Before and After: See How Home Staging Restored Beautiful Purpose to a Blah Living Room

published Jul 23, 2020
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Credit: Courtesy of Staged to Sell

Many homeowners have rooms in their homes that are just kind of… there. They don’t serve any special purpose and often wind up as storage spaces after things start to accumulate.

These purposeless rooms are definitely a no-no if you’re looking to sell a home, says Kara Woods, a professional stager and the owner of Stage to Move in Danbury, Connecticut. 

Case in point? This 8,286-square-foot home that she recently staged in Bedford Hills, New York. The five-bedroom, six-bathroom country house, set on 18 lush acres, was stunning.

“This residence started with amazing bones and had been kept up impeccably, so it was not hard to make it look amazing,” Woods says.

But it had a problem: its rooms weren’t playing up their strengths. While spaces like the chef’s kitchen with the breakfast nook, the office/library, and spacious master suite were all well and good, one room in particular needed help.

“One of the common themes we run into is that, when we arrive and assess the property, rooms are not being utilized for their intended purpose,” Woods says. “So, a dining room should not be an office, and a four-bedroom house should show with four bedrooms, not three bedrooms and an office.”

In the Bedford Hills home, the formal living room had a pool table and toys for young children to play with. “It was more of a rec room,” Woods explains. She set out to transform it back into a true living room space.

“Given that it is likely to be a second home, we wanted it to feel casual and easy and lend itself to entertainment,” she says.

Credit: Anthony Acocella, Acocella Photography

So she went to work, moving some furniture pieces from the family room into the living room. The sectional and ottoman perfectly fit the scale of the space, and she added pillows and art to finish off the look. A generous area rug in a neutral pattern grounds the seating arrangement, and opening the French doors provides views of—and access to—the stunning grounds.

“The result is a showcase space that screams, ‘Come on in and relax.’ Now, the living room feels like part of the home because in its beginning state—with the pool table and kids toys—it didn’t match the design level of the rest of the house,” Woods says.