Updated Oct 11, 2022
You’re getting ready to sell your home, and one of the most critical steps is staging your home to make it more appealing to buyers. You want your home to be a bright, open, and spacious space that is a blank canvas to buyers. A blank canvas allows a buyer to imagine their furniture and belongings in your home and project their style onto your space.
The kitchen is a significant area of your home to stage because families spend so much time entertaining, cooking, and enjoying company. A kitchen with cluttered counters and dingy cabinets can quickly turn buyers away, so we’re going over our top 10 hacks to make your kitchen look bigger and more attractive to buyers.
Before making any changes to your kitchen, it’s crucial that you thoroughly declutter the space. Start by removing everything, and yes, we mean everything, from the countertops. Go through your items and donate or throw away anything you don’t need, such as old kitchen appliances you no longer need, stacks of mail, and papers. Store any items you’re keeping, such as important bills or documents, out of sight. Don’t forget about the top of the fridge, which is an area that can quickly become cluttered in many kitchens.
Next, collect all chargers or cords and place them in a storage bin or inside a drawer neatly. After this, take care of items that aren’t clutter but will make your kitchen look smaller and cluttered. You’ll be placing these items out of sight when buyers are visiting your home to create more counter space, which is brighter and inviting to the eye.
Consider putting away the following items:
While these items are not clutter to you, they will make the space appear smaller to potential buyers, so store them elsewhere for now.
The only thing that should remain on your counters is something that creates a pleasant effect or pop of color, like a neatly organized bowl of bright lemons or an attractive coffee maker. If you choose to keep a bowl of fruit out, stick to one type of fruit and make sure it’s fresh and brightly colored. Wax fruit often looks outdated and uninviting.
If you have a bar counter in your kitchen, we recommend removing the chairs if they are bulky to create more space. Other removable furniture, like a prep table, should also be removed because these can make buyers feel like there isn’t already enough space for their things.
Remove all personal items. Remember, you want to create a blank canvas throughout your home that buyers can imagine themselves living in. Your kitchen should look like someone could step into it and immediately start cooking.
Start by taking everything off your fridge, such as magnets, your kid’s field trip reminder, artwork, etc. Remove any photo frames or collector’s pieces. While you may love your cat cookie jar, this can disrupt the blank canvas you’ve created in your home for the buyer, so this is better stored away for now.
Pretend that you are a stranger and take a look around your kitchen. Do you have any religious items, sports memorabilia, calendars with family photos or memes, or wine openers? All these items should be stored because they are individual to your taste and make the kitchen less homey to strangers with different interests.
Many sellers overlook how vital their kitchen cabinets are to the appearance of their kitchen. Not only is the kitchen a huge selling point to buyers, but storage space within the kitchen matters greatly.
When listing your home, it’s unlikely that your realtor will post pictures of the inside of your cabinets. However, it’s almost guaranteed that buyers will open your cabinets to see how much can be stored inside them.
Do not stuff things in your cabinets during your kitchen declutter. As tempting as this is, it will make the inside of your cabinets look tight, small, and unappealing. Declutter the inside of your cupboards as well and organize everything neatly. Nothing should be stacked too high or crowded inside your cabinets. This rule will make even smaller cabinets look more spacious to buyers.
Next, look at your cabinets and determine if they need new handles, a paint job, or any other simple repairs. These minor improvements can make a huge difference in your kitchen’s look. New hardware is often inexpensive and will add vibrancy and light to your kitchen. Choose reflective materials to create more light, resulting in the appearance of more space in your kitchen.
If you choose to repaint your cabinets, choose a light and bright color as this will instantly make the kitchen look bigger. Keep dark colors to the base cabinets only if you want a more dramatic look that won’t compromise how large your kitchen looks.
Cleanliness is a key part of staging your home. Focus heavily on the countertops, faucet, drain rim, and grout. These critical areas can be dark and dirty, making the kitchen unattractive and the area smaller looking. Think light and bright for everything you work on in your kitchen to make the space appear bigger.
Don’t forget about cleaning your windows. Make sure they are clear and clean to make the space more beautiful and improve natural lighting. If you have heavy window coverings or curtains, consider removing them or opening them before buyers visit your home.
Give your faucet a shining before each open house for a great first impression. We also recommend checking all of your plumbing fixtures to ensure there are no leaks. When cleaning your kitchen, don’t forget to replace the grimy or old sponges and soap containers at your kitchen sink. Replace these with luxurious dish soap, lotion, and hand soap organized neatly on a tray. Add fresh tea towels for an inexpensive pop of color in your kitchen.
Another frequently missed area is the fridge. Remove all clutter sitting on top of the fridge or near it and give it a deep cleaning to make it gleam. Don’t forget to give the inside of your fridge a deep cleaning after decluttering the items inside. Keep the food inside your fridge to a minimum and neatly organized to provide the appearance of a larger fridge.
Open shelving either looks great or messy. Make sure your open shelves fall into the first category by decluttering and organizing them.
Leave open space on every shelf to create the illusion of larger shelves. Make sure that all your dishes are neatly stacked and match for a pretty effect. If you don’t have matching dishes, consider purchasing a set of white dishes and clear glasses. The bright, light color will make the space appear larger.
Storage is a key selling point in the kitchen, so give your pantry a facelift before showing your house. Start by removing a lot of food, keeping in mind that staging your kitchen doesn’t necessarily create a practical kitchen but a beautiful, magazine-worthy kitchen to show off.
Create open space on every shelf and spread out the remaining items in your pantry. Store extra pantry items in a box out of sight during home showings if you need to keep those extra items around. If you’re looking to take your pantry to the next level, consider organizing your pantry items by color to create a cohesive, appealing look.
Good lighting can instantly make a space look bigger and brighter. Take a look at your current lighting and assess its weak points.
Natural lighting is best, so if possible clean your windows and open those curtains to optimize your natural lighting. You can even remove window screens before you take photos to maximize the natural light in your listing photos. Don’t forget to replace them before buyers tour the home, though.
If you don’t have access to enough natural lighting, update your lighting fixtures instead. Fluorescent lights have been out of style for decades, so swap these out for more contemporary or classic styles. This will make your kitchen appear bigger, brighter, and more modern to buyers. Never choose light bulbs with a yellow tint. Instead, look for daylight-style bulbs that will mimic natural light.
Another way to maximize your lighting in the kitchen is by installing under-cabinet lighting. You can DIY under-cabinet lighting for a low price by purchasing battery-powered puck-shaped lights and sticking them under the cabinets. These lights will create a homey glow and showcase your sparkling countertops and beautiful cabinets.
Vertical and horizontal lines in your kitchen can make the space look larger and taller.
If you’re replacing your cabinets, choose cabinets with tall vertical lines to guide the eye upward, resulting in a kitchen that looks taller. Replacing your tile with subway tile can also help. Speak with a flooring specialist to discuss options that will stretch your kitchen’s size.
Glass-paneled cabinets can also create a more spacious appearance because they don’t obstruct the visual path. You can show off your beautifully stacked dishes this way. Glass pendant lights or clear chairs can add this effect.
In addition, add a long runner to your kitchen table to guide the eye along another long vertical line.
Reflective items instantly make an area appear larger. Consider adding a mirror, reflective handles, or chairs to make your kitchen look bigger.
This tip also coincides with cleaning. Before buyers come over, always give your kitchen a quick polishing, paying particular attention to reflective appliances or items, like cabinet handles, stove tops, stainless steel fridges, etc. The extra shine will make a difference in the overall impression buyers will have of your kitchen.
While an all-white kitchen may seem boring, minimizing the contrast between the kitchen’s cabinets, tiles, countertops, and walls, creates unobstructed visual lines, making the space appear larger.
If you’re repainting parts of your kitchen, consider painting them in similar tones to achieve this look. Keep pops of color minimal, like a bright bowl of fruit, plants, or a colorful tea towel. These pops of color will give the kitchen a homey, livelier look without distracting from the appearance of a larger space.
A big kitchen is a dream item for many buyers, so maximizing your kitchen’s size and appearance is crucial for a fantastic sale. Start with a thorough declutter and cleaning, then assess what areas of your kitchen can be improved. Almost anyone can make their kitchen appear much bigger by removing items from pantry shelves and the inside of cabinets, as well as clearing things off the counters.
Finish staging your kitchen with a beautiful vase of flowers or a fresh bowl of fruit. Consider setting the kitchen table with a beautiful setting of colorful napkins, plates, and a carafe to give it an instant homey vibe that will make a buyer want to sit down and start enjoying their new kitchen.
Other Resources From Our Blog