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Hollywood Real Estate- Stories of Staging Props And Flops

Odd and Shocking Decorating Choices in Hollywood Homes

Odd and Shocking Decorating Choices in Hollywood Homes

hookah and alice

We all know the importance of staging a home in order to get the best price possible. Some sellers do it themselves, while others prefer professional staging companies. I live in a town where many people work in the film business, so I often see movie memorabilia used as house decor. Not all of it is attractive; in fact, some of it is downright absurd, hideous or hilarious. I would like to share a few examples of poor staging I have actually witnessed with my own bloodshot eyeballs:

Maybe You Should Re-think That, Pal

The morgue table being used as a dining room table in the home of a known Hollywood Actor (Ideal for cold buffets.)

The sexy  negligee collection prominently displayed in a Beachwood Canyon home (My buyer claimed to have a few outfits that were similar… and he’s a guy.)

The throne toilet in the Beverly Hills home of a Broadway producer. When someone sits on the seat, it plays 76 Trombones. (For the Rooty Tooty Royal Bootie.)

The in-home bar with an IV bag full of booze, supposedly from the show, ER. (Line up for the ever popular Nip and Drip!)

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The soda fountain with stools shaped like open hands. (In case you want a bit of grab_ss with your sweet thing.)

The pot plant in the greenhouse window (Sure…it’s an “herb garden,” wink wink. And I suppose that grow light over the plant is a solar panel…)

The “dead dog” on the floor of one producer’s office that looked so real it was upsetting. (The owner cleverly named the dog “Stay.”)

A rotating electric chair in the living room of one actor’s home. (Bind ’em, Recline ’em, Turn ’em and Burn ’em.)

The clock that said “In ‘N’ Out Burger”…with the ‘B” and the last “R” in burger removed. (The clock was over the bed…in the guest room.)

The double closets, staged by a professional staging company, with male clothes in both. (Unfortunately, the absent and clueless seller was a very married rabbi…)

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The mushroom shaped table with an Alice in Wonderland sized hookah and a set of cymbals. (Bang a Gong and Smoke a Bong.)

A pale blue velour arched bed frame with tassels. (Ahhhhh – the mellow bordello.)

The deer heads on the wall of a home library in a very animal rights conscious Los Angeles – the city that invented Bambi! (No wonder Bambi’s mom died in the fire – it was probably suicide.)

Bad Mojo:

The giant White Elephant in a house in the Valley – a house that just…would…not…ever…sell…. (Never ignore the “elephant in the living room.”)

Tacky and Wacky:

The cardboard cut-out of Ed Bundy from Married With Children sitting on the Bundy couch with his hand down the front of his trousers. (The newest in Hollywood decorating themes: Scratch a Patch.)

Bold and the Beautiful

The police mug shot of the owner proudly framed on the fireplace mantle…right next to the framed photos of the kids. ( Crimes and MisdeMinors.)

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Dubious Contributions

The bathroom in West Hollywood with the disco ball light and mosaic mirrored walls. (Mo’ glo and a Glitter Sh_tter)

More next time, folks – this bag of crazy is deeper than you think! Have a great week.

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Written By

I wear several hats: My mink fedora real estate hat belongs to Sotheby’s International Realty on the world famous Sunset Strip. I’M not world famous, but I've garnered a few Top Producer credits along the way. I also wear a coonskin writer's cap with an arrow through it, having written a few novels and screenplays and scored a few awards there, too. (The arrow was from a tasteless critic.) My sequined turban is my thespian hat for my roles on stage, and in film and television, Dahling. You can check me out in all my infamy at LinkedIn,, SherlockOfHomes, IMDB or you can shoot arrows at my head via email. I can take it.



  1. Joe Loomer

    October 30, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    You’ve turned me into some sick, twisted semblance of my former self. I spent five minutes wondering if BOTH “R’s” in “Burger” where gone, or just one, and if so, which one?

    I once found a bucket full of human excrement in the walk-in attic of a home. Seems the contractor didn’t like to go out in the rain to the port-a-potty…..

    Smile! Boo! Happy Halloween!

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Matthew Hardy

    October 30, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Boy, what a weird country Hollywood is.

  3. Gwen Banta

    October 30, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Joe, you were already sick and twisted – which is why I like you so much. For you personally, I added the word “last” to explain which ‘r’ was dropped to spell “In and Out Urge.” Your discovery in the attic beats anything I have ever found…but I’m the fat lady hasn’t sung just yet. Have a spooky Halloween. (I am hanging small boxes of cereal on my clothes with little daggers through them. Behold the cereal killer.)

  4. Gwen Banta

    October 30, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    We’re not a country yet, Matthew, but when the next big quake sets us loose into the Pacific, we will finally qualify. I plan to be Queen, unless the boys in West Hollywood assassinate me first in order to claim the title.

  5. Joe Loomer

    October 31, 2009 at 5:55 am

    When the big one hits, go get that elephant ! Ride that puppy around and you’ll certainly be the queen!

  6. Baltimore County Homes

    October 31, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    O’my, I though that the house I recently view with a client in Baltimore, MD where they had a collection of manikins staged around the house was odd. Eccentric people who have money tend to express themselves in very unique and colorful ways. I guess when you take away the basic desires of survival and the common upscale trinkets (homes, cars, trips, jewelry) in life you are left with exploring the odd and dark side of the spectrum.

  7. Roy Cleeves

    November 1, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    I love these great stories of weird things we find in People’s homes.

    The weird one for me was when the Sherrif was changing the locks and due to a Power of Sale for non-payment of Mortgage. The Sherrif has to ensure that the home is empty and secure. In the Master Bedroom we found a deadbolt on the walk in Closet. Once the locksmith opened it we found a closet with clothes lining both sides of the closet. The Sherrif pushed some clothes and behind the clothing was the Wife who was to have already left the home. What a shocking surprise that was! She left without incident.

  8. Nick Haertel

    November 6, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Al Bundy……not Ed Bundy.

  9. Gwen Banta

    November 6, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Well put, @ Baltimore!

  10. Gwen Banta

    November 6, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    I had a tenant I had to evict who did that Roy…and she was packing a weapon!

  11. Gwen Banta

    November 6, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    You are right, Nick – thanks for catching that. You must have been a fan of Married With Children.

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