I have learned from all this:
  • If I put my name on something, I need to supervise what happens after I leave especially when Circlepix is coming in. I know that what we create is illusionary and that the house is in constant flux once a family comes home but, for that one moment in all eternity ~when the photos are shot, it has to be perfect. The other option is to not leave business cards at all.
  • I really prefer staging vacant houses but need to learn to live with the reality that many clients remain in the houses while they are on the market.
  • I will never relax my standards, but I have to know that when I walk away from the project, I have done my level best and after that it is out of my hands. Until my art is preserved in a museum like Michaelangelo's, David (surely I jest...) ~anything can happen. There are no security measures taken with Home Staging. While it is a big, fat, artsy deal to me~it isn't to most of the rest of the world so hopefully the perspective buyers don't see the flaws. Oddly enough, it may be a mute point anyway, as I heard they may have gotten an offer on the house last night in spite of it all. That would be a win /win for everyone as this is a fantastic house and with Cathy, agent extraordinaire, it won't last long.
  • As for me I need to stop worrying about what happens after I leave. In the final analysis, as Jim says, I've come and done what I was hired to do and the check spends just fine either way!
Whew! I am done now~thanks for allowing the cathartic experience!

Disclaimer: Please know that all of my carping is in no way reflective upon the wonderful family that lives here. They are the best and I hope this sale works out perfectly for them. This stuff is primarily about me and my OCD tenancies while engaging in my passion~home decorating and staging for sale! Well, and maybe just a wee bit about the professional photographer!

Staged Wednesday, Broker's Tour Thursday, Shown Thursday night, Circlepix Friday,
Multiple (4) offers Saturday and Sunday, went into contract Monday! Whew!


Lanette said...

I think it looks great bonnie - That's my untrained eye at work. I do think the throw is a mess. I can't believe someone is living there - it looks like a model home!

Gail Victoria said...

Whenever I use Circlepix I direct them as to what and how to shoot. You may want to do the same. They don't charge anything extra - and, that way you get the shots you want and not their "hurry up and get this done" shots. Maybe you should charge extra and be there for the shoots. Although most prospective buyers won't look at the staging with your eyes, I do understand how you feel when you look at something like a pillow set the wrong way - and it really bugs me too!

Ralphie said...

Dear Mount St. Helens - You're absolutely right. Compared to the still pictures in your earlier blog, BIG DIFFERENCE! Having said that, most of us with untrained eyes will love it because it still looks neat, tidy, and well decorated. By the way, what does PTL mean? ~~B

Bonnie said...

Barb, remember the TV show PTL it stands for Praise The Lord. Thanks to you and Lanette for saying it looks good in spite of it all. I did hear they got 4 more offers on it yesterday and 90 people through the open house so it is going well. Jim put a whole new bank of shelving in our warehouse on Saturday and I am hoping to get it organized before I have to go and pick up all the stuff. There are not enough hours in the day. Thank you for dinner last night~awesome as usual!

V and Co. said...

hey bonnie, it's the twilight series, you know about the vampires and all, i'm sure you've heard of them, they are young adult wich is what i like to read right now cause i can't handle anything heavy, so if you want to read them, the first one is twilight, second one is new moon, third one is eclipse, and the newest one is breaking dawn. you either hate them or love them! let me know what you decide to do!

Miss Jen said...

Sorry mom! I hate it when photos don't live up to the real thing. I think house pics are hard to get right and if they don' thave the 'eye'...there's no hope!