The Added Value of Allison Crane | BIRCH Properties Blog

The Added Value of Allison Crane | BIRCH Properties Blog

Inside the Artful World of Interior Design with Allison Crane

Allison Crane has seamlessly woven her journey into the fabric of interior design and home staging, creating a narrative as intricate and vibrant as her work. With an inherent flair influenced by her grandmother's impeccable taste and a psychological insight into the needs of her clients, Allison has carved out her own unique path in the industry.

The Roots of Design: A Journey Inspired by Family

"My grandmother worked with the architect, who had been an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright, to build her house in 1948," Allison shares. Her grandmother's forward-thinking spirit is reflected all throughout the house—hidden drawers and thoughtfully placed spaces for everyday tools are innovations of the time that resonate today in modern design. This was highly influential in Allison's developing aesthetic. From sewing her own shower curtains as a teen to becoming a certified stager, her life has been punctuated with pivotal moments directing her to this calling.
Allison's Interior Office

The Staging Process: Listening and Tailoring

When it comes to staging a home, Allison's process is meticulous yet flexible. "A walk through, notes, pictures, and LISTENING to what the goals are and situation is," she outlines. No two jobs or clients are the same, and it's her adaptability and keen ear that allow her to strike the perfect balance between client needs and realtor expectations.

The Memorable Staging Projects: Transformations and Transitions

Each project bears significance, but some leave a lasting impression. Allison recalls transforming a "shack" to chic, resulting in feverish bidding within a day, and fondly remembers the heartfelt stories shared by a family visiting their former summer home during the staging process. These encounters emphasize her role in assisting families to gracefully move on to new life phases.
 Before                                                                      After

The Influence of the Berkshires: Local Talent and Seasonal Challenges

Allison doesn't just stage homes; she curates experiences influenced by the rich artistic talent of the Berkshires. Incorporating works from local gallerists like Cassandra Sohn of Sohn Fine Art, a modern art gallery in Lenox, and Judy Bates of Happy Place Berkshires in Stockbridge, she infuses each space with regional soul. Yet, challenges arise with New England weather—imagine positioning exquisite furniture while navigating mud-clogged roads!

The Berkshire Aesthetic: Nature, Light, and Stories

Allison describes the "Berkshire Aesthetic" as one that celebrates nature through wood, glass, and stone, bringing in a lot of light, and utilizing mixed materials. "And species of wood is a BIG DEAL!" she exclaims, highlighting the importance that reclaimed woods are often requested in her work. "People are looking for wood that isn't polished to a fine finish but still looks stylistically composed."
Another piece of the Berkshires Aesthetic is the desire for up-cycled furniture. "Not so much antique but more curated from estate sales in the country that have a story or a solid piece found at a thrift store that can be refurbished or repurposed. People coming to the Berkshires are looking for a mix of comfort and style."

Common Mistakes in DIY Home Staging

Homeowners often fall prey to emotional attachment, overvaluing their items, and failing to edit their spaces. Allison points out that personal collections and polarizing themes should be dialed back when preparing a home for the market.

The Serendipitous Meeting with Selina Lamb

Speaking of partnerships, Allison reminisces about connecting with Selina Lamb—an encounter that felt destined, marked by warmth and common purpose from the first phone call taken en route to fetching paint for a job.
"I distinctly recall the first time I spoke with Selina. I was driving to go get paint for a project I was working on when my phone rang...and it was HER. I immediately pulled over because I was so thrilled she was calling! We hadn't yet met in person though I knew of her by reputation."
Selina Lamb celebrating Allison's success

A Philosophy of Respect, Grace, and Kindness

Central to Allison's ethos is operating with respect, grace, and kindness. Her goal is to elevate her clients' chances of selling their homes swiftly and at top value. This involves crafting neutral palettes and considering even minute details, such as ensuring homes smell inviting.
"When I first started my staging business, I took all the necessary steps for marketing and promoting myself. However, despite my best efforts, I found that my attempts were not yielding the desired results. It became apparent to me that the concept of home staging was still relatively unfamiliar, leading to a lack of understanding regarding the benefits of my services. As a result, I made it a priority to educate prospective clients, homeowners, and real estate agents on how staging could enhance their property listings and expedite the selling process."

Innovations and Sustainability in Staging

Looking ahead, Allison is excited about industry innovations aligned with environmental consciousness. Trends towards self-sustaining living options like solar energy, water filtration, and geothermal heating demonstrate an evolving appreciation for eco-friendly solutions that don't compromise on aesthetics.
In the world of interior design and home staging, Allison Crane leads with an authenticity that melds respect for the past with a keen eye for the future, forever crafting spaces that tell a story—one room at a time.
To learn more about Allison's work or to contact her, please visit her website
Allison Crane - Home Staging | BIRCH Properties Blog


A native of the Berkshires, Allison Crane is a freelance stylist and an Accredited Staging Professional (ASP®), whose business is transforming living spaces.
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Selina Lamb is a study in contrasts — analytical yet creative, fun yet serious-minded, easygoing yet a fierce marketer and negotiator. She synthesizes years of experience in Berkshires' real estate; a liberal arts education from Williams College; a successful career at top U.S. fashion houses; and experience founding a nationally recognized landscape design firm into a real estate consultancy that centers around client well-being. Repeats and referrals comprise 98% of her business, and review after review mentions her market knowledge, vast network, warm sense of humor, and presence in her clients’ lives long after the deal has closed.
As a real estate partner, Selina aims to make people feel at home during each moment of the transaction, whether they’re seeking residential, commercial, or land development opportunities. A longtime Berkshires resident, she works tirelessly to plug her buyers into the community, ensuring they have every professional and resource they need to create fulfilling lives here. In addition, she leverages her expansive global network and marketing expertise to get her sellers’ properties maximum views, visits, and offers. Her future-forward service features tech, design, analysis, and humanity in equal measure — making it highly personalized and undeniably modern.
Selina’s unique approach comes from the circuitous path that brought her to real estate and back to the Berkshires. After graduating from Williams, Selina held executive roles for the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, J. Crew, and Polo Ralph Lauren. During that time, she would escape to her Berkshire house on weekends to find delight in her garden, which inspired her to earn a graduate degree in site planning and landscape design. She eventually let go of her New York City address permanently and founded her acclaimed landscape design firm, which has been featured by Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, and HGTV.
Selina’s design experience makes her an expert in envisioning clear and practicable solutions for presenting properties to their very best advantage, from staging to photography and beyond. For buyers and sellers, her wide breadth of knowledge of local regulations and permitting processes make her an invaluable resource.
Beyond real estate, Selina serves on the Williams College Parents Fund Committee and co-chaired the Emma Willard School Parents Fund Committee. In addition to gardening, she enjoys painting, skiing, and playing tennis.

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