Monday, October 22, 2012

Staging Solves Problems for Open Concept Spaces

Last post I showed the staged makeover of a family room.  Today, I am going to concentrate on some of the challenges of the kitchen.  Because the kitchen adjoins the family room, as part of the open concept floor plan, both areas had to be considered in tandem.

Visual Weight Was Off Balance

Open Concept Family Room and Kitchen BEFORE Staging
The visual weight of the combined spaces was off. The family room read as 'white' and the kitchen, in contrast, read as 'dark.'  The family room was 'soft' with an upholstered sectional and wall-to-wall carpet.  The countertops, appliances, cabinets, table and chairs made the kitchen read as 'hard'. These two spaces needed to be married to make them flow as a cohesive unit.

No Backsplash?
The kitchen did not have a backsplash. A backsplash is an expected amenity in a house this price. As a design element, the backsplash will counterbalance the fireplace surround in the family room.  
Love my tile guy, Ken! He did an awesome job staying within the home owner's budget. We went with an inexpensive travertine tile and didn't spring for the diagonal install.  Since the house is for sale, the owners did not want to sink a lot of money into updates for selling.

After Backsplash Installation

Awkward Window Placement

This kitchen has an unusual architectural element.  The area above the windows is quite tall.The top of the sill looks wanky with the line of the top of the cabinets. Then there is a jump in the space to the ceiling.

Valance to the Rescue!
I found my inspiration for uniting the family room and kitchen through (gulp...expensive) fabric.  I found a gorgeous Mill Creek Fabrics material that included all the colors I was using to stage: greens, golds, crimsons, and a bit of blue. I had a valance custom made for the kitchen. Karen did an outstanding job with the construction of the drop and top 'ruffle' depth.  Also, she sewed it so that the back fabric matches the front and looks pretty from the deck. The  window valance was the single piece that created cohesion between the two rooms.

Close Up of Valance Fabric

Awkward Window After

The valances picks up the same colors used to stage the family room.  Most importantly, it add softness and warmth on this side of the two adjoining spaces.  The valance does the perfect job of distracting from the awkward window placement.

What do you think about the valance?

Next post, I'll do the full reveal of the kitchen after staging. 



  1. Valance works and solves a number of problems....
    Great idea

  2. I like! I have always felt a rich and pretty fabric and a simple design will win out every time.

  3. You are brilliant! When we sold our 1963 house in Pa we painted cabinets, changed counter tops and most importantly, in rooms in need of a clear purpose, I made valances to answer the question.

  4. Love the valance, Linda. It makes the window look higher and marries well with the cabinets now. I'll be using this trick when I make my valance for the kitchen window in the next few weeks.

  5. the valance def works - even tho i'm not a valance person - :o)

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  6. Thanks everyone of your 'yes' vote and great comments. Window treatments are not my strong suit. I rarely use any for staging but this kitchen screamed for some fabric. I always appreciate your input.

  7. I really like the colors in the valance. Very pretty treatment!

  8. I love your solutions for all these problem areas. Looking forward to seeing the kitchen staged!

  9. I am so glad you appreciate the valance and how it softened the whole kitchen and was also my inspiration for all the colors in the house.