Add Value and Style With Low Cost Kitchen and Bath Updates

Creative, low-cost updates will transform an outdated kitchen or bath and bring tremendous value

Guest Post by Patti Stern, Principal, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

Home owners who have finally made a decision to sell their home may not be thinking about updating and remodeling. But staging — coupled with necessary low cost renovations — are important considerations in a home selling strategy and an investment in getting top dollar for a property.

Older homes, in particular, may require improvements in key rooms such as kitchens or baths to meet today’s buyer demand for a newer or updated, move-in ready home. RealtyTrac’s recent Aging Homes Analysis found more than 70% of single-family homes in the U.S. were built before 1990 presenting a unique opportunity for sellers willing to invest in updates.

Creative, low-cost updates will transform an outdated kitchen or bath and bring tremendous value, boosting a home’s appeal and selling potential in a competitive housing market. Older homes also traditionally have smaller kitchen and baths than today’s homes and when done right, a new color scheme or other modest changes can even brighten and make the room appear larger.

Remodeling Magazine’s 2014 Cost Vs Value report found the best-performing kitchen and bath project is a minor remodel — which includes new appliances and counter tops, a face lift for cabinets, updating outdated vanities and faucets, and adding new cabinet hardware. We do this all the time for our interior decorating and home staging clients and share some examples below.

Low cost renovations are also a smart solution for homeowners who want to update their home today but may be thinking about selling in a few years, or for those who simply need to stretch their remodeling budget.

It’s always important to consider plans to sell when making updates to ensure the home will appeal to future buyers. Ultimately, the cost to update something in the home before it goes on the market will be less than the price reduction buyers will expect as compensation for out-of-date rooms.

South Salem Bath Before After (2)

The master bathroom of this contemporary South Salem, NY property listed by Cathy Fleming of Coldwell Banker Katonah, NY, features beautiful tile but the custom double vanity was outdated and too expensive to replace. We suggested professionally painting it a modern, dark espresso finish. The transformation updates the entire space and offer buyers a move-in ready master retreat.

McGee Master Bath Before After

One of the most cost effective changes is changing a room’s wall color. In this $1.6 million dollar Connecticut home we updated the master bath with a warm neutral paint color, depersonalized and accessorized to create a luxury hotel style. We even decluttered the closet off the bath to showcase the storage space, an important feature for buyers.

Pleasantville Kitchen Before After

The kitchen pictured in this Westchester, NY home was small and outdated. Painting the dark cabinetry white and the walls a soft creamy yellow makes this kitchen look bigger and brighter. The yellow formica countertops are less prominent with the new color scheme. This simple, modern update is designed to appeal to younger buyers, without a major renovation.

Thomas Kitchen Before After

This kitchen update features professionally painted cabinetry, replacing Formica counter tops with granite, adding new light fixtures, and furniture like trim to the existing island and cabinets providing a custom look.

PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating has been decorating and staging homes since 2005. Patti Stern, principal, interior decorator and accredited staging professional, and her team provide turnkey, full service home-staging to clients in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. She also developed an award winning staging program for luxury home builder, Toll Brothers and was the official interior decorator and home stager for the 2013 Avon Home of Distinction by Pecoy Signature Homes. Patti has been featured in Connecticut Magazine, the Hartford Courant, Danbury News-Times and on NBC CT and FOX CT.

For More Information, contact Patti Stern at 203-640-3762 or Visit our website,

Victoria Keichinger is the Director, Brand Marketing for Coldwell Banker Real Estate. When she's not managing national media and advertising for the Coldwell Banker brand at work, she finds herself most at home in Jersey City, NJ with her pre-school crush turned spouse (and baby on the way). A true francophile, she loves to travel and will go anywhere there are ski slopes.

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