How to Stage a Living Room in 10 Easy Steps

Living rooms are typically one of the most cluttered and personalized rooms of a home. When your property is on the market, you must emotionally separate yourself from your home and think of it as a product that is being marketed. It is important to keep this in mind: The way you live in your home and the way you sell your home are two entirely different things. Staging your home doesn’t have to have a huge effect on your daily life when done properly; it can actually accentuate the way you live! The following tips will help you create a living room that potential buyers will want to spend time in and imagine their belongings in.

  1. Choose the focal point – If there is a fireplace or mantle in the room, this will be the focal point. If not, you can choose your own focal point such as artwork or a large mirror above the couch.
  2. Photos – When your home is on the market, your personal photos should be packed away. Displaying your photos makes it difficult for potential buyers to imagine themselves living there and also takes their attention away from the features of your home as people are nosy by nature – don’t let your trip to Spain draw attention away from your home’s attributes!
  3. Collections – Collections of porcelain dolls or beer steins should be packed away during the time your home is on the market. De-cluttering is key when staging your home; less is more. Just think of the head start you’re getting by packing these items ahead of time!
  4. Carpets & Walls – Potential buyers don’t miss details and flaws – ever. Ensure your carpets are clean (steam cleaned ideally) and the walls are free of marks and scratches. The small investment of time and money in addressing these seemingly small details will have huge impact on the impression you leave on buyers.
  5. Bookshelves – As a general rule of thumb, paperbacks should not be displayed. Pack them away if possible or, at the very least, house them in decorative baskets or boxes. Display hardcover books vertically and horizontally, grouping by colour/size to make the bookshelf as aesthetically pleasing as possible. As always, less is more!
  6. Furniture & Furniture Arrangement – If your furniture is outdated or has seen better days, you may consider renting some updated pieces or getting slipcovers for them. Remember, the goal is to create a space that people can imagine themselves spending time in. Dated furniture can hinder this effect very quickly. Living rooms should be arranged in a way that is conducive to group conversations and family interaction. This layout is achieved by creating seating arrangements that are facing each other. Lastly, the flow of the room is crucial. Ensure furniture doesn’t make it difficult to walk through the room by creating obstacles.
  7. Artwork – As previously mentioned, artwork can often be the focal point of the room. Large pieces typically have more impact and a cleaner feel as opposed to several smaller pieces that can start to feel cluttered.
  8. Accessories – Less is more. Personal knick knacks are usually sentimental in nature and can be a distraction to buyers. Accessories should complement the room by working the colour scheme instead of competing with the architectural features.
  9. Windows – Ensure windows are sparkling clean, inside and out. During viewings and open houses, ensure curtains or blinds are open to let in as much natural light as possible.
  10. Colours – The colour scheme of a room should be as neutral as possible. It is important to remember that although you love your lime green walls, potential buyers may not. The walls should be a warm beige or cream, colours that go with any decorating style.

By Heather Kleim

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