Maple MakeOver Needed A More General Personal Style

Sometimes a home is nice, with all the basics covered, but it may not photograph well.  Since we all reach for Google when starting any kind of search today, every house listed for sale needs a personality and a warm welcome to stand out. This might seem a conundrum: stagers are always telling home owners to remove their personal style and choose a look that has general appeal.

A good place to see the results of extensive market research into the kind of personal style that appeals to a maximum number of people is to look at furniture and home decorating accessory catalogs. Depending upon the price point of the house, we would recommend either Pottery Barn or Pier1 at one end, and maybe Neiman Marcus’ Horchow, Gump’s or Blue Dot at the other. (And on days when we’re just daydreaming there’s always Williams-Sonoma)!

chicago home stagingWhen we arrived at 238 W Maple Lombard, IL, we found a great home, with some fine pieces in it, most of them large and imposing.  In the sun-room (above),  we softened the tiled floor with a jute rug and replaced the dark purple armchairs with a pair of neutral colored hobnail finished upholstered chairs to keep the room open and bright. A mix of textures on a dark sofa table adds something for the eye to take in while offering a solid anchor to the room.

Naperville home staging

In the loft, our homeowner already had a sectional sofa with a TV unit. We added a round table and 4 chairs to the vacant bay window to emphasize that additional square footage and the attractive curve of the bay.  The red accent chair contributes a dash of pizzazz; this space is now a lively activity center.

Dinette Collage


Buyers always say that they want lots of storage.  A big display case certainly provides good storage, but as you see in the before photos in this last montage, the display case can take over a space and dwarf everything else around it. Notice how much larger and more welcoming the dining area is without the giant display case. Also, the dining room table was a grand 12.5′ long with 10 chairs around it.  It is impressive and Italianate, and took up almost two rooms’ worth of space. It was difficult for buyers to visualize how a family room and dinette area would work together. Bu turning a smaller table sideways, we opened up the family room to accommodate a sofa and a pair of comfortable leather chairs.

You will also see a mural in the before photos.  There is no greater example of personal style than a floor to ceiling mural. It is totally specific to one particular decorating style, and, if original, will often feature some aspect of the family in it! (e.g. the family dog or a child peering over a bridge) We recommend sellers paint them back out.  After all, we wouldn’t want buyers to associate this home with any kind of ruin, Roman or otherwise!

When getting your home ready for sale, always pick the most general personal style you can.  The wider the appeal the faster the sale.


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