I don’t have a snappy way to start this post. I really just want to tell a story about staging and love and a house.
Once upon a time…..
About 10 years ago I moved my Mother and brother, Craig, from an unlivable, dangerous situation to Charlotte with me and Kurt (my beautiful husband). Kurt and I needed them to be safe and comfortable. The only criteria in finding Mom and Craig’s spot was space, liveable conditions, a safe neighborhood, and a reasonable price.
All of a sudden….
I was previewing houses for a client when I walked into 4115 Irvington Dr. Henceforth “Irvington” In the Windsor Park neighborhood. The house was clean and simple and had lots of space. It was built in the 60’s. It is a tri-level house meaning you walk in the main level, go down to a lower level, and go up to a top level. It was perfect for Mom and Craig. You see, both my Mom and brother are artists. So part of what they both needed desperately was separate spaces to think and create. Craig, especially, since he paints large canvases. *CRAIG’S ART IS IN THE PICTURE BELOW*
And life was good… Until…
About two years ago we decided as a family that Mom and Craig would make another move. It was time to leave Irvington. While it was a good move for them, this hurt my heart. Each time I went back to the now-empty house, I felt the absence of my family and so did Irvington.
Wait, there’s a plot twist
Our young friends Matt and Ashley needed a place to stay while they were building a house in nearby NODA. Just so happens we had a house. Irvington provided a great landing pad for them so they could concentrate on the not-so-easy task of building a house. Matt and Ashley’s house was completed and they too moved out of our Irvington. Irvington and I again felt the absence.
It was now time to sell Irvington. I knew it but I didn’t like it. Kurt and I had planned on putting Irvington on the market as soon as our friends were comfortably in their house.
I dreaded going to the house to begin the process of readying for this lovely home for sale. We did all the things you have to do to get a house ready for sale. We started with cleaning and painting. We had repairs done and with each moment we spent in the house, I felt the house getting happier and me too.
Ready for a new chapter…
Once the house was clean, fresh, and fixed it was my time to stage.
As usual I am happily anxious for stage day. By this point in the staging process, I have sketched, measured, and dreamt about the space and can’t wait to see it come together. I really was excited to spend some time with this house, my family and friends’ house, my house. It was a beautiful Charlotte fall day on stage day. The moving team brought in the furniture and decor and put it all into place. When they left, I was alone with Irvington. I opened all the doors to let in the light and fall breeze. I could hear the neighborhood rooster about 3 streets away crowing in the distance. The memories of my family and friends echoed around me in a wonderful way. I realized then that I had never really appreciated this home, and was getting to know it for the first time. I felt my family and my friends and the love this place has given wrap around me. I was crying and staging, staging, and crying.
Standing there I also realized that what I was experiencing is what staging means to me: Love. It’s not always this intensely personal, but it’s always about feeling the house, its past, its people. It’s life.
Staging is my love language. Just in this case, I loved it a little extra.
Now our lovely Irvington is just about to pass to a new family. That makes me happy and a little sad. So I’m writing and crying, crying and writing.