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selling and flipping and living

Yesterday I watched several shows on selling homes. One was a new one on Bravo, called Flipping Out, and features a guy who buys and flips homes for a living. He invests a lot of money and effort into the changes he makes to these homes and he has staff. He's extremely detail-oriented - OCD, they say, but it isn't that really, just compulsive about the way things should be. Sodas should have all of their labels facing up in the fridge, f'rinstance. Plants need to be in their right places. Everything needs to be very very clean. How his employees put up with him is beyond me. Anyway, interesting show, mostly about the people, less about the houses.

The other one I watched was Sell This House, on A&E. The show records comments made during an open house of a house that isn't selling. Then the show's expert comes in to evaluate how to make the house more saleable. After they make the changes there is another open house, and of course the comments are much more positive. Usually the house sells quickly after that. What's good about it is that the expert rearranges items already there more often than buying or making new things. So the cost to turn it around is very low. And the show is good for offering ideas to the rest of us on what we can do to make the most of our living spaces.

One of the homes on yesterday's show was in Hawaii. A huge place with a pool and incredible views of the ocean. You'd think that's all you'd need. But you'd be wrong. What struck me is that although the place was clean and not particularly cluttered (there were some personal items and things left out that should have been put away, of course) the arrangement of the furniture did nothing for the space. Other homes were smaller but had things like tacky 70s bars in dining rooms and wood paneling that had never been put out of its misery.

I don't think of myself as any kind of designer. But I do have a sense of when things are okay and when they are not, what is comfortable and what is not. Perhaps this comes as  much from my fundamental laziness as anything else. I want my home spaces to be easy to use and to take advantage of any natural features, like views,without having to contort my body. I found it interesting that the home owners in these episodes actually appeared more clueless than I. It's possible, of course, that they were similar to me in that they sensed (some of them) something was off but couldn't quite put together a solution. I have that problem a lot.

I have gotten into looking at my new spaces critically and evaluating what is working,what isn't, what could change. I wonder if I will move beyond this stage and into just living here!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 29th, 2007 04:01 pm (UTC)
C'mon, don't you think you soaked up a lot from your dad? I'm sure that you have natural good taste.
Jul. 29th, 2007 04:11 pm (UTC)
It's true that I can usually see right off if something is "right" but I can't always put my finger on why. Similarly with what's off. I am starting to look at spaces more with meandering flow in mind, as suggested in Apartment Therapy. I suspect that this book, in fact, is going to help me a lot in understanding the whys.

My father usually was able to pinpoint rather accurately what was wrong and right. Perhaps more practice? AT the same time, it's interesting that in his own homes his view was more focused. He would see a small thing working and that was good. He wasn't all that interested in making the entire space look perfect - for him it was all about the function. It was also about interest, stimulation. He was surrounded by things that interested him. To others that may have seemed a wee bit cluttered. But he fed off it.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Judith Lautner
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