How we styled our living room to sell
As you might know at this point our house is on the market. I’ve decorated it a few different ways over the years – at some points loving it more or less, but never taking advantage of that light and the bright airiness the living room has. It’s a beautiful room with an insane view and so much light all day long. When we moved we needed our sofa, so we had to restyle it to sell. This is the ‘How we styled the living room to sell’ post.
I wanted to show off the light and space, so everything we did was with that goal in mind. Since we moved our sofa to the new house we needed to replace it with something for staging and selling. Around that time reached out to say ‘hey, we just finished shooting some sofas in LA for the catalogue, do you want to borrow for the staging and potentially sell it with the house?’ I looked at the sectional in question and said, YES.
Now that this sectional is in here, man this room is prettier and more inviting than ever. It simplified the seating area and is the kind of sofa that goes with so many different styles of houses – so I knew it would appeal to so many different buyers. I was extremely impressed with it and we all commented how it just worked so much better than the awesome leather strapping sofa I had. Of course because this is linen (and not sunbrella like my white sofa was) I wouldn’t have felt as confidant buying it with two toddlers, but seeing it in here really made me think ‘this is what this room wanted the whole time’.
Remember when it looked like this?
One of the major changes was the removal of the tree. Visually I missed it SO MUCH but the pot was rotting, the leaves were dropping sap, ruining furniture, flooring, rugs, etc. (It was healthy and new in that photo). Walking over there was like walking on a fly trap. But it was so big and daunting (and expensive) so figuring out how to best solve the situation was so hard. Ultimately we knew we couldn’t have an open house with the sap. So we gave it away to a friend (after trying to sell it for 1/5 what I paid for it), and did a light refinishing of the flooring around it. At different points it was a GORGEOUS tree, but when it was sick it really caused me more stress than any other thing in my house. And then I would talk about it like that in front of it which I think made it more sick. It wasn’t properly potted in the first place. UGH. I’m so glad it’s gone and off to a better place.
Since my eye knows it was there I miss it, but looking at these photos makes me think – it doesn’t matter, that room is so lovely without it and it really does look so big and airy. We bought a $100 fig tree instead. Done. And yes, I thought about bringing the old tree to my new house, but when my friend Tessa said that she wanted to plant it in her back yard and that she would LOVE to love it properly, I said – maybe that’s just best. Brian grew to hate that tree so maybe it’s just best to move on and cut our losses. It was in three magazines, it did its job for my portfolio. Time to move on.
I was very worried about how to style this room to sell, and yet be full of enough personality to represent me. Brian kept telling me to stop and that it was good enough and I kept joking dramatically, ‘this is my life’s work!’ So I kept all the color and pattern in the textiles, and used a (what I like to think) universally loved color palette of gray, blue, navy, white, wood, with some hints of lighter toned pinks as an accent. I didn’t want it to be boring. I took your advice from my master bedroom staging and decided to leave more style/stuff than I was advised from others. Hopefully I was right. The pillows are a mix of ones that I already owned, vintage fabric I had made (that are available on the flea) and Target (most are linked up below).
I took off the more neutral bench covers along the fireplace and revealed the vintage indigo (that has been brightened from the sun) instead. It added a nice pop of color (and if you are the buyer, of course you can keep both covers).
I brought back that awesome table with the sadly cracked marble top (that you can barely tell). I coudln’t have it with the kids (it was extremely easy to knock over) but it looked amzing here.
One thing that you may or may not notice is that the up on the second level don’t match. It’s ALWAYS bugged me (in photos, HA). The order came in wrong, but it was right when we were shooting the laundry room post so I just installed it for the shoot. They are so affordable and I should have replaced it, but I didn’t because that sounds like a super boring way to spend time and money, especially since it was already shot. 🙂 In person it didn’t really bother me and most people didn’t notice it (one is gold and one is white, both the same style).
We paired back the shelving (stay tuned for a video/post on that as part of our ‘staging to sell’ series with Curbed). I brought in one of my saddle chairs for the shoot. It looks small here, but looked great in the room. I actually brought that one (and the lamp) home before the open house because I wanted them in this house so bad. We kept the color palette calm, with these pops of teals and blues.
That is the view from the dining room and it’s a REALLY really good one.
Not sure if you guys watched the Facebook live but in it I talked about how everything is for sale to the new buyer, but then retracted almost immediately saying ‘well not that, and not that, and definitely not that’. One person asked what would be the one thing I would save from a fire, and I answered that would be the blimp painting. Most everything else I can buy again or find a version of which I love. I would definitely re-buy those ceramic bells, that pouf (it looks so good in birdie’s room), that throw (which is so expensive but man, it has looked good every place I’ve styled it) and some of the Rebecca Atwood pillows. And that black Jonathan Adler pot (that I got at the flea market for $20!) I’m hoping the new owner wants to buy the sectional, that dresser, the saddle chair (pair … even though they aren’t there right now), the coffee table (I LOVE it but it’s too heavy for us to move for our fort-making in the new house) and the rug – because those pieces don’t have a place in the new house as of right now.
The dining table and chairs also don’t work in the new house size-wise (and since our countertops are marble it would be weird to have marble next to marble) so I’m hoping the new buyer wants to buy that table and chairs, too (If not, you KNOW that I’ll be doing a big sale so stay tuned).
Well, there she is. I’m going to do a big ‘Glendale house Biography’ post, putting all versions of all rooms in one post (with links to them), with all befores/progress and afters so that you can see everything in one post, all together. That’s mostly for my own reference, but I figured you guys might like it, too.
I have to say that I really do love this more than how we had it before. It’s making me question not having a sectional in every room, if possible (we put one in the family room, too and it looks so good). They are just so inviting, cozy and in a way a sectional makes designing the rest of the room easier – just add a club chair and you are good to go. I love the slim arms of this sectional so much, by the way – it maximizes the seat area without it being too bulky.
So here is a get the look for the last and final Glendale home living room. Hopefully the new owners want ‘the look’ so much that it he/she buys it all (except for the things mentioned above :)) WISH US LUCK.
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Do you like it better than how we had it? Or am I alone in that?
***Update: Due to last weeks executive actions I have decided that 100% of the net profits from The FLEA will be donated to the until March (or until it’s sold out). Regardless of politics, America is a country founded by immigrants, and our moral standing is in question right now as we are rejecting those in need out of unsubstantiated fear. We, the people, define what being “American” means, and I say it means freedom for all and acceptance of everyone – (yes, with vetting, protocol and proper paperwork). Also I’m taking suggestions on where to donate, if anyone knows any organizations that are better at promoting love and fighting for civil rights, then please leave in the comments.