You want your dining room to look beautiful when buyers come looking.

But you're sensing that you aren't ready yet. You're sensing your furniture isn't new enough, or trendy enough, or luxurious enough. Or that you just don't have enough furniture or the right table or chairs. Maybe you're staging an empty house on a budget.

Maybe you're staging a dining room where your informal family room has been.

Experience has taught me that most people already own everything they need for staging.

Instead of investing in an expensive set of dining room furniture, you can usually rearrange what you have to make your home flow and show well!

If you have to add pieces, they can usually be discovered just waiting for you at secondhand or at big box stores. And these are often the furnishings that tend to have some personality. They often reflect the kind of quality that you would not ordinarily splurge on.

Today's new decorating rules mean that furniture pieces don't have to match.

That one rule can save you lots of money because orphaned chairs and one-of-a-kind seats are common in thrift stores and garage sales. 

In the Emily Henderson photo above, different styles of seating make this dining area informal and interesting. They don't match, but they have enough in common to look harmonious as a grouping.

I see two different kinds of chairs, both with the same
visual weight and proportions, painted two different colors.
It's not formal, it's fun, because most homes aren't formal
and most people don't live formally anymore. Photo: Decoist

A variety of chairs are unified by white paint and light distressing,
adding a vintage feel to this dining area. The slipcovers made
for the two end chairs were made from the same fabric as
the new seat covers. Photo: Coastal Living  

Benches, whether cushioned,
upholstered, built-in,
or not, are a common seating solution.
The style shown here are an
easy DIY project. Photo: Dercoist  

Style your dining room 

Don't be afraid to mix things up, as long as there are some unifying colors or patterns.

Take inspiration from the images here and adapt them to your own home's style, your budget, and the local market.

Many of today's home buyers are Millennials who don't want to live with grandma's decorating guidelines. They write their own playbook.

So, have fun with your decorating and combine furniture that makes you and your wallet happy. Chances are it will please house hunters as well.

Download my eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar for more decorating and staging advice! Why go it alone, when I can hold your hand until your home sells?