Styled, Staged & Sold

Bringing you the latest home design and staging trends. From REALTOR® Magazine.

4 Simple Ways to Show Off the Kitchen

From dark drama to maximalist shelving, see some of the latest trends for the heart of the home.

By Krisztina Bell, No Vacancy Home Staging Inc.

The kitchen is the third most popular room to stage, behind the master bedroom and the living room, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2021 Profile of Home Staging. It’s also one of the most important spaces that potential buyers look at when choosing a home to buy. Several kitchen trends are gaining traction, including intense, veiny countertop designs, statement lighting with a contemporary twist, and gallery displays of open shelving with a mix of metals. Here are some simple to update a kitchen with a dash of glam and personality.

1. Stylish Countertops

Quartz may be in, but heavily veined marble is making a significant comeback in the design world. And veined marble is highly sustainable, durable, and a true classic. The strong veining definitely adds statement value and creates textural contrast. If you want to be more creative, go with a simple countertop design and make a statement with a unique backsplash to create contrast between other polished surfaces, metals, and woods.

Photo courtesy No Vacancy Home Staging Inc.

2. Dark Drama

Move over, classic all-white kitchens, and say hello to black walls, cabinetry, and work surfaces, which are having a dramatic moment. Black can create a livable, luxe, and inviting vibe. Farmhouse is out and glam is in this year, especially when given an art deco twist. We are seeing black in striking quartzite patterns on countertops or backsplashes, and it gets even more of an upgrade with gold accent hardware or lighting. Even black ceiling lights have experienced a spike in online searches and offer a sophisticated touch in any kitchen.

Photo courtesy No Vacancy Home Staging Inc.

3. Statement Lighting

Long gone are the days of the simple pendant light! A truly unique or modern piece can elevate kitchens of all sizes. Globe- and sphere-shaped lighting, which can be both retro and modern, have been popular choices. If you want lots of bright light over the food prep area, skip the light shades and go for the unobstructed glass pendants. And to really go all out and brighten larger kitchen islands, double up with two pendants.

Photo courtesy No Vacancy Home Staging Inc.
Photo courtesy No Vacancy Home Staging Inc.

4. Maximalist & Minimalist Shelving

Hiding kitchenware behind closed-door cupboards and cabinets is no longer the trend. The kitchen has truly become a place to get away from our digital lives and surround ourselves with personal treasures and the comforts of home. For the minimalist, keep it simple with one open shelf for displaying kitchen items, or streamline it with a sea of white dishes. If you’re going for the maximalist style, use carefully placed artwork, decorative ceramics, cookbooks, and even some greenery. Have fun with this concept: Make it seasonal or change it out every so often to achieve your own “shelfie” pics to share on Instagram!

Photo courtesy No Vacancy Home Staging Inc.

Kitchens in general are becoming more spacious as the union of cooking, dining, and relaxing are rolled into one glorious, light-filled space.

About the Author:

Professional Atlanta home stager and known as a pioneer of "virtual staging," Krisztina Bell provides her clients with more than 15 years of experience in the real estate marketing and the home staging industry. She has founded two Atlanta-based companies, No Vacancy Inc. and Virtually Staging Properties Inc. Bell has been recognized as a Who's Who in Atlanta Real Estate and one of the Top 75 Most Influential People in Real Estate Staging.


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