Every now and then I have a staging challenge that I just cannot figure out. Most homes are easy to plan- first I determine the best purpose for the space, next I come up with the design scheme and then I sort out what furniture and accessories work best for the image we are trying to convey. Sometimes however I come upon a space that puzzles me. If I cannot figure it out, how can the buyer?
Such was the case with one of my most recent staging projects in Chester County Pennsylvania:
- First there was an entry hall that had been added between the home and the garage. It was both the front and the back entrance to the home so it was the first thing buyers noticed when they came in. It had a tile floor and brick walls making it instantly feel cold.
- Next was the living room. It was open on one side to the entrance hall, the other side to the kitchen and the other side to the sun room. The fourth wall had the fireplace and built-in bookcases. Upon first glance the only obvious place to put the sofa was on the wall near the entry hall but this would make the seating area absurdly far from the fireplace.
The kitchen was lovely but since it was open to the dining area buyers needed to see how this space would work for them.
- Finally there was the sun room. It was a gorgeous bright space overlooking lovely farmland. It had been added onto the house and it was the largest room in the home. By calling it a "sun room" buyers instantly felt like they could not enjoy it all the time and were relegated to the smaller living room or the basement.
My solution was to give more definition to the spaces in this open floor plan:
- The foyer became a mudroom and a command center for busy families.
The living room featured a gathering place adjacent to the gourmet kitchen and a separate home office niche.
The kitchen and dining room were made into one cohesive space by using the same color palate as the adjoining spaces.
The sunroom was transformed into a spacious family room that was an extension of the other living areas.
Since this home was bright and sunny I felt the typical staging neutrals (beige, brown and grey) just would not do. My vision was to infuse the home with color so that the buyer would remember how cheerful this space felt. The result? A charming and whimsical country retreat!