I recently published a post on this staging business blog asking for your design advice for the busy living room pictured here.
This is a tricky one because there is a lot going on in the space and some of the details are small in this photo. So thanks to those of you who took the time to leave comments on that post!
It’s pretty clear that this is a classic case of “the furniture looking great in the showroom, but my room must have shrunk since I went shopping” syndrome. By the way, this is a common error made by homeowners and one way you can sell your interior redesign services, i.e. you save your clients tons of money by keeping them from making these kinds of shopping mistakes!
For showings, this living room needs to look much more spacious. Right now it’s far too crowded despite its more than adequate size. The following are the recommendations I made for this living room during a staging consultation with this client. These primarily address the key problems of too much furniture and too much clutter— something home stagers probably see in at least 85% of the homes they visit.
Remove the chair and ottoman from the corner and move the couch under the window with the end table/lamp to the corner where the chair is now. When you are recommending removing furniture from a room, see if you can use it elsewhere in the house, otherwise it should go to off-site storage.
Move the love seat (shown in the right of the photo) so it faces the couch and put the glass coffee table in the middle (centered in front of the fireplace). Remove the black table that is currently in the foreground of the photo.
This will leave space between the window and the couch. A sofa table could be used behind the couch and a limited selection of their decorative items used there.
There is a decorative statue only partially visible in the photo to the left of the fireplace. This can be used in the center of the coffee table.
De-clutter the fireplace area
Remove the pile of stuff from the left of the fireplace, except for the fireplace tools which should stay. Clear all of the clutter from the fireplace mantel and from in front of the fireplace.
Rearrange the mantle so that there are only a few decorative objects at each end, perhaps using the 3 candle sticks that are currently on the end table to the right of the couch. These candle sticks should be placed together at one end of the mantle (or use only two as a pair and use one of the smaller figurines for the third object). Items are always more attractive when arranged in groupings of three, and varying the heights and shapes of the objects adds to the interest.
Move the art over the fireplace to the right by about 6 inches so it is centered.
Replace the art on the left of that same wall to something that works better with what’s over the fireplace. It’s not the art itself that’s a problem here, but the two frames don’t work well together. The piece on the left (if it’s something the home sellers want to keep) can be re-framed to match the other piece. The current bulky white frame looks very 1980s and cheap.
Replace some of the throw cushions with new ones that pick up colors from the rug. My staging clients pay me to shop for these for them, something I cover in course 3 of the Staging Diva Home Staging Training Program.
The wall color in here is not ideal. It’s a bit bland with the current furniture and fireplace marble but for showings it’s not too bad. I would not insist on repainting this room, although if this was a redesign consultation rather than a staging situation, I would recommend a new color palette.
You’ll find more home staging advice for living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, attics and every other space in a home in the Staging Diva Ultimate Design Guide: Home Staging Tips, Tricks and Floor Plans.
Home stagers, what additional recommendations would you have for the living room pictured here?
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Debra Gould knows how to make money as a home stager. She developed the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program to teach others how to earn a living doing something they love and she continues to develop ebooks and other home staging resources to help stagers on their path to success.