The Staging Life: ‘Honey, I hate the color of these cabinets’


By Nan Johnston, Southern Staging & Redesign

Sellers are hearing this a lot these days. What is a seller to do if investing in a new kitchen or bath isn’t an option?

Below are 5 options that may help.

• Repaint existing cabinets. White or ivory is always a great way to update a kitchen and add brightness. Or use a currant color on the base and white on top…two toned cabinets.

• Re-stain the cabinets. Try using gel stain to go a bit darker or even an ebony color. This makes a kitchen extremely dark, so good lighting is a must if Ebony is the color you choose.

• Update countertops. Most honey oak cabinet era homes have solid surface countertops aka Corian. Although you may love this surface and see nothing wrong with it, today’s buyer wants stone or quartz counter tops. It’s a lot less messy to replace counter tops than painting or staining.

• Update appliances! Stainless steel looks amazing with oak cabinets and usually when you purchase a package, the discount is substantial.

• Update hardware with brushed pewter, oil rubbed bronze or copper, including any exposed hinges, and sink faucet.

• Extra option … do all of the above for top dollar sales price.

If your buyer is comparing your home to a new construction home, you may lose the game by not being competitive in the kitchen and bath finishes. Go visit a few of the new subdivision homes and see what they are using as a measuring stick when they look at your home vs. new home.

For more information about updating kitchens and baths for a better sales price, contact Nan.


Nan Johnston is a professional home staging consultant from Newnan with over 30 years experience in the real estate industry. Check out her website for some interesting before and after photos at Feel free to contact her at [email protected].

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