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Traditional living room makeover

This virtual staging makeover challenge is where we do home staging virtually, and my name is George. I do virtual staging daily as a hobby, and professionally, you can order one here.

If you are curious how I made a total makeover on this traditional living room in 90 minutes, keep reading below. This is not a complete step-by-step but an overview of the process behind virtual makeovers.

Virtual Staging Makeover - the process

The main idea was to create change this traditional space to a living or family room, and there were some rules:

  • Not change the wall colors
  • Replace the flooring with some of the ceiling lightings if possible
  • Do not change the size of the photo
traditional-virtual-staging-living-room

The initial setup of 3Dsmax is the first step of the process for each virtual staging makeover.

3ds-max-home-staging-projects

The perspective matching

Right now, I’m doing the perspective matching. This is the photo manipulation, where I set up the 3d software to match the photo’s perspective.

perspective-match-virtual-staging
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After setting up the perspective match to create the living room geometry.
Step 1: Polygons are planes created in a 3d virtual space that form the virtual boundary of the spaces in the software.

Step 2: I set up the lighting. And I will test the image with a sphere to see how the lighting reacts with the already built environment.

Materials and textures

During the first 10 minutes, you see how the room becomes a life. I’m always paying more attention to the details at this stage. It’s important.

After I’ve added some floorboards, I’m spending some time to make them look accurate with textures and reflections. This part is for more advanced users, tweaking the normal maps, the maps in the glossiness reflections of the material to achieve that rough and at the same time smooth texture, barely enough to make it realistic.

virtual staging furniture textures

In most virtual stagings produced by other companies, the lighting and the reflections are those who get away that they are fake. Of course, the more time you spend, the better your image will look, but it’s not only the technical side of the photos; the beauty and design side matter most.

perspective-match-virtual-staging
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 I’ve bumped up the bump value too much. So I’m going to lower that down to 0.1 to make it just subtle, but still there, and then play further with the glossiness. All those are the main components for every material in our scene. Then I added a rug to start with.

traditional-livingroom-makeover
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Staging composition

One of the main components in staging large spaces like this one where the ceiling is fully occupied, the walls are horrible. On the other hand, they might be rustic and attractive by settling the image’s visual aspect.
As a stager, my task is to somehow frame the image with the new furniture and decors.

Staging furniture

I’ve started tasting a few different furniture pieces around the room.

Then I went on and removed that first piece of furniture. Until I find the most suitable one, I change the furniture a few times, including their colors. Finally, I added a sofa with two rustic side tables and a central soft-coffee table.

After duplicating the sofa and rotating it to match the first piece, I re-arranged the cushions and looked more random. Everything is looking more Scandinavian but still luxury rustic. I felt that I was on the right path.

Additional staging furniture

After I added sideboards against the wall behind the front-facing couch, I had to add some books, vases, and other minor decors to make the scene more live. Nordic looking again, but not entirely classical – the two armchairs I added next to the sofas.
After a swift minute, I had to remove one of them as the space felt cluttered again.


Overall I am a fan of picking and re-tweaking until my eye does not hurt from visual clutter.

Staging decors

Walls. I had to add a painting to make up for the space as it’s enormous. But, changing 5 to 10 times the picture, it’s easily achievable in the software. After this, a quick brush and tweak on every single cushion, and the job was almost done.

To wrap up

After almost 90 minutes of making this traditional living room makeover, I decided it was time to wrap around the scene.
I set up the final render elements (these things which allow you to make easy and quick precise selections in post-production), and I pressed that precious F9 render button.

And in case you are wondering what time it took me to create the perspective match – 10-15 minutes. So the total time spent on this virtual staging makeover was around 90 minutes without counting the time for preparing the models and their selection. Sometimes, this can be very nitpicking, especially if you are an expert virtual stager :).

Happy virtual staging

PS: You can visit the software tutorial page and learn more about this technique.

George Nicola

VIRTUAL STAGING EXPERT / After eight years+ working in high-end design and property business I realised that we are missing a critical part of the property business. We were not providing enough value to these old and empty properties. Not every buyer would have the opportunity to see the potential of vacant property or in a bad state. The idea of Virtual Furniture Staging the property gives the buyer and seller an incredible chance in seconds of taking the critical decision.
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