A Space is Just a Space ‘til you Give It an Identity, If you’re Selling, Don't Sell Confused Spaces

Home Stager with Simply Staging

A house is made up of many spaces, some are impossible to mistake for anything else because of what they have in them, such as the kitchen and bathrooms.  However, a house also has spaces that can be whatever you want them to be.  Who says that rooms have to be what the builder originally intended them to be?  The house belongs to you now, so you can do what you want with it and use it however you wish.

As a Staging Professional, I've seen homeowners do some pretty wild and imaginative things with their extra rooms.  For example, "formal" living rooms across America (I'm only an expert in my area, but I'm guessing that it happens everywhere else too) are being used less and less for anything but formal living.  Instead today's younger generations prefer to use these spaces for other, which to them seem like more, practical reasons.  I've seen living rooms turned into billiard rooms with gorgeously amazing pool tables, dart boards, beer signs, bar tables and even a complete bar, some were very tastefully done mind you.  Another one was turned into a full gym with high-end exercise equipment, mirrored walls and a sauna - yes, I said sauna.  How about a large dream office for the individual who works-from-home?  Yup, I've seen that too.  Or a kid's playroom, with giant plastic jungle gyms and other large toys (everywhere) - this is one that I see a lot.  How about a music room?  Or an additional bedroom?  Or for the homeowner who just doesn't know what to do with their "formal" living room - a great big blank nothing room that somehow turns into the storage room!  Yup, I've seen those too. 

But, and this is a big one, when it comes time to sell a home, you really do need to consider what makes most sense for the majority of the prospective buyers who might be interested in seeing your home.  The intent is to get as many people to see your "for sale" house as possible, so that you can increase your chances of selling.  In recent years, it is estimated that between 80 to 85% of all buyers in search of a home start their search on the internet.  If you plan on selling a house that has rooms that have been transformed into something outside of the norm, you could be unintentionally confusing the very buyer that you are trying to sell to.  

How you live in your home, is your business.  But when it's time to sell it, you have to consider changing your rooms back to their original intent, especially if you want to sell it.  Your chances of creating a home that appeals to the majority of buyers on-line and in person will drastically increase if you do.  And if you don't, you could possibly be sabotaging the sale of your own house.

Below is an example of a dining room that just didn't make sense.  Right away there was something odd about this room upon entering it.  There's a fireplace in the dining room, which for California, isn't normal; the kitchen nook and breakfast areas were right next to the formal dining room (not seen here); and notice the light way above the table - many things just didn't seem right about this room.  The biggest problem for me was that there were 3 different eating areas all next to each other - kind of confusing for me, so I knew a buyer would probably be confused as well.  I was able to figure out that this was probably at one time the family room.  Would the buyer however, be able to figure that out?  Maybe, they'd have figured it out, and maybe they wouldn't.  Those that didn't, would have walked away from this house wondering where the heck the family room goes and why there were so many eating areas?  They'd be dazed and confused.

Dining Room














Why would you want to daze and confuse a buyer?  So here's what we did to help sell this house, Simply Staging recommended we move the dining room back to where it belonged, even though the homeowner thought we were crazy.  You see, to her, it was much more important to have the formal dining room where it was.  She'd known the dining room to be the dining room for so long that she couldn't see it any other way.  So, out went the dining room and in came the family room, back where it belonged.  We used what little extra furniture the homeowner had left and in the end, we managed to accomplish our goals.  We removed the confusion of where the family room went and why there were 3 eating areas right next to each other.

Family Room

In the end, this house never did sell, but it wasn't because it didn't look great, it was only because this homeowner only had the house on the market for less than a month before deciding that it wasn't a good time to sell.  That's the excuse that the homeowner told all of us anyways, but I kind of heard it through the grapevine that part of the reason why they didn't move is because after we made the staging updates, they found out that they loved their house after all.  They left the family room right where we put it and loved the way their house looked again.   

Simply Staging has been offering Home Staging Solutions for both the "Vacant" and the "Not So Vacant" homes in El Dorado County and The Greater Sacramento area for more than 4 years.  For a free proposal, give us a call at (530) 417-1337 and see what it takes to get your home "Sell Ready". 


Posted by

Emma Vargas, ASP

Simply Staging has been offering Home Staging Solutions for both the "Vacant" and the "Not So Vacant" homes in El Dorado County and The Greater Sacramento area for more than 4 years.  For your proposal, give us a call at (530) 417-1337 and see what it takes to get your home "Sell Ready".


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Margaret Ann Innis
Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging - Andover, MA
Real Estate Staging - MA & NH

Congrats on helping the homeowner realize the potential of their spaces -  sometimes it is a double edged sword  ;) 

Feb 03, 2009 11:19 PM #1
Benita Gottfried
New Vision Interiors LLC - Hopatcong, NJ

nice job, it looked really elegant. Simpy staged, but elegant indeed.

Feb 04, 2009 12:04 AM #2
Vicki Styons
RoomBenders - Columbia, SC

I am curious about the walls.  What is on them--paint? paper? 

It is fun when people see possibilities in their house that they had not realized previously.  Sometimes just flipping the familyroom and living room furniture makes a huge difference.  I haven't had anyone decide to stay yet---well that isn't exactly true.  I started staging my own house....and it never made it to the market!

Feb 04, 2009 01:14 PM #3
Emma Vargas
Simply Staging - Cameron Park, CA
Simply Staging

Margaret, Benita- Thanks for the nice feedback!

Vicki-  I updated my pictures with newer ones.  The walls are standard plastered walls, it was the bad grainy quality of the original pictures that you were seeing.  Hopefully the newer ones look better.  It sure is fun to help people see the possibilities.

Feb 04, 2009 03:41 PM #4
Kathy Nielsen
http://atlantahomestaging.net - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Emma - I love the fact that you took it from an eat-in area back to a sitting area.  You really did a nice job with this staging.

Congratulations.  Your post is being featured in the group Staging Before & After Pictures.


Feb 04, 2009 10:25 PM #5
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Emma Vargas

Simply Staging
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