By: Phoebe Chongchua
Published: January 14, 2011
Most people know that location is, of course, vital in influencing a buyer’s decision to make an offer. Sellers also understand that kitchens and bathrooms are high on the list of areas to check out first. But what exactly makes a kitchen sizzle?
Designer, Susan Serra who specializes in kitchens, told Realtor Mag, that kitchens are being used for more purposes these days. They’re no longer enclosed by walls. In fact, the more open the kitchen is to other parts of the house, the greater chances it’s liked.
Kitchen walls started coming down a few decades ago. The lack of separation in the rooms in the home leads to great rooms and an easier ability to connect with family members in common spaces.
Growing trends in kitchen architecture include softer lighting, larger windows, and–here’s a surprise–fewer cabinets. That doesn’t mean that you can get away with very little storage space, instead it means you have to be creative.
If you’re selling your home and these popular trends aren’t part of your home’s blueprint, not to worry… you can make your kitchen sizzle with a few simple changes.
Create a gathering space. If you have a large kitchen, consider installing or placing a portable island in it. These are very popular for a number of reasons. They’re handy, useful for extra storage space, and they often become a central gathering spot at parties, especially when there’s food on them. Add a few bar stools and you’ve got a comfy and welcoming place for guests to relax while dinner is being prepared.
Turn down the lights. Not literally, rather use lighting that’s less harsh. Overhead lighting is excellent but, to create a mood, you can place accent lights in tucked-away areas that will still allow the light to shine in the kitchen. Maybe an adjoining hallway, for instance, could have a small lamp on a table or sconces on the walls.
Make room. Even though some architects are taking away the cabinets, buyers still are attracted to plenty of storage space. That means sellers who don’t have it, must creatively devise it. By staging your home with stand-alone cabinet furniture and displaying some kitchen items in them, you give buyers an idea of how to use the space.
You’d be surprised at how many buyers enter a home and may not have any idea about how to use a particular area/space in a house. Taking the time to show them how you’ve used it can help them understand how it will suit their needs, or, at the very least, spark their own ideas about using the space.
Make it comfy. Think about what makes you want to stay and visit at a friend’s home. Good food and company, of course! But also, comfortable seating. Even though your furniture likely won’t be sold with the house, the convenient chairs you have in your kitchen will influence the buyer’s overall reaction to your kitchen and house. If the chairs are too large, don’t match the design and decor, and are uncomfortable looking, they’ll give the buyer a feeling of something being “just not quite right”.
Comfortable chairs–even a love seat, upholstered bench or wing chair–can be very inviting. They sort of beckon buyers to take a seat, stay for a while… and if there’s a plate of cookies and a cup of fresh brewed coffee, well now, the buyer just might have time to really begin to feel at home. And that, after all, is precisely what every seller wants every buyer to feel in their listed home.