My last posts touched upon “Curb Appeal” and “The Entryway”. Now let’s talk about what many people feel is the heart of the home…the kitchen. The kitchen is where all my friends and family seem to gather around. Is it because they love to see me cook, or it is because my island is filled with hors d’ouevres, food and cocktails? I think I know the answer to that. People invest a lot of money into their kitchen upgrades because it is the most important room when it comes to the resale value of the home. Remember preparing your house to sell is quite different than the way you would live in a home every day. If you have ever toured a model home for sale, notice how the house is staged. Clutter free is always important no matter what room.
Here are some tips to help showcase your kitchen:
Remove as much as possible from the countertops. Since your house might take a few months to close, leaving a nice coffeemaker or toaster is fine, but nothing else. You do not want to have blenders, flour containers, etc. on the countertop. Make sure they are clean. Use a nice fragrant cleaner instead of one that has a chemical smell. If you have an island, you can put a pretty bowl with some fruit in it. You might want to think of replacing your countertops if outdated. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, quartz is the most popular kitchen countertop material then granite.
If your cabinets are showing some wear and tear, it would be a good idea to paint or refinish them. If you can afford using a professional, this would be a good time to use one. White cabinets have always been my favorite. If you have an island, you can paint the island a different color just as long as you use a neutral color (gray is a great choice). To give your cabinets a fresh, updated look, you can simply replace your knobs. Make sure your cabinets inside are clean and organized. Pack or get rid of any non-essentials to make the cabinets appear more spacious. Pay attention to your cabinet under the sink. This is especially a place where it can show some wear and tear. I have two white pull-out trash cans that I keep under my kitchen sink. One for the trash and one for recyclables. Just make sure you measure ahead of time. I keep a minimal amount of cleaning supplies in the middle. If you have a pantry, it should also be clean and organized. If needed, changing the cabinets and/or countertops altogether can significantly transform the mood and look in your kitchen and add value. Check out my Pinterest board “Get Organized” for some clever kitchen organization ideas at pinterest.com/katurn.
If you think your backsplash could use an update, replace it. We used a simple glass subway tile in our last two houses, and I would do it again. I just love the look and it seems to be timeless.
If your appliances are old or mismatched, you might think of replacing them. Stainless steel or platinum still seems the way to go to give your kitchen a professional styling which could be a great selling feature. Make sure you clean out ALL your appliances and keep an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator. It helps keep odors out. My sister-in-law told me a trick on how to clean the inside of your microwave. Boil a cup of water inside and after it boils, leave it in for ten minutes. Then wipe it down. The steam helps to clean it without any chemicals. Remove everything from the front of the refrigerator, including magnets, pictures, and drawings from your loving children. Pack them away for safe keeping. Remember, you want the buyer to picture themselves living there not you.
Lighting is an important element of home design. The placement and type of lighting are important aspects of interior design. As with any room in the house, when showing the house make sure all the lights are on. Lighting will make the room appear larger. If you have recessed lighting, I would leave them. If you have overhead lighting that needs updating, I would suggest replacement. You could google “what size lighting to use” to get an abundance of information. How large your kitchen is, how high your ceilings are, if you are placing fixtures over an island, will depend what size the fixture should be and how high it should be placed. There are various formulas to calculate the right size and placement of fixtures.
Setting the Table
I don’t think there is a rule on whether to set the table(s) or not in staging your home. If you are still living in the house, I would not bother. I would just add some flowers as a centerpiece. In smaller dining rooms, I would not set the table even if you are still living there or not. I think it’s distracting and can take up most of the room. It will make the room appear smaller. If you have a large dining room that rarely gets used, you could set the table by adding a centerpiece, placemats, some nice plates, silverware, glasses and cloth napkins. You can even add some unlit candles. Do not use expensive pieces just in case showings and open houses are not well supervised. I would not use sharp knives, but butter knives are fine. Some do not use silverware at all for safety reasons. You want the tablescape to look plentiful, but not crowded.
Most of us love the smell of fresh baked cookies or apple pie. We do not like the smell of seafood or strong spices when we come into a house. Make sure your house always smells fresh and clean. You never know when someone would like to come see your house. Make sure your garbage and recycle bins are empty and out of sight. I buy the trash can liners that have a scent (like Febreze). If you have a garbage disposal, you can add ice cubes and cut up a lemon to clean it. It will add a fresh, clean smell.
For more ideas on this topic, check out my Pinterest boards “House Beautiful” and “Get Organized” at pinterest.com/katurn or visit our website at Property Choices Real Estate. If you like what you are reading, please follow me by entering your email and clicking on “FOLLOW”. You do not need to register. Stay tuned…more ideas are on the way.