See How a Stager Turned a Basic Gray Living Room into a Cheery Hangout

published Apr 16, 2023
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Empty living room with white walls, fireplace and built-in shelves
Credit: Daniel Montesinos

After a real estate investor purchased this 1970s single-family house in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in August 2022, the property got a top-to-bottom remodel. The improvements included everything from completing necessary work on the foundation to installing new flooring, painting both the interior and exterior, and replacing the light fixtures throughout. To make the layout more conducive to today’s lifestyle, the kitchen was also enlarged and opened up to the main living area.

By December, the newly refreshed home was back on the market. However, despite the improvements, the home lingered without a single offer. Even a $5,000 price reduction didn’t nab a buyer for the four-bedroom, three-bathroom home. It was clean and new, but with everything gray and white and lacking warmth, it seemed buyers were just not connecting with the space. That’s when the real estate agent suggested the seller enlist the help of Texas home stager Nedra Hines of Effortless Charm Staging

The seller contacted Hines, who viewed photos of the home online. With her expertise in making vacant homes buyer-ready, she quickly put together a proposal. Armed with the seller’s green light and a $3,000 budget, she was on the job within days.

Hines’ number one goal was to “make the home eye-catching enough so that potential buyers would be unbiased about the fact that it had been on the market for over 90 days with zero offers,” she says. Where to start? Bringing color to the sterile gray and white space was the obvious fix. “I wanted to create an atmosphere that would uplift and attract buyers so I shopped for the rug first, browsing ones that included brighter colors,” she says. “Once I found the perfect rug, choosing the artwork was a matter of finding a piece that contained shades of blue along with the other colors in the rug. The canvas featuring a view of the Brooklyn Bridge did the trick.”

Credit: Daniel Montesinos

For furniture, Hines selected neutral pieces that would show off the large space as a place where potential homeowners had plenty of room to live comfortably, as well as to entertain family and friends. Having adequate seating was important, so her picks for the living area included a large sofa, a pair of chairs, and two generous-sized ottomans. “Including additional seating in the living room, staging both the breakfast nook and formal dining area, and adding barstool seating along the counter made a huge difference,” says Hines. The addition of the three wood-toned bar stools along the kitchen counter also help to connect the two spaces and enhance the flow of the rooms.

Finally, Hines upped the homey feelings by layering in color and texture through a variety of decor items such as a cozy throw and colorful pillows. Again pulling from the vibrant rug, she introduced shades of blue, green, and terra-cotta through the decor and accessories. Some simple items on the built-ins flanking the fireplace, lanterns on the hearth, and additional artwork in the living area and breakfast nook completed the makeover.

The warmed-up space quickly helped turn the property into a hot listing. After less than a week on the market, a family snagged the home as their own.