The WORST Countertop Choice When Selling Your House

DECLUTTERED THOUGHTS OF A HOME STAGER by Sue Proud, ASP®, IAHSP®, GCIRC

Now that grays are the new neutral in updating interiors, designers are looking for countertop materials that blend beautifully with these colors. Enter the latest star of the kitchen design world…marble.

Gird your loinsI have to admit, the first words that popped into my head about using marble for kitchen countertops were, “All right everyone, gird your loins!” (The Devil Wears Prada)

Devils…I mean trend-setting designers… are now specifying marble as the latest ‘must have’ countertop material. Check out Pinterest, Houzz, Better Homes. You’ll see what I mean.

But is it the BEST choice if you are preparing your house for sale?

Recently, one of my clients, who was updating her kitchen before listing, left me an excited voicemail saying,

“I’m soooooo lucky! I’ve just put their last two marble slabs on hold. According to the salesperson, they are selling out of it as soon as it arrives!”

Now keep in mind, my client went to this supplier to select granite options, but she got swept up in the current marble frenzy. After all, she loved it and everyone was ordering it. She knew it had to be the right choice!

It’s so easy to be seduced by the beauty of its soft, graceful veining and the fact that it is not seen everywhere, unlike granite. Almost every printed or internet design source indicates marble is the right choice for our on-trend, white kitchens. It is described as NEW and FRESH with a CLASSIC feel. But does classic mean good? Let’s face it. It’s an old material with some distinct maintenance issues.

 

Marble requires frequent sealing. It etches, stains, scratches and chips easily. According to some suppliers, all these traits give it character. Really? Aren’t these characteristics exactly what propelled the countertop industry to develop alternative materials?

 

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m the first to recommend classic choices and love the look of marble. Given the sealers and finishes available today, maintaining marble is a bit more manageable than it was years ago.

But if you are trying to attract BUYERS, your countertop choice also needs to fit the lifestyles of most people. The majority of people say they don’t have enough time as it is. Do you think they’ll want to buy your house if they believe maintaining it will take a lot of time and effort?

So, if you’re a seller getting your property ready to connect with buyers, DO NOT select marble countertops! DO. NOT. SELECT. MARBLE. COUNTERTOPS!

I guarantee that unless your prospective buyers understand and appreciate the inherent ‘character’ of marble created through daily living, the value of your brand new countertop investment will plummet. Buyers will not be willing to pay big dollars for a new countertop that looks worn, particularly if they aren’t the ones doing the wearing.

Instead you want choices that all buyers can identify as having value. Boring choices? Maybe. But choices immediately recognized by buyers as desirable, with little or no maintenance, will automatically create a connection with them.  Marble is not it.

So it comes down to this. How much do you want to gamble with your investment?

Do you want to spend thousands of dollars installing countertops that many buyers will not want once they find out how much maintenance and care they require? That’s strike 1 against the successful sale of your property. Beware…2 more strikes and you’re out!

What alternatives to marble have you used that give the same look? Would love for you to share your suggestions! 250X52 I’m Sue Proud, Owner of PROUD HOME Staging, LLC, an Accredited Staging Professional® and Kitchen Specialist in St. Charles, IL. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post.

We would love to hear from you… please leave your comments and questions below or Contact Us directly about your Home Staging and Design needs.

The Most Important Measurement in Updating Your Kitchen

DECLUTTERED THOUGHTS OF A HOME STAGER by Sue Proud, ASP®, IAHSP®, GCIRC

Kitchens. They sell houses. With the flood of HGTV shows, blogs and design magazines showing how ‘easy kitchen improvements are, buyers EXPECT updated kitchens.

When our clients ask us to come in to improve their kitchen, we often are able to make simple changes such as replacing appliances, lighting, countertops, back splashes and cabinet hardware.

However, sometimes the simple changes just don’t get it. If anything, adding updates to existing old, ugly cabinets makes them look worse. That’s just “putting lipstick on a pig!”

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“Lipstick on a pig!” New granite countertops installed on old cabinets.

Many times we are confronted with an older kitchen with classic cabinets that still look nice, but the layout does not make sense or it needs to be larger. Is this your situation?

What are your options? Gut the kitchen? That’s generally not in the budget. Add a few new cabinets and use as many of the old cabinets as possible? Yes!

Okay, now look down at your cabinets. Do you see that gap between the floor and the bottom of your cabinets? That’s the toe kick. The dimension of your toe kick is the most important measurement in your kitchen if you are thinking of incorporating new cabinets. It is the kicker (pun intended) to your successful redesign.

When we update kitchens, we are usually dealing with older cabinets in which the toe kicks are smaller than those on new cabinets produced today. Are you saying, “But what’s the big deal? If the new cabinet is too tall, just trim some off the bottom and if it’s too short, just elevate the cabinet or countertop.” Well, not so fast…

Take a look at the graphic. In either case, the doors and drawers won’t line up with your existing cabinets if you adjust the height up or down. If you elevate the countertop and try to cover the gap with trim, the trim pieces usually interfere with the doors or drawers when you extend the trim onto the cabinets without the gap.

Toe Kicks of Cabinets

Two Different Cabinet Toe Kicks

Instead, you’ll need to redesign the kitchen so the old base cabinets are in one area and new ones in another. You don’t want to have them side by side or the two different toe kick heights will be noticeable and will scream DIY. Not what you want a prospective buyer to think and a good way to have your investment dollars vanish before your eyes.

What has been your kitchen redesign experience? Would love to hear any helpful hints you would like to pass along!

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I’m Sue Proud, Owner of PROUD HOME Staging, LLC and an Accredited Staging Professional® in St. Charles, IL. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post.

We would love to hear from you… please leave your comments and questions below or Contact Us directly about your Home Staging and Design needs.
Related Resources:

A Gift from the “Land of Oz” – The Secret to Successful Home Staging and Redesign

DECLUTTERED THOUGHTS OF A HOME STAGER by Sue Proud, ASP®, IAHSP®, GCIRC

Darkness. Loss. Lack of connection. Words you don’t normally associate with a blog on Home Staging and Redesign.

burning the candle at both ends-Patrick Feller

This is what I felt last week. I awoke in a hospital room not knowing where the last 8 hours had gone. According to my doctors, I had a rare case of temporary amnesia that was brought on by “burning the candle at both ends.” Luckily, I’ve been told this is probably a one time thing.

Oddly enough, the onset of my amnesia occurred when I was with my local group of Accredited Staging Professionals®. A group of professionals whose primary goal is to establish connections; connections between buyers and a property through home staging.

We were on a professional outing to see the latest in home design at a new model home. I was to give a presentation on the current trends in kitchen design. The last memory I have before visiting the “Land of Oz” was the supportive warmth I felt from my colleagues in this beautiful space.

Why am I sharing this? Because this event has changed my perspective; personally and professionally. I’ve been touched by how the feeling I had about that space and the people in it was what helped me regain my memory. It wasn’t anything I could put my finger on. It was simply the warmth of a memory that drew me back. I wanted to be in that space again.

Professionally, this experience has changed my definition of successful home staging and redesign. Did I previously know how important it is to create a connection with buyers and homeowners to a property? Yes. Did I know how primal this connection can be? No. Not really. Not until I had to struggle to piece together my memory of that day. I was given a gift.

Staging and Redesign must have depth to truly connect and be successful. People must want to stay in a space as the result of these professional efforts. Staging and Redesign must touch buyers and homeowners to their core so they KNOW this is the home for them. Otherwise, it’s just window dressing.

PROUD HOME Staging, LLC-Kitchen,BEFORE

BEFORE – Kitchen without interest or soul. A space in desperate need of an update.

PROUD HOME Staging, LLC-Kitchen, AFTER

AFTER – Kitchen with depth. New lighting, granite countertops, cabinet hardware, tile backspash, appliances, fixtures and paint. A space that connects with buyers.

So what is the take-away here? Find a professional home stager who can put soul into your property. Someone who can stage your property so it speaks to buyers and makes them want your house. Not by reflecting your personality as the homeowner, but by utilizing design principles and linking all the senses to make your house stand out.

If you’re redesigning your property, find a professional who can make your home reflect the essence of you. Someone willing to take the time to find out what gives your home soul and not just give you what is currently “on trend.”

Source

So, click your ruby-red slippers, Dorothy. It’s time to find a professional to help you find your way back home.

What reflects your home’s soul?

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I’m Sue Proud, Owner of PROUD HOME Staging, LLC and an Accredited Staging Professional® in St. Charles, IL. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post.

We would love to hear from you… please leave your comments and questions below or Contact Us directly about your Home Staging and Design needs.

Related Resources:

5 Tips to Help You Find a Home Stager in St. Charles, IL – “The Box of Chocolates” Dilemma

The Smells that Sell: What Really Works – Home Staging in Elgin, IL

How To Make Fearless Design Decisions – A Cheat Sheet for Home Decor

How to Make Fearless Design Decisions – A Cheat Sheet for Home Decor

DECLUTTERED THOUGHTS OF A HOME STAGER by Sue Proud, ASP®, IAHSP®, GCIRC

Wall Art Too High-applegreenstudio.blogspot.com

Artwork hung too high. (Source)

Have you ever walked into someone’s home and known that a tall person or someone on a ladder made the decision where to hang the artwork? Have you gone into a room and felt uncomfortable, without really knowing why? Something just wasn’t quite right, but you couldn’t put your finger on it.

As a professional home stager in St. Charles, IL, it is critical to be able to identify these and other issues in a room to eliminate this uneasy feeling and instead make a house embrace whomever walks through its doors. It’s knowing and applying the basic rules of design to a space that will eliminate these uncomfortable feelings.

floating-rug-Squidoo.com

Rug too small. (Source)

How high do you hang wall art? What size rug do you need? How do you know what size light fixture to select? These are some of the questions I repeatedly get asked by clients. Having the answers to these and other design questions in the form of a quick reference guide will make your decorating easier and create the results you desire.

I’ve compiled this information to create my Cheat Sheet for Home Decor. You can use it before going shopping so you know the dimensions you need to fit your space. No guess-work. It’s all there in black and white. Using these guidelines will help you pull your spaces together like a professional.

For your free, printable copy, click on: A Cheat Sheet for Home Decor

What design decisions are bugging you right now?

Related Resources:

The Smells that Sell: What Really Works – Home Staging in Elgin, IL

Home Staging in St. Charles, IL – 4 Easy Steps to Find the Money Hidden in Your Linen Closet

5 Tips to Help You Find a Home Stager in St. Charles, IL – “The Box of Chocolates Dilemma”

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I’m Sue Proud, Owner of PROUD HOME Staging, LLC and an Accredited Staging Professional® in St. Charles, IL. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post.

We would love to hear from you… please leave your comments and questions below or Contact Us directly about your Home Staging and Design needs.