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Everything to Consider When Staging a Dining Room

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Everything to Consider When Staging a Dining Room


More than 20 percent of Americans plan to move in 2021. If you are one of them, you are most likely ready to go, but there is only one problem—you have to sell your current home first. 

One tried-and-true way to usher in a fast—and well-priced—offer on your home is to stage it well. That way, potential buyers who tour the place have an easier time seeing its assets. With a more neutral backdrop, they find it easier to see themselves living there, too.

Your next task is staging a dining room. How can you make your home's formal eating space even more attractive to those who view your abode? Here are eight tips for creating a look that will help sell your house.

1. Scrutinize the Furniture

You love your dining room set. But once your home's up for sale, you should not decorate it for your own satisfaction anymore. You need to be honest with yourself—will the furniture in the space help sell your house?

People who come to view the property will have a hard time seeing themselves there if they do not like the furniture. It is too bad that our imaginations are not strong enough to see past these changeable objects, but it is good to know as the seller. You can redecorate the space to help sell it.

So, scrutinize your furniture. If it is too ornate or too beat-up, then it will only deter buyers. Consider renting a more simple set of furniture for the time being. 

You should not empty the room if you think the furniture will be a deterrent. Guests will still need some pieces in there for scale. They look at your furniture to help gauge whether theirs will fit, so replace what you have. 

If staging your house is not something that you can fit into your budget, then look into virtually staging your space. With Covid-19 numbers still on the rise, showing your home in the best light virtually will attract many potential buyers all while everyone socially distances from their homes.

2. Remove the Clutter

This staging tip applies to all rooms of your home. Before any potential buyers come over, you should make a point to rid every room of clutter. 

Perhaps your dining room table has become a workspace, or it is where you fold laundry. Perhaps you throw the day's mail on the credenza... and you leave it there for a week or two before you open it.

These pile-ups will make it hard for buyers to envision themselves living in your space. What they will think is that your home lacks storage space—it would have to if your stuff is piling up outside of the closets and cabinets. 

So, go through your dining room clutter and throw away or recycle the junk. Usable bits that you no longer need can be donated or sold. And what stays should be reorganized so that it is clear that your home has plenty of storage space. 

3. Move to the Walls

Now that the space has been cleaned out, it is time to start redecorating it. Your first major project will be the walls.

Think about it: they are the backdrop to any vision that potential buyers will have of themselves living in your space. If the colors are too bright or the wallpaper too ornate, then people will have a harder time imagining life in your home.

Not only that, but seeing these unwanted colors and patterns will make buyers look at your home and see work. Most new homeowners are willing to take on a few projects, but it is best to make your abode seem turn-key. That is why staging is so important for a fast sell: it reduces that workload, making it easy for buyers to envision themselves moving in with ease.

4. Reconfigure the Furniture

With your dining room cleaned, repainted, and perhaps refurnished, you will want to set everything up so that it makes the most of the space. Start with the area rug, if you have one. Bring it in to the room and center it underneath the overhead light fixture.

Once you have the rug in place, you can center your dining room table on top of it. Your table must be centered if you have an open concept dining and living room. An off-kilter dining table will make the entire room look crooked which, of course, will throw off those who come to view the space. 

The only time you should put your dining room table in an off-center position is if it is extra-large. In that case, you can push it toward one side of the room. Just make sure you have another piece of furniture on the other side, such as a buffet table, to counterbalance the large table and all of its chairs.

5. Don't Put Back Every Single Piece

On that note, do not forget to edit your dining room set before you put it back into place. Having key dining room pieces—namely, the table and chairs—will be enough to show the size of the room without overcrowding it. If you have a china cabinet, sideboard, or any other furniture to fill the rest of the square footage, be critical and remove anything that crowds the dining room.

The same goes for your dining room chairs. Consider removing and storing up to four of the chairs so that it does not look as cluttered. Push them under the table before viewings to maximize floor space. 

Again, having too much in your dining room—or any other space in your home—is a huge but common mistake made by sellers. So, edit your belongings and remember, it is no longer your abode. You are selling it, so it should be made to suit as many potential buyers as possible.

6. Go Neutral With the Decor

We already mentioned that the walls should be repainted if they are an out-of-the-box hue. Make sure that you take the same advice when it comes to decorating your dining room. Choose neutral colors and fabrics where possible.

You probably do not want to buy all new decor to stage your home, and that is understandable. You could rent decorative pieces, such as area rugs and artwork. Or, try thrifting for pieces that will not break the bank.

Analyze your dining room chairs, too. If the fabric on the cushions is too eye-catching, try reupholstering them with something simpler. This is an easy project and one that does not have to break the bank, either. On that note, you can cover an imperfect dining table with a tablecloth, too. 

7. Set the Table

What are you supposed to do in the dining room? Eat, of course. So, set up the space so that it looks ready for a meal to complete the vision for your potential buyers. 

Just make sure that your table setup is uniform. Carefully fold the napkins, and place the cutlery in the same order on each one. Set the glasses in the same position at each place setting, too.

Remember that a messily set table is just as detractive as one that is not set at all. If you do not think you have the decorative chops to set the table, then opt for a table runner instead. Put a few candles down the center to give an idea of what a meal could look like in your dining room.

8. Amp Up the Natural Light

Finally, staging requires you to make the most of your home's best assets. If your dining room has access to natural light, let it flood into the room—and take steps to amplify it, as well.

Start by opening your curtains and blinds before any showings. You might prefer to keep things closed for privacy reasons, but potential buyers will want to see how much natural light the dining room gets. This tip applies to the entire house, so be sure to open up all of your windows before you disappear during the showing. 

You can amplify natural light by placing a mirror into your dining room. You might get an extra-large pane and set it on the floor opposite the windows to reflect their light. Of course, you can do the same with a hanging mirror, too.

If your dining room doesn't get a lot of light, be sure to give some love to your light fixtures. Swap out any opaque features for clear ones so that the glow is as bright as possible.

Staging a Dining Room Doesn't Have to Be Hard

With these eight tips, staging a dining room will not be difficult. You just have to de-clutter it, neutralize it, and brighten it up. With that, it will be an asset to you—and, like the other rooms you will stage, it will help potential buyers see themselves living in your space.

Of course, you still might need help selling your home. Click here to find an agent near you who can give you further advice to get you out of your current abode and into the property of your dreams.