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A Classic Staging Story: Making Rental Furniture Work with Existing Pieces


This is a classic staging story. Homeowners use their space the way they want. If they have a nice bright dining room that would be better used as an office area because they spend a lot of time there, there is tons of room to move around, and the sun shines in through huge windows, well then, why not. 

I once staged a property in a very nice neighbourhood in Toronto, a classic Georgian home. An active family living there had turned their beautiful dining room into a mud room and used it like that for 10 years. They had ample eating space elsewhere and all their entertaining was informal. I loved that whole concept, simply because it made sense for them. So many many many homes I visit have overstuffed front hall closets and side doors with backpacks and sports equipment thrown everywhere simply because the family has no functioning mudroom. 

However, back to the world of staging, rooms need definition. I come across undefined rooms a lot. It just takes a little bit of coaxing, usually with some rental furniture, to bring it back to it’s logical origin.

In this case, the office/empty dining room needed to appear as a living room/dining room. Prospective buyers need to quickly identify with a space. It was also one of the first rooms that you see  through the front entry, and first impressions count. 

In order to make rental pieces work with existing pieces here are a few tips for making a project like this come together:

*if you have dark pieces of furniture and need to move towards a brighter, lighter, airy feeling (my recommendation always) is to focus on brighter lighter accessories and materials with reflective value - in this case objects with chrome, furniture with clean lines and bright accent lighting

*choose additional upholstered pieces of furniture that are light and bright - in this case a light but cozy sofa, light dining chairs and side chairs

*using mirrors to reflect light always makes a space brighter 

*try to at least get some of the tones of wood to match - in this case the rental dining room chair legs are fairly dark to go with dining table and legs on the rental side chairs go with flooring From my end I took on the following:

Scope of work included:

*staging consultation, measuring and space planning *selection and coordinating furniture rental, to combine with existing pieces *provide layout via a diagram - homeowners placed the furniture themselves!

The results provided a simple modern presentation with a few artful touches to appeal to the demographic for the neighbourhood WHAT THE CLIENT SAID

“Kathleen took some measurements and photographs of our unused living room/dining room (we were using it as an office!:) as part of her staging consultation and then completely made it shine. It was the first room you see when you come into the house. It needed to look good and it did!” - Grace  

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