St Augustine, St Johns County Real Estate & Home Staging


Orange Park 70's home confuses home buyers. So, what now?

I'm personally a huge fan of homes built in the 1970s. While I'm not a fan of most of the decor from that era, for whatever reason I kind of love the architecture. When I got a call a couple of weeks ago to take a look at a flipper's project at Doctor's Lake that had a total 1970's vibe but wasn't moving I thought it would be a lot of fun. 

Orange Park is a populated part of Jacksonville and I was surprised with a listing shortage that a flipper home had been on the market for more than 60 days. When I arrived I realized the problem. While it has a totally cool vibe, the floor plan left a lot for the buyer's imagination. Unfortunately buyer's never have any {imagination}. Instead they need things spelled out for them clearly. 

Taking an Orange Park 1970s home and making it modern. 

So, what do you do when you've got a great wall of white brick, spanish tile floors, and cedar walls? Yeah the answer might be to get your renovation on, but this flippers budget was done. It is time to sell. The Realtor advised that the seller take a price reduction. The flipper decided that not a penny would be reduced until a stager came to do make the most of it. That's where I come in. 

Orange Park before and after home staging

This kitchen was fully updated but wasn't particularly appealing in photos. Professional photography is every bit as important to getting buyer attention as staging is. 

orange park home staging

This split room was very confusing for home buyers. While most people knew that one side needed to be a dining room and one side needed to be the living room (there's not really another place for a dining room in the home), the fireplace seemed to confuse buyers. 

doctors lake home staging

For staging it seemed to make the most sense to effectively ignore it. It was still going to be the main focal point of the home, but the seating needed to work for living in it. We mounted a flat screen across the room from the main living room seating to allow for today's lifestyle. 

home staging at doctors lake

Adding a dining space still shows that there is ample space and helps define how buyers will live here, taking away the confusion. It's clear that if you had a larger table or more furniture, there would be plenty of room. 

In both rooms the cedar paneling was relatively minimal and the fireplace takes most of the attention. That simply wasn't true when it came to the downstairs lounge area, however. 

home staging in orange park

Now of course we'll need to hope that the new buyer's love entertaining and love wood (or aren't opposed to a little updating). Professional home staging may not remove the issues that the home still has, like the cedar paneling, but it does give the home a leg up on where it was. 


 Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging

For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at, Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).


Comment balloon 10 commentsMelissa Marro • February 23 2014 12:20PM


Melissa- this is so well done!  You have shown once again how to take a questionable space and turn it into something livable.   Smart move to ignore the fireplace and place the furniture where it would best be used. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 5 years ago

Melissa, That really is a great job!  You can tell that it is the same house, but staging it really makes it looks a lot more desirable!

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) about 5 years ago

Kathy - Thanks. It was a tough decision because it's clearly such a focal point. I figured it would be a focal point almost no matter what so I decided that I needed to worry about function. 

Tony & Darcy - Thank you for the kind words. 

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) about 5 years ago

That house is screaming "1970's"!  You have done a great job, Melissa.

Posted by Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Fred - And speaking of 70s homes... lol. This is the before photo from the next home I'm staging. The flippers are in it now. Boy I hope they do a lot... lol. 

70 house staging in jacksonville

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) about 5 years ago

Nice staging. It always seems to make a house look better when everything is in place.

Posted by Florida Management and Consulting Group Inc., Real Estate Brokerage and Property Managers (Florida Management and Consulting Group, Inc. ) about 5 years ago

Great job, once again.  I love your upcoming 70s project and can't wait to see after pics.

Posted by Tina Parker, CNE, REDM, SRES, CSP Home Staging REALTOR, Halifax (Royal LePage Atlantic) about 5 years ago

Ahhhhh...the 70s!  Love how you made the lounge area WORK!

Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) about 5 years ago

The staging is fantastic and the difference in the photo quality is totally remarkable!

Posted by Debra Landy, PA and NY Home Stager (StageTwoSell LLC) about 5 years ago

When I see a 70's home I think Brady Bunch, LOL!  What a beautiful job you did transforming this home!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) about 5 years ago

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