Property

Staging a kitchen – real estate experts' top tips for getting an offer fast

Staging a kitchen to secure a good offer quickly is no easy feat, but it is one of the most important rooms to arrange prior to a viewing

White kitchen with blue tiles and white crockery
(Image credit: Future Plc / Jon Day)

Staging a kitchen is an art form. A kitchen is the heart of the home and is often cited as one of the most important features to potential buyers. 

However, as the heart of the home, it can often be filled with signs of your hectic family life. These two combining factors make it one of the most important rooms in the house to get right before a house viewing with some home staging tips.

Staging a home well is all about making small changes that present your home as the buyer's dream property. You can't rely on buyers to have the imagination to see the potential beyond your belonging, they often need a little encouragement. 

We have spoken to real estate experts to glean their top tips for staging a house – this time, in the kitchen. The smallest of styling tips – like ensuring the space is decluttered and smells nice – can encourage a good offer quickly.

Kitchen pictures featuring a dark gray-green room with bright red painted pantry and gingham blinds.

(Image credit: Future / Polly Wreford)

Juliette Hohnen of Douglas Elliman and Rachel Stults, lifestyle expert at Realtor.com, reveal their top tips for staging your kitchen to boost the chances of a quick sale.

Staging a kitchen to sell quickly tips

1. Clear the clutter

Green kitchen drawers storing crockery

(Image credit: Future Plc and Colin Poole)

'The most important thing is to declutter,' says Juliette. 'People want to focus on the kitchen ideas and the layout not how much equipment you have so hide the boxes of cereal and the vitamins.'

However, you should still leave a couple of striking items out to help the space feel lived in. 'I like to leave a couple of the things out like say a beautiful wooden knife block, or some striking bottles of oil and vinegar, or cookbooks,' adds Juliette.

Rachel completely agrees, adding: 'The first thing you want to do in your kitchen is clear off your countertops. And I mean put it all away. That means the coffee maker, blender, toaster oven, standing mixer, and other small appliances. 

'Cluttered countertops are going to turn off buyers and keep them from imagining themselves in your space. And don’t forget to declutter the top of the refrigerator, and remove magnets and photos.

2. Add a splash of color with fruit and flowers

Pictures of kitchens showing a dark green and black scheme with gold leaf kitchen island.

(Image credit: Roundhouse / Darren Chung)

If there is one thing you should definitely leave out on your counters it needs to be something that adds color to the space.

'The only thing you should keep on your counter is a vase of flowers or a bowl of brightly colored fruit to add some style to the space,' says Rachel.

'Enamel ceramic pots and pans like Le Creuset always look good. A bowl of fruit (lemons, oranges or apples but always just one type of fruit) and some flowers add great pops of color,' adds Juliette. 

'Rugs and dishtowels are also a good way to add color, but make sure they are in good condition, not too ratty or stained.'

3. Give cabinetry a quick facelift

Two-tone kitchen with green and white cabinetry

(Image credit: Tom Howley)

Your cabinetry is going to draw a few eyes so it is worth giving them spruce if possible. You don't need to do a full kitchen ideas brainstorm, instead Rachel recommends swapping the handles.

'If you’re feeling industrious, a can of paint on your cabinetry can go a long way in giving your kitchen a facelift,' says Rachel. 'An even easier trick is to swap out the hardware.'

'Change outdated handles and drawer pulls for gold, bronze, or even crystal – you can even scour your local thrift store for fun vintage pieces.'

4. Light up

kitchen with wall lights

(Image credit: Future)

Lighting is a big part of any kitchen, and if your kitchen lighting ideas and fixtures are looking dated it’s time to swap them out. 

'Try an elegant chandelier or some modern pendants. Nobody wants to cook in the dark, so if things feel a little dim in the kitchen, you can add stick-on under-cabinet lighting – no electrician needed,' suggests Rachel.

'Look for adhesive strip lights on Amazon or at your local home improvement store to brighten up your kitchen instantly.'

5.Make the most of scents

best kitchen appliances

It is a widely known tip that scents can help sell a home, and it is not one to be sniffed at, especially in the kitchen. 

'For showings and open houses make sure the kitchen smells nice,' says Juliette. 'Light a candle, take out the trash, make some toast or make some coffee.'

If you want to go that extra mile Juliette says she likes to use Le Labo room spray for that extra star factor. Otherwise making use of your best coffee maker should do the trick just as well. 

Ruth Doherty

Ruth Doherty is an interiors writer who has worked for Homes & Gardens and Ideal Home magazines among many others.