How to Stage a Kitchen

When staging your home for sale, your kitchen is one of the most important areas to pay attention to.

The kitchen can make or break your home in buyers’ eyes, so here are some tips for how to stage a kitchen and make it as appealing as possible..

home staging kitchenHow to Stage a Kitchen


First, your kitchen will need a thorough cleaning. It may already be clean but what we are after is sparkle on every surface.

More everything off of the counters.

We need to do this anyway since we are also removing clutter, so take everything away and then we will put some items back carefully.

Right now, just make everything look shiny and happy. Whether it’s granite, tile, or 1970’s Formica, get those counters to glow.


Same with the sink and stove areas, the floor, and appliances.


If you happen to have a dated kitchen that you have no intention of updating for selling purposes, one thing that might help is to switch the cabinet knobs and pulls.

Sometimes this can be a quick way to update, and sometimes the knobs are the worst offenders when it comes to being dated.

It doesn’t take a lot of money to do this and you can find new pulls in a good range of price ranges to suit your budget.

Now we can add a few things back to the counters.

Microwave, toaster oven, coffee maker are allowed back if they are nice and pretty. Rule of thumb in staging: anything that has seen better days should be put away for now. Knives in a block are fine. An attractive cutting board is fine too.

A lot of what we keep on the kitchen counter is utilitarian stuff or just daily clutter that we need to put away for staging.

In my house, staging means I’d have to start keeping my vitamins in the cabinet, put away my beloved rice cooker unless I’m using it, same with my trusty smoothie blender, and a few other oddities that never seem to find permanent homes.

There are reasons for this fussiness.

  1. We want the kitchen area to look as spacious as possible. And the more empty counter there is, the better. It’s also nice and shiny and it helps create that bright, light space that buyers like.
  2. We don’t want buyers to get bogged down with things like vitamins and stray food storage containers.


We also need to depersonalize this room. Remove any references to the people who currently live there.

This includes:

  • Refrigerator magnets
  • Personalized artwork (initials, etc)
  • Family Photos
  • Anything that says “Lindsey’s Kitchen” or similar
  • Personal notes, chalk board messages (put something happy and generic up instead.)


I think it’s essential to have some good pops of color when staging a kitchen. It adds life to the space and just looks good.

I like red or yellow in kitchens, but any cheerful color will work.

At this point I sometimes suggest getting a new kitchen rug and dish towel or two with the colors in mind, but it depends on what you already have. It’s nice to add a fresh rug and dish towel, especially if the room is a little dated, this is another way to add a fresh touch.

The next step is about color, but it’s also about connecting with buyers on different levels – engaging the senses and using a little bit of home staging psychology.

If you have flowers or fruit that grow in your yard and are in season, make a display of them for the kitchen.

Imagine a pretty bowl of apples on the counter – if they came from the back yard, that really can stir a buyer’s imagination about living in the home. (The buyer pictures harvesting apples with smiling family members on a crisp fall day.)

Or roses, or peaches, or lemons…

If you don’t have such things available on the property, that’s OK. Just find something at the store that looks good.

I like lemons and apples for the bright happy colors, but any fresh fruit and/or flowers will work just fine.

I hope this helps you stage your kitchen like a pro!