Home Staging Things That Make You Go Hmmm ...

Home Staging Things That Make You Go Hmmm ...I was on the phone yesterday with some other designer buddies. The subject came up about how people are sometimes afraid to have a designer or home stager come to their home because they might feel embarrassed when we see that they've used their dining room for a child's playroom or a home office. Of course, we laughed because we've done the same kinds of things in our own homes. We're human too!

But that got me thinking -- always a dangerous moment! :0)

Why do we make people who are using their dining room as something else turn it back into a dining room so that a buyer can move in and turn the dining room into --- something else?

Why do we make all the people who have painted their dining rooms RED paint them to a neutral color so that a buyer can buy the home, then move in and paint their dining room --- RED?

Don't you think that's funny? Not funny - haha, but funny - ironic.

My dining room isn't red, but I do plah to paint a red/orange accent wall someday. And it currently houses all of my home staging artwork that I don't want to store in my warehouse. I think we only ate in there 3 or 4 times during the couple of years that I had a dining table set up in there.

So, just for fun, what are YOU using your dining room for and what color is it? And what other home staging ironies do you wonder about?


Comments (12)

Emcee M. Arah
Remax Excellence - Silver Spring, MD - Silver Spring, MD
Realtor w/Architectural Dimension, AHWD CRS B-Arch

Nothing unusual in my dining room but what about the rather large closet that's converted into a mini-office and then forced to be turned back into a big closet?  Wouldn't it make more sellingsense (that's a word) to let people see alternatives for that space?  I like the way you think!


Mar 10, 2010 10:55 AM
Cal Yoder
Keller Williams Elite - Lititz, PA
Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744

It is definitely ironic. Our dining room is a dining room/storage for all the unfiled papers. It definitely gets cleaned up when we anticipate guests. I wonder to myself, "Wouldn't it be great if this is the way it always looked."


Mar 10, 2010 10:58 AM
Pangaea Interior Design Kitchen & Bath Design, Remodeling
Portland Oregon - Portland, OR

Emcee - Ah yes! The closet office! On one of my stagings there was a tiny closet that had the door removed at the end of a hall. I did stage that as a little office. I always wonder what they did with that spot once the condo had been purchased. Maybe I should go knock on the door?

Cal - Very funny! My husband and I often decide we need to invite people over when the house gets particularly messy. It forces us to tidy up!

Mar 10, 2010 11:04 AM
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

I think you are onto something -- had to laugh about the red rooms -- also purple ones!

Mar 10, 2010 11:32 AM
Darren Revell
Keller Williams Realty Temecula Valley - Temecula, CA

Well.. My dining room is now green, but a nice neutral green.. and it is being used as a sewing room this week until our daughter finishes her prom dress (Whole other subject)..  but most of the time it stays as a dining room, not to be eaten in, but to look at and observe.. lol.. 

Thanks for the post.. If we only knew what the Buyer's were going to use the home for, we could stage it as such..

Mar 10, 2010 12:07 PM
Pangaea Interior Design Kitchen & Bath Design, Remodeling
Portland Oregon - Portland, OR

Bob & Carolyn - have you been reading my website blog? I swear I just posted a blog today about helping a client choose a shade of purple -- well "Amethyst" :0) (sounds more sophisticated, doesn't it?) for her home.

Darren - Oh my goodness. I had forgotten how many years I used my dining room for sewing! I sewed my own prom dress and also my wedding dress in dining rooms! Hope your daughter's dress turns out beautiful! And yes, the dining room does sometimes end up being a sort of shrine to the fantasy of formal dining. Maybe you could put one of those velvet ropes across the door? LOL

Mar 10, 2010 12:31 PM
Robin North
Dramatic Spaces Home Staging and Design - Cambridge, ON

It's funny that people are intimidated by us and think we will judge how they have lived their life.  I think far too often we think we are the only ones doing something when in reality we are amongst the majority.

Currently, I have flipped my open concept dining room and living room.  My dining room, which we don't use, is my living room and the living room is now my home office.  I love the fact that I can look out my front window while I work.

Mar 11, 2010 11:15 AM
Pangaea Interior Design Kitchen & Bath Design, Remodeling
Portland Oregon - Portland, OR

Robin - Good for you! I think it's great when people decide to use a house in the way that fits them best. Far better that the house fits our lifestyle rather than us having to fit our lifestyle to the house.

Mar 11, 2010 03:50 PM
Janice Ankrett
Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Pangaea, I know what you mean. Some of my neighbours have flipped their dining and living rooms and are much happier. Unfortunately I had a client using her living room as a day care. It did not go over well and the house sat for a longgggg time. Some buyers just can't see past what it there.

Mar 15, 2010 06:30 AM
Pangaea Interior Design Kitchen & Bath Design, Remodeling
Portland Oregon - Portland, OR

Janice - That would be a tough one. You'd really have to have someone who just loved their little kids and already planned to give their entire living room over to them. Not likely!! Interesting that your neighbors have reversed their living rooms & dining rooms. I haven't seen that one before! Wonder why? Tiny living room? Very big dining room? That really does make me go hmmm...

Mar 15, 2010 07:03 AM

Pangaea, you brought up a very good point. We currently use our formal living room as my office because we don't need a formal living room.  We've a family room and a conservatory that provide plenty of "gathering spaces."  As a stager myself, I often think that we need to re-convert our living room to its original purpose when we sell our house.  But it really makes a great office space, so why not provide that as an option/suggestion to the buyers and leave it as an office? 

Mar 15, 2010 04:02 PM
Pangaea Interior Design Kitchen & Bath Design, Remodeling
Portland Oregon - Portland, OR

Erica - well I'm not going as far as saying your living room shouldn't get turned back into one if you go on the market. But I do wonder why builders keep building houses that have both; a living room and a family room, if so many of us think we don't need both. Keep an eye open for my upcoming e-book on home offices. People seem to be needing those a lot more these days!

Mar 16, 2010 02:01 PM