Home Staging -- A Dining Room

Hello, y'all!

Today, let's remember that what we do in our homes
is worth as much as if we did it for our Lord.
Our positions as home makers are sacred and pleasing to God,
not because we do the work itself, but because we do the work to be obedient to Him.

For those of you that are new 'round here--WELCOME!!

 I have been staging since before it was called home staging, 
have my own business, take jobs when I "feel like it".
My main job is making my own home and keeping it.

So, I have many pictures to share with you, of homes that I have had the privilege
to transform from a home to a house and then back again for resale.

Today, we are looking at a Dining Room.

The example being used today, is from a $289,000 home
that was on the market 2 months before I staged it.
The closing papers were signed 3 weeks after that.

Now, I love red, and a few of you might like red.
But, most people don't. It's a personal color.
If you are that buyer that doesn't like red, your first thought when you see this room is, 
"I will be painting over that red."
What needs to be avoided when selling your home, 
is creating a mental "TO DO" list in the mind of the buyer.

Not only is red too personal, it is rather dark.
A neutral shade is needed here.
And while this space didn't have too much extra furniture,
I always remove everything except the table, 4 chairs and a hutch (if there's room). 
I also remove all the "small" art and accessories that say "clutter" instead of "chic".

Primer, paint, and a day later, and here is the result.

Painting the top half of the wall the same color as the Home Library 
directly opposite this room,
created consistency, symmetry, and proportion in the buyer's eyes. 
The darker shade below the chair rail is the next darker shade on the paint chip.
Rather than having their backs turned toward the foyer,
I positioned the chairs to intrigue the buyers into entering the room.
It's not practical for every day living, but perfect during selling.


(Some cabinet doors from the kitchen that have been painted, are drying on the floor).

After Staging.



Ikea "tube" slipcovers were slid over the chairs and secured with napkin rings.
A runner with pizzaz, and a simple vignette are all that are needed for the tabletop.
Not every place needs a setting. It appears contrived.
What the Dining Room should suggest is family memories during celebrations and/or entertaining.

The rug was moved from the Home Library.

Tureens and a platter suggest large holiday gatherings with family and friends.
Bottles of champagne (or sparkling grape juice) and stemware suggest intimate celebrations.

If you are planning on staging your home to be sold, here's how you can capture buyer's interest and keep it, after they've walked in the front door:
  • Remain detached emotionally from your house. See your house through buyers' eyes. It is no longer your home. It is a building, a commodity that you want to sell for the highest amount possible!
  • Clean and polish everything. Table, window treatments, chandelier, silver, windows, floors.
  • Repair anything in disrepair. Furniture to flooring.
  • All trim and doors throughout the house should be the same color. (I prefer to paint them all white).
  • Make sure that this room has a dramatic focal point, by showcasing a unique piece of furniture or artwork.
  • Remove anything personal to your family: photographs and monogrammed items.
  • Group accessories in vignettes of no more than 3 items, varied by height.
  • Make traffic lanes easy to navigate for several people passing through at the same time.
  • Remove one or two leaves from the table if the room needs to appear larger.
  • If the china cabinet is really, really large, consider removing it and replacing it with a dresser or buffet.
  • If the cabinet stays, and has glass doors, remove enough shelves and contents to appear "chic". Group like items together.
  • Allow as much light to filter into the room as possible.
  • Use only white or small patterned china in the china cabinet or hutch and keep the place settings to 6. Pack the rest.
  • If the room is particularly large, create a room within a room. Add a small secretary or small desk. Add a lamp and a box of stationery to the desk.
  • Or bring in a bookcase and an arm chair to suggest a library.
  • Leave no electronic equipment in view.

Any thoughts or questions?


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  1. Fantastic job! Well staged and inviting. Wish I could have you come out to Arizona and help me with a few of my problem areas in my new place.

    Missed reading your blog, while I was "gone", so glad to be back and catching up! Have a blessed week.

  2. Hi Leslie, This was so much fun! I miss the HGTV show "The Stagers!" There is so much to learn that can also apply to homes that are not on the market! Beautiful job on the dining room! Linda

  3. "Our positions as home makers are sacred and pleasing to God,
    not because we do the work itself, but because we do the work to be obedient to Him."

    What a beautiful truth to start your post with.

    That is one classy job you did there, Ms. Leslie! I love the change, it's so very welcoming! You're a-maaaaaaaaa-zing! (In the tone of Ms. Frizzle from The Magic Schoolbus) :o)

    P.S. I'll work on that email thing-a-ma-jig option soon! hugs!

  4. You are exactly right. As a buyer, I immediately start subtracting from the value for every red (or similar dark color) wall I see. It is SUCH a pain to paint over!

  5. You did a great job, Leslie! I find it so interesting, the psychology of staging a home. The public wants a home to look a certain way when they are shopping to buy but the majority would never live in a house that looks that bare, neutral or stark. As a designer, it's like left brain vs right brain to switch from designer to stager!

  6. The changes made a big difference in the brightness and appeal of the room. You did a wonderful job, Leslie. Great tips, too.

  7. Great post and great job on the staging! I am someone that does like red but those neutral colors and the way you staged the room look looks wonderful. And thanks for all those great tips listed. I have a friend who is trying hard to sell her house. I'll be sharing this info with her.
    Til Next Time,

  8. Fabulous job and excellent advice. Love this.

  9. Hi Leslie! I just wrote a devotional and included a passage of scripture about doing our work for the Lord to see and not for people! That is so especially true in our roles of homemakers! Definitely lots of thankless moments! I love how you staged that home and it was an absolutely wonderful transformation. The dining room looked like a completely different space! You have such talent and I know your clients feel that they hired the best of the best! :-)

  10. You covered everything great in that post! The new paint looks great. I love your tureens. I have a small version of the one on the left. I wish I had gotten the bigger one too. Yes, I left it behind. Big regret!

  11. Looking great! You've been busy. It is a lot of hard work, but well worth it when it goes on the market! Great advice and it does work...sold our house in 3 days :)

  12. What great advice, and just what I needed this morning to spur me on. The housing market is in a bad way over here right now, but, we do have God on our side. :-)

  13. Leslie,
    What wonderful words to open with today! I am going to print them out and frame them. You truly are a ray of sunshine on this cold, snowed in NJ day. What a difference you made in that sellers dining room. It always amazes me how tweeking just a few things can have such a big impact.
    Your Friend,

  14. A beautiful transformation!! I love the simplicity of it...getting rid of the clutter! Great job!

  15. Leslie, wonderful changes and great tips for selling.

  16. Hi Leslie, What a difference! Great job.

  17. I used to stage and I'm impressed you were able to get the seller to repaint -- but honestly, the chairs with napkin rings and some fabric over them? No.

  18. Hiya!
    What's funny about this house is, there was a home stager that came along with the "package" that the Realtor offered. This stager during the walk-through consultation with the homeowners (who are now friends of mine) said nothing about painting any rooms, updating the dark wood, nor did she even notice a few basic red flags that should have been addressed immediately, like the red in this dark dining room.
    I tell the sellers that paint is going to be their most cheap investment with the biggest impact, I haven't had anyone deny that yet :)
    After a few months of their house not selling in the "staged" condition, I was called on to actually stage it and remedied the whole house in 2 weeks, and it sold 2 weeks later for much more than listing price.
    And, I admit that it is rather odd, but that is not actually fabric simply draped over the chairs and held in place with napkin rings.
    There are actual tube-type slipcovers from IKEA on the chairs that need to be gathered in the back, the napkin rings worked, and so did the staging--I admit some things I do are a little different, but whatever it takes to make the seller a profit as long as it's tasteful, simple, and legal! :)

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