My greatest childhood memories revolve around gatherings we hosted at our house. We were a loud, rambunctious family that always had vigorous discussions in the kitchen. No wonder why kitchens hold such a special place in my heart!
As a busy buyer’s agent, I find that the kitchen seems to be the room that can make or break a house. Today’s buyers scrutinize the flow of the main living area to determine how they would entertain and create memories of their own. They want a smooth, circular and open flow between the kitchen, dining, and living areas. If you have walls dividing these rooms, you might consider opening up some of the wall area to create a more open feeling.
Once in the kitchen, buyers want plenty of work space near the main centers. You should be able to easily stand and work on either side of the stove and the sink. You also want some nice counter space next to the refrigerator, so that you can stack today’s leftovers while you are rearranging the contents inside to accommodate them. For similar reasons, you also want some counter space near the microwave.
First-time homebuyers sometimes have difficulty envisioning the potential of a room. There are some inexpensive updates you can make to your kitchen to inspire your inner chef, and help your home make a good first impression:
- Paint walls a warm, rich color that takes its inspiration from food. When you see a deep merlot or a burnt umber colored kitchen wall, it is hard not to start thinking about family and friends and the wonderful memories that you will make there.
- Give wood cabinets a fresh coat of paint in a contrasting color and some updated hardware. This creates immediate visual interest and draws the eye around the room to add depth to the space.
- Add a tile backsplash. You might be able to do this yourself after a few classes at your local home improvement store. You can even use tile that you found on clearance, as long as you can buy enough of it to complete the job with some left over, and it matches the style and color of your kitchen.
- Go for granite and stainless steel appliances. If you are thinking that you’ll sell your house in the next 3-5 years, upgrade appliances to stainless steel one at a time, and plan a granite upgrade before listing your house. Most granite upgrades include an undermount stainless steel sink, so also plan on upgrading your faucet to a tall one that will accommodate large pots underneath.