The Most Common Mistakes I See in People's Homes - Part 2

Home Stager with Rooms With Style

The Most Common Mistakes I See in People's Homes - Part 2

  Previously I shared a common mistake I see in many homes in Part 1 of this Common Mistake Series. As a Home Stager and Designer I see hundreds of homes.

Don't beat yourself up if you are doing any of these mistakes. That is the reason I call them "common" mistakes.

The second most common mistake I see in homes is:

Not enough lamps

Ceiling lights do not replace the need for lamps. If you are selling your home lamps are needed to bring more light into a room, light up a dark corner and make a room cozier. Lighting from the lamps will also make a room look larger.



If you are not selling your home you need lamps to warm up a room, disperse the lighting throughout the room and create more ambiance for entertaining.

As a general rule a living room or family room should have three lamps; placed in as close to a triangular position as possible. What a difference this will make!

As a side note, make at least two of the lamps 'table' lamps if possible. Floor lamps are great and are necessary in tight spaces but three floor lamps in one room is not the best.


Lamps in a Triangle


If you tuned in to Part 1 I talked about a common mistake in furniture placement. How does the arrangement in the two pictures above avoid that mistake?? Yes....this is a quiz. LOL


Table lamps on each side of a bed is the best way to make an impact and frame out the bed. Don't have these lamps be too small. A secondary mistake, let's call it #2B, is dinky little lamps by the bed. The more massive the bed the taller and beefier your lamps need to be.


Lamps by Bed

I am a Designer and Home Stager and I see things in homes that are sometimes difficult for others to see. I can't fix my leaky faucet so I hire a plumber; I can't write a computer program so I hired an expert to put together my website. We are all good at different things.

If you need an expert eye to help with your home, Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign would be happy to give you the suggestions you need!





Comments (33)

Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Shar ~ another great post with good info for sellers -- and anyone else who wants to improve the look of their home.  Lamps are super-important -- guess that's why I have so many in my staging inventory.  I often see too-small lamps in the master -- once they're changed, the room instantly looks better.

P.S. I almost forgot to answer the Quiz question!  You floated the furniture in both rooms!!  :-)

May 13, 2011 06:56 AM
Drick Ward Property Management / Broker Assoc
NEPTUNE REALTY - Virginia Beach, VA
"RealtorDrick" - Experienced Representation

Great post here Shar. Lighting is really a big ticket item when showing a house. Keep up the great work.

May 13, 2011 07:14 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Another great post in a very good series.  Once again I will get it out to my readers.  Thanks a bunch.

May 13, 2011 07:24 AM
Beth Lester
Beth Lester Designs - Torrance, CA
Home Staging & Interior Decorating

My big question is - Do real estate agents turn on all those lamps when they're showing the home?

May 13, 2011 08:21 AM
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

I so agree with you Gary.

Good luck Gabe, how it helps.

Good answer Chuck! :)

Thanks Judy! You won't believe how many homes I go into that have no lamps.

You are so kind Kristine.

I don't even care if they don't match Joan. Just have them and let them be big enough and I am a happy girl. :)

I don't know Janice. I see 8" lamps by massive beds. The ones in my pictures are probably 24" at least and they still could have taken something taller and thicker and have been fine.

"Mistress of Design", that could be the name of my new TV show Peg! LOL. Instant gratification is always good....for the client. :)

Thank you Miss Laura.


May 13, 2011 10:33 AM
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

Absolutely they can be painted Amy. I have done that many times. Dated brass lamps spray painted black can look like a brand new modern lamp. I like to use Rustoleum brand of spray paint. Less bubbles and drips. They have dozens of kinds for whatever you are painting...metal, wood, ceramic, etc. Your local neighborhood hardware store is a great place to get help for what you need. And tons of colors...even Oil Rubbed Bronze.

The house I did a consult at yesterday had only floor lamps as well Sally. And no lamps by the beds. There are times I have clients buying 7 - 8 lamps for their homes. Good thing you can buy great lamps for little money.

I know Maureen....I have dozens and dozens of lamps too of every style, shape and color. DING DING DING!! You receive a gold star for answering the Quiz questions correctly!

Gold Star

May 13, 2011 10:41 AM
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

Thank you Drick I appreciate that.

You are welcome Gene and thank you.

Cha Ching is right David. Add so much for so little.

Not always Beth unless it is an open house, and I tell my clients that if they are leaving their home for a showing to turn every light and lamp on. But they are worth it for the MLS photos alone.

May 13, 2011 10:44 AM
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

I think I need to go shopping!  My bedside lamps are much too small for my king-size bed!

May 13, 2011 04:28 PM
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

i personally love lots of lamps.. just in my greatroom alone, i have 5.. :)

May 13, 2011 05:08 PM
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Late to the party once again, but glad I was is so important and one of the biggest mistakes made is so many places. 

May 13, 2011 11:46 PM
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

See David, that is what happens when you rush through your assignment.

Off to the store for you Donna! LOL

Good  job Sheila!

Always better late than never Roger.

May 14, 2011 01:32 AM
Julie Davis
JLD Marketing - Saint Louis Park, MN

Amen to that!!!!  I think I can officially call myself a lamp junkie....I love them in my own home, I prefer them on over the overhead lighting anyday.  Actually, I may own more pairs of lamps than I do shoes, well maybe not, but it sure is close!  LOL  Thanks for sharing Shar!

May 14, 2011 07:55 AM
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

You know, I may have more lamps than pairs of shoes too Julie! I never thought of that!!

May 14, 2011 11:56 AM
Anna Dovger
Add Value Home Staging LLC, 281-704-6607 - The Woodlands, TX
Home Staging -The Woodlands, TX

Shar, very good point. Out of all houses I did consultation on, one lamp I see is the max per room, very rear floor lamp comes to "complete" the look... I don't know what people are thinking maybe spending at least $80 for the pair of lamps stops them... but anyway I think that having lamps is the key to have a cozy atmosphere and it doesn't matter how good the lighting in the house is.

May 14, 2011 02:38 PM
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

Shar - I am alsways amazed at how many people live in houses with minimal lampage!  Since I am all about the light, I always have clients purchase or rent more lamps!  Julie

May 15, 2011 06:53 AM
Rebecca McArdle
Stunning Staging & Redesign, LLC - Fort Wayne, IN

Shar, I liked your "general rule" about lighting in a living/family room.  Thanks again for sharing!

May 17, 2011 06:41 AM
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

I am with you on that one Anna!

Me too Julie. Sometimes people think I am nuts I think.

You are welcome Rebecca.

May 17, 2011 11:53 AM
Brian L. Sirota, Esq.
Bristar Realty (Realtor/Attorney) - Orange, CA
For Solutions: (714) 501-7660

Shar, your simple suggestions make such a big difference.  I totally dig that you explain mistakes and the process of room changes, not just throwing up before and after pictures!  

I enjoyed your entire series on "common mistakes."   Thank you.


May 26, 2011 08:20 AM
Geri Sonkin
Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103 - Merrick, NY
Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert

I had to laugh because I have so many lamps in my inventory (between stagings, all around my house) that I probably look like a lamp thief.  Thankfully, right now they are gracing three different homes.  Lack of proper lighting can destroy an otherwise well designed room.  A recent client looked at me as if I'd taken leave of my senses when I recommended they replace their too small, recently purchased night table lamps for better scaled ones.  I finally had to give up on that one since they'd spent so much money on other things I suggested.  It still bothers me terribly every time I walk in the room.

May 26, 2011 12:41 PM
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

You are welcome Brian. Glad you enjoyed it.

A lamp thief! Ha....kind of hard to hide under your coat Geri.

May 26, 2011 02:34 PM