This week we have a trio of terrible living rooms. They’re by no means beyond saving, but their current presentation means that they are definitely not doing their best in helping to sell the house. This first one has two issues – it’s a little dated, particularly with the orangey-brick fireplace, but mainly there’s just too much stuff on the surfaces. There are some tired helium balloons competing with the patterned curtains to the right of the image, and to the left there are photographs, ornaments and toys creating a very busy area and making the room appear smaller than it is. If the table, the fireplace and the mantelpiece were completely cleared, there would be far less to compete for your attention, leaving you free to assess the size and qualities of the room itself.

"No I'm sorry you can't sit there, that sofa is for the teddies."

This second photo has much the same problem – too much stuff creating too many patterns and stopping you from being able to look past personal objects to what you’re actually going to be buying. All the surfaces are covered up with trinkets and teddies, making the room appear smaller than it is. The more you put on a wall, the more you bring it towards you, so it’s best to stick with minimal wall decorations. Leaving just one picture above the TV would be better, and clearing everything off the windowledge, sofa, mantelpiece, hearth and the fire itself would be a definite improvement!

Finally, we have a lounge that is not dated, but is still providing a challenge to the viewer in terms of seeing past personal possessions and design to the room itself. There are quite a few colours being used in the design scheme – green carpet, two different blues on the walls, 5 colours of cushion on the sofa, plus another 3 in the rug. Once again, a proliferation of personal photographs and ornaments muddy up what could actually be a really spacious, well-designed room. Clearing the surfaces and using just the red, black and white cushions on the sofa to tie in with the rest of the decor would minimise the competition for attention and let you see what you’re looking at.

So in summary, this week’s Shocking Shots is all about removing personal possessions to let viewers see the room you’re actually trying to sell them. Don’t get precious about putting away your photos, trinkets and memories – buyers aren’t interested and you can put them out again when you’ve sold the house and bought your next home.