Some months ago I agreed to put our house on a tour in Oak Park on June 20, called South Oak Park Style: A Tour of Modest Homes. Our home is indeed modest (it’s a 1,700-square-foot Prairie-style bungalow). Worthy of a tour? Don’t ask me. I’m the editor of a design magazine, of all things, so as you might imagine, I’m exposed to tons of gorgeous interiors everyday in my job that I can’t afford and don’t have the time to execute in my own home (I believe you are familiar with the cobbler’s children….) .
One reason I agreed to the tour is: stagers. That is, People Who Take What You Have and Rearrange it to Look Nice for the Tour. And maybe bring a few accessories/flowers in. And get you to hide things in closets. My stagers, from the firm Kelly + Olive, introduced their low-cost, transparent decorating service to me via e-mail one day and the two seemed perfect for the task. Lauren and Courtney (Lauren is the brunette) are young, enthusiastic, and full of great ideas. On Monday they showed up and started moving everything around. Using what we already have, they rearranged and edited. I opened beers, and it became a party. When they demanded (OK, suggested) that I trim back an out-of-control hanging plant, I immediately complied. “Look at that! They squealed. You have a dining room!” OK, it’s true that the plant had taken over the space.
They suggested we move my most treasured painting, by local artist Traci Ostmann-Haschke (see above), to a place of prominence, where guests could see it immediately upon entering. Why didn’t I think of that? They rearranged the living room furniture. We love it. They arranged pottery and a Michael Aram candelabra on the fireplace where it can be seen, diplomatically rejected some items (what fun it is to evaluate all one’s objects objectively!), got tired, and left. They will return. And I’ll blog and post some more photos.