Staging Your Kitchen

Changing trends in entertaining and socializing have made staging your kitchen even more important as you prepare to sell your home. Back in the day, the kitchen was a walled-off room where food was prepared and then transported to the dining room. Today, many families cook, socialize and eat in the kitchen, making it the most important room in the house to prospective buyers. Staging your kitchen successfully will help present your kitchen in a way that will intrigue and impress buyers.

Staging Your Kitchen For Success

Cleaning house. The cheapest and most effective step you can take when staging your kitchen is to clean. We’re talking a deep, detailed clean that makes spring cleaning look like a quick tidy. Pay attention to all those areas you’ve skimmed over in the past: tile grout, windows and above (and behind) the refrigerator. Give some special love to your oven, stovetop and venting as well.

Simplicity is a virtue. Remove as much as you can from your kitchen to give it a simple, streamlined look. Clear the counters of appliances and cookbooks. Clean out the pantry and refrigerator and keep them both stocked at about two thirds full. Go through your cabinets and drawers (including that junk drawer) and remove the items you hardly ever use. The less clutter you have in your kitchen, the larger the space will seem.

Focal points. Once you’ve cleaned and purged your kitchen, staging can kick into high gear. The idea is to create two or three scenes that will stick in the prospective buyer’s minds after they’ve finished a walkthrough. Set the table with your best china, sterling and linens. Place a single bottle of wine with a pair of glasses and a corkscrew on a counter. Leave a basket of fresh fruit on the serving bar. A few simple things will catch the eye and linger in the brain.

You light up my life. Bring as much light as you can into the kitchen to add warmth openness to the room. Clean the windows and open the curtains wide. Put bright bulbs in all fixtures and have them turned on during a showing. Consider placing inexpensive puck lighting under your cabinets to eliminate shadows.

The thing about food. Many real estate professionals recommend that you bake something or brew coffee during a showing to create another layer of interest for your buyers. A funny thing happens when people smell food though—they expect to be fed! If you’re going to bake during your showing, be sure to have a plate of fresh cookies out on the counter and offer them to buyers as they enter the kitchen.

Being green. Houseplants are a good way to add visual interest to any room. You can exploit this fact when staging your kitchen by potting up a few herb plants and setting them on a counter near a window. Choose fragrant herbs like rosemary or oregano for the most impact.

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