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Top 3 Rooms to Stage When Selling House

Updated: Jan 8, 2023

We often get the question what are the most important rooms to stage when selling a house. In this post we’ll review the top three rooms to stage in a home with examples from past staging jobs and why it makes such a difference to buyers.

Whether you hire a professional stager or attempt it on your own, one of the essential elements when staging a home for sale is to remove clutter and a deep clean. While you want to pack up or hide from sight more personal items like wedding or bare-baby butt photos, this doesn’t mean stripping your home down until there is nothing left. You still want to leave select decor items to give the room some personality.

#1 room to stage when selling a home is the living room

a large living room with modern decor and contemporary art
Nest staging job in Indian Hill, Cincinnati

Staging a living room is often the most important to buyers and the first place we tackle because this is where the family spends most of their time. And we totally get it. It’s where potential buyers want to imagine their family coming together at the end of the day to share stories about their day, watch TV, play games, or drink that much-needed glass of wine.

How to make a living room feel bigger

modern decor in a small living room
Even for smaller living rooms, staging furniture away from the walls makes the space feel bigger. Like this staging job for example.

Home buyers often look for a big living room that can fit their family and holiday entertaining. There’s a common misconception that a living room will feel bigger if the furniture is pushed against the wall. All this does is create a forced and often awkward layout of furniture and decor. Depending on if we’re staging with our own inventory of furniture or using the client’s existing set, we keep it simple. If we do end up using a client’s existing furniture usually we remove about half to open up the space.

Design Tip: To open up your space and make it feel larger, furnish your space by grouping furniture away from the walls and into comfortable conversational arrangements. But still be conscious of flow and inherent walkways. You don’t want buyers to feel like they are going through a maze on their way to the rest of the house.

#2 room to stage when selling a home is the master bedroom

a small master bedroom decorated to look larger
Nest staging job in Mt. Lookout, Cincinnati

There’s no surprise here that the second most important bedroom to stage when selling a home is the master bedroom (usually accompanied by an en suite). While we totally recommend adding dabs of personality throughout the home with color and texture, be sure to stage a bedroom to be zero fuss. You want buyers to perceive the bedroom as a place of immediate relaxation. Bold patterns and colors can increase anxiety, so think soft textures and a muted palette instead.

Key decor items to keep when staging a bedroom

image of a staged bedroom with soft textures for a relaxed feel

When staging a bedroom, it’s obvious you’ll need a bed, but think about taking away some of the more bulkier furniture. The main purpose of a bedroom is sleep, so remove any items that aren’t essential to this function. Removing items like a TV or stereo help to declutter a space and also streamline your design. For us, a boxy dresser or trunk are often the next things to go. Leaving an oversized dresser can give potential buyers the perception that the space is small even it it truly isn't.

Design Tip: An easy way to declutter a master bedroom is to remove electronics and replace a boxy dresser with a simple console table and decorate with flowers and a tray.

#3 room to stage when selling a home is the kitchen/dining room

Modern white kitchen with stainless steel appliances
Nest staging job in Hyde Park, Cincinnati

Most people don’t expect the kitchen to make the top three rooms to stage when listing a house for sale, but it’s so much a part of our daily routine. We’re cooking anywhere from two to three meals a day in there, washing dishes, putting away groceries, etc. This list of daily tasks goes on and on, at least for us! Even for those who don’t cook, they’ll still use the fridge for grab-and-go meals, and for more the popular open concept floor plan, entertaining.

How to stage a kitchen

Modern kitchen staged for sale
Nest staging job

At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much you can do with a kitchen when staging your home to sell. Most of the items in the space are fixed appliances that can’t be moved, but often the kitchen becomes the family’s catch-all for mail, work you brought home, kids backpacks, sports bags, car keys, iPads, dog leashes, etc. You get the point. First start by removing all clutter and pack up all non-essentials, even try to minimize what you would find in the cabinets (if you can). By putting away your toaster, Kitchenaid, Keurig, or anything that’s bulky you’ll free up counter space for a clean look.

As much as we often want it to the kitchen doesn’t get remodeled before the sale so we have to work with what we got. Removing all non-essentials leaves us the opportunity to go back in and add. We like staging kitchens with a bowl of fresh fruit like bright green granny smith apples or fresh yellow lemons. We also throw in some greenery, like potted herbs, and a wood cutting board or two. All these little items seem incidental, but they make a difference to the potential buyer. Staging a kitchen like this helps to give the space a lived in feel.

How to stage a dining room

As the open concept home prevails in home buyer preference so often the kitchen and dining room are thought of in tandem. So staging the dining room is just as important as staging the kitchen. Of course you’ll have a set of tables and chairs, but some other items we like to decorate the dining room with is a carpet, plants, and artwork.

We hope you enjoyed reading through this post on the top three rooms to stage when listing your home for sale. Each month we release monthly decor and staging tips, so be sure you’re on our mailing list!

Need help? We are taking on staging jobs for the winter!

We stage homes in all conditions of the listing process! The great thing about working with the Nest Home Staging and Design team is that we’ll work with you to find the best solution to your home seller situation. If you’ve already moved into a new home and need to sell your old one we’ll bring in our inventory of furniture to stage the space or if you’re preparing your home for listing we’ll use your existing decor items, but strategically stage them for a greater impact.

Either way, reach out to us today to see how we can help decrease the amount of time your home is on the market!

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