December 21, 2023
How to Stage a Kitchen When Selling a Home
Many believe the kitchen is the heart of the home. Its role is very functional, and depending on the family, this room is often the setting for many social interactions and bonding experiences.
Whether they are into cooking or not, many prospective buyers put a strong emphasis on the kitchen when choosing a new home. That’s why staging the kitchen is integral to preparing a property to sell.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about staging a kitchen as you sell a home. To start, we’ll review why you’d want to stage a kitchen in the first place.
From there, we’ll jump into some of the top staging ideas for kitchens. And we’ll wrap things up with a cheaper and more convenient alternative to traditional staging.
Why Stage the Kitchen?
Staging a property plays an essential role in the sale of a home. The most lived-in areas of a house need the most attention during staging, especially the kitchen.
Since the kitchen is the focal point of many homes, its appearance can impact buyers’ decisions. With that, this single room has the potential to accelerate and enhance the sale of your home.
How you stage your property’s kitchen will affect how prospective buyers perceive the property. In fact, the kitchen is one of two rooms professionals define as “rooms that sell a house.” The other most important room is the primary bathroom.
The kitchen can also add 4–7% in property value in the sale of a home. This may seem like a drop in the bucket, but these numbers are material when you’ve got a six- or seven-figure listing.
6 Staging Ideas for Kitchens
Now that you know the benefits of staging a kitchen when selling a home, let’s dive into some tips and ideas for staging your property’s kitchen.
1. Deep Clean and Organize
Before you stage a kitchen, starting with a clean slate is essential. So, begin with a deep clean and some organization.
The owners can do this independently, or you can encourage them to hire a professional cleaning service. If there is a budget, opting for a professional to handle this is the way to go. You can get all the nooks and crannies, saving everyone time as you prepare your listing.
Either way, someone should scrub the house’s surfaces and thoroughly clean the appliances. Pay close attention to things often forgotten during cleanings, such as ceiling fans and baseboards.
As part of this deep cleaning, you should declutter and reorganize to create a buyer-friendly environment. Keeping things tidy and decluttered will help make your space appear larger and more open.
2. Freshen Up the Kitchen Cabinets
Cabinets are an eye-grabbing part of most kitchens, so it’s important to ensure the cabinets in the kitchen you’re staging are in tip-top shape.
Luckily, cabinets don’t need to be replaced to look their best. You can refresh kitchen cabinets by swapping outdated hardware, adding under-cabinet lighting, and styling open shelves with decorative items.
Painting or refinishing cabinets can freshen up the look of a kitchen for a fraction of the cost of new cabinets, so this is an excellent option as well. All of these refreshes can be made on just about any budget. (Image Source)
On that note, make sure minor repairs and upgrades align with local comps. However, there’s no need to overdo repairs or renovations if they push you over budget.
Cleaning and Organizing Cabinets
Preparing cabinets for staging goes beyond basic cleaning. It requires removing all items and wiping down the interior and exterior surfaces with a mild cleaner.
From there, you should organize items and kitchenware by category and use storage bins or baskets to keep everything neat and accessible. (Image Source)
If you have any stains or issues with the shelf liners, consider adding fresh liners to protect and update the cabinet interior. It’s another simple way to create a blank slate for potential buyers who want to come in and make the kitchen their own. Updating Cabinet Hardware Something as simple as swapping out cabinet hardware can significantly enhance the appearance of a kitchen.
Some of the hardware to consider updating as you freshen up your cabinets include:
- Receptacle covers
- Light switches
- Door handles
- Drawer pulls
As you upgrade your cabinetry, you must ensure that the hardware you use matches the hardware with the countertops or appliances. Many professionals recommend classic colors like brushed metal, gold, brass, silver, and matte black.
3. Add Decorative Items to Shelves and Countertops
A fun part of staging is decorating to curate a visually appealing aesthetic. When done right, decor brings a space to life, making it more attractive to prospective buyers.
You can use a variety of vases, candles, and cookbooks to add visual interest to open shelves and countertops. (Image Source)
Generally, you’ll want to stick with a neutral color scheme with your decor to keep it appealing to buyers with different tastes. However, you can incorporate textures like woven baskets or ceramic pottery to create depth and dimension.
If you want to add a pop of color, you can add some greenery, such as potted herbs or succulents. This small feature helps to bring a touch of nature into the space.
4. Remove Personal Items
As we’ve covered, one of the critical purposes of staging a home is to help prospective buyers envision your home as theirs. That’s why it’s essential to make the space more neutral by removing personal items. (Image Source)
The kitchen doesn’t have to be completely depersonalized, but you should remove the most prominent personal touches, like family photos on the countertops and shelves.
The same goes for children’s artwork, memorabilia, and sentimental mementos. You should also encourage your sellers to remove religious or political items.
Personal Items: How Much is Too Much?
The seller may hesitate to put their personal items away, especially if they still live in the home while it’s being shown. However, keeping the space neutral is key, so it’s important to encourage them to put these things in storage.
Of course, some sellers may be unable to rent a storage unit, so they may not have somewhere to store their items. In these situations, you’ll have to help your client decide which personal items to stay with based on living space, budget, and lifestyle.
5. Decorate with Fresh Fruit
If you’re looking for an easy way to add decor without worrying about neutrality in the aesthetic, you can add a bowl of fresh fruit to liven up the space with some color.
Fruit is affordable and gives a “lived-in” feel that creates a welcoming atmosphere while keeping it tidy, so it’s a win-win. (Image Source)
Encourage your client to choose some fruits their family enjoys so they can keep a rotation of fresh fruit without going to waste. Oranges, lemons, limes, apples, melons, mangoes, papayas, and other fruits that last a while on the counter are all great options.
Pro tip: Opt for faux fruit to prevent spoiling while still giving the kitchen that extra pizzazz.
6. Place Fresh Flowers Strategically
Fresh flowers have a similar effect to fresh fruit. They make lovely decor and give a homey feel, making the space more inviting.
Plus, flowers bring nature indoors, and many interior designers believe this can help open a space to make it feel larger.
When choosing fresh flowers for your listing, be mindful of the colors. Naturally occurring colors, like pink carnations or red roses, are lovely.
However, daisies that are dyed in unnatural colors, like blue or neon orange, might be distracting. Flowers that have a long vase life are great, as well, since they won’t wilt very quickly.
With that, you can maximize the impact of your floral decor by choosing a vase or container that complements the style of your kitchen and arranging the flowers in a way that highlights the kitchen design.
Consider placing the vase of flowers near natural light sources to enhance the vibrancy and freshness of the blooms.
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Try Virtual Staging AI as an Alternative
Virtual staging technology is a powerful tool for real estate agents, especially when working on a tight budget.
If you’re not familiar, virtual staging is an affordable and convenient alternative to traditional staging. Virtual Staging AI provides images of staged rooms that look similar to professional staging without the trouble or cost.
The results take seconds instead of days or weeks. All you have to do is upload a picture, choose a room type, and indicate a design theme, and your rendering will be ready in under ten seconds.
You can even remove existing furniture to start with a fresh canvas. Simply select the “remove existing furniture” box and let the technology do the heavy lifting. Use the brush to make touch-ups as you see fit.
The best part? It’s possible to stage a kitchen for free with VSAI. You can even download the images (with a watermark)
However, you can take this experience to the next level for a nominal fee. For example, for just $12, you can unlock access to six photos per month (with unlimited renders).
When you compare it to the cost of staging a kitchen in person, $2 per image is a small price to spruce up a crucial room for buyers.
Stage a Kitchen Like a Pro
Staging a kitchen is a key part of selling a home since it helps future owners see the property in the best light. Luckily, there are many small things you can do to spruce up your kitchen to make it appealing to buyers.
However, you can save a lot of time and effort by using AI to stage your kitchen. Virtual staging is quick and cost-effective, making it a great option for real estate professionals.
Want to test virtual staging for yourself? Head to VSAI’s home page, upload an image of a kitchen, and try the technology for free.