Recently in a post on this home staging blog I asked for your home staging recommendations for the boring living room pictured here.
During your career as a home stager, you’ll likely come across dozens and dozens of forgettable living rooms exactly like this one. If you have an eye for design, though, you know that it won’t take much to generate appeal for a potential real estate buyer!
Right now it looks like the “beige family” must live here and there’s absolutely nothing to stick in a potential buyer’s mind.
You’ll see from my advice that most of the solutions I suggest are pretty simple. In fact, you probably noticed many of the same problems yourself when you first looked at the picture – proof that you already have the know-how to make recommendations to your own home staging clients!
The following are my home staging recommendations for this living room.
The current white color of the walls makes the room look too sterile, especially when combined with the neutral carpet and furniture. An easy way to jazz things up, without spending much money is to repaint the room a warmer shade like Benjamin Moore’s Louisburg Green (HC-113) or a lighter version like Nantucket Gray (HC-111). These are both colors from the Staging Diva Ultimate Color Guide: the easy way to pick colors for home staging projects.
I feel strongly about the need to repaint this room to add some drama, and it could be accomplished in a day even without a professional.
Get rid of distractions
Remove the cluttered bench (or whatever that is) in front of window and slide the chair closer to the window so it’s not blocking the entrance to the living room. Move the shelf unit on the left side of the photo because it’s also blocking the entrance. These are key changes because when you block the view or entrance into a room with large furniture you automatically make it less welcoming and appear more crowded.
Rearrange the items on the coffee table to reduce clutter and provide a focal point. A flowering plant should be added to the center of the table. This will warm up the space considerably. I don’t use cut flowers on low surfaces like a coffee table because children sometimes attend showings and might knock a vase over.
A few books should be neatly arranged on the coffee table shelf, avoid the temptation to keep too many. You want this to look fairly open.
On a larger coffee table (or if this one had a glass top) I might include a few hardcover books beside the plant.
Move the decorative object (brass parrot) standing to right of couch and replace it with an end table to match the existing one. It doesn’t actually have to match, but it must be the same height.
Move the matching lamp that’s currently to the right of the reading chair to the end table on the right side of the couch.
Flanking the couch with end tables and lamps at the same height will create more of a sense of balance and symmetry.
Replace the art over the couch with a horizontal piece at least 36″ wide by 24″ tall (note this should be centered, the current art is 4″ to 6″ too far to the right). The new artwork could be a canvas with “gallery wrap” or a print in a black frame. Look for something with lots of color and stay away from controversial topics, and no nudes please.
If you have trouble finding appropriate art for home stagers and you’d like to start your own inventory to rent out to clients.
Add two decorative cushions (one on each end) to the couch to pick up a color from the new artwork and toss a throw of the same color over the arm of the chair that will now be near/in front of the window.
There’s a ton of home staging advice for living rooms, bathrooms, attics and every other space in a home in the Staging Diva Ultimate Design Guide: Home Staging Tips, Tricks and Floor Plans. Check out this downloadable guide if you’re looking for help with design principals and home staging ideas.
Home stagers, what additional recommendations would you have for this dull living room or the living room featured in this other post?
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. There are more than 4000 Staging Diva Students in the U.S., Canada and over 18 other countries. Debra is frequently profiled in the media for her home staging expertise and is the author of 5 guides for home stagers.