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How to Get Your Home Ready for an Open House on a Budget

Open House sign in front of house for sale

By Guest Blogger Jackie Waters

Having an open house when you’re selling your home is a tried and true way to spark interest in your property. It not only allows potential buyers to take a quick look, but it also gives you a chance to enjoy feedback from visitors, including buyers and real estate agents. Fortunately, staging your home on your own to appeal to the masses does not have to be expensive, and you can do it no matter how much clutter has accumulated.

Get to Know Your Clutter Personality

Preparing to move is your motivation but getting to know your clutter personality helps with your home’s organization, which will help you decide what’s important to take to your new home. You might believe that every little object will come in handy someday or have grand plans to organize — just maybe not right now. Once you know why you keep things, it will be that much easier to let go.

Get Rid of One Thing Every Day

Aesop said it best: Slow and steady always wins. If you’re not on a short deadline to sell your current home, you don’t need try to tackle your clutter in a single day. Instead, find one thing you don’t need and say sayonara before the clock strikes midnight. Perhaps you have a cabinet or drawer that you seldom touch. If you haven’t needed something in there for over a year, you probably won’t miss it. Get a box or bag for items that can be donated and when it gets full, take it to a donation drop-off.

If it’s a sentimental item that no one else in the world will want, throw it away. If you want to have a visual reminder that doesn’t take up physical space, take a digital picture of it and then throw it away.

Pick a Category

Especially when you must declutter more quickly for an open house, taking one category of items at a time can help you get done faster. If you have kids, something you may have too many of is books. Books are treasures and a perfect category to pass along for others to enjoy. Kids Need to Read is a great place to donate books. Good Will or other thrift shops take books, and helps another young family build their own home library. You can also contact your local library or school system.

Get Good at Hiding Things

You can’t get rid of everything — that means that you will need to hide the belongings you wish to keep. Consider investing in an affordable, cute toy box for the kids’ rooms and under-bed storage for everywhere else. These new storage ideas will also help keep your new home more orderly.

Pay close attention to the kitchen, since that is one room your buyers won’t ignore. Buyers will look in the cabinets, drawers, and closets. Check expiration dates and throw out expired canned goods, etc. Giveaway good items that you have too many of or never use. For what remains, tidy up so the cabinets and drawers don’t look cluttered. Masterbrand Cabinets offers advice on how to install a Lazy Susan, which is an inexpensive and functional addition to even a small cabinet space.

Look at Other Listings

All is fair in love, war, and the real estate market. Nothing is stopping you from doing your own research by reviewing local home prices and visiting open houses in the area. Search for similar listings to see what homes are in your general price range and which have open houses in the weeks and months before yours goes live. Visit three or four properties to see how different sellers depersonalize and declutter their homes.

These visits can be a great way to find design and staging inspiration during. Alternatively, you can work with a pro to make the best out of your space. A quick online search will help you find local freelancer interior designers’ portfolios, reviews, costs, etc. Consider looking at on online job boards for a freelance interior designer for a more cost-effective and flexible virtual option (search terms “interior designer home staging”).

Clean, Clean, Clean

Before your showing, doing a deep clean will leave your home smelling fresh and looking pristine. Purchase essential, inexpensive cleaning supplies and clean everything from floor to ceiling — though you may want to splurge on a professional to scrub your carpet. Apply elbow grease as much as you’re able, going above and beyond day-to-day cleaning. The point is to eliminate offensive odors from pets or cigarettes. Make sure to keep your cabinetry’s exterior clean, as well — best foot forward and all that.

Make Your Home Someone Else’s

If you have lived in your home for any amount of time, it’s likely tailored specifically to you and your family. Everything from the furniture to the paint colors appeals to your lifestyle and personal tastes. But when you want to get the most money out of your investment, you have to look at it as an asset — a property you are making ready for another family. Consider removing family photos, trophies, and other personal touches before the open house.

You will also need to thin out the closet to showcase available storage space. The ultimate goal is to make the proverbial canvas clean and organized enough so buyers can imagine their belongings in the home.

Remember, a clean and organized home almost certainly means a broader pool of interested buyers followed by a faster closing. You don’t have to invest in a cleaning service or pay for storage fees, but you will need to downsize your lifestyle. If nothing else, consider this: Packing away personal items you plan to take with you declutters and saves you time later. Also, the more you give away, the less it will cost to move when the day comes.

Looking Forward

When looking for your next home, remember that location and size are the priorities. It doesn’t need to be perfect yet. That’s part of the enjoyment of a new house, you transform it into your home. If you want to change the paint colors, inside or outside, National Lumber and Babel’s have the Benjamin Moore paints and supplies you need. If you don’t like the kitchen, or need more built-in storage, the Kitchen Views design team is ready and willing to help you with renovations that will make this new house your perfect home.

Photos purchased from BIGSTOCK

Internet Purchasing vs Showroom with Experienced Designer

Kitchen Views blog header for designer Mary Jane Robillard

You can buy anything on the internet. Websites like Amazon bring the entire world to our doorstep, but anyone who shops online knows that what you see is not always what arrives. Receiving an ill-fitting dress in the mail is annoying, but if that dress is your outfit plan for an upcoming event, this inconvenience becomes a crisis.

Young happy couple using a laptop in the kitchen at home

With this example in mind, consider the myriad of issues you might encounter when buying cabinets on the internet. Sure, you can measure your space and try to figure out the items that will hopefully fit, but why would you forego consulting an experienced designer from a reputable company when making a sizable investment in your home?

kitchen plan sketch hand drawn

Continue reading ‘Internet Purchasing vs Showroom with Experienced Designer’

Kitchen islands encourage sharing and teaching

Children helping mother make school lunches at kitchen island

As children go back to school, every parent knows it’s time to make school lunches and do homework again. Large kitchen islands have become a favorite gathering place for families to enjoy time together while doing these daily tasks.

Involving children in meal preparation gives them important time together as a family, which not only teaches them about good nutrition, but provides them with emotional connections to each other. In our highly technological society, family time is more valuable than ever.

Young family together at kitchen island, close up

Sharing time together while doing homework is more emotionally rewarding than just learning their school lessons. Especially for young children, being sent to another room to do homework can feel like punishment. Interacting with parents while establishing good study habits can help them develop a lifelong love of learning. As children get older, they may require more solitude while studying, but they’ll be more productive because they learned these early lessons as a family.

Girl at kitchen island with young women, preparing meal in the kitchen

Kitchen islands with seating for casual meals are not just convenient. While it may make meals easier to prepare, eat and cleanup all in one place, this family gathering place is about building happy memories together.

Man teaching boy food prep at kitchen island

Building confidence is an important aspect of life skill lessons and leads to healthy independence. When children are old enough to handle a knife safely, cooking lessons get more technical. As with most learning, hands-on experience is the best way to learn.

It’s important to consider how you want your family to interact daily when planning a kitchen remodel. As a major family gathering space, the importance of a kitchen should not be underestimated. The best kitchen design is much more than the style and color of cabinetry and whether to include an island. An experienced kitchen designer will listen and learn about what works for your family. That allows them to design a living space that works well for you. Your designer will expertly handle the storage issues, appliance placement, and space layout so that you’ll simply enjoy using your kitchen for years to come.

When you’re ready to get started with the planning stage of a kitchen design, or remodel, start your research in the “Getting Started” section of our website. Then contact a Kitchen Views showroom near you to get the personalized attention you deserve.

Our designers work hard to exceed your expectations.

Contact Kitchen Views at 508-DESIGNS [337-4467] or visit our website for more information.

Imagine … an outdoor kitchen for true outdoor living

Family eating meal outside in garden

While the current heat wave in New England has everyone either running into the air conditioning, or jumping in a pool, this extreme heat is not the norm for our area. Outdoor spring and summer days in New England are long awaited and usually beautiful.

If you enjoy entertaining in your backyard, you may already have a deck with a casual dining area and a grill to cook traditional summer meals like hamburgers and hot dogs.

As you’ve been enjoying your backyard this summer, have you been wishing you had a real outdoor kitchen for al fresco family meals and summer parties? Kitchen Views now sells Wolf Endurance cabinetry, specifically made for outdoor kitchens.

Continue reading ‘Imagine … an outdoor kitchen for true outdoor living’

Modern Updates with Brass Hardware – Amy Mood



When it comes to kitchen cabinets, white and gray continue to reign supreme. However, hardware and accessories are starting to see a shift towards warm metal tones such as brass or gold. We may have thought this trend was left behind in the 80s but the styles that we are seeing now are far different from your grandmother’s brass. In current styles with clean edges and modern shapes, these warm tones are bringing timeless style to modern design.

Continue reading ‘Modern Updates with Brass Hardware – Amy Mood’

Ed Nunes wins Best of Houzz Design 2018

Lyman 9

The master bath in a new construction in Chestnut Hill, MA designed by Kitchen Views designer Ed Nunes was awarded Best of Design on Houzz. The Design awards are chosen by the over 40 million monthly users on Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. 

Continue reading ‘Ed Nunes wins Best of Houzz Design 2018’

Entertainment Abounds in Redesigned Home


Designed by Lisa Zompa of Kitchen Views.

When the homeowners purchased their new Canton home, they knew they needed to make it their own. With a dated kitchen layout and a floor plan that simply did not work for their family, the owners contacted Lisa Zompa of Kitchen Views to help transform their new home to fit their needs. Together with National Millwork, Lisa and the homeowners added cabinets and other storage to multiple rooms along with renovating all of the bathrooms and the kitchen.  The final result – a stunning modern, yet classic, design that is perfect for this active family.

Continue reading ‘Entertainment Abounds in Redesigned Home’

How to avoid kitchen design problems

Planning kitchen design and imagining finished room

In this day of endless home improvement programs convincing homeowners that they can do it themselves from what they’ve learned on television, it’s important to know that designing a kitchen takes thorough planning. We all enjoy the inspiration of seeing what others have done to improve their homes. But that is not the same as having real life experience in planning and implementing an actual home renovation.

Continue reading ‘How to avoid kitchen design problems’

Aging In Place Modifications: Practical & Stylish

Portrait of happy senior woman cutting vegetables in kitchen

A 2015 Houzz report showed that over 50% of homeowners age 60+ are planning to age in place. As the baby boomer generation begins to enter the golden years, home construction and renovation contractors are seeing an increase in accessibility modifications being made. With more spending power than the younger millennial generation, the boomers are also a large player in the interior design industry; frequently updating their home to incorporate the latest design trends. Combining the need for accessibility with the desire to keep the attractive appearance of the home, these modifications are not only practical but stylish as well.  Read below for some simple yet important modifications to make to your home accessible for any generation.

Continue reading ‘Aging In Place Modifications: Practical & Stylish’

Minimize the Kitchen Footprint with Single-Wall Design

3D rendering of modern kitchen in a loft.

Kitchens are most commonly laid out in one of three floor plans, L-shaped, U-shaped, and galley. A less popular, but still functional design is the single-wall kitchen. Single-wall kitchens are designed with the elements of the typical work triangle along one wall. Typically seen in apartments or other small homes where maximizing space and efficiency is at the forefront of design, this style of kitchen is gaining popularity in larger homes with open concept floor plans.

Kitchen interior sketches hand drawing front view. Contour vector illustration kitchen furniture and equipment. Cupboard shelves dishes table lamp clock crane dishwasher fridge microwave.

These kitchens work well because they keep all appliances and cooking tools within reach. This design often has the sink set in between the range and the refrigerator, offering easy clean up and usually has counter space on either side of the range.  With the kitchen viewed as a social hub within the home, the small kitchen footprint creates a feeling of openness and flows seamlessly with other rooms.

3d illustration of interior design loft style kitchen and livingroom. The concept of commercial interiors "My room" for gatherings with friends and Leisure. You can watch football and play computer games

A common challenge in single-wall kitchens is the lack of work space with the range, sink, and refrigerator taking up valuable counter space.  A solution to this in apartments or small homes is purchasing a counter height dining table that doubles as work space or a rollaway island.  In larger homes, a permanent kitchen island is a popular addition to provide supplementary storage and work space while maintaining the open floor plan.

Kitchen interior in modern flat with stove dining table picture on wall. Concept of cooking at home. 3d rendering. Mock up

Maximizing storage space is one of the most desirable features in any kitchen. With the compact design of the single wall kitchen, it becomes even more important. Tall upper cabinets, bridge cabinets, and creative use of built in shelving will help to maximize storage. Additionally, the use of an island (both permanent and rollaway) will help to increase the amount of available storage.

an image of Modern Kitchen drawers and Granite Countertop

No kitchen is too small for the talented designers at Kitchen Views. Visit one of the six Kitchen Views showrooms to meet with one of the designers and begin designing the perfect kitchen for your space.

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