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Tips on staging a dining room to impress buyers

Adrian Bryce Diorio changed the direction of the table, so the dining area flows into the living room, making the most of an underutilized open floor plan.
Adrian Bryce Diorio changed the direction of the table, so the dining area flows into the living room, making the most of an underutilized open floor plan. (Adrian Bryce Diorio for The Boston Globe)

What is home staging? It is the art of restyling a residence or commercial space for sale. Your home gets one lasting impression, so make it count.

The ultimate goal is to make the space appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more quickly and ultimately for more money — in many cases at least 20 percent higher.

Like most homes, small or large, life gets in the way of portraying a picture-perfect interior. That’s where I come in.

Let’s focus on the dining room of a property that had the bones (it sold with multiple offers over the asking price after the first open house) but needed the look.

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First, I removed the tablecloth. For the record, tablecloths are rarely used these days unless you’re dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant, and in that case, they must be a crisp white. Tablecloths were originally used to protect expensive tabletops from scratches.

I digress only to ask what’s the point of having the table in the first place if you’re going to cover it up? Your furniture is a main highlight of your home: Showcase it, don’t hide it.

Second, I rotated the table. By doing this I created a much larger, focused dining area and could add a small china cabinet (previously in a bedroom) to the left of the window. I was now able to showcase the Waterford crystal I found in the basement.

Because of a change in the table’s direction, the dining area flows into the living room, making the most of an underutilized open floor plan. With this opportunity, I was able to accommodate statement side chairs with nailheads on either side of the living room entryway, giving the space the complete dining room appearance it was lacking.

This once unassuming dining room now turns heads — in more than one direction.

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Remember, your table appreciates being set.

I have always kept my tables set as if I were expecting a dinner party for the president. Don’t hide your china, silver, and crystal. They don’t belong in the attic or basement. Use them!

The before photo of this dining room. Diorio ditched the tablecloth in addition to all the other changes.
The before photo of this dining room. Diorio ditched the tablecloth in addition to all the other changes.(Adrian Bryce Diorio for The Boston Globe)

Adrian Bryce Diorio is the managing principal of Art of Staging Inc. Send questions to Address@globe.com and follow him on Instagram at @artofstaging.