Why Your House Will Never Look Like a Model

The House Always Wins author Marni Jameson says she spent a lot of years wondering why she couldn’t get her house to look as good as a model. Then she talked to a designer who specializes in decorating those model homes for builders, and this is what she found out.
There are things that a model home has that our homes never will:
A fresh start. When designing a model, designers begin with a clean slate. They come in at the ground level and specify every single finish and detail in the home–tile, grout, wall colors, flooring, cabinetry–to make sure the whole house coheres. Most of us make do with what’s there.
No baggage. Model designers don’t come to the project with favorite pieces of art they’ve collected or furnishings they’re attached to. Instead, they custom order and select art, mats and frames, and every stick of furniture to coordinate with the interior scheme.
No arguments. Model home designers don’t have to argue with spouses or kids over how to do a room. They just get their way.
Real money. Because builders know that the more decked out the model is, the more homes and upgrades they will sell, and the faster they will sell them, they give designers the budget and okay to do the whole house. I can only dream.
Smoke and mirrors. Model designers order furniture that allows foot traffic to flow and that makes rooms look larger when necessary.
Less stuff. Because their goal is to let people see the home and its architecture, not the stuff, they allow zero clutter.
False fronts. When staging bookshelves, they select books for their covers, not their contents. Sometimes they cover all books on a shelf in the same leather. Who buys books only for the color of their covers?
Theme rooms. Designers typically peg one child’s room for, say, a boy golfer, and another for a girl horseback rider. In the boy’s room, they’ll have four golf shirts, a bag of clubs, three golf hats, and golf ball handles on the faucet. The girl’s room will have tall riding boots, a crop, and some jodhpurs. No real kid is that one dimensional.
Storage Style. Model master closets feature a monochromatic wardrobe that ties into the master decor, meaning all the outfits go with the bedspread, and who buys clothes that way?