Friday, January 29, 2010

Staging Bookcases

This past week I had the opportunity to stage a home for a local realtor. It was an older home that had been lovingly cared for by an elderly couple. Sadly, the mother died, the father had to be placed in a nursing home, and the children had to sell the home. It was my job to make the house look it's best. There was a lot of work to do, so the homeowner's daughter and the realtor helped me and my helper with the staging.

I want to show you the "before and after" photos of the family room bookcases so you can see what a difference a few changes make.


Here in the before pics you can see a lot of books, many of them paperbacks. Because my helper and I were busy with the rest of the house, the homeowner's daughter and realtor actually did the physical work of staging the bookcases. I simply shouted orders from the front room and occasionally inspected.

First, I had them pack up all of the paperback books. Then I had them remove any items that did not go with the style or theme of the room (items like toys, old candles etc.) Then I asked them to line up similarly sized books, leaving some stacked on their sides. We made sure all book spines were lined up even with the edge of the shelves for a neater appearance. Lastly, I raided the rest of the house for simple items to fill in the empty spots.


Here is the final product. Of course we staged the rest of the room, decluttering as much as possible. So many people have plaid couches (including me) that are hard to decorate around. The best way to decorate around them is to simplify everything and use as little extra pattern as possible.


  1. What a big difference! It is interesting that you took out all the paperbacks. I used to keep every book I've ever owned, but unless it is a cookbook, I've started passing the paperback on. And it makes the house feel better.

    Question: Was there a particular reason you took the shelf off the wall above the sofa? I like it better off, but just wondering as I have a big long shelf like that in my breakfast room.

    Have a great weekend! Lottie

  2. Lottie, I decided to take the shelf down for several reasons. One, it was hung too high in relation to the sofa and it was too wide. Proportion is important. Two, shelves need to hold something and I didn't want to add anything else into this room that I'm trying to simplify. Three, this room actually had 2 other shelves just like this hanging up. Too much, too much, too much. We took them all down. There was a shelf hanging in the kitchen and we left it in place. We staged it with 5 simple plates. It was in proportion to the table and chairs and the blank wall needed some artwork. Plates on a shelf=artwork.


I'd love to know what you're thinking. Please feel free to leave ideas and comments.