In a recent post on this home staging blog I asked readers how they would stage a living room based on the photo you see here.
This living room is similar to most that you’ll come across at your own home staging consultations and a living room like this, that obviously doubles as a child’s play room, just doesn’t scream “dream home” to most buyers.
The following are my recommendations for this space:
Clear the clutter
Put the little table and chairs in the child’s bedroom or basement (but only if there is ample space for them there), then get rid of all other toys. If there is nowhere else in the house to put toys besides the child’s bedroom, it’s unrealistic to expect the living room to remain toy-free while the home is on the market.
Tell the homeowners to leave one basket of easy to pick-up items (avoid toys with lots of tiny parts that scatter, like Lego) in the living room that can be hidden away quickly before showings. When the toys are removed, most of the clutter is taken care of in this particular room.
Update art/Review placement
The large print above the couch should be replaced with a more modern painting or other piece of wall art suitable for home staging. The positioning of it on the wall is a bit too high in this photo as well, but a bigger issue is the size of it relative to the couch. In this case two vertical prints side by side in matching frames would probably work better. These could be black and white photographs and then black could be used as an accent elsewhere to pull things together.
Family portraits should be taken down to depersonalize the space.
Change the furniture and accessories
Transform the maroon leather couch into something more modern and appealing to a greater number of buyers by using a slip cover. Or if sticking with the current couch, update it with more contemporary throw pillows which also bring in the wall color (and something from the new art that will hang above the couch.
Layering pillows on a solid couch like this is a great way to break up the visual “bulk” of it.
Place an end table and a lamp on either side of the couch and put a coffee table in front of the couch with a couple of nice large books on top. Alternatively, in this case I might use an ottoman that could double as toy storage.
I would also probably add a tall plant in on the wall where the three small pictures are now. This would break up the long wall that leads to the dining area. With young children living there, a vase on a low table with cut flowers is a bad idea!
There’s a good chance that you have the same ideas as I do for this space, whether or not you’re a “professional” home stager! That’s because when you have a natural talent for decorating, home staging is the easiest thing in the world. You don’t need some some fancy make-believe certification to start a home staging business. You just need information and training around how to make money at it! That’s what I teach in the Staging Diva Program.
For further home staging advice for living rooms, turn to the Staging Diva Ultimate Design Guide: Home Staging Tips, Tricks and Floor Plans. This downloadable guide will be helpful to anyone looking for help with design principals and ideas.
Learn about how I handle my home staging consultations in course 3 of the Staging Diva Program, Taking the Mystery Out of Home Staging Consultations. When you order it you’ll get a free gift (valued at $45) called, Staging Diva Home Staging Consultation Checklist with Room-by-Room Client Planning Forms.
Home stagers, what else would you recommend for the living room in the above photo? Have you run into similar rooms in your own home staging consultations?
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Debra Gould knows how to make money as a home stager and she developed the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program to teach others how to earn a living doing something they love. She is frequently profiled in the media for her home staging expertise and is the author of 5 guides for home stagers.