Friday, May 11, 2012

Don't Stupid-Stage a Dining Table

I adore a well set table! But how you live in your home and how you stage a house to sell are two different things.

Elaborate staging on dining room tables looks fussy. The Martha Stewart-type tablescapes I see in MLS listings should stop.  A table set with  formal place settings looks stupid-staged. Napkins in wine goblets is really stupid-staging.  I refer to it as "stupid-staged" because staging is supposed to be relateable, not contrived.

Many folks are under the impression that when staging a dining room it should look like a formal dinner party will begin any moment. I say wrong-y dong-y--Stupid-Staged.  A dining room table should be simply staged. The tabletop shows best with minimal accents: textiles, ceramics, metal or wire baskets, candles and natural elements. 

Green apples, a lush Boston Fern, or fresh flowers look amazing on a dining room table.  Fresh and natural accessories have energy that attracts people.
Granny Smith Apples are only $5.99 a bag and will last up to 3 months before wrinkling.  That's a design bargain! 
You can't fail with Asian Lilies! Remember to pinch away the anthers so pollen doesn't stain the petals.  

Love this picture! Check out the hydrangeas in a ceramic urn, wire basket with fruit and Boston Fern. (The books and small tureen are too much for staging--but it makes a great picture.) The size and proportion of the chair is perfect. The sisal rug is an excellent textural element. The bookshelves are staged with the proper number of items per shelf.  

Sorry---I digress from discussing the dining room tabletop.....

Sarah Richardson
Sarah Richardson's has decorated her farmhouse in great style.  The glass hurricanes are perfect on this vintage wooden dining table.  It looks like Sarah put sea glass pebbles at the base of the hurricanes to support the pillar candles.  I often use coffee beans, birdseed, small river rock or lentils in hurricanes--great for organic color and texture.  Also, notice Sarah painted old banker's chairs a glossy white.  You DIY-er's could copy that idea. 

A Treasured Moment
Here are more hydrangeas in a glass vase under a wonderful iron candle chandelier.

My Little Bungalow
I covet this gorgeous glazed pottery platter and nubby textured table runner!  Glass hurricanes with candles (can barely the see one to the right) flank the platter.  This is a perfectly staged simple dining room tabletop. (

I have to show you just one picture of stupid-staging with napkins in wine glasses.  I don't get it....

Triangle MLS

Happy Friday, y'all!


If you need help staging your house, please contact me.
Linda Beam


  1. That's funny, okay I agree, staging a table for a dinner party should only be seen in photographs, not in a real house!

  2. Yea! Thanks for your vote Maria!

  3. Hi Linda - first of all, thanks for visiting my little blog project and leaving such a nice comment.

    Staging - something I think we all do when we're dressing our own homes, but definitely not the same as doing it to sell a house. I love your advice here about the dining room table. There was a trend back in the 80's where you set your table and just left it. Always seemed odd to me. Afterall, we know what the table is for - we don't have to have it thrown in our faces.

    I'll be back to glean some of your wonderful knowledge.

  4. Thanks for stopping by Heather. I enjoy your blog-love the privacy screen, tea party and all your gardening. I'm building a shade garden and hope to share it soon. Please DO visit often!

  5. What a beautiful dining room. It is so elegant, I love it!