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A living room can come in many different shapes and sizes. Because of that, you need to optimize your layout and create a focal point so that the eye is drawn to the room. You don’t know how many times I have heard from real estate agents that they have an awkward living space and they don’t know what to do to it. They need help and need someone with a vision to show buyers how they can use the space.

Too much furniture in the living room

Some homeowners may have too much furniture in a space and it can feel cluttered. Staging helps pair down the items and make it more relaxed. Most living rooms can fit a couch and a love seat. Sometimes, however, you can only fit a couch and a chair. Add a coffee table and some side tables and that is mainly what you need for furniture. I may ask you to remove a favorite armchair or move the location. Know that this placement is only temporary and you can move it to your favorite place in front of the TV when you move into your new home. If you have a TV stand, you can probably leave it but there are times when it just gets in the way.

Not enough furniture

Like I said before, my last few staging calls were to bring in rental furniture to a vacant home. I would rather work with what the homeowner has and remove things because that is free. Rental furniture costs money! I will rent a couch and loveseat as well as coffee tables and side tables to fit in the space. I don’t normally rent a TV and TV stand because most people will be able to see where they can place those items. Keep in mind, a TV is also one big black box in the room. When you take a picture of the room, that black box will stand out and you don’t want that.

Need accessories to make it looked lived in

Now that we have the furniture, you need to add accessories. It has to look like someone could live here and helps bring some color to that brown furniture! When I say accessories, it includes items such as lamps, artwork, mirrors, a rug, flowers, candles, pillows, throw blanket, plants, books etc. These will all help enhance the space and give it a unified look when staged correctly. You don’t need too many items because then we get into the dreaded “clutter” word. One to three items on the coffee table is fine. Add a book or a flower on the side table with the lamp. If you have a mantle, add some items there too.


While I included artwork as an accessory, I want to give this some special attention. Never use nude photos as artwork when your house is on the market. The best kind of artwork are pictures of landscapes, mirrors, metal work, abstract paintings and clocks. Find ones that work with the color scheme you are trying to achieve in that space. If we want to highlight blue colors, use artwork that has those colors in it. And the colors don’t have to match exactly. A light blue vase can be paired with a dark navy blue pillow in the same room.


If you saw my video on how to stage a bookcase, you know I am not a fan of full bookcases. Nor am I a fan of empty bookcases. If you have a recessed bookcase, they need to have some sort of accessories on the shelves. I’ve heard 2 realtors tell me their clients were previously told to empty their bookcases. They had to get the books back along with other accessories so that the bookcases didn’t look so bare and bland. Use 20-30 books along with small vases, pots, and décor to fill in a bookcase.
In conclusion, your living room should have as a minimum, a couch and a chair, side tables and coffee table, some accessories to bring in some color and artwork to complete the look. If you have any questions about how to stage your living room, please call me for a consultation.