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Staging Help! Dining Room - Need more updated look
farmhousejoann
February 8, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We bought a farm that we plan to move to but need to sell our current house. My tastes in the past were more traditional but now are moving to more transitional and modern. I need suggestions to improve the looks of this room to appeal to buyers. The house has a formal entry hall with DR and formal living room that we will stage as a home office. These will be the first rooms a buyer sees and we want them to fall in love at the front door. I need help. I think it needs something. All the furniture in my house is rich darker woods (think Ethan Allen - Brittish Classics, mahogany) with Pecan Hardwoods throughout. I already removed my dated rug, changed the brass chandelier to the nested drum shade and recovered the chairs in a gray and cream geometric. What else should I do to give it a more modern feel. The room is brighter than the photos appear. I can never get the auto flash to work right. Please help!
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tea77
It's a pretty room. Love the recovered chairs. My first reaction was that the lounge chairs in the corners should be removed to open up the space.
February 8, 2013 at 6:37AM     
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Jennifer Bruce
Agree, just get the chairs out from the corners. Bigger feel sells.
February 8, 2013 at 6:45AM   
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soberg
Agree with getting rid of chairs. Less furniture is always a more modern look. Your dark wood table and chairs are classic and beautiful. Stage the buffet with a few well-edited pieces and possibly a modern lamp. Just one or two pieces of powerful art (store away anything small or half-hearted looking) and a big bowl of fresh flowers on the table will look great.
February 8, 2013 at 6:48AM   
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4resas
Set the table! It's a dusting hassle, but when you go into a model home the table is set. Also the center piece is getting lost, either switch it for flowers, or a candelabra, or put something colorful inside it.
February 8, 2013 at 6:54AM     
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fuzinav
After removing the armchairs, try extending your table (maybe just one leaf) so all the chairs fit with generous space in between.
February 8, 2013 at 7:13AM   
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aniluap2
Remove the chairs as stated above and the items on the buffet and dining table. Put a lower centerpiece in the middle of the table e.g a silver bowl with a green plant , flowers or fruit. Put something larger and striking on the buffet. It could be a collection of various sized candlesticks of mercury siver or glass hurricanes, a collection of decanters , 3 bell jars with interesting items in them or a pot with a couple of white orchids with Spanish moss around the base, whatever you do the accessories should tie together and look like they are collected rather thn haphazard. Besides that everything looks wonderful and I think buyers will be impressed. Homegoods is a great place to shop for staging items since they offer something for all tastes at reasonable prices. Good luck!
February 8, 2013 at 7:17AM     
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REDinterior
You have wainscot and ladder back chairs, these are very traditional. You are wanting to make a duck a dog. Your room is lovely and traditional, embrace that! The room looks too full as all the other posts have mentioned. Once you remove those chairs you could try a grey or greige on the wall to "modern it up" and maybe a nice rug under the table - make sure the rug has a large pattern or tone on tone to make the room feel bigger. The accessories on your buffet are symmetrical - symmetrical is traditional, try something more asymmetrical - maybe one or two larger items than numerous small items. Good luck.
Rebecca, CID, ASID, CAPS
February 8, 2013 at 7:28AM     
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farmhousejoann
Thanks, so it looks like the extra chairs should go. Agreed! I like all the suggestions about what to put on the buffet and table. Would anyone add window treatments? And we like the idea of a rug, but cost wise don't know if it would add enough to the room or if we could squeeze by without one?
February 8, 2013 at 8:02AM   
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curacaoblue
It's very nice, neat and clean. The only thing I'd do is remove the chairs from the corners as they make the room feel cramped. Don't set the table.
February 8, 2013 at 8:04AM   
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farmhousejoann
One other question about paint color? So we want the pale gray on the walls but thought that our house was supposed to be uniform beige for the future buyer. This room hasn't been painted from the color we have lived with, which is an ecru or even pale buttery color. We are correcting for all our personal room colors in other rooms with beige - this one could stay the same or go beige or go gray. What do you think?
February 8, 2013 at 8:06AM     
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farmhousejoann
Also, did anyone think I went too big on the drum fixture? The room has 10 foot ceilings and I didn't want it to get lost.
February 8, 2013 at 8:06AM   
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aniluap2
Would not go to the expense of window treatments or paint. It is neutral and appealing as is . Grey is the trendy color right now but beige still offers mass appeal. The shade is not too big but I think it is hung a little high...the rule of thumb is no more than 36" from top of table to bottom of fixture but if this is too difficult to correct leave as is.
February 8, 2013 at 8:13AM   
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joannpb
My two bits... yes, remove the decorative chairs; don't change the wall color; put a runner on the table from end to end and remove one of those glass chimneys (or whatever, I can't see them too well) fill the other one with something striking (go to a craft store like Michael's - they have things like silver spheres, for instance)or replace with a bowl of flowers; either don't set the table, or just set the end two places; remove items from sideboard and place something large (like a turreen) in the center with a candlestick and fresh candle at either end or two candlesticks of different heights at one end.

A good place to look for dramatic staging items is Goodwill, Habitat, etc because people seem to be unloading some nice items that they have no room to store. Lots of downsizing going on. You don't have much money or any emotion invested in it if the item gets broken or stolen. You might see a couple of nice place settings there, too so you don't have to use your own.

Last, remove two of the side chairs from the table and place them on either side of the sideboard with their backs straight to the wall. This may seem like you're just filling up the space you just emptied, but the side chairs have a much smaller profile and an open look. they will take up almost no visual space and it will make the space around the table look much more generous. Don't open the table any farther.

Also, ir you kept the brass chandelier, mention to your realtor that it is available, if the buyer doesn't like the drum shade. Some people still love them.

Good luck!
February 8, 2013 at 8:50AM   
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joannpb
Opps! I missed something... Take those small, dark framed pieces of art off the walls. keep the two large pieces on the window wall. 8-)
February 8, 2013 at 8:54AM   
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farmhousejoann
Really good ideas. Agree on the upholstered chairs. They need to go. They match a formal living room set that is being moved out before we list because the fabric and colors are so dated and we don't have the time and money to reupholster them into something chic. Quite possibly, no amount of $$$ could turn them into something chic. :) And in the end, my house has so much dark furniture and antiques that I don't want anyone walking in and thinking that my house reminds them of their grandma's house. I love my old furniture but I think too many antiques can turn off buyers and I want them thinking young, fresh, cozy and clean. Not old and wore out. Thanks for the advice.
February 8, 2013 at 9:03AM   
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curacaoblue
Don't paint anything that looks fresh and is neutral already. There is no need to be uniform. What matters is that the colors are neutral and paint is fresh looking ie not dirty and stained. It appears clean in the pics but if I'm wrong then do paint it.
February 8, 2013 at 9:16AM   
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Susan Mills Design
I would not try to make this room contemporary, rather I would suggest a British Colonial look. Add some blue and white porcelain and potted plants, if you purchase a rug, a natural sisal with a border would work and be quite cost effective. I do not think your shade pendant works here, I'm afraid. I would go back to the brass. I am sure you would be able to find these things at a cost effective price and make the room much more interesting.

I agree with others, remove those large chairs and the suggestion to place two of the dining chairs, flat to the wall on either side of the buffet a good one.

You could also add a matchstick blind as a valance over the window to complete the look.

I am attaching a picture I found on Houzz on Becky Harris's great post on British Colonial style. Do a search to see what I mean.
February 8, 2013 at 9:32AM     
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Kensington Construction
We have a table with two leaves and eight chairs. Until needed, the leaves are stored and the two arm chairs are set beside the dish cabinet.
February 8, 2013 at 9:42AM   
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Color Zen
My first reaction was remove the corner chairs, paint it gray, thumbs-up to that idea, and remove your accents and add a few new, contemporary ones. Like a large shallow metal bowl on the table. Maybe a few white ceramic objects on the dresser. Gray walls will look great with beige. I would choose a medium shade of gray, not too light... So it has some power. The new light is a great change! Good luck, a little effort will be worth it.
February 8, 2013 at 9:47AM   
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farmhousejoann
SMD, I had to smile at the picture. I have had my table for about 15 years and in the first house we were in we had this exact look but with Navy Blue walls. And when we purchased the antique ladderbacks we had a choice between the ladderbacks and sheildbacks. It was quite a striking look with white trim and mutlti-pane windows. Even had the blue and white china. We even had the large, large window. The brass chandelier we took down is moving to our new house because we still love it and it is so well built. Brass and Crystal. I do still love that look but I wondered if it had broad appeal? Classic looks are simply classic and I would have this in a house I am going to live in anyday. Thanks for the great input.
February 8, 2013 at 10:06AM     
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Susan Mills Design
Farmhousejoann, you are so welcome. How interesting that I posted a picture that is of something you have already had. I think that is because everything is classic in your room, everything except that light fixture. I think you should stay true to the style of your furnishings and not mix it up. It will only confuse the buyer, they won't know what feels off about the room.

Your room just needs a bit of tweaking. You have lovely furnishings. Ethan Allen is still selling British Classics, so people are still wanting it!
February 8, 2013 at 10:21AM   
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Susan Mills Design
PS, don't load the table with all that crystal! :)
February 8, 2013 at 10:23AM   
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farmhousejoann
I don't think I ever owned that much crystal. :) And I only use the one wine glass. ;)
February 8, 2013 at 10:31AM     
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joannpb
If you want a brass chandelier, again, go to the resale stores - there's lots of "updating" going on and you can get one for very little.
February 8, 2013 at 10:56AM   
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Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design
Add plant in corner instead of chairs - break up the matchy look -The room is lovely however the above suggestions give you many ideas - best to you!
February 8, 2013 at 10:59AM   
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farmhousejoann
I actually really like the drum shade. It helped lighten up the colors by having more white/cream in the room and it draws your eyes up.
February 8, 2013 at 10:59AM     
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farmhousejoann
Thanks Paradise. A little green would help. I do seem to be a victim of the matchy-matchy. Wish I could be more eclectic.
February 8, 2013 at 11:01AM   
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Susan Mills Design
Oh you can go eclectic if you like, just need to mix it up a bit more, for instance a bold pop art painting above the buffet instead of the traditional mirror. Have the host chairs be different, or keep the traditional mirror but replace with a more modern sideboard. Do a search on here for eclectic and also search the web. Apartment Therapy did a great little article on it.
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/eclectic-decor-134813
February 8, 2013 at 11:35AM   
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