The living room is the marquee space in the house. Typically, it is the center of activity and the social center of the house. It is where families gather to have fun, exchange stories, and relax.

For us home stagers, we make sure that the living room is well-staged because it is a major selling factor for prospect buyers. Our goal is to make your living room appear more comfortable, attractive, cozy, organized, and spacious, while highlighting some of its best features.

But if you are working within a tight budget and you prefer to go DIY (Do-it-yourself), here’s a checklist to make sure you don’t miss the basics.

Declutter, clean and depersonalize

  • The first step is to declutter the room. Get rid of any unnecessary furniture or objects to make the room look more spacious.
  • Clean and polish hardwood floors. If the flooring is carpet and it’s not in good condition clean or replace it.
  • Store all CDs and DVDs away from view. Hide all electrical cords as best as possible.
  • Remove any kids toys from the room.
  • Remove any pet toys and food dishes. Make sure the room is clean from pet hair or odors.
  • Clean, dust and polish everything in the room including windows, mouldings, baseboards and trims.
  • Depersonalize by removing all personal photos, souvernirs, and memorabilia.
  • Air out the room to remove any smoke or other odors. Remove any indication or smoking such as ashtrays.

Repair and repaint

  • Check the walls any cracks or nicks.
  • Repaint the walls if necessary with a neutral color.
  • Repaint mouldings, baseboards and trims if necessary.

Lighting and decor

  • Use framed art to replace personal pictures on walls.
  • Make sure lighting in the room is adequate. Add extra lighting if required. Open the window drapes to let in the natural light.
  • Arrange furniture away from traffic patterns of the living room, to allow walking into the room and through the room without tripping over the furniture.
  • Find the focal point of the room, such as a fireplace or picture window with a nice view.
  • Arrange accessories in grouping of three with different shapes and heights to add interest to the focal point.
  • Use bold colors for accents such as pillows, throws.
  • Add one or two books on a coffee table or end table to create a relaxing mood.