Day 4 of Shelter and Stage with KLH - Today's Focus: Living Rooms
Welcome back! #ShelterandStagewithKLH
Let’s talk about one of the more important rooms in your home: the living room.
Your living room is most likely located very close to the main entrance of your home. Therefore, it will be one of the first rooms potential buyers see… So, stage it we must!
Also, statistics don’t lie! Staging the living room was found to be most important for buyers (47%), followed by staging the master bedroom (42%), and staging the kitchen (35%) (2019 Profile of Home Staging by the National Association of REALTORS Research Group).
There are really three rules when staging the living room.
The first rule is declutter.
You are selling the space… So, create space! Take a look at the entire room and note which furniture pieces are essential versus nonessential. Also note the number of items there are in the room. Consider removing all personal photos and art, extra plants, knickknacks and “collections” of items – such as piles of mail, magazines, paper, etc. We also tend to keep our hobbies in the living room… So store away your records, guitar, basket of sewing or knitting materials, adult coloring, etc.
Take a look at both of the “before” photos pictured above. You’ll notice there are a lot of personal art pieces on the wall and every surface – including the floors and the corners of the room – are covered. There is too much clutter. This is why we start by decluttering… Start with the “smalls,” then we’ll worry about the “bigs.”
The second rule is furniture placement.
The idea is to create a conversation around a focal point. Start by deciding what that focal point is… Is it the location of the television? A fireplace? Use an appropriately sized area rug to define the space. (The recommended rug size for a 5’x7’ room is a 3’x5’ rug; a 7’x10’ room is a 5’x8’ rug; a 10’x12’ room is a 8’x10’ rug; a 11’x14’ room is a 9’x12’ rug; a 14’x17’ room is a 12’x15’ rug.) When placing furniture, make sure traffic flows easily around all the pieces. You shouldn’t have to shimmy or tiptoe to move around your living room.
Note that the focal point in both of these living rooms is the fireplace. The furniture is placed so that everyone seated can have a conversation with each other, while still view of the focal point.
The third rule is to bring on the light.
Most people do not have enough lighting in their living room… So, open the curtains, pull up the shades and allow the natural light to flow in. It will made a big difference. If you do not have an overhead light or recess lighting, consider bringing in a standing lamp, or if space allows, two matching table lamps on matching side tables on either end of your sofa.
Note in the before photo one of the light bulbs was out. (Always make sure all the bulbs are working – and matching – especially with recess lighting!) The dark valances were removed, two matching side tables with matching lamps were introduced and a mirror was hung to make the room appear larger and reflect more natural light.
Let’s talk about two very common problem…
Common Problem #1: The big, bulky, dark couch.
Does your living room have dark, oversized, worn-out furniture pieces?
Consider replacing them with lighter pieces... Lighter in color and weight. Furniture pieces that sit on legs tend to make a space feel larger since you can see the floor beneath them.
Buyers only take in what they see and rarely envision what could be... If they see bulky furniture that barely fits in a space, they will assume all furniture pieces won’t fit.
If they see worn-out furniture in your rooms, they will conclude that your home is neglected and assume that other areas are also neglected.
Common Problem #2: The kiddos are taking over the living room.
Staging your home with small children is not impossible. (Although, it may feel that way… Especially these days!)
Again, one of the rules of staging is to revert every room back to its original purpose. So, the living room needs to show as a living room, not a playroom, school or home office.
While it’s okay to showcase your house as a family home, it’s important to make sure toys are not scattered throughout every room.
The best approach is to scale back on the number of toys in the living room; relocate them to your child’s bedroom or a formal playroom. Consider packing up and storing toys that your children rarely play with and leaving them with their favorite or go-to activities. Make them part of the picking and sorting process! (Remind them they’re not saying goodbye to their toys forever!)
Want one-on-one assistance?
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Project Manager, Home Stager
KLH Home Staging