By Charlene Storozuk, Dezigner Digz
Recently, I was called in by a local real estate professional to do a “walk and talk” home staging consultation. In the great room of this gorgeous, open concept home, was a super-sized, orange leather sectional couch. It was situated across the width of the room with its back facing the foyer–not the first thing you want potential buyers to see when they walk in the door.
Given that only a small section of the couch was actually against the wall, the fireplace was cut off from view and the space had lost its feeling of openness.
After providing my recommendations, the home owner and real estate agent decided to showcase the property themselves based on my suggestions. As it turned out, they had trouble with furniture placement and the sourcing of appropriate accessories, so Dezigner Digz was called back in to stage the property.
(Unfortunately, since I thought the consultation was going to be my only involvement with this property, I didn’t take any pictures during the first visit. Upon our return to do the staging, the sectional had been dismantled so I still wasn’t able to capture the true ‘before’ of this space for you to see in the photos.)
It wasn’t in the budget to remove the sectional and rent more suitable pieces, so we had to work with what was there and just bring in accessories. This particular sectional couch had some unfinished sides. We didn’t want these sides to be visible when entering the great room.
Fortunately, we were able to choose a piece to go against the wall that would place the unfinished side towards the window. By draping a blanket throw over that edge, it wasn’t noticeable.
Here’s a picture of the finished great room after layout rearrangement, accessorizing, styling, and the introduction of a couple of ottomans to fill in empty spaces:
Try to imagine this room beforehand with the couch you see here plus one other loveseat-sized section joined to it – all facing the fireplace. I think you’ll agree that in this “after” photo, the space is more open, and has the flow that this floor plan was meant to have. Also, the fireplace takes back its place of prominence as the focal point of the room.
That was one room down, but what about the rest of that sectional? We were left with one piece about the size of a loveseat that had one unfinished side on it, as well as an awkward “u-shaped” section that was unfinished on both sides.
On the second floor, there was an empty loft space above the main floor open area. This space served no purpose for the current home owner, but we decided to turn it into a den.
Here’s what we did with the spare sectional couch pieces:
The “u” section was a bit of a challenge. It took some time to play with the angle in order to get it just right. We didn’t want it to look too out of place, nor did we want the unfinished sides to be overly apparent after a little fine-tuning.
Once we had it situated precisely where we wanted, a blanket throw, and cushion were used on the edge that was seen upon entering this space. It would have looked odd to have another blanket draped on the other side of the section. Therefore, since this side was partially concealed by the wall, we decided to lean a pillow on the floor against that edge. To further distract from this side, we added a botanical floor arrangement next to it.
The other section of the couch was then placed against the opposite wall (with its unfinished edge facing the wall) to create a conversation area. Although the sectional couch was no longer “anatomically correct”, these repositioned pieces got the point across to potential buyers that this was useable space.
And guess what? It gave the property a bonus room!
So did a little creative repositioning help to show this property’s potential and make the most of all available space? We’d like to think so. We used the client’s furnishings to creatively integrate it into the design plan.
This particular property sold six days after hitting the market.
We applied the same method of deconstructing a sectional couch to create two separate living spaces for another one of our staging projects. The budget wouldn’t allow for alternative furniture on this one either and of course, this sectional also had unfinished sides. Again, not ideal, but it worked. Here are a couple of before and after shots:
We think that the sectional couches used in both of these projects helped in the presentation of these properties. Although they can put you to the test, with a little imagination, it’s possible–even on a limited budget–to make sectional couches work to your advantage if that’s all you have to be inspired by.
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. Sheserves 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.