Elliman launches equity design team

Celeb broker Michael Bolla to head the national team with color expert Carl Black

Prudential Douglas Elliman has tapped its relatively new hire, celebrity broker Michael Bolla, and Carl Black to launch a new national sales-side interior design service called Elliman Equity Design. Bolla, a managing director at Elliman’s 575 Madison Avenue office since joining the firm in February, and Black, a former Harvard and MIT professor with an expertise in architectural color work, will be contracted by developers and individual resellers to permanently redesign a space with a specific focus on making it more attractive to buyers.

Bolla and Black stressed to The Real Deal that their work does not involve interior decorating, which is specific to individual taste. Rather, they focus principals of light and space design that leave the psychological appearance of a larger space.

Many developers already enlist brokers to help stage a space, “but a lot of their insight is based purely on the current market,” Bolla said. And because apartment stagings often appeal only to a specific taste, “most stagings today are so bad that it’s actually counterproductive,” Black added.

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“What sellers ultimately collect is based on demand and interest,” Black said. And by making an enclosed space feel larger, Bolla explained that they are “expanding the interest in that space, and helping sellers collect more on their investment.”

That widespread equity focus, they said, separates them from interior decorators.

Bolla, whose own boutique brokerage operation pre-Elliman, Luxury Lofts & Homes, counted Denzel Washington, Heidi Klum, Jennifer Aniston and the Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire among its clients, said this role will supplement his work as a broker. He would not disclose the projects the new team is currently working on, citing confidentiality agreements with developers. When asked how much the service costs, Bolla said it depended on the individual contracts with developers and sellers. TRD