We’ve all seen them- drool-worthy, jaw-dropping, bank-breaking kitchens. They inspire us all for different reasons. For some it’s the perfect opportunity to be a chef in their own home, for others it’s the dream of unpacking take-out in the white kitchen of their dreams. Kitchens are sexy and they help to sell homes. We’ve collectively agreed to refer to them as a vital organ after all, but regardless of whether or not your kitchen feels like the heart of your home, there are things you can do to help buyers see it as theirs.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a kitchen that’s been done top to bottom you really won’t need to do too much to get it to photo-ready, but the basics will still apply.
You’ll want to:
1. De-clutter the counters – Attractive knife blocks, containers, and appliances can stay
2. Keep the sink clean and empty your garbage regularly
3. Avoid cooking with strong smells and open the windows during nice weather – Scented candles and air fresheners should be present but hidden out of sight
4. Keep your appliances spotless – The inside of your fridge will likely get a glance- Beware
5. Tuck away all cleaning supplies, linens, and mats
If your kitchen could use a facelift but you have no intention of giving it one, there are ways to improve how it will show without calling in the contractors.
6. Deep clean all surfaces, particularly tile grout – Even old cupboards look better when they shine and the same is true for tiles and appliances.
7. Refresh what makes sense – From light fixtures, to cabinet pulls, to adding backsplash or painting over existing tile, these “quick fixes” will go a long way toward making your kitchen look better in photos and appear user friendly. New owners may still want to renovate but at least you’ll have made yours look livable until a renovation becomes a reality.
8. Accessorize as though Martha Stewart herself cooks in your kitchen
Laminate countertops and vinyl floors look more expensive when layered with things that distract the eye. Stylish wooden or stone cheese boards leaning up against the counter make a great break to an otherwise boring backsplash, and stylish cookware, knives, plants, and appliances will make your kitchen look more inviting to use.
9. Re-caulk your sink and consider upgrading to stainless steel appliances
Removing signs of mold and tidying up caulking is always a good idea, regardless of the age of your kitchen. Upgrading to stainless appliances should be done after conducting a cost-benefit analysis. Replacing dated appliances with used stainless steel appliances can be an affordable upgrade that makes a big impact if your kitchen is likely to be kept as is- aka not a gut job.
Never write your kitchen off as a lost cause simply because you haven’t completed the renovation of your dreams. Home staging is just as important for homes that need a lot of work as it is for new builds and fully renovated homes. The BREL team’s in house staging company, UPstaging, can style the heart of your home to sell regardless of its condition to show in its best light. Cover girls have airbrushing, homes that are serious about selling have stagers. Give your home and its heart the chance to shine by hiring a team that employs people to help it find its light.
Kiel has been a member of the BREL team for three years and a designer for UPstaging since its founding in 2019. As a McMaster alumnus in Communication and Design at George Brown, he soon made his life-long dream of spending other people’s money…err.. we mean decorating… into reality with the BREL team! When he’s not staging homes, he can be found searching the Junction for vintage furniture and unique accessories.