The first rooms you see Set the Tone of the house

Home Stager with Chicagoland Home Staging LLC

We're all guilty or at least I am! We walk through a sellers front door and immediately sum up the house by what we see in the first few rooms. I can't tell you how many times I've decided if its going to be easy or hard right there or think I know what the master bathroom looks like after I've seen just 3-4 rooms. Well, just like us the buyers are doing the same thing, so remember the first few rooms a buyers sees can either send them packing or intrigue them with what is yet to come. You get to decide!  

In a recent case, Chicagoland Home Staging was asked to stage a very nice 3500 sqft historic home which was on the market for many months in downtown Naperville Illinois. From the curb I thought hmmm...pretty nice, but within seconds of entering the home I stopped in my tracks and thought "what the heck is this tiny room and why is the foyer over there in the hallway!" Not only were you immediately faced with an awkward room but the natural traffic pattern made it even worse. Well like any good stager I couldn't move on until I could figure how to make it better, meanwhile the REA showing me the property kept trying to get me to move on but nope I was stuck right there. The homeowner who was frustrated with the lack of offers could never figure it out what to do with it so she just did nothing.

After previewing the whole property it turned to be a very nice home but no one including me was getting past the first impression so the only thing that was selling was the competition. 

Here are several before can see the small writing desk is giving the room scale but it is not helping the buyer see the true potential. (sorry for the point and shot camera)

                                     View #1                                                                                    View #2







Well here is what we did...a living room. It instantly made it feel twice the size. We redirected foot traffic with furniture placement to the next room and not straight back into the dining room

As many stagers know when done properly staging will 'create a path' for the buyers that pull you through the property. It can help them make sense of something as in this case or draw you into rooms that they might otherwise just glance in and move on. 

So, if your getting your house ready for sale and not sure where to begin, start in the first rooms a buyers sees because they set the tone for what is to come!




Staging Chicagoland is our passion ~ Problem solving is our specialty 

We carry a full line of furniture and accessories for all your staging needs. We are your affordable full service staging source. Call Margaret Gehr today for more information.

Chicagoland Home Staging, Re-Arrange It Interiors 815-530-3566

To view other properties staged by Chicagoland Home Staging please visit: WWW.CHICAGOLANDHOMESTAGING.COM





Posted by


Margaret Gehr is the principle owner of Chicagoland Home Staging, servicing the greater Chicago area for home staging, redesign, and design projects. We work in both occupied and vacant homes. 


Comments (22)

Malinda Montgomery RSPS AHWD TMS-Realtor
Gaffs Realty - Port Orange, FL

Wow that is an amazing change. Great job. It looks very inviting. Thank you for sharing.

Dec 26, 2011 03:01 PM
Nina Rogoff
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Medfield, MA
Sells Real Estate!

Margaret, that change is amazing! I cannot believe it's the same space! Just shows how properly staging a home makes such a difference to how a buyer will see it!

Dec 26, 2011 03:16 PM
Ted J. Macy
Top Agents Atlanta Metro - Milton, GA

I agree with the above and best of all the Property SOLD, that is the best referral of all.

Have a Happy and Prosperous 2012

Dec 26, 2011 03:18 PM
Kathy Burke
Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA - Danville, CA
S.F. East Bay Home Staging

Margaret......Oh so TRUE!  Every home I walk into I have an immediate impression and know immediately what I think of it!  Difference is day & night with an empty space and your staging....small wonder it SOLD!!!

Dec 26, 2011 03:25 PM
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Hi Margaret...have you been MIA from AR for some time?  If so, what a great return this is!!  Fantastic problem solving and wonderful transformation. 

Dec 26, 2011 05:13 PM

Hi Kim, Oh...this RE team was seen the light! We stage most of their properties and we think they're awesome! Thanks for your nice comments 

Malinda - Thank you

Nina - Even this one was amazed me - not that the staging was any great shake but by how furniture placement can completely change the feel of a room.  

Thanks Ted - We love sold!

Kathy- funny how we do this..actually I'm not sure if its good or bad :)    

 Thanks Ginger - Yes its been a while since I've posted on AR..nice to see ya!  

Dec 27, 2011 12:44 AM
Margaret Oscilia
Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Salem Oregon

Wonderful staging and even I was surprised at the size of the room once you worked your magic!  Great work and results!

Dec 27, 2011 02:42 AM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Margaret - The desk in the "before" photo looks like a "time-out" area!  Who wants to be reminded of childhood scoldings when looking at a home?!  Love your solution - an inviting living room.  Fantastic.

Dec 27, 2011 03:49 AM
Kathy Nielsen - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Wow, Margaret - what a huge difference!  I love the pieces you used as well as the placement. You did a beautiful job.

Congratulations. Your home staging is being featured in the group Staging Before and After Pictures.


Dec 27, 2011 10:30 PM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Thanks Margaret, It was not my favorite but it made such a difference it was surprising.

Sally - You know I think that actually was the time-out desk :)

Thanks Barb

Thanks for the feature Kathy - :)

Dec 28, 2011 01:34 AM
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Wow, Margaret, you really transformed this space into something a home buyer would love. You made this space warm and inviting - a great first impression!

Dec 28, 2011 03:01 AM
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

Hi Margaret, so true, the secret weapon of all professional stagers is furniture placement.  It really takes a good eye to create the idea in the mind of the buyer that the house "works" for them. Great work.

Dec 29, 2011 01:04 AM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Thanks Michelle - It one of those houses where your sure the staging made all the difference! I'm just glad the property sold.

Michelle - could agree more!! I see way to many creative arrangements verses one thats best for selling. Furniture placement can create a path, slow a buyer down, pull into rooms, show off features, help buyers see the in best light, make rooms feel bigger, the list goes on and on...

Thanks for your comment

Dec 29, 2011 03:27 AM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Hi Margaret ~ Your staging of this awkward space was the perfect solution!  Otherwise, like you, buyers would continue to be confused.  Not only what you used, but how you placed it was so important ... congrats on a great job and quick sale for your client!

Dec 31, 2011 06:05 AM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Happy New Year Maureen! Thanks for your comments. Hope I'll see you in Vegas again this year.

Jan 01, 2012 05:18 AM
Tori Toth
Tori Toth, International - Howard Beach, NY
888.667.6643 NYC & Beyond, HSR, SAR, RESA, LIBOR

love it and that pocket door is to die for! 

Jan 05, 2012 04:51 AM
Wendy Tomm
Beyond the Walls - East St Paul, MB
CCSP, RESA-PRO, BBB - Wpg Realtors

Absolutely love historic homes and yes the first entrance that potential buyers walk into sets the tone.  Best of luck in 2012.

Jan 05, 2012 05:19 AM
Margaret Gehr
Chicagoland Home Staging LLC - Naperville, IL

Hi Tori - I had to open the pocket door to show it off! :)

Thanks Wendy!

Jan 07, 2012 04:16 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

We are all guilty!  We make an assumption as soon as we walk in the door!  At least in this case, having you there resulted in a wonderful transformation!

Jan 23, 2012 07:22 AM
James A. Browning
Browning Real Estate School/REO Institute - International, IT
MRE REOCertified(R) SSCertified

Thank you for sharing your blog; we need Real estate Professionals to share their comments and information regarding their markets and experiences. Thanks again from beautiful Colorado; Spring is here in the Rocky Mountains

May 13, 2012 01:26 AM