As the real-estate market has finally topped, “staging”—the practice of set-dressing an apartment to boost the sale price—has become an ultraspecialized niche. Barbara Centrone is a former interior designer and set decorator, and her background in film and TV gives her a leg up with clients like James Gandolfini and Roland Emmerich, who sold his Tribeca loft. While most stagers simply conceal clutter and reconfigure furnishings, Centrone does a simple but thorough redecoration to create a well-proportioned space, styled to sell. On the Upper East Side, she may haul in designer furniture to transform a neutral space into a sleekly modern Italian room; downtown, that shapeless loft may sprout a geometric sculpture and a painting borrowed from a local gallery. What to do for a room with an arched stained-glass wall? Bring in an antique thronelike chair and a standing candelabra, and make the room the hero instead of the villain. Centrone deals in properties that sell for $2 million and up but occasionally does smaller jobs. Prices range from $2,500 to about $15,000—and trust us, you’re more than likely to make it back.Contact
For appointments, Barbara Centrone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.