How to stage your Kitchen for an Open house

I’m still on the open house merry-go-round. Every Saturday is filled with cleaning, polishing, staging and vacating with children and dogs in tow. I can’t begin to tell you how much I hate this routine.

But as much as I hate it, I’ve become excellent at it. My house looks freakin’ awesome when I leave it and I love coming home to it. It looks amazing for about 2 minutes. That is the two minutes it takes for the girls and Lola to walk through it and leave a trail of mess in their wake.

But my hell is going to help you. After 5 months of open houses, and 5 months of inspecting other open houses, I’ve realised THE most important things to focus on are the kitchen and the bathrooms.

If the kitchen is messy, cluttered or dirty it affects my entire impression of the house.

My top tips:

  1. Scrub the entire kitchen from top to bottom, including the kick boards and cornices
  2. Polish the sink, taps and mixers. If your taps are dated or broken, replace them. This is an easy and cheap way to modernise your kitchen
  3. Replace broken tiles
  4. De-clutter. Get rid of everything. Any sign of life. Stickers on fridges, unpaid bills, dishwashing detergent, get rid of it all!
  5. Add life back in. A nice, neat, envy inducing life. Fresh fruit, flowers and the ‘special’ tea towels, the tea towels you never really use. If you want some inspiration for styling your kitchen, I’m loving the kitchens in The Kitchen Place website.

This was my inspiration The Balwyn Classic Kitchen:

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The results: The Wernicke Classic Kitchen

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6. Then add some personality; these are the interesting bits that stop it from looking like the last kitchen they inspected.

DSC_0033          7.  At the last minute, empty the bins, because you don’t want your gorgeous house smelling like a dumpster. Then light a scented candle. Make it a good quality candle, nothing cheap and lavender like. I love a clean scent and my current favourite is Woodwick odour eliminating Clean Rain scent.


If you can’t save your kitchen with a little simple updating, then definitely consider starting over. The investment is completely worth it. The Kitchen Place is a great place to start and make it so easy to get started. 

Post in collaboration with The Kitchen Place.


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  1. What an excellent post for me. We are selling at the end of this year or beginning of next and I need all the tips I can get. We’ve never sold before so it’s very daunting. Good luck with your house selling I hope it happens for you soon. Please post anymore tips you have I need everything I can get. A big thankyou.ox.

  2. merilyn says:

    open inspections are the pits rach!
    these are good tips!
    I was wondering how the house selling was going!
    with wonder woman at the helm! … working and everything!
    has house hunting taken place too? … omg exhausting!
    good luck hun! love m:)X

  3. Oh hun I didn’t realise you were still doing opens (scream). The kitchen looks fab! I remember when we were house hunting (16 years ago) and bread makers were all the rage…every house had a bread maker going in the laundry or kitchen, just made me hungry! I once read that warming a little sugar and cinnamon in a pan before an inspection (then washing the pan) was awesome for making the house smell homely.

  4. As a real estate agent, can I just say that the effort you are going to is worth it Rachel. That feeling you get of how fabulous the house feels when it is all clean and tidy and uncluttered – buyers want that too. They want the illusion that if they move in to the house, their life will be like this and the kids and pets will all be perfect. It is all fantasy but such a nice one to have!! Good luck with your contract.

  5. Will need to keep these tips in mind when we start our open house sometime late this year. URGH so not looking forward to it!!

  6. Congratulations on the contract! I hope it goes through smoothly. Woodwick candles are beautiful – my favourite is a trio with caramel, biscotti and something else delicious smelling x

  7. Such great tips Rach. I’m sorry this is your Saturday routine too – I hope things change soon on that front. In the meantime, enjoy your beautiful kitchen! x

  8. Your kitchen looks amazing! Love all of your styling tips. I’m sorry you’re stuck in that Saturday routine, I hope it changes soon xx

  9. I hear you! We sold our house last year but were able to move into our new one first so our opens were after we’d vacated. We still drove down every weekend to tidy the garden, air out, dust and make sure everything looked okay. Or clean up after the previous inspection where people tracked in mud and touched all the mirrors . . . >:(

  10. Open houses are the worst Rachel (when you’re the seller), I hope you sell quickly! Great tips on the kitchen/ bathroom!!! Martha Stewart says the smell of baking bread is also a “seller” … wish there were a scented candle for that??! x K

  11. 5 months of doing an open house every Saturday!!! Ewwww! I hope this routine soon finishes for you and you sell your house! Good luck! Gorgeous kitchen!