Design Inspiration: Home Staging Gives New Life to Tired Rooms

staging a home

Are you tired of the same old, same old? Think your bedroom feels tired, your living room needs life, or your dining room feels drab? You may be ready for a mini makeover. It’s time for some home staging.

Jay Nuhring is an interior designer with a background in home staging. He likes to work with existing furniture, rather than replacing it – and says some rooms can be almost completely transformed by rearranging the furniture.

Living Room that Flows - Jay Nuhring House Styling
Living Room that Flows – Jay Nuhring House Styling

“It’s about getting everything in the right place in the room based on the other architectural elements in that room,” Jay explains. “When I look at a room for the first time, I immediately discern and evaluate who’s the kingpin in this room, who’s the boss in this room, and I find the wall or the place where that piece wants to go.” Once he positions the main piece, he says the rest of the room usually falls into place.

Dining Room

Does your dining room table really need to be centered under the light fixture? Jay says the room should decide, not the light. “If the room is big enough and I have the opportunity to shift the table, I do it immediately.”

It’s Okay to Move Your Table – Jay Nuhring Home Styling

“Move your furniture where it works for your lifestyle and the room,” he says. “It’s okay to put a dining table where one would typically put a sofa.” Sometimes, it only takes moving the table a couple of feet to make a difference.  “It creates a hallway, easy access in and out of the room and into another,” he says. “It takes the dining table off of a freeway and into a rest area.”

Offset Dining Room Table – Jay Nuhring House Styling

He recommends raising the chandelier or adjusting the lighting to move the table away from the center of the room. And one more point: leave a little bit of extra room for your chairs, rather than pushing them in. “It’s more welcoming,” he notes. “It’s like an unspoken invitation to pull that chair out just a little bit more and sit down.”


One of the easiest things to fix can be a tired bedroom. “People simply go to the largest wall in the bedroom and that’s where the bed goes,” he says, “it’s human nature.”

Don’t Worry About Putting A Bed Under A Window – Jay Nuhring House Styling

Instead, find the best place for the bed based on where you enter the room, how you can create living space in the room, and how you can get in and out of closets. “If that means putting a bed under a window, the headboard under the window, I do it,” he says. “When I do it and everything else is rearranged and placed right, it’s transformative. People wonder why they didn’t do it sooner.”

Living Room

How is your living room arranged? If you’re like many people, the TV has the dominant placement – based on the placement of the cable outlet. “Which is usually to the left or the right – or worse yet, above – the fireplace.”  Jay recommends a seating arrangement that complements the architecture and the fireplace, and then accounts for the TV.

“Typically, you need to kind of neutralize that relationship and distance them a little bit, but at the same time, kind of treat them how to get along.” In the example below, he used artwork above the fireplace and around the TV (on the white table) to make them all work together.

TV and Fireplace Living Together Peacefully - Jay Nuhring House Styling
TV and Fireplace Living Together Peacefully – Jay Nuhring House Styling

“I’m a firm believer that if you get things in the right place,” he says, “your opinion of each piece of furniture will be elevated.”

For more of his designs, check out Jay’s Facebook page. And for even more design inspiration, stop by your local Hirshfield’s location in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota. We love to talk about this stuff.

Since Frank and Elizabeth Hirshfield opened their first store in 1894, it has been our mission to do the best job possible meeting customer needs and solving customer problems. Hirshfield’s. People and products you can trust.

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