Wednesday, July 2, 2014

First Taste: Real Estate Staging in NYC

In sync: (left) Familiar with Cheryl Eisen's color preferences, I chose my work clothes accordingly. (right) Loved that my teal pedi coordinated with Robin Mayer's accent color.
As the consummate mixer of business and pleasure, I planned a few extraordinary work days during my 18-day "vacation" up north. Three of those days were spent navigating the fascinating world of New York real estate staging. After spending so much time on my butt writing in front of a computer, it was great to be haul furniture, make artful compositions, and get back on set.

Fresh flowers for IMGNYC's freshly staged 502 Park Avenue, Penthouse 24.
I worked in condos on the Upper West Side, the U.N. Plaza, and ritzy Park Ave, priced from just about a mill to many, many times over.  Though this extremely part-time gig was by no means real immersion into the rigorous and demanding industry, I did experience a true taste and some typical nuances of the job such as dodging surly superintendents, tipping doormen, bending parking rules, contorting to fit into tiny elevators, and carrying over-sized furniture up however many flights of stairs. Frank would have said, "If you can stage it here, you can stage it anywhere!"


Would you live here? If you would and can, contact Michelle Griffith at Trump Int'l Realty.
On Monday Cheryl Eisen of IMGNYC hired me to style a photo shoot at Trump Park Avenue (above and below). This 1929 former hotel was renovated over a decade ago, and my assignment took place in a sprawling light-infused 5-bedroom 7.5 bath penthouse. I worked with photographer Evan Joseph to capture Eisen's posh transformation. Also on hand, a few friendly talented peeps from Eisen's IMGNYC (Interior Marketing Group) staff, a few sweet summer interns, and Inez, a fastidious house cleaner who was on hand to polish chrome and de-smudge mirrors like it was nobody's biz. Eisen's spaces are basically spic-n-span, exquisitely composed, and 98% camera ready. I wore white jeans and they were still crisp and white when I left.

IMGNYC's Eisen and Evan Joseph discuss.
The Master Bedroom's inner sanctum makes me think of "Dangerous Liaisons." 
Eisen lifts the media room spirit with juicy fashion-forward color.
IMGNYC-ers: James and the girls (l. to r) Tracy, Mallory and Jessica.

When the work is done, it's party time.


Seems like old times. Robin Mayer and I back together on set.
The week prior was a reunion of sorts, as I got to work alongside Robin Mayer (above), stylist and designer extraordinaire, who back in the 90's, took me under her wing at Country Living. Mayer was my mentor in the magazine biz and is still a great friend, and frequently works with Richard Johnson of Halstead as well as other NYC real estate pros. She needed an assistant to set up two one-bedroom condos (below) and I was happy to help. We unpacked boxes of props, directed furniture handlers to place the heavy stuff, ran to HomeGoods for extra pillows, scored a hall rug at Urban Outfitters, and borrowed real art from someone's personal collection.

Props: Vintage Clooney makes me happy.
The U.N. Plaza and East River are just out the window of this 1927 building at 865 UN Plaza, Apt. 5a.
Orange, gray and lots of linen make a summery bed. 
A cozy but efficient pre-war Upper West Side eat-in kitchen.
Loved the tile in Upper West Side apartment.
*         *         *
Th U.N. deli just a few steps from 865 U.N. Plaza
This was a great first taste of NYC staging, and I could not have worked with better gals (I cannot write "gals" without feeling like I am channeling my friend Ted). While I don't think I could do this hands-on work for my livelihood day in and day out, as a curious person who loves meeting people, has a voyeuristic spirit, helpful nature, and passion for design, and loves glimpsing home spaces,  this part-time adventure suits me.  And as a freelancer, being hired always is great. (Thank you!)

Also, though I normally don't do lunch, Robin Mayer turned me on to a great deli by the U.N. (probably called United Nations Deli) that is pretty cheap and has an awesome BLT. Now I'm turning you onto it!.
Also a first great taste: The BLT at the UN deli

1 comment:

Audrey Douglas said...

Hi Jane, Imagine my surprise when I realized my good friend, Joanne, lives in that same UN Plaza bldg., and has been there many years! She considers the Deli her 'dining room' and we ate there last time we visited her in May. Small world, eh?
Beautiful job on the staging!!
Audrey (Cheryl's friend)