Real Estate | Shannon Wilkins of Prairie Interiors on Staging to Sell

Shannon Wilkins

Shannon Wilkins, founder of Newport Beach-based Prairie Interiors, stages to sell with O.C. buyers in mind.

You have a purposeful and curated approach to home staging. Why do you think this is important?
I can spot a fake home setup anywhere. Some people stage homes with a catalog set and a dorky bottle of wine set out; it has no warmth and is impersonal. I prefer to show a collected home—it feels less sterile and more livable.

Do you think good staging can change whether buyers are interested in a home or not?
Absolutely! Let’s say they are a young couple and I used midcentury modern stools at an island—they will connect better with the home. I want to show functionality and also attract the right buyers’ personalities to the architecture and style.

What do you think O.C. buyers are looking for when they walk into a home?
O.C. buyers are stylish. They have money and keep up on the trends. They’re also immune to the vanilla look, so they’re looking for something with more personality, whether it’s a vintage rug or some added bohemian pieces.

Do buyers ever want to purchase any of your items?
Yes, all the time. I love it because then I can go shopping! I’ve also had sellers who, once they’ve seen what I can do with their old space, hire me to decorate their new home.

What is the hardest part of the job?
When realtors act like designers. They can be picky before I’ve even started, get specific about a certain detail in a room, or object to something because it’s not their personal style.

You can officially add a TV credit to your resume after filming with HGTV’s “Vintage Flip.”
Yes, I shot 10 episodes for the second season. All the homes featured are historical, and I was able to work completely outside the boundaries of normal staging. It was cool to show our range.

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