Revisiting A Home From A Prior Post

A furnished house is a bit like a puzzle. As a stager, I envision how the pieces will look in a completely new arrangement before we even move anything. Then we try the new arrangement, make adjustments, and finish off with accessories and art.
In an earlier post I shared before/after photos of a place we helped clean when visiting an older relative. At that time we organized his trophy collection and books. Sadly this person recently passed away, so we returned to prepare the home for potential buyers or renters. When a house has older furniture and there is no budget for staging, can it still be set up in an inviting way?
Before: Livingroom
In this case, I discovered bedding and pillows that happened to match the area rugs, and used it to cover the older, patterned furniture. Seating was rearranged to feature the large picture window and create a conversation area. The newer recliner had the throw removed, then was positioned where the back would be visible. Also, an interesting aloe plant/book arrangement was put in the former TV corner, and a computer desk replaced the trophy shelf to make the room more inviting to new owners.
After: Livingroom rearranged (using same furniture as the before photo).
Aloe and bookstand arrangement where TV used to be. 
Before: Trophy and bookshelf. Trophies (and even books)
can make a home seem like "someone else's" to a
potential buyer, so we removed them.
After: A computer desk with antique chair shows a potential buyer that technology fits within this house. The dated switchplate on the wall could also be replaced.
 Before: left After: right
If left in poor condition, buyers would assume significant expense was needed to replace the kitchen cupboards. So the goal is to make them clean, updated and attractive enough to eliminate this as a deterrent or bargaining tool for the buyer, and sell the home for a better price as a result.
Years of fingerprints were removed with several applications of Murphy's Oil Soap applied liberally with a damp sponge. Once thoroughly cleaned, updated handles could be added along with new countertops to make the home more saleable. The cupboards could also be painted (or replaced), but a painted finish may not be as durable as the wood has proven to be.


Why Would a Decorator Hire A Stager?

Architectural design is a key part of any property for sale. Just as people choose clothing, hair styles and makeup to accentuate their best features, good stagers select and arrange items to accentuate the special features of each property they work on.  Attention might be drawn to the quality, detail, beauty, size, view, or functionality of a design, to name a few. This purpose differs from decorating, which may draw attention instead to the personal belongings or lifestyle of the owner. For this reason, even a nicely decorated home may benefit from the focused involvement of a stager when it is offered for sale.
The placement of this furniture deliberately draws attention to the window, an architectural feature of this room. Notice that plants chosen draw the eye to, but do not block the view of, the window.
The flowers are placed to draw the eye through the lovely archway into to kitchen,  but not to detract attention from the renovated cabinets, backsplash, sink, and lighting.