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How to Stage a Work-From-Home Space Without an Office

May 07, 2020

Designated work-from-home spaces are at the top of buyers' lists of must-haves. While home offices have always been important to stage, these spaces are even more critical now, after the coronavirus pandemic led many people to work from home – some permanently.

Buyers want to visualize exactly where they will be setting up their laptop. Although WFH spaces have become a popular feature in newer homes, not all homes have an obvious place for this.

So what can you do when a house does not have this designated home office space? What can you do as a home stager to fix this “problem”?

Get creative and find those spaces that can be transformed into a purposeful work-from-home spot. Whether it is a big or small house, you will be surprised how easy it is to find that extra square footage that can be utilized in a valuable way!

Here are 5 possible areas of a home that could be staged as an office or study. For more information, watch the free webinar: How to Stage Home Offices.

1. A formal living area

Formal living rooms are almost always located near the front door or off of the entry of a home. Many older, more traditional floor plans included a "parlor." Most homebuyers don’t use formal living rooms, so staging them as an office can update the home and give it a more functional appeal.

Remember, even if a room does not have a door for privacy, the potential buyer can imagine the area functioning as a workspace if it is staged well. They could also opt to add French doors. Notice the formal living room on the other side of the entryway in the picture below. Here is the formal dining room we staged...

formal living work from home space

...and below is the office we staged in what was actually the formal living room. Unsurprisingly, this luxury home went under contract within a week of staging.

formal living room work from home staging

2. Awkward spaces in corners, hallways, and upstairs lofts

It is important to utilize the extra square footage in these spaces, no matter how small they may be. Corners of rooms, extended wide hallways or at the top of the stairs like in this cottage loft we staged.

work from home staging studio loft space 

work from home interior design of loft office staging studio

Photos taken by our lead stager.

In this hallway to the back door of this home, we found this extra space located near the kitchen. It could be a great workspace for an adult or it could become a homework station for a child.

kitchen homework nook staging studio

 Staged by us. Photo by Shoot2Sell.

A small walk-through area in a hallway in this home led to not only the back door but to two separate wings of the house. Valuable square footage that otherwise would be considered as wasted space was turned into a small work area.

hallway work from home space staging studio

Photo taken by our lead stager. 

3. A spare bedroom

Is there is a spare bedroom located near the front door or on the opposite side of the house from the other bedrooms? Often, the easiest place to put an office is in a spare bedroom, especially when there are 3 or more bedrooms in the house.

Note: Unless you really understand your buyer's avatar and know that they will not need more than one bedroom, do not stage a bedroom as an office or study when there are only 2 bedrooms. 

work from home space in a bedroom

Photo taken by our lead stager.  

In homes with larger bedrooms, you may be able to fit a WFH space in comfortably with a bed. Normally, we want to show the primary bedroom as a place only for rest, relaxation, and romance, but today's reality means that many bedrooms will need to accommodate office space as well.

We cheated a bit with these pics; they are not from a staged home, but they are from the master bedroom of one of our co-founders, Debbie Boggs.

office home bedroom for working

working from the home office in staged bedroom

Debbie recently updated her bedroom and rearranged the furniture (a professional hazard – sound familiar?). Since the coronavirus quarantine, her husband has been working from home here. She grabbed this shot of the new space when he got up for another cup of coffee, so ignore the fact that it isn't perfectly staged.

oversized living space end

4. One end of an oversized living space

Some living areas are long and awkward. By dividing the space and placing a desk at one end, you can create a family desk area. When working with an oversized space always see it as an opportunity to add purpose to the room. A living room does not have to be just a living space only. If it is big enough to give it another purpose then a home workspace is a great option.

In this open-concept "Texas Garage Condo," we created an office at one end of the living room instead of adding another seating area. 

garage condo office

Photo taken by our lead stager. 

5. An extra dining area

Never stage your ONLY dining area as a study. But when staging a home with multiple dining spaces, consider repurposing one of them as an office or study. The potential buyer is reminded that the room can be used either way depending on their needs.

In this house built in the 1960s, we even staged the built-in cabinets that were once used to store dishes as extra storage space for books and other office decor.

example of staged room by staging studio

Staged by us. Photo by Paige Shinn.

For more on how to stage work from home spaces without an office, check out our free webinar!

Staging Studio is an accredited training company that was started by home stagers, for home stagers. Our certifications include Staging Design Professional®, Master Color Consultant®, and Short Term Rental Stylist®.

online training interior certification by staging studio

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