See How a Home Stager Instantly Doubled the Space in a Tiny Living Room

published Mar 11, 2024
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Fireplace in corner, wood planks in pile on floor, gray wood floor
Credit: Nedra Hines

Let’s be real: Most of us wouldn’t consider a three-bedroom home a small space. However, when the home is located in Texas, like this one in suburban Dallas, that perspective can shift a bit. After all, as the saying goes, “Everything is bigger in Texas!” That was certainly the experience of home stager Nedra Hines of Effortless Charm Staging, who has years of experience staging sprawling houses with multiple dedicated spaces such as formal living and dining rooms. 

When the owner of this property, a real estate investor Hines works with frequently, approached her with this project, she knew it would pull her out of her comfort zone. “I’m used to staging larger properties where there are walls or things like chandeliers to designate the living areas,” she says. “Plus, I wasn’t even sure I had appropriate-sized furniture in my inventory to complete the job,” she says. 

Armed with precise measurements of the home and of each piece of furniture she had available to work with, Hines started plotting out the layout of the open-concept main area. The first puzzle she needed to solve: where to place the sofa. Getting that right was key because it would dictate many of her later choices, and a fireplace tucked into the corner of the room didn’t make the decision any easier. 

Home stagers often put the back of the sofa against the longest wall in the room, says Hines. In this case, that would be the wall that runs into the kitchen area — which was a no-go. Because Hines was designing for sale and not for living, she had to consider how the furniture placement would impact the real estate listing photos. “Putting the sofa on the wall that is shared by the kitchen area wouldn’t work because there wouldn’t be a clear view of the sofa when the photos were taken,” she explains. She also nixed the idea of putting the sofa opposite the fireplace because that would interfere with the walking path to the bedroom hallway. Ultimately, placing the sofa on the fireplace wall was the best option.

Credit: Darren Holloway

With the sofa in place, Hines completed the living room zone by adding two chairs and a glass coffee table, making sure to bring in right-sized pieces that wouldn’t overwhelm the room. She used an area rug, throw pillows, and artwork to create what she describes as a modern, urban style with complementary shades of blue and rust.

Across the room, Hines added a table and chairs to establish a dining area. She brought some homeyness to the gray kitchen by adding barstools and place settings. The barstools provided seating at the kitchen counter as well as additional spots to perch near the living and dining areas. Says Hines, “Buyers need to see that they can fully utilize the space no matter the size of the property.”

Credit: Darren Holloway

In a fun twist, the carefully staged property never even made it to market. As Hines was loading supplies into her car after finishing staging, an Uber driver passing by stopped to ask about the property. Like the pro she is, she quickly invited him to take a look. “He loved everything about it,” says Hines. “The property went under contract in two days to the Uber driver!”