Filling a spec house with furniture is fine, but Corcoran’s Gary DePersia knows one man going the extra mile.
“The best thing a spec builder can do is furnish his house,” says Gary DePersia of Corcoran. “By doing so, the house is going to appeal to a broader audience.” Still, while staged homes may be commonplace these days, one interior designer-turned-developer is elevating this sellers’ tool into an art form. “James Michael Howard goes several steps beyond staging,” says DePersia. “There is absolutely no one else doing this.”
Howard combines nearly four decades of interior design experience with his knowledge of construction materials to create unparalleled concept homes. “Every piece of furniture looks like it’s been custom ordered, every rug is in the space it was designed for, all the wall treatments—whether they’re wallpaper, grass cloth, or lacquered ceilings—are in the right place,” DePersia explains, and the result resembles a custom job for a high-end client. “It looks like someone has lived there for a number of years—and he or she had very good taste and a lot of money.”
The inevitable result: bidding wars. That recently happened at 6 Calf Creek Court in Water Mill, a Howard project—one of three that have been completed in the Hamptons—that’s in contract for above the $11.95 million asking price. “Brokers get to see the best of the best, and when they came into that first open house, they were all gaga,” says DePersia. “All you need to do is bring your clothes and your toothbrush.” 51 Main St., East Hampton, 899-0215