6 Easy Living Room Staging Tips That Will Actually Sell Your Home, According to Experts

Take control of your living room and inspire potential buyers with how you stage the space — you may end up completing that sale sooner than you think

a living rom with a styled coffee table
(Image credit: Walter Studio Interior Design)

If you're having endless amounts of viewings, or perhaps none at all, and you don't seem to be getting any closer to selling your home, it may be time to have a little rejig and improve some spaces in the home to catch people's attention.

A good living room is one of the bigger selling points of a home, and therefore a great place to ensure viewers feel at home. Optimizing this through the power of staging could give you the boost that sells the place.

1. The big edit

a modern minimalist living room

(Image credit: Lisa Staton Design)

According to our professionals, it seems that a big declutter is the place to start. Clearing your room of anything bulky and unnecessary is the first vital step to making your home as comfortable and attractive as it can be. ‘I have arranged many open houses and I always take extra time for the perfect staging. If done right, it can really sell your home,’ says Adrian Pedraza, Owner of The California Home Buyer, especially if you can make potential buyers envision themselves living there.

‘You can not set the proper scene if you don't declutter a living room. Remove all unnecessary items to make it feel clean and spacious. Consider putting excess furniture in storage, donating unused items, and relocating personal memorabilia,' Adrian adds. Follow advice for how to declutter a room and give your potential buyers the chance to imagine themselves in the space.

2. Embrace the space

living room with off-white walls, light grey sofa and one blue accent sofa

(Image credit: Avery Nicole. Design: Blueberry Jones Design)

No matter the size of the living room you’re working with, it’s important to enhance any positive elements. ‘It’s always important to acknowledge existing unique features to a home and find ways to expand on them with furniture placement. At a recent staging project, I wanted to highlight the fireplace in the upper living room so we set the stage around the fireplace,’ explains Monica Breese, Founder of The Designed Domicilio. Whether it’s historical details, a really dark space or unusually shaped, this is your chance to embrace those elements and style accordingly.

‘It's essential to embrace its size and highlight its potential. In a small living room, opt for streamlined furniture and strategic placement to create an illusion of more room. In larger spaces, use furniture and area rugs to define specific areas for lounging, conversation, and entertainment,’ advises Heidi Hicks, a Realtor and Real Estate Agent at Visions First Realty. You’ll want to maximize the space and make examples of how to make full use of it.

3. Create a space to gather

a living room with a blue sofa and brown rug

(Image credit: Monica Breese, The Designed Domicilio)

Arrange seating to encourage conversation and social interaction, somewhere the viewers can imagine their friends and family gathering. Judi Kutner, Realtor and Senior Contributor at Virtual Staging, says ‘I'll never forget one living room we walked into - crammed with mismatched furniture, boxes everywhere, and a layer of dust on every surface. The homeowners said they were too busy to declutter before listing. We started by building a focal point around the fireplace, (the room's best feature), added a comfortable living room sofa facing it, a loveseat on each side, and a cozy armchair in the corner.'

'To finish, we placed tall plants by the window to open things up,' Judi adds. A beautiful example of how to do it right. ‘When we listed it, the place was flooded with showings. One couple sat by the fire discussing future family gatherings and they put in an offer above asking that same day.’

A bit of spatial planning can work wonders and offer the visual inspiration viewers may need to seal the deal.

4. Create a focal point

a living room with built in storAGE

(Image credit: Life Created. Design: Living With Lolo)

Creating flow and having focal points catch the eye are so important when styling a living room. ‘The floor plan should ensure an open, spacious feel rather than cramped. Incorporating visual magnates like decorative fireplaces, wall art, or window views guides attention smoothly. Including plants and well-placed lighting enhances these areas and creates a warm ambiance,’ recommends Jim Olenbush, Professional Home Stager and Real Estate expert at Austin Real Estate. Creating visual interests can also make the visit more memorable to the viewer, allowing positive thoughts to sit with them longer.

5. Mirrors

a living room with arched mirrors

(Image credit: Monica Breese, The Designed Domicilio)

Decorating with mirrors can enlarge a space and add a different kind of feel and perspective. Monica Breese gives the example of a recent project she’s worked on, 'To highlight the double height ceiling in the lower living room we were working on, while also showing off the width and depth of this beautiful home, I added three mirrors across from the sectional to give the viewer a multiplying view of all the features. That light pouring through, reflecting off the mirrors, really shows off the space.’

Lighting can make a huge difference, and mirrors will reflect light and create a feeling of depth and dimension giving the impression it’s more open and airy – these are attractive qualities in a living room. Adrian Pedraza reminds us, ‘Clean any dusty light fixtures and replace burnt out bulbs. Consider adding stylish lamps to provide additional task lighting if needed. Proper lighting eliminates any dark corners and showcases the room's best features.’

6. Houseplants

A selection of plants

(Image credit: Funnyhowflowersdothat)

A house feels so much more welcoming and complete with plants, it brings a little of the outside in and breathes life into any room. ‘I always use a taller tree in living rooms along with a floral arrangement on the coffee table and one more if there’s a console table or bookshelf. Well-maintained, real plants look best. If you need to use artificial plants, be sure to get the ones that look most realistic.’ says Linda Graveline, Founder of Eleven Interiors. Potted plants are a great addition, ‘They instantly boost a room's visual appeal and you can place them in corners, on bookshelves, etc. Well-placed plants demonstrate how buyers could incorporate their own greenery.’ says Adrian Pedraza. Houseplants tend to be the perfect finishing touch to a space and create a warm and welcoming ambience that resonates with potential buyers.

By implementing these suggested staging techniques, homeowners can most definitely take it into their own hands to showcase their living rooms and make an impression on potential buyers. Each piece of staging advice is designed to create a welcoming and visually appealing home that speaks to viewers, increasing the likelihood of a successful sale.

Portia Carroll

Portia Carroll is an interior stylist, writer, and design consultant. With a background in interior architecture and design, she has a plethora of creative experience in the industry working with high end interior brands to capture beautiful spaces and products and enhance their qualities.