See How a Stager Lightened Up an Awkward, Heavy Living Room

published Oct 13, 2023
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Dark living room before renovation.
Credit: Marie Moore

The owners of this single-family house in Fredericksburg, Virginia, were all in on their home’s traditional style. They kept things classic in terms of color, furniture, and decor. In the family room of the four-bedroom house, they even opted for a popular historical color palette of red, yellow, and blue. 

When they decided to have a house built in another state, though, it was time to say goodbye to their home of 22 years. Because they hadn’t updated the house much over the years and knew younger buyers would likely be looking for a different aesthetic, they were happy to turn the home over to a professional stager. 

The expert they chose to transform their home was Marie Moore of Staged by Marie. Moore’s main goals in the family room? “To soften the awkward layout and update the home’s look while keeping true to its traditional style,” she says. 

Because the room’s existing color scheme was pretty taste-specific, Moore suggested repainting the walls a neutral color with beige undertones to warm up the space and complement the home’s beautiful original hardwood floors. The fireplace was a nice feature, but it was in rough shape. Once again, paint (or, as Moore calls it, “money in a can”) came to the rescue. 

“We recommended painting the worn and dated red brick Sherwin Williams’ Pure White to freshen and update the space. The paint also helped the gold insert appear less dated and mimic the gold trend in the market,” Moore says.

To make the space feel cohesive, she also brought in gold accents in the form of books, accents, and textured glass lamps. With fresh paint and thoughtfully chosen pieces like a gold framed mirror, the fireplace became a definite selling point.

Another huge plus was the original hardwood floors. “The floors were the star of the show!” says Moore. “A rug was necessary to bring in color and soften the space, but we kept the size minimal so as not to overwhelm the room and also to show off as much of the floor as possible.” Even the furniture was selected with the floors in mind. “We specifically chose the barrel accent chairs for their unique size and to complement the flooring,” she says.

Credit: Cynthia James Photography

Moore also used the furniture she brought in to address the awkward layout of the room. “Due to this room’s size and layout, we had to pay particular attention to furniture size and placement to keep proper flow,” she says. She stayed away from adding too many pieces or too-large furniture and instead opted for sleek pieces like the tailored sofa and thin console. “You want to make the room as appealing as possible to buyers without compromising the flow and function,” she says. “The attention should be on the function of the rooms, not the furniture.”

With its freshened-up look, the home had 30 showings, multiple offers, and was under contract in one day — for asking price with no seller concessions, says Moore. “You see homes in many markets still selling for thousands over asking,” she says. “In our market, not having a price reduction and having no seller concessions is a big win!”