How to Upstage a Home


By Cheryl Eisen 

CHERYL EISEN of Interior Marketing Group shares her thoughts on a variety of design elements that help define the future residences of Manhattan’s elite buyers. They can work just as well in a Chelsea studio or a quaint pied-a-terre in the Village. Eisen’s picks for her team’s stagings, as well as their interior designs, have a unique broad appeal equipped with ‘wow-factor’ that enables your home to upstage its former self.


A Fresh Coat of Paint

If I had to pick just one thing to spend money on, whether it be in a $250,000 home or a $25,000,000 one, I would choose paint. A fresh coat of paint makes any room look finished and new. My go-to’s are Light Grays and “Greiges” – neutral beige-grays – which make a room look bigger and lighter. Walls are the backdrop for your design — think of it as a canvas.

20-greene-2014Grasscloth Wallpaper

When paint isn’t the complete answer, I turn to grasscloth wallpaper. They are naturally textured and add an instant but tastefully subtle luxuriousness to a space, many of them with light-reflecting threads woven into them. I love creating a dark and dramatic accent wall with gray grasscloth behind a master bed to add depth,

or covering an entire hallway with a lighter color. Have left over wallpaper? I like to wrap smaller old or scratched furniture (textured side-table anyone?) and it becomes a one-of-a-kind piece. See Puck PH 2 master

Mirrors, Mirrors on the Walls

Ubiquitous in all my stagings are my unapologetic use of multiple large mirrors. Not only do they make a room feel double the size, they also double the windows, adding more light.

xosqHI6lwo3qy-pR1QTsojRq_ZxuB22OSdVDSnVpylQ,xcW6CHDbowdp88TtUfp_htJQUlxO2R8J1Gi6iYV7PnMOversized Modern Artwork

Most, if not all, of the artwork I use is original, which is wonderful because we can make statement pieces custom-sized and painted for a specific job. We like it oversized and abstract and mostly black and white (unless it’s a kid’s room), creating an eye-catching focal point for the room. How big should you go? As big as the wall space permits. Pro-tip: paint, then hang canvases together so they appear as one oversized piece.

Low, Modern Sofas

Seating that lacks height, but makes up for it in length and plush works by keeping spaces feeling more open and not blocking views, especially if seating is not against a wall. Also, like walls, sofas are best kept light and neutral, helping make a room look less cramped.

Sprawling Rugs

I never use a rug that falls short from covering the seating space in a room. The bigger the area rug, the larger the room will feel. And whenever the demographic permits, I love to use a plush flokati rug.

113186070 copyUnexpected Sculptural Furniture

Especially in smaller spaces, furniture pieces that are both utilitarian and sculptural are a perfect two-in-one and are simply stunning. I like to use pieces with organic elements like raw wood paired with warm metals, such as gold or brass, to create a striking combination.


If it is your home, never fear the most important insight of all: yours. When staging, I want to make a room look real and inviting, not staged. The trick to the latter is knowing who you are staging for, and design for that demographic, but always include unexpected elements because buyers for the same listing are not all the same. For the homeowner it is easier because you are designing for yourself, you know what you like, and if you’re not sure, there are those of us with the insight to help.


Cheryl Eisen is President of Interior Marketing Group



Share Button