The living room is an important room for potential home buyers. Staging your living room to sell will be a key factor if they feel at home, so you need to make sure the living room takes center stage during home showings.
We started with a mess of a living room when we sold our house. It’s a long story, but we accidentally flipped our house, so by the time we were ready to sell, we were still unpacking boxes. Not to mention it was a tiny old house with almost no storage (read: everything was a disaster).
Needless to say, our before pictures are absolutely embarrassing. Like, seriously embarrassing. But to be fair it was one of the hardest years of our life and every day was an intense struggle. And let’s get real. Sometimes houses get messy. Sometimes life gets messy. And that’s okay.
It just isn’t as okay when you need to sell that house for top dollar. So, thankfully, I’ve learned a lot along the way. We’ve moved 3 times in less than 5 years (not counting the intermittent moves between homes).
The good news is that every single time we sold our house, we had an offer on the table in less than a day, even in bad neighborhoods and questionable housing markets.
And today I’m going to let you in on my tips I used to stage our living room to sell.
These simple tips will help you highlight the best features of your living room, and make potential home buyers say one word when they step in, “wow!”.
Staging A Living Room To Sell
Decluttering is a big key to your staging success, especially in living rooms where clutter can tend to collect. Check out my free decluttering guide and some of my decluttering blog posts to help you combat the clutter in your living room spaces.
Make sure there is plenty of room for potential home buyers to move and walk around.
Stage the room with smaller sofas and chairs set in conversational settings.
Remove extra pieces of furniture to make more floor space. The less that you have in the room the bigger it will look, but empty it out too much and it will lose that homey feel that makes it feel warm and inviting, so try to strike a balance.
Choose a lively color to splash into the room in moderation. A few colorful throw pillows, a coordinating vase, and matching candle for example. The rest of the colors should be neutral or subdued tones. I had a lot of teal and red accent pieces already, so I added those throughout our home, but opted to keep the small living room fairly neutral.
A few plants or some fresh flowers (in a coordinating color) in a vase will add vibrancy and life to the space.
Arrange furniture in natural conversational groupings and avoid pushing all of the furniture up against walls if you can.
This is my favorite secret of all: The more of the baseboards around the walls that you can show the better! It makes the room feel clean, spacious and open.
Incorporate some lush fabrics such as satin, lambswool, or silk with a throw over a chair or the arm of a sofa.
Highlight the best features of the room
Identify what is unique and beautiful about your living room. What do you love the most? Do you have a glorious fireplace? Are there beautiful built-in bookshelves lining your walls? Do you have gleaming hardwood floors? Is there a spacious bay window with a gorgeous view? Once you have identified the standout feature in your living room, decide how best to highlight it.
If you have a glorious fireplace, for example, perhaps you can clear the mantle of any personal items (aka clutter) and stage it with an arrangement of candles in varying heights (think odd-numbered groupings) and a few decorative items (check out this post for living room home staging decoration ideas). Hanging or setting a mirror over the fireplace draws the eye and can help make a smaller living room look bigger. Plus, mirrors are always a classic decorating choice.
In the home below, I opted for a little bit of a shameless subliminal message, “Home Sweet Home” to give the potential home buyers a little nudge that our house was homey.
Help your built-in bookshelves stand out by keeping them mostly clear with simple, neutral decorative items arranged in odd-numbered clusters. You don’t want any single item to stand out, but instead, you just want to dress the built-ins to highlight their own natural beauty. You can see our styled bookshelf in the “after” picture above.
A bay window can be spruced up by adding a cushion in a bright color or attractive pattern to turn it into a cozy reading nook. You can also frame the windows with some long, flowing curtains in a coordinating color for some dramatic flair. Hang curtains high to make the space appear larger.
Lighting for Home Staging
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of home staging (after decluttering and cleanliness). The more light you can let into your living room, the larger and cleaner it will feel.
This article from realtor.com offers some great advice on lighting a home to emphasize or downplay certain features in your living room. The right lighting can make a room look larger, emphasize features that you wish to highlight, and more.
To make a room look larger choose a wall and flood it with light. This will visually “push” the wall back. If your room is wide, focus light on the narrow ends. If a room is too narrow, illuminate the wide ends and the room will suddenly feel wider than it really is.
Make sure not to block windows and open them up to let in the most natural light that you can. If you notice that there are dark corners you can lighten them up with a lamp or two. Experts recommend using the highest wattage bulb that a lamp will take.
Wishing you a happy home staging (and home selling!) success this season!
Check out my other home staging posts to more home staging ideas to sell your house fast.
Pin this to now find it later!