On a recent virtual tour shooting (thanks, Elisabeth Bostwick of Bostwick and Co!), I realized sometimes removing the simplest items can make a huge difference in a photo. These could be items that stagers really like (splash of color, inviting bouquet) but in the camera's eye they are distracting and take away from the picture.
While the little red rug was eye catching and worked with the other colors in the room (the seller has a great eye), I was trying to emphasize the width and depth of this space, so felt this splash of red was distracting to the eye. The color pulled the eye down to the floor and not to the back of the picture, which is what I wanted to emphasize.
In this picture, the lack of distracting red really pulled the eye back and opened up the room to show how large it was. I also centered and pulled back the more neutral rug so that the tile was shown off. Also by moving the rug, I exposed more depth to the room.
Another item is the table centerpiece. While many stagers would want an eye catching piece on this table (and I think most home sellers would put one on anyway), I removed the bouquet because there was already a fair amount going on in this room, and I wanted a place for the eye to rest.
Finally, I've included the virtual tour and a lovely quote from the seller, for this property, "Thank you Hannah for the AMAZING virtual tour! (You) did a wonderful job with the inside..."