It's no secret that kitchens sell homes, so if you're looking to put your home on the market take a look at your kitchen and see what kind of updates you can do to make it more appealing to prospective buyers.
Painting is the easiest way to give your kitchen a clean new look. Make sure that you use a good degreaser on the walls in the kitchen before painting as years of cooking can leave your walls sticky with old oil. It's also not a bad idea to prime the walls before painting to leave the best possible finish for the paint to grip to. Paint the kitchen with a good washable paint; consider bright or off-white with a coloured accent wall or strip.
When you're done with the painting, you may want to add a back splash to your kitchen; back splashes protect the paint above the countertops from cooking residue and getting banged up from appliances getting moved around on the counters. Back splashes can be made from the same material as your counters or different types of tiles like ceramic, stone, marble, or metal. Try to stick with materials and colors that are fairly neutral; many prospective buyers don't want to buy anything too outrageously decorated and a nice neutral palette allows them to customize it to their liking.
If your kitchen is large enough, consider adding a stand-alone workstation; a workstation that isn't built in gives a prospective buyer the option of using that space however they like, while showing them that a kitchen island is a viable addition to the room. To give yourself an extra special workstation, get a workstation with a butcher block top for cutting on.
Another great way to perk up a kitchen is to add updated lighting; many kitchens have inadequate lighting for working. All the work areas in your kitchen should be lit: sink, food prep areas, and stove. There are a variety of products that work well for under-cabinet lighting which can really brighten up your counter top work space. Adequate lighting by the sink is essential; even if your sink is by a window it's important to have an artificial light source for washing up when it's dark outside. Pot lights that are set into the ceiling are nice and bright and are less obvious than other styles of light fixtures.
For those homeowners willing to put more time and money into increasing their kitchen's appeal, there is also the option of cleaning up or changing the cabinetry. The most simple options for the cabinets: include giving them a good thorough cleaning with a degreaser, paint or refinish them, replace the hardware or cabinet doors, or even just take off the doors and painting the shelves for an open shelf style. If you want to spend a little more you can install new cabinets or custom open shelves in your kitchen.
The limits to what you can do to perk up and update your kitchen are almost endless and mostly depend on how much time and money you want to invest in prepping your home to sell; if you have any questions about which of the available options might give you the most return for your effort, try consulting with a kitchen designer or a realtor for advice.
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