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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Trying to sell our home...need WOW FACTOR... advice on paint & furniture to help with quick sell!

ugotameFebruary 4, 2013
We have to paint & get new furniture for our family room/sunroom (sofa is borrowed...because we sold our old one). Should we paint a darker neutral and have a light fabric couch? Or light neutral wall with darker leather sofa? What is best "appeal" to help with "WOW" factor to sell?
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This is a beautiful room with a lot of potential. The paint color is lovely, so no worries there. However, the furniture is a bit heavy and aesthetically unappealing. I would suggest a lighter arrangement-- i.e., a small light-colored loveseat facing two chairs. I'd also put the furniture on a different wall (or more in the center) because it's blocking the views of the window, which is the room's best feature.

The chandelier is a bit distracting. Perhaps something different, or removing it altogether?

As for the television (or media cabinet), it doesn't seem to be doing very much for the room. The location is good, but the area around it should be de-cluttered and then possibly redecorated with a few choice objects.

Most importantly, the room needs a color scheme. Beige and brown is a combination that most people view as boring. You should browse design websites for ideas, but something that immediately comes to mind is a "seaside" color scheme: cream, chocolate, tan and aqua.

Good luck!
9 Likes    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 2:50PM
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Marchillia Tillison-Winfield
I disagree. The furniture is fine, but needs positioning and you definitely need some rugs and photos. From what I can see more furniture is needed and it doesn't have to match, but coordinate the room a bit
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 3:03PM
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Marchillia Tillison-Winfield
I would lighten up the furniture for sure or get some sofa covers, but the walls need art.
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 3:04PM
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Ida Bear Homes
I say area rug and art to pull things together. The chandelier and rod iron rails screen northern europe, italy the chianti area. Maybe bringing some of that into the room
5 Likes    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 3:09PM
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PS Staging
I think you should re-position the furniture, add a medium size area rug and some artwork, also position the coffee table and add some accesories, same with the size table. I would recommend to change the lamp to one with a bigger shade, also I would add some clear pillows to the sofa just to make the space look more armonious, last but not least I would add a medium size plant.
I hope this helps!
6 Likes    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 3:14PM
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I think you have very small pieves of furniture,I would advice larger and some lighter colores for ou sofa
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 3:48PM
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From the images it does not look like you need to paint and it is hard to say what a buyer will love. I have to agree that the Armoire wall looks cluttered in the photo. Those windows have a wow factor on their own so play them up. Try facing the sofa towards the patio view we see in the photo and the other chair facing it with maybe the small trunk or an end table beside it, coffe table inbetween. If that works maybe add a consul table behind the sofa. A couple of tallish plants on either side of the armoire or art which was already suggested. When you show the house open all the blinds you can, hide all personal photos, toys, and that room heater.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 4:29PM
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Is there something wrong with the view out the windows? Light, light, light! Open the blinds! I think that view is the WOW factor you want! Looks like all the furniture is up against the walls. Pull it out onto a colorful rug and add some colorful pillows. 50% of your personal stuff needs to be gone and your own personality removed from the home for the quick sale you're hoping for.
16 Likes    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 4:34PM
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Jayme H.
An area rug, accessories...and properly arranged furniture should do it.
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 4:49PM
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Interiors International, Inc.
Keep the walls light. Dark furniture doesn't hurt resale values.
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 5:24PM
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Melanie Venuto
Your wow factor will be those windows. Marketing a home means it has to appeal to mainstream tastes. I don't think the paint color needs to change, but if you really want to paint a darker neutral will work.
A lighter couch is best. Dark leather is better for dens or cozier spaces. Pull the coach off that wall so it doesn't block the windows. The media cabinet is bulky and dark. If you can, get rid of it all together, at least while the home is on the market. Instead, a gallery wall or art on that wall would be great. Create the space with the couch, throw pillows, the chair (two is better), an area rug, matching lamps on side tables, and possibly the coffee table piece you have pulled aside (place accessories on it for color). Add a pop of color with the accessories to contrast the neutrals. Make sure the window blinds are up everytime the home shows. Good luck!
6 Likes    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 5:25PM
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Hi, Your window & shutters are beautiful and a show-stopper! I am guessing they are closed so that we could see the room without the sun's glare! I suggest a large light carpet with an eye-catching bold color. Pick your favourite. Either pull your furniture into the room with chairs flanking the sofa facing the large armoire. Add colourful throws and pillows and a couple of interesting end tables with lamps which are different from each other. Place a tray on a round coffee table, fill the tray with a couple of books, a vase of flowers and interesting objects.

If you are buying new furniture (to use in your new home) do it now....keep it neutral. You will be able to change out your pillows, throws, objects seasonally. I think that because the traffic flow is right through the area a round coffee table is a must and 4 comfortable chairs placed on the carpet and centered in the room would be my best choice. The ceiling fixture could be lowered and centered on the coffee table. Keep it simple! Put some cookies in the oven and on a plate on the kitchen counter to share with realtors and buyers! It will smell like home! worked for me!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 8:25PM
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Open those blinds! Keep walls light and I love dark leather sofas but only if you keep the windows or blinks open! If not, still keep walls lighter color and a light colored fabric couch would look great :) I agree with a trunk...the room needs a trunk and rug(s) and more textures. I love the color! Don't change the color...and possibly big drapes over the doors and tie them to the side? Maybe look for interesting pieces of furniture on craigslist? There are some really neat things on there and a lot of it is ridiculously cheap! Get something old, too (A TRUNK). Definitely throw blanket and pillows, and I love everything about the room it just needs tall, big things to go with it! If I were buying this house, there would be no need for a wow factor, I love it already! Good luck :)
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 9:38PM
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I agree with the comment above of -- if you're up for it -- getting bigger furniture. The small sofa looks a little lost in that big, beautiful room. But perhaps repositioning could fix that as well. Good luck with the sale!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 9:49PM
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1 Like    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 9:59PM
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No offense, gaurav of perspectivehd.com but enough with the spam already. You're not helping.

Back to topic, I agree with many of the earlier posts. Indeed the room's best feature is its architecture. And the floor is gorgeous. Open the shutters, let in the light & get rid of that brooding armoire which is in the wrong place to begin with. The lone toilet roll isn't helping either, lol. The blank walls are crying out for some wall art or framed B&W photographs.

Keep the furniture away from the walls/windows, anchor it with a coffee table/trunk in an appropriate size with an area rug in neutral to tie the space together. Soften the dark sofas with throws and brighten them with throw cushions in bright color of choice. Dress the table with a pot of pale phalaenopsis orchids or any fresh flower for that matter. Stand back and watch this room come alive.
4 Likes    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 12:08AM
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Go spend 50k at roche bobois.. people will think your rich and have a house worth more money. Be sure to tell them the furniture is not part of the deal.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 12:21AM
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Right, @decoenthusiaste! When looking for new homes I have always been most drawn to houses that didn't even have a hint of the owner's personality/interests.

Maybe I'm being a bit picky... but the barstools in the corner of the picture could be replaced with something more expensive looking.

This room has wonderful architecture and a lot of potential, but it needs to lighten up a little.
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 7:03AM
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Gorgeous room! I would take it easy on the furniture front and let the architecture speak for itself :) Prolly a lighter sofa with a few accent cushions and some big plants to really make the scale of the room stand out. I reckon it'd also be good to make sure that the style ties in with the rest of the property, otherwise it might end up looking a tad odd...
    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:38PM
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What a wonderful space! I wouldn't worry about the wall color or the furniture color. Move most of your furniture away from the window and the walls and use a lighter, colorful rug to ground your "floating" furniture. Pick one or two colors from the rug and spread those colors around the room and furniture (i.e. pillows, art, etc.). A touch of green from a fern or palm always brings a bit of nature indoors. You already have the wow factor! Just let it shine through to your potential buyer!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 1:06PM
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LB Interiors
Purchase what you like, that you will love for your new home. Make that work with this existing room with very little expense. It's such a beautiful room, It will sell itself. Sell the home, not your decorating choices. What terrific architectural features.

I didn't read all the comments, sorry if anyone previous has mentioned these comments. I would paint only if your realtor suggests painting. Paint a neutral. If you need new furniture, I would choose the furniture color that you are most comfortable with (light or dark).
Carpets and Rugs · More Info

If you don't already have an area carpet, I would purchase a patterned carpet, with neutral and additional colors, (those that you like) at least 8' x 10'. The carpet will be the inspiration for your future home and bring life to this room with the neutral walls.

The carpet could incorporate the existing wall color or a tone thereof) or new wall paint color in the pattern. Pattern to work with your new furniture and the wall color. The patterned carpet will have added colors that you may like in your new home. Choose something you like. Light or dark furniture will work best by having a carpet in the grouping to ground the seating area.

Place a few colorful pillows on your new sofa that works with the new carpet. Place a cozy throw on any new chair that you may buy . Move the the trunk/chest in front of the sofa to act as a coffee table. You are selling your home - not the decorating.

Add things you already have to make the room inviting. Keep it simple. Add spots of color and interest with your own accessories. No small knick knacks or personal photos.
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 2:43PM
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well said LB I am a Realtor , Stager . staging a house to sell is different than decorating a house to stay in and live in. Appeal to the masses, a buyer needs to know nothing about the seller's interests,just whether they can see themselves there. They are buying square footage not your stuff.
What is the view out the windows anyway? That wall of windows is a wow factor !
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 3:05PM
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Blinds Direct Canada
Decorative drapery panels go along way. I would choose something simple and something that you can take with you once you have sold the property. Being in this industry for a long time its something I'm often called in to do and its almost always helped sell the house . Its something you can also build into the price of the home when selling if they really like it.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 5:38PM
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If your not sure how to arrange and choose the right pieces to the rooms to make it sell...take it all out and allow potential buyers to picture their own stuff in their own way.
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 7:29PM
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As a prospective buyer, I would see the current light neutral wall color a plus when combined with the gorgeous floors and windows. Rather than try to repaint or buy new furniture for the house you are selling, I would have it staged. Five years ago there were six homes in our complex that that had been on the market for 3 to 12 months. I listed ours after following a trusted realtor's advice and hiring a stager. Between her advice and his contractors (we had to paint, recarpet and fix up the two baths), my house sold in five weeks for top dollar as the market had just started to fall and folks were low balling offers. The stager dictated the colors (too tan for my tastes) and had us clear out 80% of our furniture (we were moving anyway and had a place leased to move them into but a Pod storage would also work. And while a few of my pieces remained, sofas, beds, chests and tables all came from the stager. The cost for the design and staging was one fee, and there was a weekly charge after the first period (don't remember but it might have been four weeks). It was well worth it (my mom used the same stager and real estate agent and sold in a week a year earlier) Most of all it removed the angst about was I doing it right. Best of all, when my husband walked through after it was staged, he commented, "It's nice, but it's not our house anymore." No husband grief to deal with! Recently two staged homes in our neighborhood sold in a week with multiple offers. The one that hasn't been staged, is decorated to the homeowner's taste. While lovely, it's been on the market for five months. I'm not an agent or a stager. Just someone with real life experience.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 7:48PM
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LB Interiors
I agree, however, I have staged homes also, without the cost of monthly fees and used 85-99% of the homeowners own things There is an art to be able to re-arrange and make this work. However, stagers are available for the different methods of how they accomplish the task. There is no guarantee of how long the home will be for sale. It's a decision and choice of what will be most comfortable for the seller.
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 7:56PM
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Your house looks clean and decluttered. If someone wants to buy your house, they will buy as is. Do not spend an arm and a leg unless you can afford it,
6 Likes    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 5:32AM
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Beautiful home, great character. Good suggestions from everyone. Some large greenery would be nice and open the shutters. Good luck to you.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 5:32AM
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Even with fresh paint, there's no guarantee the color will sell the house, or that potential buyers will even like it. But dark colors are red flags, that repainting will take more coats to cover, than light colors! And the more "dramatic" the paint, the more pressure a buyer will feel to have to paint ASAP! The home I bought 4 years ago, had 4 rooms that were a dark royal blue; the painter had to use 3 coats of Benjamin Moore to cover it!

Unless you're selling with house furnished, get whatever colors you like & work for your lifestyle, because it's going with you. When I sold, my realtor discouraged me from any major redecorating, because unless you've already picked out new quarters, you may wind up with pieces that don't fit in your new space .. like rugs. To add to what someone else said, "clean & decluttered" are important, as well as "fixed & working"; anything that obviously needs repairs is also a red flag, because buyers will assume other things are wanting that they can't see.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 5:57AM
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I agree with comments regarding having a rug and more accessories. Plants, tall and on plant stands, are a great way to fill spaces but giving the room a light and airy feel. What about some lighter pillows on the couch? And, plants are very inexpensive.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:07AM
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I agree with a number of the comments above. If you are selling add a few items that you can take with you or that can be make cheaply. An area rug would pull the room together. Add a few accent pillows and art. You can take existing accent pillow you may have and cover them with a great accent fabric (just tie them on no sewing). Add coordinating art (you can cover canvas frames with coordinating fabric or splash paint on them). You can also create a round skirted table (make by adding round plywood piece), no sew again, just tuck in raw edges. Most buyers want to have a connection with the home. Make it feel warm and inviting. People make decisions based on all their senses. Like smell, Add "lightly" scented candles (or etc). Plus have a soft music playing quietly during showings. Its all in the staging and illusion. BTW this is a fantastic room, great light, leave the blinds open to make the space feel warm and sunny. The fabrics suggested above should be coordinated with existing furniture, say chose maybe two or three patterns. Most fabric stores can help with this just take your sofa pillow with you.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:05AM
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Jennifer Hogan
I wonder sometimes about the emphasis we place on staging homes. I know that I am taking a chance with my home - preparing to sell. We have a ton of homes in the area for sale. Most are in HOA neighborhoods with tiny back yards. I have an older home outside of the new developments, but I have a big back yard and within easy walking distance from the best elementary, middle and high schools in the area. I painted the inside darker colors that were kid friendly and warm. Even painted the kitchen deep deep wine red. I have deep forest green carpet in the living room and bedrooms. Blue greens in the spare bedrooms and sage green in the master.

I know that the colors I selected would never be recommended by a home stager (had one come by and make suggestions). But my thinking is I need one buyer from the masses and I cannot compete against the newer homes on their level. I have to sell the big back yard that the kids can play in and the good schools that the kids can walk to and the house that feels warm and like a home, not a showcase so the busy mom doesn't have to worry about keeping the pastel walls and carpet clean.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:07AM
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Jennifer Hogan
You were the last person who bought your home - what made you select it above the others on the market? Why did it stand out as "the house" for you and your family? What do you love about your home? How can you market your home that will make another buyer see what you saw?
4 Likes    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:11AM
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To answer your question about " what is it that you love about your house that would make someone else love it as well?" Before I purchased my house, I have several objectives in mind. I wanted a house that had good light, windows, an open space living area, I wanted to be able to stand in one part of the house and see all the rooms on the one floor. I wanted to have access to the yard from my kitchen. As well, I wanted good basics: hardwood floors, tile in certain areas, a garage and to be in walking distance to amenities, but most of all, the house had to be clean. As a purchaser, people want to be able to walk in and see immediately what they are looking for or at least be able to imagine what can be done to get it to that point. Don't start painting or adding things to what you already have. Your home has great bones, good design, you just need to enhance them very simply. Accessorize (don't go crazy), plants, let the light in and make sure that its clean. You could make up some flyers that list the basics that you have: what has been updated (furnace, A/C, electrical, windows etc), what are the amenities in the area (schools, shopping, grocery, banks etc.), what are your taxes. Ensure the entrance to your home on the outside is just as clean, and neat.
Other than that, keep it clean and simple.
4 Likes    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:28AM
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I just went through this twice in 3 years. (Deep breaths, deep breaths!). The paint color is fine. Pack away everything single thing that you can live without-space heater, office stuff, chotckes. Now go to TJ Maxx or some similar store and get some bright colored pillows for the couches and a coordinating throw to artfully drape over the arm. Change the lampshades to brighter colors or patterns. Bring in more color with art that coordinates. Add fresh flowers from the supermarket (astromelia from Trader Joe's are $3.99 a bunch and last for 2 weeks). New towels for all the bathrooms. In a word, make it look like a model house. Blesssings.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:43AM
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I agree with most people above - the furniture/wall colour/light fixture are all fine - they are all just a little too lumped together and need to be better laid out. A warm area rug with a few plants and side table with lamp are all you need to add, maybe an art piece of some kind. People like a bright house so open those blinds - the blinds are beautiful but bring the light and outside in and if it shows off the big back yard so much the better. The only other piece of advice I have and I didn't read all the comments above so maybe others have made it too - but I would say to remove the space heater. It tells me that the room is cold and that you need an extra heat source. If it really is then splurge on a wall fireplace or an electric fireplace that you can take with you - it will add the heat and some abiance and they are so cheap now. If I walk in as a prospective puchaser and see that then I worry about window quality, insulation, old furnace etc. etc.and I think of the costs associated. Good luck. It's a beautiful space and you will definitely find a buyer who will imagine themselves in that space.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:42AM
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Advice from viewers is fine when trying to find options for decorating your home. But if you are trying to sell your home fast, have your Realtor set you up with a staging pro. A staging pro will give you has the marketing advice that you really need. She will tell you the best color schemes and what if anything to change and how to effectively make your home appealing to home buyers in general. This is what you need now. Don't waste time and money on what other viewers say unless they are pros in this field.
4 Likes    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 11:57AM
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Eileen Doyle Realtor and Home Stager
1) Absolutely open the blinds!! Nothing more important. 2) It's a good idea to anchor the room with an area rug--ideally under the seating area and then put the coffee table there. But don't just buy things for this (see * below). 3) Move the small table with the plant on it which is next to the door to the empty corner shown in the second picture. 4) Get rid of either the table or the armoire on the wall with the railing. 5) And get rid of the space heater. Nothing screams "too expensive to heat" more than a space heater. 6) As far as colors, you really need to see what is "market" in your area. What works in Florida does not work in Montana. Ask your real estate agent or consider hiring a professional stager for more detail work. While you want your larger rooms to have wow factor, you may also need to make your storage (closets, garage, attic) look larger too. A talented stager is well worth the money. * In fact, hiring professionals, like real estate agents and stagers, will bring you more money with less headache than any money you put into redecorating or new furniture bought merely for selling purposes. Only buy something you will be happy to take with you.
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 12:39PM
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One simple step is to eliminate anything you had to add to overcome limitations. As in, don't make it obvious what you had to do to work around the house's limits. That heater, too much storage-oriented stuff, etc. Rent a storage module to hold all that stuff while you're showing the place.

Then visit other places on the market and note what they're doing. If your budget allows then follow some of those examples. You want people to be able to see how the rooms can be used, but not overly so. Just enough to let them get an idea how their stuff would look.

As for the blinds, opening them is certainly a good idea. But if what they look out on is a problem then you'd probably want to do something about that. Pretending it's not there by keeping the blinds closed won't work... buyers will open them and get wise to the problem.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 2:48PM
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Candace Bordelon
You have a beautiful dark hardwood floor and a dark brown couch. So all you need is to get a cheap, basic cream-colored rug that will create separation between the couch and the hardwood. It will set off the hardwood by adding contrast, and you need to pull the couch onto the rug and float it away from the wall as in previous suggestions. Bright throw pillows on the couch, and repeat that color elsewhere with some glass vases. Pull the trunk thing you have shoved over by the TV armoire in front of the couch as a coffee table, and see if you can procure another end table and lamp. Pull the chair onto the rug perpendicular to the couch instead of at the angle you have now.

The windows are beautiful, but without drapes (and I don't think you need them), there's a big sightline descrepency between the height of the windows and the low couch. One you get the couch pulled out from the wall a bit, two end tables, and two lamps, then get a tall indoor tree--ficus or something else, to set to one side of the couch. It will bring in color, some movement, and life into the room while creating a transition for the eyes from the windows to the couch.

I think the TV armoire is okay--not great, but I don't think it's going to make anyone run away in horror. But take away all the clutter. The art that is to the right of the armoire doesn't even show, so move it to the other side. Add a couple more pieces of art with some color on the other walls. Better to go with a big piece on each wall rather than several small pieces which add clutter and distract.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 3:08PM
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Distinguished Flooring LLC
Art and proper staging of furniture will serve you well
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 4:03PM
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I personally love the dark furniture, but I see nothing warm, comfortable or cozy here. While many people suggest neutralizing your own tastes, don't take the "homey" feeling out of it. I immediately thought of light-colored accent pillows on the couch, an open book, and a large area rug with a nature theme, like leaves or something to soften that hard wood floor. Simple solutions, not a massive overhaul. Some may hate the chandelier, others may get turned off by the trendy industrial school light you replace it with. You can't make everyone happy. At a designer's advice, a friend spent a fortune upgrading her 1940s country kitchen to stainless steel and granite. A potential buyer who had seen the kitchen before the change came back by to make an offer and collapsed crying. Yep, the new kitchen was a deal-breaker, not maker. Moral of the story: you can't make everyone happy. Keep it spotless, get rid of anything "cute" or that remotely hints of a maintenance problem, and soften it up. Best wishes to you.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 4:51PM
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I always find it rather strange that people ask questions and get tons of responses and never once come back on to reply in a week.................................
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:24PM
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Debra Hallberg-Palmer
I am a Realtor. Keeping it light and bright. It looks like you need to anchor your funiture with an area rug to bring the seating grouping together. I am a fan of a natural fiber rug but if you can find one with not too much pattern, that may work for interest. Declutter(or better yet remove) the clutter between the glass door and armoire. If you are going to have 2 end tables flanking the sofa, then get 2 nice large lamps. (Yours are too small for the space). .Bring the chair into the grouping by placing it on the area rug.
Put a few accent pillows on the sofa, that go with it (again simple). On top of the armoire, place a grouping of 3 things that relate. Not too small like what is there now. Perhaps begin with a nice large basket. You probably have things in your house already to spruce it up. Before going out and spending a bunch of money, look for things that you already have and go from there.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Debra Hallberg-Palmer
As for the kitchen, keep the counters clutter free, less is more. Put the appliances away. A vase of fresh flowers is always a nice touch. In the bathrooms, have the towel bars with nice new towels - don't let any one use them or have them on hand to throw up for showings and remove the old ones. Remember to keep vanities clutter free. And no personal photos anywhere - you want people to see themselves in the home not your family.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:57PM
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Penny V.
I wouldn't necessarily paint, but if you want to, blueish hues would work well with your floors.

Just like other people have said, using a big area rug to define the space would help, as well as general decluttering. You'll want to if not open the blinds all the way, at least angle them for more natural light in the space, and change furniture around, so the sofa is facing the windows, with some armchairs facing the sofa on the window wall side, a side table or something else that you'd expect a guest to be able to put a drink down on, and some plants. You can usually find cheap artificial trees from your local Habitat for Humanity store. Or get some big cheap containers from your local garden center, and put in graphic branches (spray painting them can give you that instant, non-committal pop of color).

The chandelier isn't proportioned right to the space. It seems small, and appears to be mounted too high up for its size. I know a chandelier is an investment, so it's up to you what you choose to do with it. I might be inclined to replace it with a cheap but impressive feature piece, like the Maskros (translates to "dandelion") pendant lamp from IKEA. It's diameter is about 30 inches, and will probably cost about 90 bucks.

Here's an example room that has a rug that I presume was the inspiration for the color scheme, some cushions, an ottoman and planter in accent colors, and the whole space looks roomy and airy. You can pull off a similar look without too much financial investment. The sofa can be brightened up a lot with neutral throw cushions.

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1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:56PM
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Miller's Paint & Wallpaper
I wouldn't change the paint color because the rule of thumb is " neutral " what could be popping to one someone else might hate and it could cost you the sale. I would just add a little more color to the room in the form of art work, ( doesn't have to be expensive) Flowers on the table with flower colors that stand out. Definitely an area rug to pull the room together & also help with color. Remember, you are selling this house not decorating it for yourself.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:15PM
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You're 85% there. Get rid of a lot of the little things scattered about. Go for fewer but larger accessories like your lamps, pillows, plants. Walls look good, windows are a wow. Darker neutrals (about the 3rd color on a 6 color paint chip) tend to sell very well with the painted millwork. I wouldn't put the bucks into a big rug (do not undersize this) unless I had a future use for it or got a screaming deal. Float the furniture a bit more, let people get to the windows, don't create any bottlenecks as people often tour homes in groups. Think of where you want the eye to go and use color or art to get it there. Most importantly, think of who the likely buyer is and tailor it to them. If you are after young professionals (probably with young kids), think of elegant places to stash toys, knock out space to entertain, etc. Whatever the demographic (ask your realtor) find out what they want and stage accordingly. Good luck, nice room.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:38PM
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Penny V.
jacksonian points out that you shouldn't spend a lot of money on an area rug. While I was growing up, my mom's solution in her low budget decorating was to get two, or even three identical, solid color area rugs on the cheap, and place them flush against each other for that large, lush area rug effect, for less than a full large rug would cost. Again, ikea is a good place for shopping for home staging, as a lot of their stuff is affordable, you can get away with under $100 for the "area rug" by buying matching, smaller rugs.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:13PM
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You need a nice drapery to warm up the room. Move that couch from against the windows. ( nothing should block those beautiful windows) if you don't have a fireplace on another wall, then that's your focal point as soon as you enter the room. You need an area rug and simple art on the walls. Nothing wrong with the color of the couch. you just need the right draperies and rug to tie it all together.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 11:23PM
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All I can say is "wow" & thanks to everyone so much for actually taking the time to help! I've never posted anything on any site before...and never expected everyone to be so helpful!!! I have gathered from everyone to keep the walls neutral...so we will definitely do that. We still have to paint - because of 10 years of living and 3 kids...but It'll remain neutral. I'm excited to look for a couch to complement the room (this couch is borrowed...so it's not an option to "make it work.") I agree with needing some greenery/plants and will definitely open the blinds...they were closed because of the sun glaring when trying to take the photo. I will definitely read EACH comment many times...and take everything in to account! :)
Again - I can't thank you ALL enough!
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:09AM
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you already have the WOW factor with that superb window. So even if you DON'T add crunchy white cushions, a belgian sisal rug and a swooping castiglioni arco lamp, paint the armoire pale chartreuse and get rid of everything less than 1cubic meter in size, your room will sell itself!
    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 5:13AM
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Debra Hallberg-Palmer
An area rug won't cost a lot, do a natural sea grass or jute or sisal. It is worth it.
    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:25AM
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Rio Brewster
Don't buy stuff for this house. Buy your furniture, rug and accessories for your new house, then use them to stage this one. Use light neutral paint, and declutter. Don't worry about it looking too bare.

I think you have a lot of great ideas above. Drapes are expensive so I wouldn't bother with those.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:45AM
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I would take out most of the furniture, maybe leave the couch, and add two large palms on either side.
    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 1:40PM
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Cathy Kearns
When I am looking for a house I prefer empty rooms to over furnished ones. I'd take out as much of the furniture as you can, unless you have really nice pieces that work to the scale of the room.
    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 2:00PM
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Stuart Nordin Design
Debra Hallberg-Palmer said it all! She is right about everything and I second it all! Light and bright is the way to go. Leave the paint, get a simple bound seagrass rug (you can get a remnant for very little money at Carpet One or online at rugsusa.com) to fill most of the floorspace, go with a light and neutral couch if you're going to buy a new one and definitely get at least one tall plant. A palm would look great as other people commented. Less is more when it comes to staging and declutter as much as possible. Good luck!
    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 2:17PM
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Move the bookcase/table next to armoire to corner(kitchen side) and place caddy corner add fern like plant on top shelf and special items only on the other 2 shelves. Square off the chair with the sofa move the coffee table in front of the sofa (if your plant on the trunk is healthy put it on the coffee table), put the square trunk on the other side of the sofa and maybe an open chair to square off the seating area. Place an area rug anchoring the seating area but not interfering with the path in front of the armoire(2 1/2 to 3 feet min,) Add a large plant palm or similar in the far corner. Play with the size of the lamps on either side of the sofa. Add another picture or collage of art to balance both sides of the now armoire only wall. Add 2 cushion that bring out whatever color you like in the new area rug maybe even a throw to add color over the corner of the sofa. Move the furniture first see how it feels to you. Then steal art work from else where in the house ,chair too may be from the dinning room? Try some lamps for elsewhere in the house, maybe even a blanket or throw from one of the bedrooms to put on the sofa just to see how it looks and feels before you commit any money to the project. So far your cost is just labor. If it works go for the rug and whatever else is needed. Good luck.
    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 8:24PM
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For a room with so many beautiful window, it sure looks dark. My first thought is that the dark furniture is blending in with the darkness of the floor. I think you need a really large area rug that will fill up a great deal of the floor. Look for a rug with a large scale pattern which is more contemporary and lighter in colour even a sisal type rug. This would be placed under a tleast the front legs of the conversation cluster of furniture. Some lighter coloured pillows with subtle pattern or texture on the couch would lighten it up as well. The photo is really dark so I can't tell if there is a coffee table ... because of the size of the room I would put in a large coffee table... maybe something in a fabric again in a little lighter colour with maybe a chenille... style it with a tray topped with either glass or light coloured metal which has some shine. All the best!
    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 7:40AM
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Stardust Modern Design
The ARCO lamp by Flos would be a nice addition: http://www.stardust.com/FLOSARCO.html
    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 11:51PM
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Andrea Prasch
If I were to come into this space as a potential homebuyer I would think wow it's so big but so cold. You need some texture. Everything seems to be dark against light floors and light walls. An area rug, window panels and a rustic element like a coffee or console table would make a world of difference in here. You have a great space to work with. i love all that natural lighting :)
    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 1:53AM
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But don't do much - it's a great space and if I were a buyer I'd appreciate it. Don't gunk it up with dinky stuff that distracts.
    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 2:32AM
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You are very fortunate to have spectacular architectural appeal. I would advise a minimalist approach to decorating and find a great way to pull the eye towards your glass. Through paint, artwork ,window treatments or whatever idea you can steal, this is the feature that will entrance a prospective buyer and should be your focus.
    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 8:01AM
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