Setting the Space In Mashpee Commons Brings Home Staging to the Cape

LANNON O'BRIEN/ENTERPRISE
Setting the Space owner Blair Hamaty has high hopes for the home design and staging company's new Mashpee Commons location.
LANNON O'BRIEN/ENTERPRISE - LANNON O'BRIEN/ENTERPRISE Setting the Space owner Blair Hamaty has high hopes for the home design and staging company's new Mashpee Commons location. "We sold every piece of art in the first two weeks," he said.

Blair A. Hamaty, 48, sat on an enormous couch in the new Mashpee Commons location of his company, Setting the Space, and began to describe its immediate success.

“Home staging is a large part of—” he began, interrupted by a phone ring. He rose to answer the call, then returned to his seat to continue his thought.

Eight years ago, the Kingston resident said that he started his business as a home-staging company based in Plymouth and it quickly gained recognition as one of the largest in the country. Its interior designers currently stage about 15 homes per week with furniture and home decor from the company’s warehouses, a practice that he said helps realtors and home owners sell properties quicker and more expensively.

Potential buyers have difficulty visualizing how an empty home will look after it is furnished and decorated, he said. “That’s why staging is the most important tool [in real estate].”

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Mr. Hamaty appeared unfazed as workers bustled around him, unpacking boxes of merchandise for the new location. Although the store opened just over a month ago, he said that all of the artwork was sold within the first two weeks.

Not only is Cape Cod a prime spot for his real estate-dependent business, but his other two retail stores in Plymouth have attracted dedicated shoppers who frequently search both locations for new items. With a new store in Mashpee, he anticipates that customers will make purchases at each location.

“We call it a ‘lifestyle store,’ ” Mr. Hamaty said. “Anybody can come into any one of our stores and find something to buy.”

The range of items offered by Setting the Space extends beyond the typical furnishing store to include everything from children’s toys to jewelry and gourmet chocolates. On occasion, Mr. Hamaty said that the staff hands out lollipops to children. The idea is to cater to everybody, including the average customer with a budget.

However, the company has been known to serve the rich and famous as well.

“Donny Wahlberg is one of our best clients,” Mr. Hamaty said, smiling. “We’ve decorated one of his homes in Plymouth.”

In addition to homes, Setting the Space has designed Hollywood movie sets, dressing rooms and trailers. In July it will be featured as the staging company for a home design show on A&E. Mr. Hamaty does not know what the series will be called or what its schedule will be.

Although he is proud of his company’s success—it has completed home stages in 12 different states, and in 2012, won a National Association of Home Builders award for the best staged house in the US and Canada—Mr. Hamaty is still humbled by the recognition he receives for his work.

Prior to opening Setting the Space, he worked in the furniture industry.

“One day I woke up and I was 40 years old and I thought, ‘What am I doing staging homes for other people?’ ” he said. After taking a course in home staging, he quickly began building his own business.

It was not long afterward that he was featured as a keynote speaker at a home-staging school in Paris, France. Recalling the experience, he shook his head, as if in disbelief. “It’s an exciting life,” he said, laughing.

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