The kitchen is no longer a space used only for cooking. It is the hub of the home, the new room everyone lives in.
If a kitchen looks like it is run-down and needs a lot of work, this is a huge disincentive for potential buyers. For most, the thought of renovating a kitchen rings too many alarm bells – money, time, stress! It’s a valuable asset to be able to market a property with a kitchen that's appealing, functional, clean and flexible, yet with the purchaser able to inject their personality into the space.
Look at the state of the kitchen in relation to the rest of the home. Does it work as part of the larger residence or does it need upgrading to provide a central focus? This may seem difficult to achieve in small, older-style houses where the kitchen and living areas are separate, but a clever designer may look at a cost-effective reconfiguration to make a big difference and create a space that changes the whole feel of the home.
Know your target market and assess if the kitchen is appropriate in size, aesthetics, age, condition and functionality for that market. If you need help assessing the space, call in the experts. Ask a designer to have a look at the kitchen and come up with solutions. Does it just need styling, a good clean, minor cosmetic touch-ups or a full overhaul?
If a kitchen has a very strong, specific character it may be worth toning it down for the sales market. A coat of white paint over a darker or vibrant hue may be all that is needed.
Here are four other things agents need to consider when it comes to getting kitchens in order.
Loose handles, drawers that don’t align or a dripping tap all show a purchaser that the property hasn’t been cared for. “What else is wrong?”, they may wonder. A designer may look at reusing existing joinery carcasses if they’re still in good condition while replacing benchtops, joinery doors, drawer fronts and the splashbacks. Updating old and outdated appliances may be a simple and smart move that refreshes a tired kitchen.
Consider if the lighting is adequate. Poor lighting can make an otherwise well-designed space look dull. The right lighting can completely transform the look and size of your kitchen. The addition of task lighting updates the look and creates warmth to make a kitchen feel inviting.
Storage and organisation solutions are essential to any good kitchen. It can be as easy providing wall-mounted hooks or spice racks in cupboards, or you may need to extend cupboards to the ceiling to provide more space. If you do not update the storage, if nothing else – get rid of the clutter! Removing clutter on benchtops, open shelves and in cupboards and drawers creates a larger space. You never want to highlight a lack of storage. You want the kitchen to feel neat and ordered.
Sticky appliances are unattractive. Ensure ovens, exhaust fans, dishwashers and marks on walls have all been cleaned. Cutlery in drawers should be clean and tidy, and crockery should be neatly displayed in the cupboards. Don't forget the floors, either. Kitchens being a high-traffic area, you will need to look at whether they need a professional clean and refinish.
Sometimes a kitchen is beyond repair. You may need to advise your seller that they should replace the kitchen before putting the home on the market. This is where your interior designer will be a great help. Discuss it with them and they will advise the most cost-effective way to create a win-win situation for all concerned.