How should I stage my living room for buyers?


If you were doing a walk-thru of a house you were interested in purchasing, and came across this living room, would you be turned on or turned off? Please ignore the diaper changing station on top of the media cabinet.

q living room staging for buyers
  16 answers
  • Landsharkinnc Landsharkinnc on Jan 16, 2019

    too crowded; remove ottoman in front of the fireplace; maybe change position of the larger chair and put the smaller (recliner?) at a different angle; maybe end table between larger chair/sofa with a lamp.... remove any seasonal items .... if possible move all larger pieces further away from fireplace --- seems very small for such large pieces

  • GG GG on Jan 16, 2019

    I've purchased two homes in a year and a half. I generally don't look at the furniture or how it's arranged in a room, other than to compare the size of the furniture to the size of my own furniture, giving me an idea of how my pieces might fit. As long as the room is clear of any clutter and it's clean, the furniture makes no difference as to whether it's there or not. If it's cluttered or unclean, I will thank the realtor and let them know it's not what I'm looking for and I move on to the next house.

  • Lizbeth Lizbeth on Jan 16, 2019

    I agree it's a bit crowded. Like GG I try to imagine my furniture in an area but that's usually easier to do if there is less stuff there. I'd definitely move the ottoman. You want the fireplace to stand out. And I'd consider switching the two chairs. Last, if it was ME, I'd take down the art. You want as clean and bland a space as possible to appeal to all tastes. I know buyers shouldn't concentrate on personal decorating touches but we can be subconsciously affected. Sometimes that's good ("hey, this feels like home") but sometimes it's not ("just not comfortable here, not sure why") Good luck!

  • Gk Gk on Jan 16, 2019

    I would rearrange the furniture. Placing the couch where it is now makes the area look smaller and closed in. I would move the couch to the picture wall. Leave the gray chair where it is by the window and add a small coffee table and lamp OR move the chair to where the couch is now and the media cabinet in front of the window.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Jan 16, 2019

    If possible, remove all items from the home that you don't truly need. The emptier the spaces, the larger they look. Decor art is fine but take out anything that is personal such as family photos - people want to imagine their own family there!

    For that specific room, take out the changing table, the large chair and the ottoman. Far too crowded. Change baby on a blanket on the sofa or in his bedroom. Good luck!

  • Shore grandmom Shore grandmom on Jan 16, 2019

    I would angle the rug and sofa to face the fireplace. I'd put the matching chair on the side where the diaper changer is. The other chair I would put in storage unless you can put it somewhere else without cluttering some place else up. The ottoman needs to go to storage. I would put something tall and thin on both sides of the tv to frame it. Get rid of the little stuff. I'd also remove the art on the wall and the vases on both sides of the fireplace. Here are so other things to do when selling your home.

    Great curb appeal (bright flowers and grass cut and trimmed, shrubs trimmed, garden weeded) is very important. If it looks bad from the outside, a lot of people won't waste their time walking inside. That makes everyone think that the home was not taken care of and underlying issues could be present. Clean the exterior and the doors and windows. Make sure your front door looks welcoming, maybe a fresh coat of paint, if it's a painted one. A new welcome mat is nice. Remove all personal things (pictures, stuff hanging on the refrigerator, etc). Also remove any furniture and stuff in closets not needed and any other kind of clutter (put it storage if you have to). Organize everything left into an orderly fashion. If the walls are dark, paint them a light color (it makes the rooms look bigger and brighter). Other than some paint (neutral colors), it really isn't necessary to do any updates as the new owners may have different tastes and could possibly change it anyhow. Only fix what needs to be fixed (you don't want it to look like you didn't take care of the home). Keep everything clean so you're not running around before a showing, making sure windows are clean.. Make the beds when you get up. Before a showing, open all window coverings and let the sunshine in. Turn on all lights even on a bright sunny day, the more light, the better. Be careful burning candles, a scent you like may not smell so good to someone else . The smell of a strong scented candle could also trigger an asthma attack or appear to be covering something up. Flowers could also trigger allergies or asthma. The smell of clean or some freshly baked goods is much more enticing. And if necessary, spray an air neutralizer. When your home is being shown, remove all animals and put away their paraphernalia if at all possible. Good luck.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jan 17, 2019

    Nice windows. I'd remove the large brown chair and the ottoman to open the outside view. The art work competes with the fireplace which is the focal point, and is hung rather high. Notice you have some artificials. I'd replace one with a taller, artificial to bring in more colour and interesting shape to soften edges - and bring in the outdoors. Think you need a pop of colour.... maybe a cushion with deep turquoise and some of the blue from your rug?

  • Vivian Vivian on Jan 18, 2019

    I agree with all that Shore grandmon has said! Especially removing the baby changing station or repose the piece just for the showing. Simple clean lines that draw the viewer to a focal point like the fire place and the great windows will give the person a view of how big the space is for thier own furnishings..

  • Michelle Michelle on Jan 18, 2019

    to crowded take out the bench in front of fireplace less is better

  • Christierei Christierei on Jan 18, 2019

    Picture a group of 3 adults walking thru. Is there room ? A realtor and clients walk thru in a little huddle. Not how we normally walk! I'd remove the ottoman and the larger single chair. Move the smaller light colored chair to be next to the window. Some tall candlesticks on the mantle and a live plant or flowers. Pretty simple. If you wanted to go a little more upscale I'd faux finish the fireplace mantle with the columns. I'd use a dark aged wax and maybe a little grey. Or, paint the brick lighter. Visually, in the pics they seem like 2 different pieces not one cohesive piece. Also, some bright flowers or furniture on the patio to draw the eye out to that useable space.

  • V Smith V Smith on Jan 18, 2019

    The first rule in showing a house is that it must be clean. Not just cleaned of dirt but cleaned of clutter. If this is the first room they will see, this is where the impression is made. Try to arrange the room so that when you enter you can see the floor all the way to a wall in at least two directions. That will tell the eye that there is space. Right now it looks like your guest are funneled in behind the sofa. It is good that you float your furniture, but could you float your sofa with it's back to the room where you stood to take the picture? Then put your grey chair where the sofa is now. Lose the blue chair, its arms are space hogs. Send the media cabinet and the dried arrangements off with the blue chair. Clear off the mantle and take up the rug because it breaks up the flooring. Repurpose your ottoman into a coffee table with a large tray. Replace or cover your throw pillows with a warm color and add a matching soft throw to one end of the sofa. Apply the rule to your art that nothing with eyes stays in the house. You may like puppies, birds, and horses but the rest of the world is weird and may not. That applies to personal photos too. Once you list the house you have to let go of the thought that it is still yours. Your things should just be place holders, let the house hunters visualize their stuff in the space.

  • Pat Pat on Jan 18, 2019

    Agree with V Smith....But another thing that would turn me off would be the TV over the fireplace, too high to watch for any length of time and I would want to know there is another place for the over the console with the diaper changer on it. Yes to removing some of the furniture also.

  • AM AM on Jan 20, 2019

    I would stage it as i love it, but would remove the ottoman

  • Gardening mama Gardening mama on Jan 22, 2019

    Chairs facing away from the fireplace and looking at the couch on a diagonal parallel to the fireplace. One chair on either side of the fireplace. Line up the area rug with the couch so it’s following those lines and ottoman in the middle like a coffee table running the length of the area rug. I would also get a throw blanket that matches the couch to drape on the lighter chair so that it all ties in.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jan 28, 2021

    Way too much furniture and wrong scale for this size room. I would remove the chairs, ottoman.... angle the sofa in front of the fireplace, put a sofa table behind the sofa so the fireplace is the focal point. Then maybe put the smaller of the 2 chairs back in if it doesn't look cramped.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jun 02, 2021


    I would not be looking at your furniture, but visualizing my own in the space. Try putting the media centre in front of the window to let in more light, move the couch to where the light chair is across the room. Move the Light chair to where the media cabinet is now and the Dark chair o where the Couch is at the moment. or Move the couch up this way and the chair next to it . The Stool in the window ?

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