Dining Room Staging

dining room staging

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No matter how your dining room has been used, when you have a house to sell, you need to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and consider what they want to see. Staging the dining room before you put your house on the market is an important part of making the home look inviting and enticing.

Knowing how to stage it properly will make it easier for potential buyers to envision themselves entertaining guests when the house is theirs.

However, the process can be intimidating if you’ve never staged a dining room.

The ultimate goal is to make potential buyers fall in love with the idea of living in the house. When they can’t see themselves living elsewhere, they’ll want to make the purchase quickly and even pay more to ensure it’s theirs.

If you have a dining room to stage, read the five tips below to increase your home’s value and sell faster.

Declutter and De-Personalize

The first rule for staging any room in the home is to declutter and de-personalize the space you’re working with. One of the significant parts of staging is laying a solid foundation, for which you need a clean slate.

When working on the dining room (or any room, for that matter), you don’t want to give potential buyers a glimpse into your life. Instead, the goal is to provide them with a frame for painting their own vision.

Create a blank canvas by clearing out any personal items from the room. Get rid of clutter and make sure there’s no paperwork or other distinguishing items lying around.

Once the area is clear, you can move on to staging the room.

Choose a Color Scheme

When staging the home, you always want to choose a neutral color scheme.

Dining rooms are one of the only spaces where you have the freedom to choose darker colors to work with. Darker colors work well in dining rooms because they can help create a more intimate, cozy atmosphere.

If you want to go with a dark color scheme, think darker neutral colors like charcoal, tan, or navy, but make sure that they coordinate with the other rooms in the home.

Lighter neutral colors like beige and cream are also good choices for the dining room.

Create a Focal Point

While you may think that the dining table is the focal point of the dining room, you shouldn’t forget about the wall space, especially if you have a larger-sized room to work with.

Use the empty wall space to create a focal point with artwork or a mirror.

Another idea is to use a buffet or table to create an elegant vignette and hang a mirror or painting above it.  

Focus on Furniture Placement

Even though potential buyers will most likely be decorating the home with their own furnishings, most people will still judge the house based on the style of the furniture they see in it.

If the furniture in your dining room is old, worn out, or very taste-specific, you should consider renting or borrowing clean, neutral-looking furniture for staging.

The basics of every dining room include a table, lighting, and possibly an area rug.

Additional furnishings like china hutches, buffets, and other large pieces of furniture should only be considered if you have a large room. Trying to fit bulky furnishings like those into a smaller dining room would make the space feel cramped and uninviting.

Area Rug Placement

An area rug is optional, but many people like using one in the dining room.

If you plan on using one to stage yours, place it under the table and ensure it’s centered under the chandelier or ceiling light (if you have one).

The only time an area rug would be considered an essential item is in a dining room that’s part of an open-concept living room, as it would serve as an anchor to distinguish the dining space.

Dining Table Placement

First, make sure you’re using the right dining table for your space. If you think your table doesn’t look right or doesn’t fit well in the room, consider a round dining table, which is often an ideal solution for small or awkward dining areas.

Center the dining table beneath the light fixture in the room. In a large, oblong room, the table should sit closer to one end of the room. Balance the space by placing a piece of furniture of equal weight opposite the table.

Limit the number of chairs to four and ensure that there’s a wide enough area of traffic space around the table and chairs for two people to walk through.


A chandelier can elevate the look of any dining room, but transparent light fixtures may work better in small spaces.

If you’re working with an existing chandelier that isn’t in the best spot for the table, don’t place the table off-center.

Instead, extend the chandelier and swag it to the best spot. Another option is to replace the chandelier with a modern ceiling light fixture installed in the center of the room.

Decorate with Restraint

Last, but certainly not least, is decorating the open spaces in the dining room.

One of the most important aspects of staging a dining room is choosing the right accents and décor.

It’s essential to use neutral pieces and decorate with restraint. Use the following examples to decorate your dining room perfectly.

  • Add a touch of beauty and elegance with a dramatic flower arrangement on a buffet or side table.  
  • Ensure that china cabinet accessories match or have a coordinating theme.
  • Use smaller pieces of artwork grouped together to create a vignette or to be read as a coordinating piece.
  • Use transparent accessories or décor items that match the wall color to fill open shelf space but be sure to leave plenty of open space around objects. Use taller objects to create an illusion of height.
  • Fill empty wall space by hanging a collection of decorative plates to form a geometric shape.
  • Make sure that the accessories you choose are proportional to the room size and furniture.
  • Choose a few unique pieces or a favorite china collection to fill a china cabinet with glass doors. Place taller pieces, like large plates, at the back of the cabinet with the smallest items in front.

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