How to Prep Your Kitchen On A Budget When Selling Your Home

By Margie Fontanilla |DeLeon Interior Designer

Few would question the notion that the kitchen is one of the most important areas of a home.

The kitchen sees the highest traffic, incorporates the most appliances, and provides the most function. Whether galley-style or part of an open-concept space, the kitchen needs to be arranged so that it shows its best colors when the house is put on the market. Thankfully, there’s no need to invest in a huge remodel to give the kitchen a newly renovated look. DeLeon’s interior design team has compiled a list of kitchen upgrades that are both budget-friendly and attractive to potential buyers.

Newly Painted Walls

Though bright color schemes and ornate wallpaper can be beautiful, their boldness can also seem less appealing, and may even overwhelm potential buyers. Not only will a coat of light, neutral paint make a kitchen feel fresh and new again, it will also help more buyers visualize themselves utilizing the space. Satin or semi-gloss latex paints are the best options to create a desirable blank canvas as they are the easiest to clean, which is especially important for a multi-purpose room like the kitchen.

Updated Flooring

One of the features that many buyers focus on when searching for a new home is the flooring. Refinishing existing hardwood floors by applying a stain or sanding them can be an effective yet inexpensive way to bring out their true beauty. If the floors need to be replaced, consider tile as a sleek, low-cost option. Since tile floors are easy to clean and don’t take much to maintain, they become an attractive feature to potential buyers, thus increasing the kitchen’s value.

Freshened Cabinets and Hardware

Cabinets are perhaps one of the most often-used components of a kitchen, so renovating them can work wonders in livening up the space. However, completely replacing the cabinetry can quickly become expensive, and may not always be necessary. If your kitchen cabinets have a dated finish but are still in good shape, giving them new paint is an inexpensive way to provide a more desirable, refreshed look. Sanding, priming, and painting is a big project to tackle, but the way it transforms the space is well worth your while. Painting them neutral or light colors such as warm white, light gray, and beige are excellent choices that appeal to a wide range of potential buyers. Another way to dress up the cabinetry is to update the hardware, which will also help accent newly painted cabinets.

Replaced Countertops

Replacing outdated countertops is another great way to transform your kitchen. Potential buyers love the sleek, clean looks of granite and quartz, as well as their durability, natural beauty, and easy maintenance. New countertops don’t always have to be expensive; basic pre-fab granite and quartz are now available for a lower price than buying whole slabs.

Upgraded Lighting

Stylish pendant lights can easily become a kitchen’s focal point. Replacing the lighting is a low-cost solution to dressing up an island or breakfast bar, and will be a huge improvement to an outdated design. Under-cabinet lighting is another way to help illuminate your culinary workspace while adding a soft warmth to the kitchen.


A well-staged kitchen should look inviting, spacious, and clean. If properly staged, your kitchen will have only a few choice accoutrements displayed on highly used surfaces like the table, island, and countertops, making them look as uncluttered as possible, while inexpensive flowers and plants are placed throughout for a touch of color and freshness. Another helpful part of staging can involve having the kitchen professionally cleaned. This will not only make it look brighter and more welcoming, but it will also feel more appealing to any interested buyers.

The kitchen is a place of warmth, gathering, good food, and good company. Give it the chance to shine, and potential buyers will see for themselves what makes it the heart of the home.