The Little Kitchen that Could (and Did!) with Home Staging

We’re always about inspiration, and this little kitchen project with a big impact is sure to inspire. This home staging project could also give you ideas for a redesign if you aren’t moving. The spoiler…the house sold for FULL LISTING PRICE the day before it was to formally go on the market! That’s a win for us as the stagers, and for the whole team who worked on it, including the contractors, the homeowner, and the agent.

Here’s the kitchen before:

kitchen redesign before

And without further ado….

Kitchen Redesigned Staged Sold

Same footprint. Same cabinets. New paint, New appliances. New flooring. And my favorite, “new” counters from EZ Faux Decor,  which just took a few hours to DIY. Wait…what????

I’ve gushed over these great faux granite and marble and stainless films before. They are perfect for a high-impact, durable, semi-permanent project like this. Here’s a close-up of what the counters looked like before:

faux granite counter going over laminate counter

Older laminate is almost always damaged, but it can still be a strong base for a new look. Those are burn marks on the old laminate. The new faux marble film is peeking in from the left, before it was installed.

damaged laminate improved with EZ Faux Decor


ez faux decor faux granite going over laminate



faux granite and faux marble after

That shine gets me every time! See that bright spot right in the middle of the counter? That’s how shiny the film is. And it stays that way! This is the Turkish cream faux marble, chosen to compliment the existing back splash, which we did not change. It looks like this isn’t available any longer, but the Instant Riviera and other colors of faux granite are available here. And you can get them all with a 10% discount if you use the code HW10 at checkout.

There were a bunch of other high-impact, low-cost changes that went into making this average kitchen into a showplace that buyers were willing to pay top dollar for, but hopefully I’ve done my job today and inspired you to re-look at some space in your home. Do you have questions for me?

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Kitchen redesigned staged sold with faux marble faux granite









This Post Has 35 Comments

  1. Erin Anne Van Yahres

    Nice job Darla and Team!

    1. Darla

      Right here! Thanks for asking. When you are choosing your battles on a big transformation like this, I’m never going to recommend ripping out counters or tile backsplash, because that can lead to other problems and really ring up your tab. Instead, we steam cleaned all the tile first, and then went back and painted over the grout with a color that matched the tile. There is a specific product just for doing this that you can get at any home store. By using a grout color that is the same as the tile, it lowers the visual contrast, and takes the focus off the tile. The product is called Grout Renew from PolyBlend. Here’s an Amazon link if you can’t find it near you.

      True story, we bought 3 bottles of different beige colors to see which one would work best. But even at about $12 per bottle, it was still waaaaaaay cheaper than replacing the tile!

  2. Linda Simmons

    Hi Darla. Love the makeover. How did you do the faux granite on the front edges of the counter? Do they make a roll that size or did you have to cut it?

    1. Darla

      The roll of film is wider than 24 inches, so you cut it to your particular application. I’ll tell you my secret…Cut it two inches longer than the depth of the counter plus height. That way it will wrap all the way under the laminate, and you can staple it under, or nail it with brads.

      1. Vicki Drew

        How did you do the corners?

  3. Sarah

    What did you do to the floors? Were they vinyl? I am trying to sell my late parents’ home, but don’t want to do a ton of work to it (or spend a lot of money). I’ve been trying to convince my siblings that a little oomph in the dated kitchen is worth the effort…which type of paint/stain did you use for the cabinets? Did you have to sand or clean a lot to get the paint to stick properly? The results are impressive! Thanks!

    1. Darla

      Yes, we put down new sheet vinyl. It’s an economical flooring choice. Most home buyers don’t see potential. They only see the work involved. So make their job easy and present them with a model home. If you wouldn’t live there without repairs or changes, that’s going to turn away buyers who feel the same as you. If you want to move in, chances are, they will, too.

  4. Sandy Reynolds

    Thanks soooo much for naming products and locations!!!!

    1. Darla

      Happy to share. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Judy Mcqueen

    How did you manage to not get paint on the hinges without removing them?

    1. Darla

      Very carefully! Seriously, not as hard as it looks. Keep a damp towel on hand as you are painting to wipe off any errant smudges.

  6. Dee

    Terrific change!

    1. Darla

      Thanks for visiting. We love making transformations happen. Sometimes they are small, Sometimes more dramatic like this one. Subscribe over on the right side of the screen to see them as they happen.

  7. Annette S.

    You mention that you are a “stager”, but it seems you actually did so much more–did you do all the work yourself, or subcontract? How are your charges established? I.e., if I were looking for someone similar to take on my newly widowed mom’s house, especially kitchen and bathrooms, what would I look for? What is reasonable??

    1. Darla

      Yes, my firm does organizing, staging, and design, but we’re a bit unique in crossing all those disciplines. Who you need will depend on your own skills. If you need help figuring out floor plans, colors, and purchasing decisions, you can go to either or and search by zip code. Look at the profiles for professionals. Not all the professionals listed will be able to help you with a big project like this, but some will. Once you have the decisions about design and what you are going to be investing in, you will probably need a contractor. Talk with your neighbors and look for lawn signs to get names of companies who can do the physical work according to your designs. If you can’t find a designer in your area, please contact me. We do virtual design work via phone, computer, and video conference as well.

  8. Charlene R. Murphy

    I need some updates for old cabinets I used to UPDATE my kitchen. Not so smart. But your info on the paints (for the kitchen) and a bathroom that needs tile grout update is the BEST! I have already ordered some things you recommended! Thanks a million!

    1. Darla

      That’s so great! Glad you found the info you needed here. Best of luck with your updates.

  9. Sharan johnson

    When you painted the kitchen cabinet what kind of roller did you use

    1. Darla

      Foam rollers work nicely for this kind of project.

  10. Arlene Kochis

    What kind of paint was used? Water-based or oil? Was it brushed, rolled or sprayed? Looks really nice!

    1. Darla

      Oil-based primer. Latex paint.

  11. Nancy Elander

    How about an easy solution for installing a backsplash? I would love to try to do it myself. Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Darla

      If you don’t already have tile, you could paint with a really high quality, easy to clean paint. Sherwin williams Emerald paint would be my recommendation.

  12. Michelle Thrun

    Hello….. unless I’m blind I missed where it says what kind of paint you used???

    1. Darla

      The bottom cabinet color is Sherwin Williams Needlepoint Navy SW0032. The top cabinets are Sherwin Williams Extra White SW7006. Always use gloss or semi-gloss for cabinets and trim. Hope that helps.

  13. Rose

    Did you have to do and sanding? Before you put on the primer? Or just prime and paint?

    1. Darla

      Thanks for stopping by. Definitely clean for the best adhesion. Every kitchen will have a thin layer of grease and grime, even a vegetarian kitchen like mine. Use TSP or Simple Green. Then prime and paint.

  14. Rose Chase

    Going to try this. Bought paint today just a couple of more questions? Did you do and sanding? Was the primer oil base or water? Also how many coats did you apply? So many questions but really want to try this and hopefully it we’ll turn out for me. So any help would be appreciated.

    1. Darla

      Hi, Rose, glad you stopped by. So happy that this project is inspiring you to take on your project! Here’s a helpful guide on painting cabinets: To answer your questions. No sanding, just clean them. One coat of oil-based primer, two coats of semi-gloss or gloss latex paint. I’d love to see a picture when it’s done. Feel free to email me!

    2. Rose Chase

      Could you send me any information in my email please

  15. Rose Chase

    I got the paint for the cupboards the blue paint Sherwood Williams that number it looks gray instead of blue like maybe a dark blue was wondering if you put anything over it to make yours look lighter

    1. Darla

      Hi, Rose, colors look different in every space because of natural lighting, artificial lighting, and the colors that are in your space. We don’t put anything on our paints. If you need color advice for your specific project, you can find a color professional near you for customized advice. If you are in the Philly area, you can hire us.

  16. Rose Chase

    Thank you no not in philly area. I just try a sample and see how it looks. Thank you for all your advice.!

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