Home Decorating and Staging
Insider Secrets to a Beautiful Home

Outdated Dining Room

Outdated Dining Room

I generally get calls when sellers are exhausted from being on the market without a decent offer and are ready to try anything, including staging. They keep hearing "outdated" from buyers and are terrified they're going to have to either give the home away or spend lots of money updating it.

An outdated home doesn't have to be an obstacle to getting a good price. And you don't have to stage with all new furniture. Buyers are really easy to please. They like homes that are:

  • Clean
  • Roomy
  • Inviting

They don't like homes that are:

  • Dirty
  • Dark
  • Crowded with old furniture

You can win the heart of a buyer by spending a lot of money or a little. Here's an example of how we did it for very little money.

Updating an Outdated Dining Room

This home belonged to an elderly couple. The husband passed away, and the wife was in a nursing home. The grown children were juggling jobs, caring for their mother, and faced with the task of selling the house to pay for growing nursing home expenses.

Typical of most older couples, they bought the best they could afford, and then never changed another thing for 50 years. The realtor thought the dining room was a big obstacle to the sale and that we should get rid of the orange chairs. But renting furniture is expensive, so we tried working with them first.




Staging Details

  • We removed the recliner, end table, plant stand, china closet, all the little pictures and wall hangings, extra chairs and the broom.
  • The dining room table was reduced to its smallest size and four chairs.
  • Orange is popular again and the chairs have a funky, vintage look. Not great, but possible.
  • The old chandelier was cleaned until it sparkled.
  • Outdated, ornate window coverings were removed to appeal to younger buyers.
  • Pink walls were painted a neutral color, Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige.
  • New tan carpet replaces badly soiled old white carpet.
  • New mirror on the most visible wall creates the illusion of more space and bounces light into the room.
  • An artificial tree is moved from another room to soften an empty corner.
  • Owner's china had the right colors: orange, brown and green.
  • New striped placemats in the same shades, with brown napkins, luxurious wine goblets (owner's), and a cluster of white poppies in a chunky brown vase suggest suggest a lovely dinner.

It's very hard to sell a dirty house, especially when it's crowded with old furniture. But once you clean it up and eliminate the extras, the staging is inexpensive. In this house it amounted to a mirror, placemats, napkins and a vase with some silk flowers.

Try looking at your outdated dining room with new eyes. You will be amazed at how much better it can look by sorting and packing to open up the space. Then thoroughly clean and paint a neutral color.

Arranging furniture to maximize the space will give the room an entirely different look.

And finally, set a pretty dining room table that invites the buyer to want to buy your home! See some ideas to get you started in Staging a Dining Room Table.

Outdated Living Room. See how we staged the living room in this same home.

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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.