It was no coincidence that Adrian Bryce Diorio decided on the name “Art of Staging” for his business, because it reflects exactly what interior designing truly is – an art. What is surprising, however, is who Diorio’s clientele is.
“Clients hire me to market their homes to the new generation of luxury home buyers: professional millennials,” explained Diorio. And for good reason:
“According to a survey done by Coldwell Banker Previews International and The Luxury Institute, 73% of wealthy consumers under the age of 35—the most out of any age group—are considering a purchase of residential real estate in the next 12 months. They are among the biggest spenders, as they paid $7.8 million on average for their last home, compared to $6.8 million for buyers between 35 and 44 years of age and $2.7 million for those between 45 and 64.”
Previews Inside Out How did you get into interior design & staging for real estate?
Adrian Bryce Diorio When I was about 8 years old, I still remember watching my love of architecture and interiors develop. My mom was a luxury broker with Coldwell Banker in New York and on any given Sunday I’d ask to go to an Open House she was having. I was always analyzing the spaces and taking in the beauty and originality of what the space was and at most times redesigning it in my head, while occasionally going so far to move things around or suggest ideas to the homeowners. While I’m sure I looked cute talking about grown up stuff, my ideas weren’t necessarily taken into consideration (and I got in trouble). I’d redesign my family home almost weekly. Sometimes when I’d come home from school, my mom would play a joke on me by moving items by a millimeter. I always noticed! Graph paper was my favorite and I spent a lot of time creating and drawing floor plans of “dream” homes. Over the following years I enjoyed a successful entrepreneurial career in global brand management, marketing and advertising.
Previews Inside Out What would you describe your design style to be?
Adrian Bryce Diorio My style has come to reflect that of what I like to call “minimalist chic.” I’m not afraid to take risks. Kartell ghost chairs are one of my favorite go-to pieces. I appreciate making dramatic design statements that revolve around the architectural focal points of a home. I always say no to fake plants, dark curtains, pillows and throws everywhere and multiple area rugs. Don’t get me wrong, some spaces need an area rug to pull it together, but a large majority of today’s homes benefit from visible hardwood or marble flooring. In the coming years, I believe that the new generation’s style will be settling into place and we’ll be seeing much more of this visual. Millennial tastes, as well as the influx of international buyers to cities, reflect this.
I love the look of modern crystal chandeliers and glassware. I’m also thrilled to be seeing glossy gold making a comeback! The St. Regis Hotel in New York is one of my favorite hotels when it comes to impeccable design. The interiors are classic and elegant with a noveau twist, always an inspiration to me.
I’ve always been a firm believer that an eye for good taste in design is not something you’re taught – it’s something you’re born with.
Previews Inside Out What does the process of staging a luxury home entail?
Adrian Bryce Diorio With Art of Staging, all the furniture and décor is chosen and selected for each project. We’ll even go so far to buy certain items just for an individual project. Everything must blend, be to scale and representative of the home and its price point. After being contacted for a potential design and staging project we do the following:
- Google the history of the home (location, demographics, price point, etc.)
- Schedule a consultation to meet client and view/photograph/measure the spaces
- Submit a proposal
- Start selecting the individual furniture pieces from our furniture vendors and home décor accessories from our inventory that resemble price point (could take up to a week)
- Schedule delivery and installation day
- Arrange each room as planned (the layout can change once seen in person)
- After pictures are taken for our records (although many projects are confidential)
Previews Inside Out Can you share a real example of how staging can impact the value of a home listed for sale?
Adrian Bryce Diorio I was contacted by the homeowners of a renovated 1940’s home that had been on the market for nearly a year with zero offers. They were now ready to explore the option of staging their vacant property with the hopes of finally being able to sell it. I visited the home and immediately fell in love with the abundance of space, multiple fireplaces and period details blended with modern touches throughout.
The majority of buyers cannot see past an empty space (beautiful or not) and it can be very challenging for them to envision any layout, nonetheless envision a layout they would call home. In many of these cases, it can be easy for potential buyers to see all the negatives first, which outweigh any positives.
After the cosmetic updates suggested in the gourmet kitchen were taken care of and I finished designing and staging the foyer, dining room, living room, family room and master bedroom, I then added all of the special Art of Staging touches that help buyers picture themselves at home. The property was re-listed with Coldwell Banker and sold at the first showing (even without an inspection being done)!
Previews Inside Out What are some of the hottest trends in luxury home decor right now?
Adrian Bryce Diorio Some of the hottest trends right now are large statement mirrors, living rooms without technology, fireplaces and a favorite of mine – the formal dining room. To that I say, pop the champagne!
Adrian Bryce Diorio can be found on Instagram at @artofstaging