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Home Staging Secrets: Furniture Grouping

The placement of furniture is one of the most important factors in optimizing the feel of a room. Poorly arranged spaces can be the main reason a house hunter feels disconnected from a prospective home, but they won’t be sure why.

Even decorators with years of experience fuss and shift pieces around until they reach the “ah-hah” moment. So toss out the pencil and paper, get some sliders, and start experimenting. This should always be one of most fun steps in getting a home ready for sale. Every room has an ideal arrangement -- you just have to ask yourself a few questions.

Do I Need To Edit?

Let your higher-quality, large pieces command a slimmed-down room rather than fill up the space with smaller, less appealing ones. Also eliminate pieces that are out of style. No one expects to be walking into an Elle Décor spread, but keep in mind that house hunters are being exposed to similar homes in your price range and good furniture gives them a positive emotional response.

Do I Need To Add?

This is usually necessary when a room is unused by the owner. A finished look in basements and attics will add visible, livable square footage to the house. An empty room creates red flags for the buyer:

  • What’s so wrong with this room that the sellers aren’t using it?

  • Am I paying for square footage I can’t use?

How Should Traffic Flow?

Buyers should be able to easily navigate from room to room on an obvious path. A common misconception with furniture arrangement is that rooms feel larger if everything is pushed against the walls. Instead, float furniture away from walls into conversational groups. This positioning is what actually makes a room functional and feel larger, because it directs traffic around the edges of a space rather than through the center.

What Is This Room’s Purpose?

It’s a game room! It’s an office! It’s…a hot mess. House hunters should be able to walk into a room and immediately know what it is, without the realtor having to explain. Each piece of furniture in a particular room should share a common and obvious theme. Necessity may have your treadmill next to the dining room table, but buyers don’t want to see rooms with multiple personality disorder.

Good luck with your arranging. Invite some friends over on a Saturday, open a bottle of wine, and audition multiple versions of each room’s furniture placements until you find your own "ah-hah" moment. A successful rearrangement should leave you wondering how you ever enjoyed your home any other way.

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