In April of 2007, I had the privilege of escorting the 2007 CSP Convention staging contest winner Kimberly Stowe, from Prince George, BC, to London, England. An expense-paid trip and attendance at Ann Maurice’s 2 Day Property Presentation Workshop was her prize. Obviously one of the things we did was tour the highlights of the city. We had afternoon tea at Harrods, shopped the fashionable districts, saw the Tower Bridge, Crown Jewels, Buckingham Palace, St. James Park, Nelson’s Column and many other wonderful things. It was a great time – whirlwind but memorable.
Everyone puts the Queen and Buckingham Palace together, but Windsor Castle is actually her official residence. This is the place where in 1992 fire broke out in the private chapel, causing major damage. The restoration work is amazing though – and as every cloud has a silver lining, thousands of artisans had to put their skills, knowledge and abilities to craft work they never even dreamed of having the opportunity to do.
Built by William the Conqueror as part of his defences around London, the 13-acre palace is the largest inhabitable castle in the world. As I wandered the halls and rooms of the 1000-year-old fortress observing how over its history it evolved to fit the needs and tastes of successive monarchs, I obviously found my mind pondering h ow it would need to feel to a potential buyer in the rare event it went up for sale.
Staging a castle is much the same as staging a house only on a much larger scale. One thing which really struck me while touring Windsor was t hat it really felt every inch a home – not a castle. It is grand but not opulent; it has family photos (all over of course), extravagant draperies, personal color choices; the rooms are large but the scale of furniture helped to make each place feel right – it just felt like someone else’s home. I have toured many places and castles in Europe and throughout England but it was the only place that ever resonated as a home. Approaching staging for sale would have to start with targeting the buyer who would most likely be able to purchase it and then assessing how that buyer would want to live in it. Staging property is much more of a science today than cleaning, clearing clutter and completing deferred maintenance.
So whether your home is your castle or actually is a castle it still needs to be staged for sale and working with a CSP will always ensure knowledge or leading trends to get the property sold faster and for the most equity.