How To Stage Your Home with Rugs to Appeal to Home Buyers

Area rugs are an easy way to liven up your home without committing to a complete overhaul of a room. If you are getting feedback that certain rooms are not as appealing as buyers like, consider getting a rug to attract buyers’ attention to the livability of your space. The best part? Unless you are selling your home furnished, you get to take the rug with you when you move to your new home!



So Much Hardwood… If you have a nice open space with an expanse of beautiful hardwood, the room could easily feel a bit unwelcoming to buyers if there is an absence of an area rug. To make it feel more cozy and welcoming while still preserving the perception of space, use a large area rug to unify the living room. Choose a rug that matches your décor but still warms the space. Contemporary, geometric patterns or a classic traditional rug should work well, depending on your décor. Lighter rugs work better on darker hardwood, and vice versa.

Helpful Tip: Don’t use a rug to try to hide stains or other imperfections in your floor. When the buyer performs their final walkthrough and gets an eyeful of what the rug was covering, they may get very angry and it may delay the sale until the issue gets resolved. Get your floor repaired or refinished (if hardwood) or replaced or cleaned (if carpet) before putting your home on the market, or disclose the problem up front so buyers are aware. Honesty is the best policy!


Living room 1

So Cold… If you have a nice neutral living room, it can have a very unwelcoming feel without some color to draw the eye of buyers, especially if the room is hardwood, laminate, or tile. This is especially true if the floor plan is very open. You want buyers to feel like they can relax at home and be comfortable in each room. Choose an area rug in a size that defines the space, and a color that warms up the room, like red, orange, or gold. Pick up those colors in a couple throw pillows or candles nearby to complete the look.

Helpful Tip: Have your furniture in place the way you want it before buying your rug. The right size rug is the key to pulling a room together. You don’t want the rug to be so small it looks like it is floating among the furniture, or of a size that doesn’t fit correctly under the furniture. See our previous blog about how to pick the perfect size area rug for your room. A good general rule is, err on the larger side.  A too-small rug will make the space look smaller than it really is. However, it is still recommended to keep an area rug about 18” from the edges of your room.



So Bland… As most realtors will tell you, in-your-face colors appeal to far fewer buyers than neutrals. If your room is welcoming yet bland, add some fun and visual excitement with a bold rug to add style and please the eye. If your walls are bare, too, try adding a piece of wall art or a framed mirror that complements the area rug. This can add a punch of color that buyers can appreciate while knowing that it’s not permanent and they can add their own colors.

Helpful Tip: The key is to find a rug that enhances the room in a positive, eye-catching way. Consider a rug where a bright color such as flame orange or lime green is the secondary color in the rug and cream, tan, or brown, tan, or beige is the main color, as they pair well and are extremely attractive!



So Unfinished… Even a balanced room with nice furniture pieces can look like it’s missing something without an element to pull the room together. Give your room that finished touch with a rug that unifies the color scheme. Use one that contains colors that you want to emphasize, makes the room feel cozy, and visually defines the space.

Helpful Tip: If you don’t plan on taking the rug with you to your new home, or the rug is unique or already looks so perfect in your existing home, you can offer the rug to stay with the home as a buying incentive!



So Undefined… If you have a floor plan where two rooms compose one large open area (such as a living room and dining room) and there is not a rug in either area, the space can look both visually undefined and bare. This can make it hard for buyers to envision how to enliven the spaces if they were to live there. It can definitely help to sell your home if you separate these spaces with a beautiful area rug or two.

Helpful Tip: Use a rug large enough to reach the outer legs of your furniture to establish a barrier.



So Emotional… Many buyers who make a decision about buying a home have an emotional element involved. Besides having your home be perfectly clean and tidy, there are other ways to help the potential buyers for your home “see” that they could happily live there. How about a cute pink rug for a young daughter’s room? Or a comfy, shaggy rug in front of the TV in the family room where buyers can envision their own family in an inviting movie night, complete with popcorn? Even a cute and fun welcome mat gives the impression that your home is warm & welcoming both inside and out.

Helpful Tip: If your rug is going to be used in a kid’s room or any area where spills or dirt may occur, make sure you choose its material and construction accordingly, and are aware of how to care for it properly through vacuuming and spot cleaning. For example, polyester rugs are known to be not only soft, but also wear well and are easy to clean.


Have you used an area rug in your home that helped you sell it? Please leave a comment with your story , we would love to hear it!


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