If you’ve ever sold your house, you’ve likely had a conversation with your agent about staging. Rooms should be clean and clutter-free, but still look livable. They should be inviting, but not too personalized. For high-end developers such as Ditto Residential, staging is important, but typically an afterthought compared to other concerns like, say, finding the right location, getting city approvals, perfecting the building’s design, and turning a profit. But for Ditto’s latest project—a pair of two-level condos at 1202 T Street, NW, which both hit the market today—staging was a primary focus. Callie Bruemmer, head of marketing at Ditto, along with CEO Martin Ditto, teamed with interior designer Evelyn Smith to build the look themselves. No generic rental furniture from staging companies allowed. They mixed vintage items from 1stdibs, with modern pieces from budget-friendly sources such as West Elm, CB2, and even Ikea and Overstock.com.
“When you see a space, especially in a photograph, a lot of the time all you see is the furniture,” says Bruemmer. “So we wanted to make sure the furniture had as much thought put into it as the actual house.” The timing made sense, too. Ditto has five more, similarly sized projects coming on the market in the next few months, so Bruemmer says they’ll be able to reuse the furniture and accessories they bought for these condos.
Take a look at the before and after photos below and decide for yourself if staging makes a difference. If you’re really smitten, call your lender. Both units have two bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. The upstairs one is listed for $1.5 million, the lower for $1.2 million.
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Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a possible wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia. Kashino lives in Northeast DC.