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Hamptons Life

Aug 11, 2017 6:47 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Kitchen Upgrades To Help Sell A Home

Aug 13, 2017 12:25 PM

It’s been said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It ’s the room where groups congregate. (Ever have a party and everyone winds up in the kitchen?) It’s where loving meals are prepared and serious conversations take place. (“Sit down here, and let’s review your report card!”)

Even in larger residences with family rooms, dens and other gathering spaces, the kitchen is still a vital part of your home.

And one of the most important selling points.

Whether you are thinking of selling your home, or just doing giving it a face-lift, there are several ways to up the ante on the asking price by fixing up your kitchen. You’ll add value to your home and enjoy it more while you’re living there.


Margaret Fruin of Hampton Design says, “Change the counters—try the newest quartz materials.” They tend to give a kitchen a gleaming, brand new look, even if it’s all you have changed. She also advises to update the backsplash: “try a new color or pattern,” she said.

Corcoran Group Real Estate agent Pam Jackson-Jones concurs: “Buyers love countertops in marble, granite or quartz.”

Jennifer McLauchlen of James R. McLauchlen Real Estate, adds, “The trend now in countertops is light and, pretty much, white. Marble or composite—both are beautiful options. If one wants a really high-end look … you can go double on the countertop inches.”


Ms. McLauchlen said appliances can be an expensive upgrade, but it’s one to consider. “If a seller can spend $15,000 to $20,000 on an appliance upgrade with one of the top-end lines, it will certainly add value to the asking price,” she said.

“Stainless steel appliances are still de rigueur,” said Ms. Jackson-Jones. She also added that in high-end Italian-designed homes, the trend is to obscure the appliances altogether with glass and/or lacquer panels.

Fixtures And Hardware

An easy “fix” but very important to the overall look of a kitchen are “Fixtures, fixtures, fixtures!” said Ms. Jackson-Jones. Changing out old knobs and pulls for newer brass and metal ones can breathe new life into old cabinets and drawers.

Ms. McLauchlen adds, “If you want to add a fresh look to the kitchen and are on a tight budget, one thing that can really make a difference is the cabinet hardware. It’s a low-cost refresher.”

Jen Wisner of Brown-Harris-Stevens suggests clean hardware for the kitchen so that buyers can envision their own touch.

And don’t do everything but the kitchen sink! The kitchen sink is a focal point, and another easy and not-too-expensive tip is to change out the faucet. “This is a relatively small change that can make a big difference,” Ms. Fruin said.


Kitchen islands were universally mentioned as one way to really update a kitchen, create a warm centerpiece to the room, and create seating.

“A center island can add real value, depending on the space you have,” Ms. Jackson-Jones said.

Ms. Wisner added, “You could make an existing island more inviting by making it a place to eat or have coffee.”

She also said that, when possible, creating a social area right off the kitchen is a good idea. The more places people have to gather around food, the better.


Ms. Fruin says to get out the paint. “Even painting a kitchen island can make the room feel fresh,” Ms. Wisner added. “If you’re going to have white cabinets in your kitchen, paint a pop of color on the back wall of the cabinets.”

“Keep things light when painting and, even with flooring, light pickled woods are very ‘in’ now,” Ms. Jackson-Jones said. “Don’t forget sexy, smart lighting.”

Doing it all or just making it bright and cheery? This is the question.

Ms. McLauchlen said, “We usually don’t recommend a seller make a huge investment in redoing anything in their home, as the new buyer will want to make it ‘their own’ and redo it themselves. But if a seller wants to brighten and freshen things up, the best suggestions are to make it look as updated as possible. Less clutter, new hardware and even countertops can make all the difference.”

You might not want to sell after all!

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