Recently on this home staging blog I asked for your staging recommendations for the busy kitchen pictured here.
Anyone with an eye for decor knows this kitchen has great bones and it wouldn’t take much to transform it for the real estate market.
Thanks to all of you who left comments and staging advice on that first cluttered kitchen post.
The following are my home staging recommendations for this cluttered kitchen. You’ll see that while each of us has our own personal take on what colors to use, the home staging advice I’ve offered isn’t much different than the opinions left by readers on the original post – proof that when you have an eye for design you’ll always instinctively know what to do to make it show better.
De-clutter and Placement
Remove the clutter from the table and add a fresh cut flower arrangement or flowering plant instead. I don’t generally recommend setting the table because I think it looks too “staged.”
Get rid of the clutter from the area by the telephone (shown to the left of the microwave). All that should be there is the phone with a pad of notepaper and a pen so it looks like a convenient and organized place for taking calls.
Remove everything from the front and the top of the fridge.
Clear off the counter tops leaving only the toaster oven, coffee maker and microwave. Remove all items from the top of the microwave, which should be moved to the corner to the right of the window.
Where the microwave is now, replace with a bowl of lemons or green apples. Keeping to one color of fruit in the same bowl is generally more visually appealing than a mixed arrangement, with the added benefit that apples or lemons last quite awhile unrefrigerated.
The current piece of art over the microwave should be moved down about 6 inches or replaced with something slightly taller.
Get rid of distractions
Take down the wallpaper border because it makes the kitchen look very dated.
Remove the extra piece of furniture (tea wagon) shown at the bottom right of this photo because it makes the eat-in area feel crowded and draws attention to lack of counter space.
Remove the two decorative items from the top of the cabinet over the oven.
I suggest repainting the walls and back splash a deeper tone to provide contrast and visual interest. Since there really isn’t much “wall” as it’s mostly cabinets, the walls can carry something like Benjamin Moore Adams Gold (HC-18) or Bennington Gray (HC-82). Both of these colors work with the existing cabinets. These don’t need to be changed, though they could be given a fresh coat of paint in a similar shade to what’s there now.
I would not replace the appliances because this will just make the existing counters and cabinets look more dated by contrast. It’s rare in a staging project to replace expensive items or make expensive renovations (and kitchens are the most expensive to renovate).
The current light fixture/track above the sink could be updated at minimal cost. While installing pot lights or something hanging over the stove would be attractive, that requires an electrician. In an old house I avoid opening ceilings and getting into the wiring, because this just invites more problems that you/the home seller won’t want to deal with.
If the client’s budget allows, lay a cork floor down right over the existing dated vinyl. Cork floor comes in planks that quickly click together and float over what’s already there. Some of my readers suggested bamboo, which is another great idea!
There’s tons of home staging advice for kitchens, bathrooms, attics and every other space in a home in the Staging Diva Ultimate Design Guide: Home Staging Tips, Tricks and Floor Plans.
Home stagers, what additional recommendations would you have for the kitchen in the photo above?
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Debra Gould knows how to make money as a home stager. She developed the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program to teach others how to earn a living doing something they love and she continues to develop ebooks and other home staging resources to help stagers on their path to success.