Los Angeles Home Staging Info


Home Staging Recipe For An Appealing Kitchen

In January I was hired by Pasadena homeowners for a home staging consultation. They knew their home had "good bones", but they also recognized that a house with "good bones" that doesn't look super sharp is not going to sell quickly or anywhere near their target price.

Kitchens are one of the most important rooms home buyers consider when evaluating homes to buy.

A kitchen remodel can be expensive, dirty, stressful and time consuming. When buying a home, home buyers want a move in ready home, not one that's going to cost them more money and stress. During the home staging consultation, I made several suggestions regarding their kitchen:

  • Paint the cabinets white (they had a medium brown wood stain). This would brighten the kitchen and freshen tired cabinets.
  • Change the cabinet hardware to better reflect the style of the home. Cabinet hardware is like jewelry for your cabinets.
  • Replace tile counters with granite or a solid surface quartz material (the homeowners had already researched the cost of granite counters)
  • Replace the old sink and faucet with a new stainless undermount sink and stainless modern faucet.
  • Remove 2 cabinets that had been added in an earlier remodel and didn't match the style of the other cabinets. This also opened up this galley kitchen.
  • Clean out cabinets so they were half empty and neatly arranged.
  • Clean off kitchen counters of everything except what they needed to use every day (coffee maker, toaster, etc.) while their home was on the market.
  • Remove window treatments that made the kitchen feel dark and small.

Here's what the kitchen looked like before:

Pasadena kitchen before home staging remodelAnd here's the kitchen after the minimal (and cost effective) remodel and home staging:

Pasadena kitchen after home staging by Moving Mountains DesignThe floor tile was not changed and the walls were not repainted, thereby saving money. The kitchen now looks fresh, bright and updated. It looks clean and a pleasant place to prepare meals. And, while the kitchen is updated, it blends well with the architectural style of the home.

To see the curb appeal transformation of this home read Curb Appeal & Home Staging


This was originally posted at Home Staging Recipe For An Appealing Kitchen on my LA Home Stagingwebsite.


Los Angeles Real Estate Staging

2015 RESA Professional Stager of the Year

2014 RESA Top 10 Professional Home Stager2010 RESA Professional Stager of the Year

Michelle has staged hundreds of Los Angeles homes, many of which have sold with multiple offers, above listing price.

She works with home sellers, listing agent, builders, flippers and asset managers to prepare homes for sale throughout Los Angeles and North Orange County.

Moving Mountains Design provides vacant home staging, color consultations, corporate and executive relocations,  and interior design. We also stage model homes, REOs, foreclosures and auction properties for real estate investors and asset managers. Builders hire us to stage their models or to help move inventory when sales slow down.

For more information about our Los Angeles home staging services, contact Michelle at (626)385-8852 or by email.

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Comment balloon 15 commentsMichelle Minch • March 14 2011 10:10PM


 Quite a difference...!  This eye candy sure helps the seller....fresh and updated...good job !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 8 years ago

Michelle, great post! A can of paint and some elbow grease to make those cabinets take on a whole new life! I like the jewelery reference for the hardware!

Posted by Peg Barcelo, The FlufftasticStager from Summerland, BC (Fluff My House! Home Staging Inc. 250.486.6369) over 8 years ago

Thanks, Sally & David.

Peg: Cabinet hardware can change the whole complexion of a room, just like the right piece of jewelry can set off a whole outfit. Thanks!

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 8 years ago

Now it is a home that buyer's can say, "At some point this kitchen will need to be updated, but it's fine for now," rather than - The kitchen needs to be re-done NOW and we're not doing it."

I recently worked on a house that had a similar situation.  It had been on the market for a year with no takers.  The owner painted the cabinets, new cabinets & appliances.  We staged it, and they received 5 offers on opening weekend.  A little updating goes a long ways.

Posted by Beth Lester, Home Staging & Interior Decorating (Beth Lester Designs) over 8 years ago

Michelle - Great advise and look at the results. Doesn't look like the same kitchen. Fresh looking kitchens do help in the sale of a home.

Posted by Linda Scofield over 8 years ago

Awesome before and after results Michelle, very effective post!

Posted by Pasadena Short Sale Agents Pasadena Short Sales (Munson Realty Southern California Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Michelle - This is definitely a recipe for success!  So glad the client was willing to paint the cabinets - it makes a huge difference.  Love the countertops they added, too.  Clean, contemporary, stunning.

Posted by Sally Weatherley, Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C (EXIT STAGE RIGHT) over 8 years ago

Thanks, Beth.

Linda: I agree.. Fresh looking kitchens do help in the sale of a home

Thanks, Stephen. You may have seen the house. It was on Caravan this past week.

Sally: These were dream clients. They really listened to everything I suggested.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 8 years ago

Michelle, It looks so FRESH!!!  I further read the other blogs you wrote about this home and I bet it will sell/has sold quickly.  

I learn so much from reading your blogs!  Thanks!

Posted by Kathleen Emhof, Home Staging and Redesign, Experts in Transition (Buffalo, Amherst, Orchard Park and Western New York) over 8 years ago

Thank you, Kathleen!

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 8 years ago

Wow, Michelle!  It's amazing how much bigger it looks now!  I bet the homeowners are glad they listened to your expertise!

Posted by Tamara Cline, Sold By Design, Staging San Antonio and Surrounding Area (Sold By Design www.sasoldbydesign.com) over 8 years ago

You added visual square footage! Amazing transformation!! The kitchen is beautiful now.

Posted by Cathy Lee, ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA (CL Design Services Home Staging) over 8 years ago

Love it, Michelle. What a difference the paint made.


Posted by Kathy Nielsen, Atlanta Georgia Home Stager (http://atlantahomestaging.net) over 8 years ago

Tamara & Cathy Lee: Yes, it does look bigger, doesn't it. Thank you.

Thanks, Kathy!

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 8 years ago

Michelle, it looks like seller spent big $$$ for remodeling this kitchen. I am glad they took your suggestion into consideration because this kitchen looks fresh at least 30 year younger;-)

Posted by Anna Dovger, Home Staging -The Woodlands, TX (Add Value Home Staging LLC, 281-704-6607) over 8 years ago