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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Allen Design Team

Staging Spaces: Setting The Living Room For Success

A living room we staged and photographed in Westford, MA.

One of the most important rooms when staging a house is the living room. This is a space that a buyer will be imagining themselves spending lots of their time. This is why when we are prepping a stage job we put a lot of focus on selecting the perfect pieces for the living space. Factors like paint color, shape of the room, and style of the house all play into our decision making.

Living room shapes and sizes vary drastically from house to house so we often have to get creative when laying out furniture. When setting a living room space the first challenge (and the biggest, literally) is the placement of the couch. As it is the largest item we usually bring into the room, it needs to be strategically placed. Typically we place it in the center of a large wall facing either a fireplace or another wall space. We always do our best to face the couch toward our secret staging weapon… our fake TVs that weigh almost nothing!

A living area we staged with the couch facing a fireplace and one of our faux TVs.

Couches can be used to make the room feel bigger when placed against a wall but they can also break apart a room when placed right. This is a really cool feature in a larger space that can have multiple functions. With open concept floor plans we will often place the couch in the middle of the room and build out a living room on one side, leaving the other side of the room for uses such as a dining room or a sitting/reading area.

Transitional spaces can be tough to work with. Some houses are laid out in ways that make the living room a necessary passage to the rest of the house. Our rule of thumb for this is laying out the furniture so that it does not block the quickest path to the next room. When a buyer is on a tour of a house they don't want to feel as if there are obstacles blocking their path, so we try to avoid this when staging living spaces. When working with a transitional space we will often cut down on extra accent chairs or accent tables that would overcrowd the space.

There is one more tip we have for placing a couch. Once we lay down the area rug and set it in the correct spot for the space, we move the couch on top. The couch should sit with only its front two legs on the area rug. This is to anchor the couch (and other furniture we usually bring in) within the living space and create a feeling that all the pieces work together. If the couch is against a wall then we will always let the it sit about 2-3 inches away from the wall.

Living and sitting area, complete with art and décor, that we staged in Boston, MA.

With the placement of the couch complete, the placement of the rest of the furniture is fairly straightforward for most homes. Two accent chairs face the couch on the opposite side of the rug with matching accent tables. Side tables are placed on each side of the couch and matching lamps are added on top. A matching coffee table goes in the center and art and décor are placed around the space for the final touch.

The process of staging is completely different for each house but we have some great tricks up our sleeves to make every property shine. It is always so fun to see such a dramatic transformation of a space and we look forward to every property we get to transform!


As always, we appreciate any ideas, input, and feedback from our community and clients. So drop us a line in the comments below, chat with us on our Facebook page or email us at! Don't forget to follow us on instagram (@joshuaallendesign) and subscribe to our YouTube channel, where we post new design-related videos each week!

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