Styled and Sold, Artfully, in the Hamptons

In today’s real estate market, every detail makes a difference, and presentation plays an eminent role in the sale of a home. When it comes to high-end multi-million dollar homes in the Hamptons, the key ingredient is the “wow” factor. “What sells a home is love at first sight,” says interior designer and professional stager Allegra Dioguardi.

With nearly 30 years of interior design and staging experience, Dioguardi has created magical and stylish homes for a long list of elite clients. Dioguardi began her love of interior design when she entered the prestigious Parsons School of Design. After receiving her degree, she began working for builders as an interior merchandiser for model homes.

Each home staging client is different, and Dioguardi’s current project “105 Beach Lane” in Westhampton Beach afforded her the opportunity to use her creative talents and design skills in quite a unique way. Beach Lane is a contemporary, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bath (en-suite) home with an architectural design for the open-minded. The property, originally built for avid art collectors who wanted to display their artwork in an elegant way, was like a dream come true for Diougardi because she was able to bring local artists on board to display their work in the space as a part of the staging. She is currently working with Charles Wildbank, Steve Alpert and Ron Burkhardt.

Upon entering the home, a grand white atrium with limestone flooring greets you. Rounding each curve of this 100-foot deep, two-story high atrium is a visual surprise or “reveal” as they say. Wildbank’s works were perfect in this particular space and added to the flow in a seamless manner, as he employs hues of blue and wave-like creations.

Burkhardt’s masterful and bright paintings add to the “media room,” as the powerful colors play well off one another and bring a sense of fun to the space. Alpert’s softer style works well throughout the home and offers a sense of serenity in spaces like the living room and entryway/hallway to the second floor. And Wildbank’s “Summer Soup” brightens the kitchen and works well off the accessories and furniture.

Beach Lane is truly unique in that each room evokes a different emotion and complements the space. To have such artwork in this home is an honor and privilege as well as an unbelievable selling tool. In many cases, a potential buyer may wish to purchase all or some of the furnishings and artwork.

“Staging is a win-win situation for everyone involved. Owner, buyer, realtor and staging expert work as a team and individually benefit in different ways,” shared Allegra. “Home staging plays an important role as a tool to help sell a house. I referred Allegra to the seller because I had experience working with her in the past. A potential buyer can view the house and know exactly how it would feel to be living there. Staging in this manner can create an emotional attachment to the house certainly leading to a sale,” said Eileen Brod, the listing agent and Vice President of First Hampton International Realty.

Before each staging project, there are a few very key factors that must be discussed. First and foremost is the demographic. Next is the budget – every client must agree on a budget. Once a budget is in place, the staging expert knows exactly how to manage and coordinate each project. Furniture, paint, décor, artwork, drapery, slip covers, chair covers, pillows, etc. plus labor and fees will all be covered in the cost.

The cost of each staging project varies depending on the size of the home, the clients’ vision and the time frame. Some assignments may require only a quick facelift while others may entail starting with a “blank canvas.” “Studies have shown that 1 out of 10 people have difficulty visualizing an empty space in a home. If people like what they see, they can imagine living there. A home should be designed to sell,” Dioguardi shared.

The art of home staging takes a great deal of talent, creativity and exceptional vision. Dioguardi has definitely perfected the art of “selling by design.”

For more information on Allegra Dioguardi visit or call 631-899-3305 and for viewings and open house/art opening information (taking place on 8/29) at 105 Beach Lane in Westhampton Beach, please contact Eileen Brod at First Hampton International Realty at 631-288-2122 or 917-453-9662.

Artists websites and information: Charles Wildbank,, Ron Burkhardt, and Steve Alpert,

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