Staging a Kitchen!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Carlson Properties 325-721-2429 0528582

Ktchens are so easy to stage if they are already empty.  That means vacant homes are a stagers dream when it comes to the kitchen.

For sellers still live in the home, the kitchen is the nightmare room.


  The expectation of the buyer is that the kitchen counters are clean and clear at all times and the sink is shiny and water spot free at all times.  Any one w ho  has children big or little knows what a dilemma this is. There is always somebody, who goes off and leaves a dish in the sink!   Kitchens no doubt about it  can be challenging.  

That is why you need a kitchen vignette for your counter that is only for the house showing.  Say what?

Just like many people have towels in the bathroom that no one ever uses, they are for show.  I didn't really believe that people did this, because I never did until I accidentally used one of my daughters rolled towels, I just thought she picked up rolling towels from her staging mom and any towel was a good towel. WRONG I WAS!  My faux paus!  I thought at least giving birth to the sweet girl gave me enough status to use a rolled towel.  But I was wrong!

Back to the kitchen vignette ideas.  What makes a kitchen vignette is something that one would really use in a kitchen, but of course you are not going too, after all the house is for sale, remember! To prepare the vignette, select 2-3 items to fill in a corner or break up a very long counter. For example a small plant, a candle and a book could be arranged as a vignette. Vignette is a term used in the theatre meaning a small scene. 

Here are some of my favorite items to use, a pretty cookbook with big food photos and flip to a page with a luscious dessert,  a pretty plate on a stand to coordinate the color scheme of the kitchen or the breakfast area,  a stainless steel bowl with shiny red apples, a stainless steel teakettle, candles, green ivy plant, live or silk.  

Things you don't need in the kitchen, I promise for staging anyway,   magnets on the refrigerator, presciption bottles on top of the refrigerator, a tea towel hanging over every bar and hook, trash cans in view anywhere in the kitchen. any loved and tattered cookbooks on the counters or shelves, an overstuffed recipe box, collections of roosters, pigs,  chickens, frogs, fat men, etc.   I am telling  you the kitchen is easy to stage.  If I can see it on the counter, the odds are pretty good, I don't want to see it on the counter for staging that is,  nothing personal. 

Now if you live in the home while it is for sale, use fresh fruit, just buy plenty, because those red apples sitting out will get eaten more quickly, just the nature of staging, but they look so good, I took a couple with me for my snack at work, kind of thing.

  For vacant home I think fake fruit is just fine.  There's no chance that the fake stuff will rot and get smelly,  That would not be good for the stager's reputation! I have fake lemons and fake pears, and fake red apples. 


.                                            kitchen in apt.     


Here I have a fake pumpkin, pear, and apple and silk plant very simple nonperishable vignette for a small vacant kitchen and  the counter on the other side of the sink is bare. 


For more information on home staging or to schedule a staging consultation, call Beverly Carlson at 325-721-2429.




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Beverly Carlson,  REALTOR, GRI, ASP, IAHSP, RESA


Carlson Properties           

Abilene, Texas


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Sun City Grand Homes Surprise AZ Real Estate Leolinda Bowers Designated Broker Leolinda Realty
Leolinda Realty - Surprise, AZ
Sun City Grand in Surprise Arizona

Beverly, would you use green, black and white in kitchens as you would in other rooms?

Nov 24, 2009 03:16 PM #1
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Beverly,

Oh boy, what great information on this one. I especially liked what you said about "magnets on the refrigerator, presciption bottles on top of the refrigerator, a tea towel hanging over every bar and hook, trash cans in view anywhere in the kitchen" all of these are pet peeves for me.

When I see photos of towels hanging in a kitchen my eye immediately goes to that spot in a photo. As for refer magnets/photos/schedules, etc. etc, another biggie, it's what I call refrigerator art. I explain that the photographer would like it removed...that's true even if I'm taking the photos.

I've found that if you explain it to sellers in advance, they're okay with it, they're receptive and it's not an adversarial situation.

Very well done, thanks!

Nov 24, 2009 03:26 PM #2
Esther (Essie) Cruz
Weichert Realtors, Buying and Selling Real Estate in Monmouth, Ocean & Middlesex Counties - Manalapan, NJ
Manalapan Marlboro, NJ Real Estate

Beverly, I love this posts! The cost of staging is a small investment with a large return. Great tips, thanks for sharing.

Nov 24, 2009 03:38 PM #3
Suzanne Metz
Design to Appeal - Medicine Hat, AB

I really dislike it when I see magnets hanging all over the refrigerator!

Nov 24, 2009 10:26 PM #4
Kathleen Stuart
Stage It Now! - Richland, WA
(Letnulls wrap it up & sell it!)

Trying to sell a home that hasn't been professionally staged is like trying to sell a basket of peaches....that all have bites taken from them.  The peaches are rooms and those bites are distractions from what you're trying to sell - square footage.  That especially goes for the "square footage" on counter tops.  Make sure that you consider the proportion and the actual use of the items.  If a plant, or any strictly decorative item takes up usable counter space, don't put it there.  Try to choose only those things that suggest livability, in this case, maybe only a spoon rest or a utensil container.

Nov 25, 2009 02:10 AM #5
Beverly Carlson
Carlson Properties 325-721-2429 - Abilene, TX
Abilene's Staging Realtor

Leolinda, I use green, black and white all the time.  I work with the kitchen.  If the walls are neutral, I favor having a red accent or two.  If there are stainless appliances, I almost always use a stainless bowl or tea kettle in the kithcn as well. 

Lynda, yes the refrigerator art needs to go for the photo s hoot. Thanks for your  nice comments.

Essie, Thanks for the compliment.  Yes staging is an investment that returns value and money  to the seller.


Suzanne, I agree about the magnets.

Kathleen, that is a interesting picture, "trying to sell a basket of peaches...that all have bites taken from them.


Nov 25, 2009 04:02 PM #6
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Beverly, I would have to move out if I put my house on the market!


Nov 27, 2009 10:35 AM #7
Linda D. Pufford
Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging - Novato, CA
ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager


Once again you really brought up some great tips and points about what and what not to do in the kitchen.  Thanks for the great post and keep them coming!!!

Nov 27, 2009 01:25 PM #8
Beverly Carlson
Carlson Properties 325-721-2429 - Abilene, TX
Abilene's Staging Realtor

Patricia, when your house is staged it may sell the first day anyway, so the time to pack up is before you put the sign out since you would be moving soon!


Linda,  You are so sweet to comment on my posts.  I have been on a roll lately (for me anyway) and the blogs are getting  a little easier to write.

Nov 28, 2009 06:53 AM #9
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Abilene's Staging Realtor
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