In a recent post on my home staging blog I asked home stagers how to stage a kitchen when the time comes to decorate a home to sell.
Many kitchens you encounter when you’re doing home staging consultations are similar to the one pictured here, but we all know how important kitchens are to prospective buyers and cluttered kitchens like this will not woo anyone.
The following are my recommendations for this kitchen:
Clean up the clutter
Remove the clutter from the top of the stove and the counter tops, leaving behind only the barest of essential small appliances like the coffee maker, toaster and microwave. A knife block and spice rack are the only other items that should be on the (sparkling clean) counter. I would suggest putting a bowl of fruit on the counter and with the black and white color scheme I’d choose lemons and limes for a fresh pop of color.
The less clutter you have on the counter, the larger and cleaner the kitchen appears.
The dishrags should be out of sight and the fridge, which isn’t in the photo, should be cleared of photos and magnets and if there’s a kitchen garbage can in a kitchen this size it should be hidden if possible.
While not shown in this photo, a common problem is finding a dish drying rack on the counter beside the sink. This takes up a lot of space, looks cluttered and can draw attention to the absence of a dishwasher. Dishwasher or not, get rid of the counter top drying rack to show off more counter space.
Once all of the clutter is gone, make the kitchen as clean as possible. This includes all appliances, inside and out. Appliances may not be part of the listing, but they may be something a potential buyer wants to negotiate for.
Update the cabinets
These cabinets are in good shape but a fresh coat of paint and some hardware would take them out of the 1980s. I’d suggest brushed nickel hardware for the cabinets doors and a color like Northampton Putty (HC-89, Benjamin Moore®) or Sag Harbor Gray (HC-95,Benjamin Moore®) which will work with the black and white tiled floor and gray counter top.
One important thing you must always keep in mind is if the décor of the home matches its price.
If this home is being listed for a million dollars with a linoleum floor, you want to lay down ceramic tile, replace the counters with granite and replace the appliances with stainless steel. Builder’s lighting fixtures are generally not good enough for a higher priced home and should be replaced with something more upscale.
However in a mid-priced home the paint, hardware and de-cluttering suggestions would be enough.
For more home staging advice for kitchens, you can always turn to the Staging Diva Ultimate Design Guide: Home Staging Tips, Tricks and Floor Plans. This comprehensive home staging resource is helpful to anyone who feels they need a bit of help with design principals and ideas. It includes many sample before and after photos from many of my home staging projects and most of accompanying sample floor plans as well.
To learn about the approach I use for my home staging consultations look at course 3 of the Staging Diva Program, Taking the Mystery Out of Home Staging Consultations. It comes with a free gift called, Staging Diva Home Staging Consultation Checklist with Room-by-Room Client Planning Forms (valued at $45).