The Most Common Mistakes I See in People's Homes - Part 3

Home Stager with Rooms With Style
The Most Common Mistakes I See in People's Homes - Part 3

I see many mistakes that people make in their homes when I go in to assist them in Staging their home for sale or on a Redesign visit.
It seems as though there are four "common" mistakes that I see over and over. In each of Part 1 and Part 2 of the series I listed one of these common mistakes and the third mistake I see a lot is:
The absence of a coffee table.

A coffee table grounds the room and pulls it together. It provides the central spot of the conversation area. Besides being visually appealing it serves a purpose; it provides your guests a place to rest their beverage or for you to place snacks. It can even provide great storage within the table or hidden inside.
Coffee Table Crystal Bay

 A coffee table works even in a small area. A bench that is only 12" - 18" wide makes a great coffee table in a limited space or two cubes placed side by side also is a space saver.
Black Wicker in Sun Porch

If you have children and are worried about sharp corners, a large leather or upholsterd ottomans is the way to go.
Coffee tables from ottoman

In my opinion a living area without a coffee table is an incomplete room. If feels as though something is missing and there is!!


For more great ideas on how to finish off your space whether selling or staying, Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign  can assist you.

Comments (39)

Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

My point exactly Laura!

I don't think that is a good thing if I sound like anyone in the Big Lebowski Peg! LOL

Oh shucks Gene I left out the picture of me writing my coffee table book on all these coffee tables.You will need to wait until it is published.

Oh good Linda, glad I could help.

Kind of drives me nuts when there isn't a coffee table Janice. Do I need therapy do you think?

May 16, 2011 12:00 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Great advice, Shar.  yes, these can make a large diffference in style and grounding.

May 16, 2011 01:02 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Shar this is a great series - please send me the link to the last one when you post it!!  Also - it would be fun to link the previous posts at the bottom of each one. Know what I mean?

May 16, 2011 01:38 PM
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

Shar, glad to see I PASSED on this one...I still need the curtains and accessories to finish my family room off but looks like I'm off to a good start. Keep the series coming, I'm learning a lot.

May 16, 2011 02:49 PM
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

You're always right on the money Shar............hate that "dance floor" look without that cocktail table to anchor the room.

May 16, 2011 03:44 PM
Pamela Smith
Ventura County Home Staging - Thousand Oaks, CA

Great series Shar! I really love the two leather ottomans. Great look! I think it helps a lot when we (the stagers) go to lengths to create a special look like you've shown in your photos. Many's the time I've swapped out the homeowner's coffee table for one of my own. A minor tweak can create some much needed zing!!

May 16, 2011 03:49 PM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Shar - Great point!  A living room without a coffee table is like a bottle of Champagne without the cork - it just falls flat!  Love your bubbly, sparkly examples here.  Cheers!

May 16, 2011 04:02 PM
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

A coffee table really does anchor the room, no doubt about it Debbie.

I will do that Anna. I have the previous ones linked in the text of each post but good idea to add it at the bottom again.

Oh I am glad to hear you got a passing mark Ellen, I am a strict grader you know. LOL

I have seen a few dance floors in my time Roger. And most were not playing any music!

It usually is the smallest changes that do add the zing Pamela.

You are the master of words Sally. You need to write a book. An thank you.

May 16, 2011 04:11 PM
Janet Jones
Just Your Style Interiors, LLC - Kihei, HI
Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Shar--this is such an informative series of posts and your comments on coffee tables are great.  For so many of my staging consultations I'm looking around the house for options to either create a coffee table or replace one that is the wrong scale. 

May 17, 2011 12:46 AM
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

I understand Janet...I'm always looking around the house for options too.

May 17, 2011 12:57 AM
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

Wonderful series, Shar!  The flip side of this mistake is the coffee table that's too large!  Julie

May 17, 2011 04:05 AM
Rebecca McArdle
Stunning Staging & Redesign, LLC - Fort Wayne, IN

Great post Shar!  Quick question for you, what do you recommend when you run into a small room where a coffee table might be too much?  Go without it to make it spacious OR add it anyway to complete the look?  Thanks for sharing!!

May 17, 2011 06:09 AM
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

Absolutely Julia. It's got to be in proportion. Too big or a tiny dinky coffee table in front of a massive sofa/sectional.

Rebecca, I think add it anyway but the coffee table needs to be in proportion to the space and furniture. In my picture above, that porch was really narrow, probably no more than 5'. A small 12' wide coffee table still made it cozy and made the room look functional. A narrow bench, small cubes, etc are always great for small rooms. The picture with the 2 leather cubes was really tight in front of the fireplace. Granted without them you would have seen more floor space but it would have looked unfinished without something to tie the chairs to the loveseat. Try visualize that area minus the cubes. A coffee table will always tie the furniture together as a cohesive space.

May 17, 2011 12:02 PM
Anna Dovger
Add Value Home Staging LLC, 281-704-6607 - The Woodlands, TX
Home Staging -The Woodlands, TX

Loving your series, Shar. I had a consultation in the house with living room and family room. Both spaces didn't have coffee table. I don't get it. Where would you put your feet? LOL

May 17, 2011 12:24 PM
Ana Hitzel
AccentPositives Home Staging - Corona, CA
Professional Home Stager Inland Empire

Great series Shar and your photo examples are very nice.  A room will look sort of naked to me without that table or something to ground the seating area.


May 17, 2011 12:48 PM
Susan Peters
Dove Realty Inc. - Seattle, WA
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells

Of all the things that will make a buyer sit down and imagine their life in that home, a coffee table has to be at the top of the list. Even in a small space, you can come up with something that works.

May 19, 2011 01:31 PM
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

Exactly Anna!

It looks naked to me too Ana.

You can come up with something Susan, no matter how small.

May 20, 2011 12:53 AM
Geri Sonkin
Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103 - Merrick, NY
Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert

Great pictures of some of the many options for coffee tables.  I have two ottomans that look identical to those (different color) that I bought at HomeGoods.  They're so versatile.  I've used them in a number of stagings.

May 26, 2011 12:31 PM
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

I love eclectic coffee tables Geri. Great conversation piece for a conversation area!

May 26, 2011 02:41 PM
Valerie Baker
Exit Real Estate Professionals - Spokane, WA
Spokane Realtor

I now have a reason to go to garage sales this summer!  I keep thinking I need one but am never sure what kind would work with my big curved sofa.  

May 27, 2011 04:11 AM