How to stage your property for maximum profit – food and drink

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The kitchen

Your kitchen is vital to the success of the presentation of your property and can influence greatly the resale value.

  • To stage the kitchen add groups of three non-appliance items – such glass jars or canisters full of tempting lollies, vases, well potted herbs or succulents, beautiful mugs and a coffee pot. Allow the first impression to focus on the spacious and functional aspects of the room.
  • Stage the inside of the fridge: place dairy products on one shelf, fruit on one, drinks on another. Neatly arrange labels all facing out. Don’t forget to do this – even if it seems bizarre. You don’t want any part of your property to blow your cover.
  • Similarly in the pantry, group all like foods together – noodles, spices, canned vegetables – you get the picture. All labels should again be facing forward so they can be easily read. Put the tallest items at the end of your shelves and the shortest in the middle.
  • Remember, place no more than three appliances on your benchtop at any time.
  • Remove any hanging pot racks. They break up the view from one room to another and can be distracting.
  • If you have a kitchen table, decorate it with simple, neutral placemats and matching napkins.
  • Place a bowl of fresh fruit or a vase of colourful flowers in the middle of your kitchen table or on your island.
  • Lighting is as important in the kitchen as it is in the rest of the house. If you can, remove all window treatments to let in the maximum amount of light possible.
  • When your house is open for inspection turn on all the lights and even the light on the rangehood (make sure the fan is switched off).
  • You may want to create a breakfast area in or near the kitchen and/or at the kitchen bench.
  • Unless your kitchen is absolutely minute it is a good idea to show the possibility of including an eating area in it. This can be achieved with a couple of bar stools at a bench or you can set a table and chairs – but make sure any furniture is not too big for the area.
  • Stage what you can see from the kitchen window. The view outside this window should be pleasant. You may like to make a focal point such as a potted herb garden or even hanging flower baskets.

The dining room
A separate dining room can be a real attraction to new buyers. It is very important that the dining room complements the kitchen and the style of the rest of the house.

  • If the kitchen has a lot of chrome or stainless steel finishes make sure the dining table and chairs have chrome legs, or place a shiny silver vase on the table. If the kitchen has moulded cabinetry put in wooden furniture with similar moulding.
  • A very formal dining room can be out of place in a modern, comfortable, relaxed-living home.
  • In order to make the dining room seem larger, place the table directly in the centre and take out any extensions.
  • In a three bedroom home place no more than six chairs at the table (four is often best). Then as you go bigger in house size add more dining chairs and a larger table if the room permits.
  • Keep the room light and bright by removing, putting to the side or raising window treatments. Put the highest wattage bulb allowable in the light fitting. If the room could still use a little extra brightening, place a slim, tall, accent lamp on your buffet table or sideboard.
  • Don’t forget to style your china cabinet! Instead of arranging the items in the centre of your china cabinet, place them on each side so they aren’t split down the middle when the door is closed.
  • Put a table runner and/or placemats on your dining room table. Also place a small bouquet of fresh flowers as a centrepiece.
  • Dining rooms benefit from the hanging of a few select pieces of generic art – landscapes and still-life paintings or sketches work well. Or try hanging a mirror instead.
  • Setting the table can be very effective and you’ll find loads of inspiration at stores such as Freedom, Ikea and even Target.

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