When prepping a New York apartment to show to potential buyers or leasers, you wouldn’t expect music to come into play.

However, Andrew Bowen, a staging director with ASH NYC, ruminated on every detail when staging 10 model units that recently debuted at 180 Water Street in the heart of Lower Manhattan.

“We are inspired by a wide range of sources,” Bowen said. “For example, in one of the units, we placed a pair of Hunter boots, a farm-to-table organic cookbook, a pre-loaded iPod featuring songs from Father John Misty and Fleetwood Mac, and so on.”

Bowen, alongside Sarah Patton who is the marketing SVP at Douglas Elliman Development Marketing, staged the units, which dwell on the ninth of 29 floors in a FiDi rental tower. The temporary, although not seemingly so, designs were so fetching that half of the units have been leased since they hit the market in February. 180 Water is owned by Metroloft and Vanbarton Group.

A cluster of eclectic New Yorkers, including a Cond√© Nast fashion editor, now inhabit the floor. The units are nestled in the heart of Downtown, in close proximity to the World Trade Center, Brookfield Place and the charming cobblestone streets of the Financial District. They’re also a jaunt away from the restaurants and shops of TriBeCa.

It’s this multifarious neighborhood, coupled with the personalities of the residents who inhabit it, that inspired Bowen and the team in their staging of the units. Not only mainstream interior design elements like colors and furniture, but characters, too, inspire these designs.

“Each model residence has a unique spirit and personality and is based on a real character that we develop in conjunction with the marketing and leasing teams that we love to bring to life,” Bowen said.

“Rather than simply asking, ‘Where does this person buy their furniture?’, We’re also asking ‘What clothing brands are they wearing?’, ‘What restaurants do they frequent?’ , ‘What music do they listen to?’, and even ‘What cologne/perfume do they wear?” We then translate those lifestyle cues into reality by placing items into the home that answer those questions,” he said.

Those items include things like the aforementioned Father John Misty tunes, but also other memorable pieces to target the visitor’s imagination and inspire them to see the space as a real home, rather than just a model unit.

Certain research has shown that a decorated space, rather than a vacant one, is more helpful in allowing a potential buyer or leaser to visualize the complete capacity and potential of a space, Bowen said. This is especially true for New York City spaces.

“Especially in urban settings, when space is at a premium and every inch counts, you need to know that you can fit, for example, a living area, dining area, work/study area, sleeping area, etc. in a 400 square foot studio,” Bowen said.

The folks at ASH NYC continue to push for refreshing designs that create pleasing stagings true to the neighborhood and location, much like those at 180 Water.

“It’s extremely important to us that all of our spaces are memorable, interesting, and above all, completely unique,” Bowen said. “Out of the hundreds of stagings I’ve completed over the years, no two projects are exactly alike. We always start fresh.”

For more information about the properties at 180 Water and these units, visit their site.

Photos courtesy of 180 Water

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