Home Decorating and Staging
Insider Secrets to a Beautiful Home

Staging Dining Room

Staging Dining Room

Staging a dining room is a powerful way to tickle a buyer's imagination. You want them to walk in and instantly think: "I want to live here!" When your home creates that kind of emotion, a buyer will move heaven and earth to buy it.

A buyer knows within seconds of entering a home that "this is the one."  They feel excitement that's streamed purely through the senses via color, light and a feeling that they've found their dream home.

Bill's little farmhouse sat vacant for a year. After staging, it had a buyer withing one week. Here's how a few staging props can totally transform a space.

Staging a Tiny Vacant Dining Room

Dining Room Before

Dining Room After

Staging Details

  • In this tiny house, there was only room for a small table and two chairs.
  • Make your room look as big as possible. In real estate, space equals money.
  • Red place mats coordinate with the accent color chosen for this house.
  • Black cloth napkins "ground" the color scheme and keep it from becoming overwhelming.
  • Green plates with a red tomato (fake) suggest a meal.
  • Add two pretty wine glasses.
  • Finish with red hydrangeas in a complimentary vase.
  • Details for staging the rest of this home at Staging a Living Room and Staging a Bedroom.

Updating an Outdated Dining Room

Staging is a foreign concept to some older people who think you can still sell a house "as is." But times have changed and younger buyers expect to see staged homes. "As is" can mean months on the market and thousands of dollars in price reductions.

Fortunately, staging does not have to be expensive. It just takes a little imagination and the use of a few decorating guidelines.

Dining Room Before

Dining Room After

Staging Details

  • Different art updates and adds more color and excitement.
  • Table was set with colors that coordinate with the rest of the house.
  • White tulips are simple and elegant.

Dressing-up a Dining Bar

Details matter. Look how simple it is to transform a drab kitchen counter with a mirror and two place settings. This room was not repainted.

Kitchen Bar Before

Kitchen Bar After

Staging Details

  • All the tiny wall hangings were replaced with one big mirror from another room.
  • Knick-knacks were packed away.
  • An artificial fern in the corner adds life.
  • Bamboo place-mats are a dark, neutral background for the blue dishes.
  • One red tomato on each plate for fun.
  • Blue-stem glasses continue the blue theme of the house.

Staging Dining Room Guidelines

  1. Remove any furniture that blocks walkways, makes the dining room small, or makes it difficult to pull out a chair and sit down. More on this in arranging furniture.

  2. Unless you have a very large dining room, remove all extra table leaves, and leave only 2-4 chairs. Use your discretion here. The table should feel appropriate to the space and the dining room should feel roomy.

  3. Large art or mirrors on the most visible wall add color and interest. Choose art that will help sell your home.

  4. Use place-mats that are natural, neutral, or coordinate with the colors in the house.
  5. Dishes should continue the same color scheme.
    Layer them for richness: dinner plate, salad plate and bowl. 
  6. Use fake fruit or vegetables for color, to invite prosperity (feng shui), and for fun.
  7. Add cloth napkins that continue the color scheme and coordinate with the place-mats.
  8. Don't forget some pretty glasses.
  9. Top it off with a beautiful floral in a pot or vase, or some fresh looking silk greenery. Flowers will have more impact if you keep it simple and stick with one color.
  10. If your dining room is large enough, Decorating a Dining Room Buffet will add dazzle.

More Examples and Ideas for Setting a Pretty Table
See more ideas in Staging Dining Room Table.

Decorating a Small Living Room Dining Room Combination
This is a typical situation in senior communities. The condos are designed to be compact and easy to maneuver. But arranging furniture can be a headache. Ideas on how to make this type of room more interesting in Decorating a Small Living Room Dining Room.

The Staging Advantage
Staging helps the buyer imagine themselves living and entertaining in their future home. It's a strategy that works and will give your home the advantage over other similar homes on the market.

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Staging Dining Room

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.