Here’s the One Room Where Home Staging Will Pay Off the Most


As most of us know, home staging can help sell a house—particularly in the living room, which has gotten a bad rap lately as a waste of space.

The fact is, first impressions matter, and the living room is usually near the entry point for most homes. Reality check: This room may not be the end-all, be-all area it used to be, but this is no place for your kid’s train set, your husband’s guitar stands, or any unnecessary clutter. So, it pays to do all you can to showcase this space right. To help, here are some living room staging tips buyers will love.

Remove and redistribute furniture

Amy Bell, owner of Red Chair Home Interiors in Cary, NC, urges homeowners to evaluate whether any furniture can be “voted off the island”—i.e., out of the room.

“I recently staged a home in which the living room contained enough furniture for two rooms,” she notes. But, as part of the staging process, she shuffled the items and placed the contents in two different places. As a result, the home sold in one day.

Once you’ve removed some of the furniture, consider making an arrangement that allows people to sit and chat.

“This often means pulling furniture away from walls, which also allows for circulation,” says Gale Sitomer of G Sitomer Design in New York City. And if you have a larger living room, don’t be afraid to create several separate seating areas, which can be defined by different area rugs.

Create a focal point

Limit your mantel to just a couple of pretty objects.

Usually the mantel, if you have one, is the first place the eye comes to rest, so make sure your home staging packs a punch here, suggest real estate agents Jonathan Rosen and Christy Berry, co-founders of The Rosen Berry Group in Dallas.

Declutter this spot by taking down wedding photos, your porcelain bird collection, and other items so it looks like a clean line. Add back a single pretty vase, a fun piece of art, or an interesting sculpture. However, if the focal point is a gorgeous garden or backyard pool, create clear views of it through the living room.

Be neutral

Choose a cool, calm color like this pearly gray.

We’re talking about colors, says Sitomer. “Stick with a neutral tone to appeal to a larger variety of potential buyers,” she notes. And if you have bold or patterned furniture, consider white slipcovers.

“Lighter, more neutral rugs are better than oriental or brightly colored ones, which don’t photograph well and make rooms look dated,” says Lisa Gulliver, a Showhomes franchise co-owner.

The same goes for your couch, she adds. “A dark sofa against big, bright windows can be blinding, but shades of gray or khaki can help eyes adjust more quickly so the buyer can take in the room and exterior views.”

Accessorize with flair

The finishing touches count for a lot when it comes to staging the living room. Put a soft cashmere throw over a corner chair to evoke a quiet place for reading, says Katie McCann, an organizing expert with Maeve’s Method.

A small vase of fresh flowers adds beauty and perhaps a soft scent (watch out for overly strong candles).

Jack Menashe, owner of the New York–based Menashe Group, likes accessories that bring the space to life, including large coffee-table books, sculptural art, and accent pillows.

Photo Flip: Behold These Bold Kitchen Backsplashes

The kitchen backsplash presents an opportunity to bring color, pattern and texture to your space, and plenty of designers on Houzz have maximized this surface area in their work. From graphic tiles to aged copper and dramatic quartz, the possibilities are many.

Here are 62 standout kitchen backsplashes that you can use as inspiration for your own kitchen renovation. Click the first image to enlarge the photo, then use the right arrow to see the photos in slideshow format. Flip through and then tell us: Which kitchen backsplash would you most like to have in your home?

1. A patchwork backsplash of inlaid marble in soft colors complements the gold details that frame the cabinetry in this Toronto kitchen.

Backsplash: Tangram, Opus collection, Lithos Design

2. Blue, orange, cream and black tiles create a graphic splash against these elegant cabinets in a Chicago kitchen. The opposing side of the kitchen has a complementary rust-orange backsplash behind the range.

See more

Louisiana gardening by the month: June!

Here’s what to plant in June‼️

 Heat-tolerant vegetables that can be planted in June include collards, cucuzzi, eggplant, hot pepper, luffa, Malabar spinach, mirliton, New Zealand spinach, okra, peanut, pumpkin, Southern peas, edible soybeans, squash and sweet potato (use “slips” or rooted cuttings).
Herbs that may be planted now include basil, perilla, sesame, mints, oregano, lemon balm, lemon verbena, mountain mint, Mexican oregano, garlic chives, rosemary, bergamot, hyssop, Mexican tarragon, yarrow, burnet and rue.
A second application of fertilizer may be made to lawns in June or July.

June ushers in the hurricane season. Well before the possibility of a hurricane, shade trees in the landscape should be checked carefully to make sure they are in good shape.
Keep up with jobs such as weeding, mulching and staking plants. It’s far easier to do these jobs a little at a time than to get behind and have to make a major effort. 

Pest problems are all too common in summer flower and vegetable gardens. When using any pesticide read and follow label directions carefully. When applying pesticides to food crops, observe the waiting period between treatment and harvest. Always make sure you have diagnosed a problem properly before treatment.

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Louisiana gardening by the month: May!

Here’s what to plant in May ‼️

 Excellent hot-weather vegetables that can be planted now include amaranth, cantaloupe, cucuzzi, cushaw, eggplant, Malabar spinach, edible soybean, peanuts, pumpkin, Southern peas, hot peppers, lima beans, luffa gourd, mirliton, okra, sweet potato, watermelon and yard-long beans.
Remove developing seed pods from s Louisiana iris, agapanthus and amaryllis when they finish blooming.
Early May is the last chance to apply many broadleaf weed killers and weed-and-feed products to the lawn before the weather gets too hot.
May is one of the busiest months in the flower garden. As cool-season annuals become unattractive, the beds need to be cleaned out and replanted with warm-season annuals for summer color.

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Louisiana gardening by the month: April!

Here’s what to plant in April‼️ 

Excellent hot weather vegetables that can be planted now include cucuzzi, cushaw, eggplants, peanuts, pumpkins, Southern peas, hot peppers, lima beans, luffa gourds, okra and yard-long beans. Continue to plant transplants of tomatoes and peppers and seeds of snap beans, squash and cucumbers.
If you need to, prune spring-flowering shrubs, such as spirea, viburnum, quince, azalea, camellia, jasmine and mock orange as soon as they finish flowering.
Evaluate your flower beds of cool-season bedding plants carefully in late April and early May. When they are past their prime, pull them up and throw them in your compost pile. Then prepare the bed and plant warm-season bedding plants that will thrive here in summer.
Plant caladium tubers or started plants in shady areas this month.

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