We visited John Marrs back in October of 2007. These days, our fearless friend has his house on the market. You should buy it. But in the meantime, I asked John what it’s like to an be expert—someone who people actually pay to decorate their homes—but then be told to remove all signs of his personality and style from his place in order to entice potential buyers. Here’s the scoop:
“I recently put my house on the market, and it was suggested that I might need to declutter. Gad! Where does one begin? I’m a person who likes ‘stuff,’ so if one thing is nice…Well, 10 things are a lot nicer in my world. So I packed up stuff and hid things and sent more to storage. And feeling quite proud of myself, I invited my real estate agent over to take a look. Well—not that he wasn’t pleased—but I could tell by the look on his face that apparently I hadn’t packed enough.
‘More?’ I asked. ‘Sure, wouldn’t hurt,’ he replied. ‘And hide all the family photos and the glamour shots, too.’ Now that hurt. Seeing my unhappy face, he let me know that it wasn’t about the family’s looks. ‘We just need to let the buyer visualize himself living here—not you,’ he said.
So on top of stripping my house bare, I have to remove anything that is personal. But it seems like everything I have is very ‘personal’—at least to me. Out with my Parianware collection and my silhouettes. Bye bye to the mudment.
I think we all may be watching too many episodes of Designed to Sell. Heaven forbid anyone has a personality nowadays. Or maybe I’m just out of touch. I know the clean, uncluttered look is big. As a matter of fact, when clients ask me if I do contemporary, I reply, “Of course. I’ll just clear off every table of everything you like and put it in the closet, and we’ll have modern!’
Oh well, I must go. Have to get pack to packing!”