My BEST Awkward Space Staging Tip

Home Stager with FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor

I run across homes with wierdo spaces all the time, and when I do, I turn them into LIBRARIES.

Not a "reading nook" or a study, but as close to a library as I can get it. 

No matter how small, I try to finagle it.

Library Room 1 Library Room  2


Why? Because a library says grace, charm, and upscale living. Many of us still  remember how magical visiting a real library can be. A library offers a promise of living an unhurried, intellectually stimulating and inspired lifestyle.

Even in the smallest weird space, I can find a way to fit in at least some of the following elements:

1. Comfy Chair (or two if space allows)

2. Footstool or ottoman

3. Reading lamp (even if it has to be attached to a wall)

4. Shelving (it doesn't have to be to the ceiling, permanent, or expensive)

4. Books with very interesting titles (thrift stores for 25 cents-$1)

5. A framed map or two

6. A framed black and white photo of the local library

7. A small table or place to put a cup of coffee or tea

And VOILA! an unforgettable space whose purpose may be largely forgotten, but still strikes that chord of luxury and sophistication on a budget.

~ Michelle


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Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Michelle, this is a great idea. Real books are becoming a novelty with many switching to electronic books. I hope people embrace and keep their home libraries.

Apr 18, 2012 01:54 PM #14
Kim Skumanick
Keller Williams Real Estate - Tunkhannock, PA
Wonderful idea Michelle. Add a pair of reading glasses to the table and I might be inclined to sit down myself and enjoy a good read.
Apr 18, 2012 09:32 PM #16
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTORĀ®

I like it! I had a house with a 'wierdo' space. This would have been such a great idea for that space!!

Apr 18, 2012 10:56 PM #17
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Michelle, now that is a great idea. There isn't anyone who doesn't like a library.

Apr 18, 2012 11:10 PM #18
Donald Reich
Prudential Centennial - New Rochelle, NY

Great Blog! I am always impressed with libraries, and I think most buyers are too!

Apr 18, 2012 11:13 PM #19
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Great idea Michelle!  Love the different view on this.  :)                                                                                   

Apr 18, 2012 11:31 PM #20
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

I love this idea and I'm going to pass it on to my daughter, who has her own awkward space.

Apr 18, 2012 11:59 PM #21
Dominique Britton Realty LLC - 678.250.5022 - Buford, GA
Experience the Difference in Real Estate Services

Great tip Michelle, thanks for sharing.

Apr 19, 2012 12:49 AM #22
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Wow, ya'll! I'm glad you like one of my very favorite staging tips. Ya never know what will be featured here on AR!

The trick to creating this type of space is to make sure your book choices are all POSITIVE, the spines are hardbacks only,  reflect  a cohesive color scheme, and that you have collections of the same type of books. Any old books won't send the right message. I avoid all books with creepy titles, and are political or religious in nature. 

This week I added some nice titles to my collection at the local thrift store for less than $2:

Bluebirds in My House 

A Painted House

Pride of the Peacock


Peachtree Road

I also picked up a book called


but that one won't go into any staged houses!

And, yes, packing up is a always a good tip, but it's better to pack with the keen eye of a stager to know pack and what to save for creating the perfect messages to buyers!




Apr 19, 2012 03:01 AM #23
Shannon Jones
The Shannon Jones Team - Long Beach, CA
Long Beach CA Real Estate

Michelle, I love it.. Great idea. I LOVE reading and with Nooks and Kindles, etc. these days, having a library is such a rarity.. and I would consider it a luxury.

Apr 19, 2012 03:08 AM #24
Brian Schulte
Allison James Estates & Homes - Sierra Vista, AZ
SFR, Sierra Vista, AZ

Wow! ... Thank You!

Apr 19, 2012 04:02 AM #25
Melissa Brown
Helen Adams Realty - Charlotte, NC
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

I love, love, love libraries!  What a great idea for turning an awkward space into something desirable.  I might see if I can find a library nook in my own house!


Apr 19, 2012 11:56 AM #27
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Michelle - I think this is a great tip.  Of course I took a space that was not awkward in my home and turned it into a library so I may be partial.

Apr 19, 2012 12:24 PM #28
Dawn Maloney
RE/MAX Trinity Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist - Hudson, OH
330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio

I love this tip for myself as well as sellers. I love books and my favorite spaces in a home feature books and a comfy place to read. Very, very nice!

Apr 19, 2012 01:51 PM #29
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


Very cleaver idea.  You make it sound so easy.  I will keep this idea in mind.  My listings seem to be crammed with awkward spaces.

Apr 19, 2012 02:07 PM #30
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea - perfect for a certain buyer!

Apr 21, 2012 06:51 AM #31
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United RealtorsĀ® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Michelle,

Congratulations on he feature..well deserved. I love your clever idea..I'm sure this post has given us al several ideas :).

Apr 21, 2012 09:58 PM #32
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Great idea as most of the time only a chair fits in these areas!  Takes care of the 'what is this supposed to be' question.

Apr 22, 2012 01:17 AM #33
Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

So glad that Kathy reposted this-yes, a library is wonderful because of all the feelings it evokes and, because books about lifestyle and other subjects work all the time.  Great shots!

Apr 22, 2012 02:14 AM #34
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I don't have a picture...wish I did.  I don't know what my problem is, but I find myself after the staging thinking of the pictures I should have taken.

May 16, 2012 11:26 PM #35
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