Stage Your Kitchen in 5 easy steps

People buy or pass on houses for their kitchens, so make yours the best it can be with the proper staging. Here are 5 easy kitchen staging steps to help you get a perfectly staged kitchen.

Kitchen Staging Step #1: Put it all away

We all have stuff on our counters. Don’t feel bad about it; you don’t live in a magazine. Kitchens are one of the hardest working rooms in your home. If you use something frequently, it makes sense to have it easily accessible.

But when your home is up for sale, it’s a different story. Now easily accessible = clutter. It makes your kitchen look smaller and like it has less counter space. The clutter has to go. The coffee pot, the toaster, blender, chopping boards, etc. all need to go back in the cabinet.

Give your counters room to breathe.

Kitchen Staging Step #2: Make it shine

Your kitchen needs more than a quick wipe-down. Clean all the nooks and crannies. Wipe down the cabinets with a wood conditioner. Scrub the sink with a metal or ceramic cleaner (depending on your sink) to remove any stains. Clean that spot where the faucet meets the sink and under the stove burners.

It may take an entire day of cleaning, but when it’s done, it should sparkle so much, you may have second thoughts about selling it!

Kitchen Staging Step #3: Enhance the good

Buyers don’t know what your favorite part about the kitchen is, so give them a little nudge by showing it off.

Do you love the under-cabinet lighting? Turn it on before all showings. Have an amazing commercial oven? Draw the eye toward it with a brightly colored teapot. Is there an amazing view out the window? Remove other artwork so their eye has one incredible place to land.

Consider what you really like about your kitchen and how you can show off or draw the eye to it. But don’t go overboard; keep your enhanced features to one or two.

Kitchen Staging Step #4: Downplay the bad

You can’t necessarily “hide” the not-so-good aspects of your kitchen, but you can draw attention away from them.

Detract from old appliances by placing attractive accessories on the counters slightly away from them (we’ll talk about that more in a minute). Detract from an unsightly view by placing pretty flowers or plants tall enough to partially block it out on the window sill. Take the focus off older countertops by distracting the eye with attractive wall art or a bright bowl of fruit.

If you can encourage buyers to focus on the good, they’re less likely to dwell on the bad.

Kitchen Staging Step #5: Make it personal

I know I said to put everything away, but now I want a few things back. A completely bare kitchen does not entice anyone. You still want to encourage the buyer to see themselves living in the space.

I mentioned some ideas for where to add accessories above as a means of enhancing or detracting. Consider adding one or two brightly colored items for an eye-catching pop of color. Fruit and flowers are great for this. Apples and citrus fruit last quite a while (and I’m going to say fake fruit isn’t bad if they’re not terrible-looking ones). Stay away from fake flowers.  If no one is around to water plants or throw out drooping bouquets, just can the flower idea.

Also create an attractive vignette on the countertop to give buyers an idea of what they could do in this kitchen. Perhaps a cookbook on a stand with a couple of wooden utensils and an attractive (not ratty-looking) pot. Or how about a bottle of wine and a couple wine glasses? Possibly a pretty tea set.

Give them an idea of what they could do in their new kitchen.


Buyers want a house, and a kitchen, which makes their life better than their current one does. Use these tips to make your kitchen look its best and show them how much more refined, gourmet, hip, fun or whatever their life would be if they cooked in your kitchen every day!


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