Friday, February 19, 2016 / by Bill Berning*
Do you have a home showing coming up? Make your home look as inviting and cozy as possible by following these tips.
Staging is the process of specifically decorating a room, or home, in order to make it more attractive to buyers. One of the most popular places to engage in staging is the kitchen, which is often a deciding factor in whether someone ends up purchasing a home.
According to a Zillow.com interview with Barb Schwarz, CEO of Stagedhomes.com: “From a financial perspective, we’re finding that ASP (Accredited Staging Professional) staged homes have a “days on market” range of about 65% less than a non-staged home and that the sale price is anywhere from 5% to 20% higher than a non-staged home.” Simply stated, ASP staged homes sell faster for more money than those that aren’t staged.
The reason that staging works is because it plays on subtle, subconscious, psychological factors that control human behavior. When a person looks at a home and evaluates it they do so through an emotional filter, that is based on their cognitive perception of reality. By making changes that automatically trigger feelings of comfort, joy, beauty, and hope it is possible to make a space seem more intriguing, and attractive, making a person more likely to fall in love with it.
First Things First
The first thing that you want to do when staging a kitchen is to make sure that it is completely neat, tidy, and orderly. The surfaces should all be free of stains, grime, and muck, and all of the utensils showing should be brightly washed and shimmering. If you are still living in a home with a staged kitchen then this can be difficult to maintain, and will require a constant maintenance regiment, mixed with a lot of take out dinners.
It is also important to minimize the number of features and items that are on display in the kitchen. Barb Schwarz, also said, “Staging does not require lots of expensive furniture; in fact good stagers will limit the amount of furniture to keep the space open.” That means getting rid of superfluous appliances and storing any items that don’t directly add to the decorative beauty of the space. It may even be necessary to purchase a storage unit to hold your kitchen tools until the home is sold.
Be Yourself But Keep Buyers In Mind Too
As far as style, you need to walk a fine line between being generic and unique. You want the space to stand out in people’s minds, but at the same time you also want it to be accessible to the widest audience possible. Making it feel family oriented may chase off a couple without kids, or single people. On the other hand strange, modern, and eclectic items can be a problem for more conservative potential buyers. Finding the right balance will give your kitchen a great look that will have a broad reaching appeal.
If you’re a little style challenged then you can check numerous decorating magazines for kitchen pictures to help inspire you in your endeavors. While these will mostly show images of kitchens that are designed to be lived in, they will at least give you an idea for some of the popular trends currently making their way through the decorative world. You can also use them to choose a color palette that will be attractive in this space without being overwhelming.
Look To The Pros
Another option is to hire a professional interior decorator or staging professional to come in and work on your kitchen. They’ll have both experience, and tools, to get the space looking great quickly, letting you worry about the thousand other details that go along with selling a home. They will also often be able to get cheap furnishings to dress up the space from their connections to thrift stores and design shops.
Eliminate Clutter And Emphasize Cleanliness
In general you want to avoid storage accessories such as boxes, bins, and trays. If you want to display a few attractive pieces these should be immaculate, with the rest stored away out of sight until you are ready to use them in your new home. If you will be living in a home with a staged kitchen then it may be a good idea to have separate functional utilities for eating and cooking, with more attractive, stylish pieces hanging from the walls.
If you have a kitchen table that centerpiece to should get extra attention. Make sure that there are not too many chairs crowding around it making it look cluttered. Table runners and tablecloths should generally be avoided, as they can quickly grow dingy if not constantly cleaned.
Illumination is also an important part of kitchen staging. You want to try and increase the amount of natural sunlight that comes into the room as much as possible, especially since the majority of prospective buyers will be there during the day. If you don’t have a lot of large, well placed windows then you can use lamps, or increase the wattage of overhead fixtures in order to brighten up the demeanor of the room. This brightens your space, making it feel clean and welcoming.
In some extreme situations it may be necessary to effect minor repairs in order to get a kitchen looking perfect for staging and sale. This can include things like tiling counters or back-splashes, or removing and replacing grungy grout lines to get rid of mold stains. Staging is generally different from actually renovating and is more on the decorative side of the visual arts. However minor repairs can do a lot to make the space seem more desirable.
Staging a kitchen is a great, inexpensive way to make a home much more desirable to prospective buyers. It allows you to put your best face forward, creating an illusion of possibility, which people can then fill in using their own hopes, aspirations, and imaginations.