See How a Home Stager Turned a Stuffy Dining Room into a Comfy Gathering Spot

published Mar 3, 2023
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Dining room with rectangular wood table before re-decorating.
Credit: Joké Durojaiye

When Joké Durojaiye, first stepped into the dining room of the home she was commissioned to stage in Redmond, Washington, she was struck by two things: First, the lovely view of the outdoors, and second, the strong positive vibes of the space, the site of countless holiday meals and family celebrations over the years. 

“There truly was a feeling of happy memories made in that room,” says the creative director of Genesis Home Staging. “And it was located in the front of the home with large windows framing the lush green gardens that gave a sense of aliveness.” 

The feel-good foundation was certainly there, but Durojaiye knew she would have to tweak the space a bit to make it more appealing to potential buyers, specifically young families looking for a long-term home. Her goal was “to create universal appeal by refreshing and updating the room to capture families looking for a place to gather, entertain, and make memories,” she says.

To prepare their longtime house for sale, the homeowners replaced the existing light-colored wall-to-wall carpeting — a big turnoff for most buyers — with medium-toned hardwood flooring. They also nixed the ceiling moldings and painted the room a single neutral color with crisp white trim to make it appear fresher and more spacious. 

Credit: Andrew Webb

With those fixes in place, the biggest remaining obstacle for potential buyers trying to imagine the space as their own was the homeowners’ extremely taste-specific furniture. Two large wood-and-glass china cabinets filled with glassware and dishes dominated the space and distracted from the view outside. A set of uncomfortable-looking high-back chairs and a super-shiny table were not at all welcoming, and screamed, “Look but don’t touch!!” instead of, “Sit, relax, and enjoy a nice meal.” Durojaiye swapped out the tall cabinets for two identical lower-profile sideboards with an updated feel that perfectly filled the alcove. She topped them with just a few unfussy accessories to give the sideboards a finished look without making the space feel too busy. 

A simple dark wood table and comfortable light-colored upholstered chairs were brought in to provide a welcoming place to enjoy a meal or drink. Finally, two large pieces of artwork and a textured rug under the table and chairs added warmth to the room. The artwork was chosen to gently guide the eye toward the windows instead of competing with the view to the garden. 

Instead of adding any unnecessary pieces, Durojaiye was conscious of keeping things simple. “The neutral colors and the scale of the furniture made the room feel spacious, while the furniture placement was mindful of opening up the room for a natural flow of traffic that allows you to get around the room easily and even walk up to the lovely wall of windows to enjoy the view up close,” she says.

The homeowners were very pleased with the dining room’s updated look. As for the potential buyers, they never even got a chance to see it because the homeowners decided not to list the home. They are still living there, enjoying their newly refreshed space, and continuing to make memories when they gather in their comfy dining room.