5 Design Secrets to Stage a Small Living Room

Real Estate Agent with FRONT PORCH REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY STYLING - Colorado Home Sales LLC

5 design secrets to stage a small living room from a Colorado Springs home stager. If your room is somewhat size-challenged re-think your space by blending in these key design elements.


1. Consider the scale as well as the amount of furnishings you currently possess. Take a picture of your living room. Is the overstuffed, comfy, 5-piece sectional the first thing you notice? Do you think the Buyer will overlook how it resembles Clifford the big red dog? They won’t get past how much valuable square footage is eaten up by this elephant in the room. You can remove/store it and replace with furniture that is the correct scale. Or, split it up at the corner and use a section to create a loveseat. It’s okay if there’s one arm or none. Pop color with an accent pillow on the end.


2. Use tables that have very little visual weight. Think translucent and reflective. Glass, lucite, metal and mirrors are surfaces that enable the eye to see through or to see light as it bounces around the room. Mercury glass lamps are brilliant for this purpose.

 - Bella Mancini Design



3. Hang window treatments high. If privacy isn’t an issue and inadequate sunlight is, remove them altogether - especially if you’re lucky enough to have millwork. Buyers love a trimmed out window. This detail equates to a more custom, thus better quality home. If, however, privacy is a concern, or you’d like to showcase a beautiful view, here are some good options.


Lightweight panels hung to the ceiling create the appearance of more height (more space). An airy, open weave, like linen, will diffuse light unlike heavy, lined draperies which obstruct sunlight. Remove valances or swags. Keep it simple.


Another great alternative are woven shades. They create texture and architectural interest to windows that may be a tad dated.


4. Replace old dingy, stained carpet. If you find hardwoods underneath, it’s a no-brainer to refinish. If you can’t make this investment, consider ripping out the shag and replacing with a carpet remnant or a sea grass rug, both economical and visually fresh.


 - Vanessa de Vargas Design      


5. Last, but never least, paint. Before spending $40/gallon consult a professional home stager. Warm, creamy neutrals are typically the go-to, but should they be yellow-based or gray-based? How much daylight does your room actually get. Is it north-facing? Does it feel cool in the morning? Would Buyers feel too warm in the afternoon? Is there tile on the floor or your fireplace surround? Should you paint the ceiling the same color? Many variables determine which hue is best for your room. Don’t wait until you’ve made your third trip to the paint store to ask for help.


5 design secrets from a home stager to help you create an airy, spacious living room that Buyers will love.


Posted by

 Front Porch Real Estate & Property Styling | kimgaston719@gmail.com

If you'd like to know what your Colorado Springs home is worth,

please call me at 719-661-6987 and I'd be happy to offer a current market value estimate.  

To view inspiring Before & After staging photos, visit my portfolio at:  www.FrontPorchInteriors.com


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Re-Blogged 9 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Joanna Cohlan 03/15/2012 07:33 AM
  2. Doug Maas 03/15/2012 09:46 AM
  3. Jennifer Mondaine 03/15/2012 12:38 PM
  4. Kevin Guttman 877-251-9709 03/16/2012 08:19 AM
  5. Leslie DeLuca 03/16/2012 08:43 AM
  6. Gene Riemenschneider 03/16/2012 09:20 AM
  7. Gabe Sanders 03/19/2012 03:27 AM
  8. John McCormack 03/20/2012 06:31 AM
  9. Winston Heverly 09/02/2012 08:10 PM
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Bill Reddington
Re/max Southern Realty - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

You suggestions are about light an bright. I agree. Declutter and upgade where necessary. It comes back at closing.

Mar 16, 2012 11:21 AM #72
Kim Skumanick
Keller Williams Real Estate - Tunkhannock, PA
Fabulous advice Kim! Can't wait to share this with a few clients. Especially like the idea of "little visual weight." thanks for the info!
Mar 16, 2012 11:59 AM #73
Kim Gaston
FRONT PORCH REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY STYLING - Colorado Home Sales LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Your Colorado Springs Realtor-Stager (719)661-6987

Hey Sally, that's unfortunate she didn't wait for your opinion. I'm sure your creative staging will deflect this less than ideal color choice. Happy Friday.

Spot on, Bill. That's the attitude we hope homeowners adopt when making a minimal investment to receive a maximum profit.

Thank you, Kim. I hope it helps position your clients' homes in the best possible light.

Mar 16, 2012 12:07 PM #74
Sondra Meyer:
Star View Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO
See It. Experience It. Live It.


Congrats on the well deserved feature!  Although all of your tips are great, I had never thought that much about changing out the window coverings.  My pet peeve was always making sure that the blinds were all adjusted the same in photos. 

Thanks for sharing. 

Mar 16, 2012 01:59 PM #75
Kathryn Acciari
RE/MAX Professional Associates, with offices in Sturbridge, Charlton, Auburn, Spencer, and Shrewsbury - Sturbridge, MA
Realtor - Sturbridge MA Real Estate

Beautiful article!  I like your idea about the glass lamps - a small difference with huge impact.

Mar 16, 2012 05:35 PM #76
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Kim,  Great post.  From paint (paint is cheap) to window treatments, some really great suggestions!

Mar 16, 2012 05:46 PM #77
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton

Dear Kim,

Too bad you do not work in my area. I love the example pics & your ideas. However, on the reverse, you can sometimes get a deal for a buyer with limited funds, when the seller did not know these things. I once sold a house after opening the curtains, so the buyer could see how nice the home might be with some sunlight coming in.

Mar 16, 2012 07:42 PM #78
Kim Gaston
FRONT PORCH REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY STYLING - Colorado Home Sales LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Your Colorado Springs Realtor-Stager (719)661-6987

Sondra, your comment made me chuckle. I forget how something as simple as all the blinds being pulled the same height can be overlooked. Thanks for visiting!

Thank you, Kathryn. I can't believe how common mercury glass lamps have become - even Target carries them.

Hi Bob, and thanks so much for commenting.

Dörte, that's pretty incredible. You'd think the listing agent might have mentioned that tip to the seller. Thanks for your feedback.

Mar 16, 2012 08:35 PM #79
Wayne Jackson
Lakeshore Realty 208-714-4109 - Hayden, ID
North Idaho Realtor, Serving Coeur dnullAlene and Hayden Lake

Kim, Thanks for the great ideas. they will bwe very useful in this business.

Mar 16, 2012 09:54 PM #80
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9663

thanks for all the good ideas.

Mar 17, 2012 01:31 AM #81
Kim Gaston
FRONT PORCH REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY STYLING - Colorado Home Sales LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Your Colorado Springs Realtor-Stager (719)661-6987

Happy to help, Wayne. Have a great weekend!

You're welcome, Bob. Thanks for stopping.

Mar 17, 2012 08:36 AM #82
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Kim- I'm late to this party but a big congratulations on a feature for a helpful and informative post.  These are 5 great tips, especially #1.. consider the scale.  So often we tend to keep items whether or not they work in our present situation.  

Mar 17, 2012 05:48 PM #83
Ranji Singh, SRES
Royal LePAGE York North Realty, Brokerage - Newmarket, ON

Hi Kim  .... great and simple ideas.  Thanks for sharing.



Mar 17, 2012 08:07 PM #84
Kim Gaston
FRONT PORCH REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY STYLING - Colorado Home Sales LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Your Colorado Springs Realtor-Stager (719)661-6987

Hi Kathy, scale is a tricky one to explain when a homeowner feels its just fine. Pictures communicate this pretty quickly.

Thank you, Ranji. Hope it helps.

Mar 18, 2012 08:45 PM #85
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Wow!  All those reblogs and Featured too!  You've got a real winner here, Kim! Excellent advice that I'm sure will be very helpful to many! 

Mar 22, 2012 12:24 PM #86
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer

Kim:  Those are 5 very good tips.  I am always surprised by the people who think that the new buyer should be responsible for taking out the old stained carpet.  Of course, finding that buyer who can see past Fido's house training mistakes may be the real challenge.

Mar 31, 2012 02:53 AM #87
Mike Hofmeister

Great tips! I liked them so much I am sharing on my facebook page.

Apr 14, 2012 03:30 PM #88
Kim Gaston
FRONT PORCH REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY STYLING - Colorado Home Sales LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Your Colorado Springs Realtor-Stager (719)661-6987

I appreciate the support, Sharon. Thank you!

Valerie, that's just shocking isn't it? You have to remind them of their expectations if they were the buyer. Would they want to replace this in their new home? I know they feel justified with giving a carpet allowance, but this is just one more red flag to not make an offer. Thanks for coming by.

Thank you, Mike. I'm happy they're helpful.

Apr 15, 2012 08:03 AM #89
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

Fantastic tips...some I've used, and some were new to me.  Thanks for sharing, and I hope to put this info to good use on my next renovation.

Jan 29, 2013 09:42 AM #90
Kim Gaston
FRONT PORCH REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY STYLING - Colorado Home Sales LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Your Colorado Springs Realtor-Stager (719)661-6987

That's awesome. I'd love to see before and afters, Matt. Thanks for stopping in.

Jan 29, 2013 09:46 PM #91
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