Home Decorating and Staging
Insider Secrets to a Beautiful Home

Instant Living Room Makeover

Instant Living Room Makeover

Even if you don't have money to spend on staging your living room, there are lots of things you can do to make it more inviting:

  • Make each room (including hallways) look as large as possible. You should be able to enter any room (or walk down any hallway), without dodging furniture.
  • Make each room look as attractive and inviting from the doorway as possible.
  • Allow access to the windows and let in as much light as possible.

Everett's Story
The longer we live in a home, the more things we tend to accumulate. Everett and his wife lived in their home for 41 years. But at the age of 82, a widower and with failing health, it was time to sell and move closer to his daughter.

Although his home was neat and comfortable, it lacked that certain something that would appeal to a buyer. And with a limited budget, we had to make do with the existing furniture and accessories.

The first thing you saw when you walked into this living room was the plastic liquor cart and the 1950's record player. Because the sofa, coffee table, and rug were lined up like arrows pointing at them.

Living Room Before

Living Room After

Staging Details

  • Liquor cart, record player, rug, and tan leather chair were removed to open up the room and make it feel bigger.
  • Sofa was moved to the wall with the window to invite the buyer to come in and sit down.
  • Two side tables and matching lamps frame the sofa and provide ambient lighting. Especially important if buyers are looking in the evening.
  • Two side chairs (that complement the sofa better) were brought in from another area of the house and placed at right angles, creating a nice conversation area.
  • New red throw pillows provide color and brighten the sofa and chairs.
  • A little greenery on the coffee table adds freshness.
  • Staging this living room by simply rearranging the furniture made it appear spacious and inviting. The home sold within a month in a slow 2010 real estate market.

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Alex Hinst is the author of Home Decorating and Staging and owner of Alex Hinst Designs, located in Denver's Historic Highlands.

Alex Hinst Designs has hundreds of success stories in both private and investor home renovations and is dedicated to helping you create your perfect home.