The Most Important Room

Your home has lots of rooms. Each one serves a specific purpose. Some are private spaces like bedrooms.  Others are public spaces like the living room. Have you ever thought about which is the single most important room?  While its function hasn’t changed over the many decades since our homes were built, how we use this room certainly has.  And increasingly, it’s the space where we’ve come to spend the most time.  That room is the kitchen.

When our homes were built long ago in the early 1900s, the kitchen was merely a utility room where the tedious task of cooking was completed, and then left alone until the next meal.  In terms of importance, there was little difference between the kitchen and laundry room. Both were workrooms.  Heaven forbid that a guest would actually enter!

Fast forward a hundred years and our attitude toward kitchens has changed.  Not only do they continue to serve the meal prep function, but they’ve become the entire hub of daily life.  Kitchens are now the centerpiece jewel of a home.  It’s where we entertain, invite guests, and make important family decisions.  Quite often it’s where I first meet with families.

Buyer Expectations

While it can be a little unfair to ask our old homes to serve modern needs, today’s buyers are quite uncompromising when it comes to their expectations of kitchens.  Television shows, magazines, and social media influencers are setting new standards in the minds of buyers for how a kitchen looks and functions.  Homes that don’t have refreshed kitchens are often penalized.  On the positive side, those that are updated typically attain a premium.  If you want to enhance the value and marketability of your home – start with the kitchen.

Things to Consider

You don’t have to do a full clean-sheet reconstruction of the kitchen to keep up.  That kind of intensive remodel is prolonged and expensive. It should only be done for your personal enjoyment and when you’re going to stay for a minimum of 5 more years.   Alternatively, there are incremental, less invasive, and less expensive enhancements that can give the kitchen a refreshed look.

Idea starters:

  • Remove the wall between the kitchen and dining room.
  • Replace old counter tops with modern quartz counters.
  • Paint oak cabinets.
  • Replace light fixtures.
  • Replace appliances with stainless steel.

A good Realtor can offer suggestions for the most impactful improvements.   A little refresh will go a long way to making you feel good about the kitchen and improve the market value of your home.