See How Painting an Accent Wall Helped a Stager Transform This Living Room

published Jul 12, 2023
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blue accent wall, wood floors, big picture windows, glass double doors, long rectangle room, low coffee table in center, arched ceiling, recess lighting, wardrobe in corner
Credit: Corey Gibbons

Breathtaking views of the Hollywood Hills, an open floor plan, and a star-studded list of previous residents (including Matthew Perry!) were just a few of the selling points for this Los Angeles home. When it came time to hit the market, Julien Bortz of Mid Modern Designs, a Los Angeles-based home staging company, and Gina Corso, a Realtor with Compass in Los Angeles, were brought in to help show off its bright interior. One of the most dramatic transformations happened in the living room overlooking the pool. 

With vaulted ceilings and a fireplace, the room had the potential to be both cozy and spacious, but its existing colors weren’t accentuating its best assets: the high ceiling, warm wood trim on the windows, and the corner mantel. The room originally had gray walls and a navy blue accent wall. While the navy was a rich and striking color, Bortz notes that neutralizing a home helps appeal to a larger number of buyers. 

“Simply painting the walls with Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee gave home the facelift it needed and prepared it for listing on the market,” he says. “It’s a more affordable option compared to renovations, and it’s one we suggest to many of our clients.”

With a neutral backdrop in place, the seating arrangement was pulled away from the window walls so it wouldn’t disrupt the views out the large picture frame windows. “We didn’t want to obstruct the windows, as it brought in tons of natural light and had incredible views of the hills,” Bortz says.

Credit: Corey Gibbons

This decision was also functional in terms of appealing to those coming through the house. “We prioritize positioning furniture for stylish photos versus a lifestyle placement, because most of the time lifestyle positioning caters to convenience, space, and storage,” Bortz says. He notes that in real life, you’d often position your sofa for the best view of the TV. In staging, that doesn’t matter. Instead, the focus is on the flow through the space. “It’s important to keep most large furniture pieces like sofas closer to the wall versus floating in the middle of the room,” Bortz says.

Within that seating arrangement, Bortz chose curving pieces, including the bouclé chairs, marble side table, and velvet ottoman. Each piece echoes the same minimalist, artful aesthetic. Of the chairs, Bortz notes, “They’re fun, hip, and trendy! These chairs are plush and posh and provide a great aesthetic appeal to any living room space.”

For the finishing touches, Bortz isn’t just grabbing the first items out of his staging closet. “We will strategically place a book on a coffee table with a relevant title to the environment we’re in. If we’re in a mid-century modern home, we’ll incorporate books with messages from the ’60s or featuring historical figures from that era,” he says. He explains that these serve as “subliminal” messages that capture the buyer and spark their interest in the home even more. They can envision themselves in a lifestyle, not just a set of four walls.

While most of the properties that Mid Modern Designs stages are for sale, this listing was a rental. And the extra effort by the owners to have the property staged paid off. “After spending just one week on the market, the property was snatched up with an offer our clients couldn’t refuse,” Bortz says.