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5 Things You Didn’t See on This Week’s ‘Selling New York’

HGTV’s “Selling New York” follows CORE agents as they navigate the country’s most competitive – and compelling – real estate market. Here’s our exclusive, behind-the-scenes look of this week’s episode, “Living Well,” which first aired on January 7th. For more SNY recaps, click here.


In this week’s episode of Selling New York, Lisa Graham is faced with the challenge of bringing positive vibes to a Madison Avenue apartment listing. Located at Morgan Court and listed by The Reba Miller Team, the 2,321-square-foot 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom home was listed at $3.795 million. With a gut renovation pending, Lisa sought the help of several different experts to give this space a unique transformation.

At the top of the segment, Lisa meets with feng shui consultant Ann Bingley Gallops of Open Spaces Feng Shui to help optimize the space. “We want to make sure the energy is contained within the apartment, and not just rushing right out the window,” said Ann, upon getting a better look at the home. Along with her real estate expertise, Lisa is also well-versed in the importance of a well-received and positive space. Ann’s passion for feng shui perfectly complimented Lisa’s desire to create the perfect ambiance for potential homebuyers.

“Feng shui will make a place feel welcoming, it will make you feel like you’re in charge, and that can really help with a sale,” added Ann.

In order to help buyers visualize the potential in this space, Ann referred Lisa to a set of talented staging professionals. Barbara Brock and Jay Hart of Yonkers’ furniture warehouse Sold With Style were hired for the job, tasked with providing classic pieces to integrate into the space. According to Jay, choosing a great rug would be a staple component of the transformation. “The rug that we choose is really going to set the tone for the rest of the design,” he said. Afterwards, the team proceeded to pull sofas, arm chairs and tables to complete the space.

To further compliment these changes, Lisa also enlisted the help of global ritual expert Barbara Biziou, to complete a space cleansing ritual that would create a positive environment within the apartment. In anticipation of the listing’s upcoming open house, Barbara would be integral in positioning the event around wellness in the home. “I absolutely think that if we can change the energy in this apartment, it can have a very positive, practical effect,” she said.

After prepping the home, the day of the open house finally arrives, with guests including members of the New York real estate brokerage community and interested homebuyers. After a formal energy ritual performed by Barbara, guests had an opportunity to explore the rest of the home. With several clients in awe of the space and new design, it is safe to say all of Lisa’s efforts were a success!

Read below to find out what happened when the cameras stopped rolling, more about Morgan Court and what didn’t make it into today’s episode of Selling New York!

1) First Impressions: Not only was Lisa faced with the challenge of revamping the condition of the apartment itself, but also creating a good first impression when a potential buyer first walks into the lobby of Morgan Court. She finds that most buyers today want to move into their new home without the hassle and expense of a renovation. Although the developer was offering to completely renovate the apartment as part of the sale price, buyers were finding it difficult to visualize how the apartment would look once renovated. The first impression of any building and apartment always affects the sale, whether for better or worse.

2) The Transformation of the Lobby: Scalamandre, the leading American purveyor of decorative fabrics, wall coverings, designs and furnishings, was enlisted to refurbish the lobby of 211 Madison Avenue. Scalamandre was also called upon years ago to perform a historic restoration of the The Morgan Library. This beautiful upgrade of the lobby helped to single-handedly revitalize the building.

3) The History of Morgan Court: 211 Madison Avenue has a fascinating history, as it is said to have been built on the former grounds of the J.P. Morgan Carriage House back in the late 1880’s. The Morgan Library and Museum was built by J.P. Morgan in the early 1900’s to house his literature and artwork which he collected in his travels from around the world. A sliver building, 211 Madison Avenue was built in the late 1980’s by the developer, Perlbinder Construction and is among one of the last sliver buildings constructed in Manhattan.

4) Overcoming Challenges: Before filming began, the task at hand was to get the apartment into “film ready” condition. There were boxes piled from floor to ceiling throughout the apartment and pieces of furniture being stored in the apartment, so a thorough cleaning and clearing of the space was necessary before even bringing in the staging and feng shui experts to work their magic.

5) Working Behind the Scenes: Susan Rubell, an integral member of The Reba Miller Team, worked very closely with the Board President and its members in order to facilitate all of the fabric and fixture improvements being proposed by Scalamandre in the renovation of Morgan Court’s lobby. Without the approval of several of these changes, the presentation of the apartment and overall aesthetic of the building would have been drastically different.

Stay tuned for more episodes of Selling New York. Be sure to check out more epilogues right here on the CORE Blog!