How to Stage Your Living Room

Color pops in the living room for how to stage your living room

So you’re looking to sell your home, congrats! There are a few things you can do to get your home ready to sell. One of them is knowing how to stage your living room. It’s one of the biggest focal points in your home and staging it properly is a big step in how to sell your home.

The first part of staging your home has nothing to do with the layout. It has everything to do with the space being clean! But before you do anything, take a picture. This way when the living room is finished you’ll see what a huge difference staging makes. Staging a home is work, but it’s worth it.

So first things first, clean the living room top to bottom. This means everything from no spiderwebs in a top wall corner down to removing the dust on your baseboards. If there’s carpet in your living room, make sure you get a deep cleaner. Clean any ceiling fans or light fixtures as well. There’s nothing better than a clean room.


Now, let’s make the space dazzle. Light is crucial in making a space feel warm and inviting. If any light bulbs are dim, exchange them for some brighter ones. Natural light is the best, so be sure to clean your windows inside and out!

When staging, make sure the windows aren’t blocked too much, you want that light shining in and showing off your space! Light opens up the space and makes it feel lively. When you are showing your home, be sure to leave the blinds open and keep the drapes back, even if it’s rainy.

Another small thing that can make a huge difference is the smell. You want the space to not only look clean and warm, but smell clean and warm.

Use fresh scents in your cleaning products.

Smell is a sense that makes people feel comfortable without even realizing it, so use this to your advantage.Take advantage of the fact that you will be cleaning and add natural ingredients, like lemons, baking soda, or vinegar, to your mix. Sometimes candles and sprays don’t fully cover odors, so using cleaning products is a good way to achieve a clean after scent.


Be sure to clean the floors well and wipe the walls if needed. If the walls need to be touched up, please paint them! This is such a simple thing to do that will make the room seem fresh and new.

I would also recommend painting the entire room if you have any bright colored walls. Even if you love them, or you only have an accent wall, buyers will immediately either love or hate it. And with it being in such an important room as the living room, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Even though a paint job over a bright color is an easy fix, it’s a huge turn off to potential buyers.

Also, be sure there are no marks or holes in the wall. Even though a small hole may not seem like a big deal to you, buyers may wonder what else may need patching up in the home.

Anytime a buyer sees something they don’t like, they are making a list of all the things they’ll have to do if they buy your home. So the easiest thing for you is to make that list as small as possible, if not eliminate all together!

If you are going to paint your walls, go for a neutral color. We can talk about adding some colors in your living room a little later. Neutral colors make spaces feel more relaxing and help open the space. And that’s one thing that works in your favor no matter the size of your living room.

Mirrors also create the illusion that a space is bigger.

Mirrors open up your space and are the easiest way to make a small space feel larger. And since they are decoration, you just killed two birds with one stone!

Open Space

One of the biggest features buyers love is an open space concept. So the flow in your living room is important. You don’t want people knocking into furniture or sofas, or squeezing into spaces.

Make sure your sofa and chairs aren’t bulky or oversized for the room. If the furniture in your living room is too big for the space, it creates the illusion that the room is smaller than it is. Buyers won’t realize that it’s not the room that’s small, it’s just the furniture you chose.

Flow of space is an important factor in how to stage your living room

Furniture should create the vibe that you can sit down and have a conversation. It should be livable. You want the buyers to feel comfortable in the home. People buy based on how things make them feel, so use this to your advantage!

Create a space that you could imagine you and your family relaxing in, having celebrations in, or even having company over for a football game! Buyers need to see that they can easily use this space in their future lives.

Staging Your Living Room

The wall colors should be neutral, and in a perfect world your furniture will be in the natural or neutral palette as well. This is because we don’t won’t the buyers’ attention to be diverted to crazy patterns or colors. We want them to see the living room and to visualize themselves using it with their furniture in it.

Bare living room needs to be staged

One of the biggest mistakes is leaving the living room bare. Even though you may think this is the best way to make the room appear bigger, there’s no reference point for buyers to guess the size. And in their minds they are deciding if their living room set can fit.

To start staging, decide on a focal point. If the living room has a fireplace, make it that. Otherwise, windows with a view make great focal points! And you will be bringing more attention to the light shining in.

If any of your furniture has large stains on it, either remove it or cover the stain up. You can get furniture covers, or if able, you can simply cover the discoloration with a throw.

If you have a coffee table in the middle of your living room, give that space some definition by putting a rug underneath. This way the table doesn’t feel out of place, it will have a clearly defined area. You just don’t want buyers to walk in and see all of your stuff instead of the living space.

Less is more, so be sure the living room isn’t overcrowded with furniture, lamps, or knick knacks. Declutter where necessary. Anything that steals your attention away from the living room should go.

Group knick knacks in odd pairs, such as threes.

You don’t want to be too stuffy and take out all of the decorations. This is still a living room, but just be smart about it.

Back to the point of keeping the buyers attention on the room: depersonalize your space as well. Having too many family or pet photos draws the buyers’ attention from the idea that this could be their next home where they live with their family.

Color Pops!

So you have a neutral color palette! Fantastic. Let’s add some color. The easiest pops of color can come from pillows on the couch. Keep the count down, don’t declutter everywhere else and then go overboard here!

Color pops in the living room for how to stage your living room

Plants also add a nice green and relying feel. Or you could add a colorful vase. Metals go well to compliment the neutral color scheme, so lamps or trinkets that are metal will blend well.

To Stage Professionally or Not to Stage Professionally?

While staging doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, if it feels like too much for you, ask your realtor. They are your backup and should be able to recommend whether or not your house needs professional staging. They should also be able to give you the name of a professional stager that they have used before.


Now, that your living room is staged and ready to be seen, you can move on to the other rooms in your home! Read how to stage your kitchen here. The kitchen is another focal point in how to sell your home. So if you only pick two rooms, the living rooms and kitchen can make the biggest impacts on your buyers decision!

If you want to learn how to stage a bedroom, read our post on how to stage your master bedroom. Your house will be buyer ready in no time! Here is a link for staging your master bathroom. And you can learn how to stage all the other bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets in this post.

Another post you can see is how to stage your entryway and dining room. Click on this post to make a great first impression! If you have a home office, learn how to stage this area here. Don’t miss your garage area! Here is how you can stage this space properly!

Want to skip the individual rooms and learn how to stage your home? Read this post that covers how to stage your entire home! It will cover all the areas listed above.

Love the photos? All credit goes to David Henderson! Check out his work here:

If you have any questions about home staging, we would love to help! Please contact Dianna Howell with The Howell Group at 205-568-5435 or email her at

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