A Home’s Intended Purpose: Does Your Home Pass the Test?

By Charlene Storozuk

Before a property goes on the market, it’s important that every room be showcased in a way that portrays its intended purpose. If not, potential buyers can become confused as to the function of the space.  Take a look at the room in the photo below.


Photo Credit: Charlene Storozuk


For the current home owner, this room functioned as a flow-over storage area for excess furniture.  Want to hazard a guess at what the builder intended this room to be?

You’re probably thinking that it’s a family room, aren’t you? That would be a pretty good guess.

At first walk-through of this property, I thought it was a family room as well.  After all, there was a couch, love seat, and end tables in there.

Here’s a hint: Do you see the chandelier hanging from the ceiling?

You guessed it; this space is a dining room.


Photo Credit: Charlene Storozuk


The existing furniture was removed and this space was staged to show off its planned function. Although the feature sheet for this property listed a separate dining room, it was easy to overlook the fact that there was one.

You can’t tell from looking at these photos, but before staging, the transition from one room to the next was choppy and confusing.  This was caused by a lack of purpose and continuity to the space.

Staging created a room with substance and gave the first floor the flow it needed.

Now you have a place where potential buyers can envision themselves entertaining friends and family.  Add some background music and soft lighting–voila!

When the time comes to sell your property, look at each room impartially and see if it meets its intended purpose.  If not, you should give some serious thought to making changes.

So does your home pass the “intended purpose test”?


Charlene Storozuk

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Charlene Storozuk is the owner of Dezigner Digz, a professional home staging and interior decorating company based in Burlington, Ontario.  Her work is featured in the book FabJob Guide To Become A Home Stager, 2009 edition. She serves as regional vice-president, Canada for the Real Estate Staging Association and is a past recipient of the North American Leadership Award for her work as founder and president of the Halton & Hamilton-Wentworth RESA Chapter.

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

More Posts - Website

  1. Charlene, great article! It’s so important to make sure buyers are clear about a room’s intended purpose.

  2. Thanks so much Annie! It’s so true that each room’s intended purpose needs to be displayed. If we were to sell our home, I’d definitely have some “intended purposing” to do 😉

  3. I really had no idea what that room was going to be until I scrolled down. Needless to say, I was VERY surprised it was actually a dining room! What a great article that really exemplifies “confused rooms = confused buyers”!

  4. Charlene – Great article! I can’t believe the difference, what a beautiful staging job. I wouldn’t have known what room it was either until you mentioned the chandelier. Amazing.


  5. Ashley – Thank you! I was perplexed at first by the room too. It would have been confusing to many potential buyers as well unless they took the time to really study the room and the feature sheet to make sense of it.

    Chris – Thank you for your kind words! Yes, the chandelier was the giveaway.

  6. Great article Charlene, love the before and after. Staging, when done right really makes all the difference. Congratulations on the FabJob gig!

  7. Thank you so much Marina!

  8. Charlene – Great post! It is so important for sellers to know what today’s buyer is looking for in a home if you want your home to stand out from the crowd. There is too much competition out there to overlook these important steps you can take to increase your chances for a successful sale. Thanks so much for your important message.

  9. Kari – Thank you! It’s so true that your home must stand out from the competition in order to get that ‘sold’ sign on your lawn in the shortest time. Staging can certainly help to achieve that.