Real Estate Report: When Staging Goes Wrong- Very Wrong



Realtors believe in staging. It gets rid of the distracting detritus of someone’s life and puts a house in a fresh, open light. Sometimes it goes wrong, as in this Mid-Century classic for sale in Pasadena.

The Basics: four bedrooms, two full baths plus one half-bath, on over a half-acre in Pasadena with a pool overlooking a golf course, and asking $2.350M. Not So Basic: It’s the Alvaro Bea house by Buff & Hensman. No facts about who Mr. Bea was, but Conrad Buff and Don Hensman designed hundreds of houses in Southern California after WWII and into the 1990’s. The house they designed for Mr. Bea in 1955 is a classic example of their post-and-beam style, sensitively restored last year by Dennis Smith, the younger surviving  partner in Buff, Smith & Henson. Regrettably, some mad stylist was set loose in the house when it was put on the market this past June. The furniture’s perfectly OK- it’s just unsuited to the task at hand. Especially when there’s so good much Mid-Century stuff to be had. The house was originally priced at $2.895M, so it’s taken a cut of over half a million dollars. Blame that living room.

Buff & Hensman’s signature was a walkway across a tiled reflecting pool. In later houses, they’d often put a bridge over the swimming pool, but here it’s part of a long, low path from the driveway to the entry. It’s houses like this that made people move to California.

There’s more to see at this slide show, plus check out the site honoring Buff & Hensman’s residential design.

Listing: 421 Mooresque Street, Pasadena [Redfin]