Forget football or festivals at Piedmont Park, one of the most popular weekend activities for Atlanta residents is touring model homes. The showcases that homebuilders build and decorate to bring a populace yearning for the lifestyles seen on HGTV to their doorsteps as enticement of how you could live if only you buy their product... Just remember your house is never going to look like that.
There are two primary reasons.
1. No one lives there. No junk mail on the counter, no dirty laundry and no toiletries in the bathroom.
2. Everything is bought at one time and can cost from 20 – 25% of the purchase price of a home. Not many people have the money to do that at the same time they are buying a home.
Atlanta based, Cindi MacPherson ASID and NCIDQ certified Interior Designer whose firm The Interior Partners specializes in what is known in the trade as "model merchandising" and currently has projects with local homebuilders Lennar, The Providence Group and Azalea Homes gave some additional reasons why you shouldn't go home feeling like a candidate for decorating rehab when your home doesn't measure up to what you see in Builder homes.
Ms. MacPherson explained that Model Merchandising is different from Interior Design for personal residences on several levels but primarily on the strategic planning level. Model homes are designed with a fictitious buyer profile developed with the builder of whom they think will be buying in a neighborhood. This influences color palette, furniture, accessories and even the art on the walls.
Specific items that are planned for that you would not do in conventional decorating include – Site Lines (ever notice that there are no blinds on the windows in a model?) consistent color and texture palette throughout the home to emphasize ohesiveness and create a "flow", there are no surprises like the Tahitian Tiki God you bought on your honeymoon and must be prominent any place you live; Incorporation of a memory point room that causes the consumer target to remember the home, examples include the ultimate nursery in homes built for young families or a dining room with extravagant table settings for the buyer profile it has been decided loves to entertain.
As a final comment MacPherson offered, "A model home is designed to evoke a lifestyle not a life, design your home for your life not a buyer profile."
—Kevin B. Morrow