5 Finishes and Fixtures Tips for Killer Kitchens

Briar Drive Flip, Kitchen Design by REI Design Solutions. Investor: HAW Investments, LLC

Briar Drive Flip, Kitchen Design by REI Design Solutions. Investor: HAW Investments, LLC

What if I told you, the finishes you are putting in your kitchen could be keeping your property from selling fast?

In today’s blog I really wanted to share with you my insights and expertise in kitchen design, not only as a designer, real estate investor, and business owner- but as a mom and a wife and home buyer!

I also want to reiterate as I do every week, that the kitchen is of the utmost importance to homeowners. You don’t want to run the risk of your property sitting on the market because you failed to design the kitchen in a way that speaks to the emotion desires of a potential buyer. 

The kitchen can make or break the sale of your flip so we want to be sure you are paying close attention to these areas so you don’t end up with a FLOP.

Remember that buyers are discerning when shopping for their “dream Home” and when I say that I mean they are hoping for something with fabulous aesthetics, but they are also looking for good design. Now understand that they may not be able to articulate what “good design” is.

And they may also not understand or know what is “bad” about a design other than they know something is simply not right.

So that your rehab doesn’t have that effect on potential buyers let’s get into the 5 Tips for Designing a Killer Kitchen!

Kitchen, by functionality is the heart of the home, where Americans will spend 60% of their relaxation time! For most single family homes, this is where meals are prepared and shared, homework is done, game night is held, and memories are made! However, if “form doesn’t follow function” you are in trouble since buyers also want their surroundings to be aesthetically pleasing as well.

When you have an area that will host so much family time, it must be efficiently designed and beautiful to look at, if you’re in real estate you have probably learned or are soon to realize that beautiful kitchens SELL houses!

The Average American two parent house hold has 2.5 children and if you’re a single-family fix-and-flip investor these families are YOUR ideal buyers!! You are flipping homes specifically for them! That means you must flip and design your homes to cater to the needs of that “IBA” for that neighborhood! 

I have talked about the IBA before. That is acronym for Ideal Buyer Avatar. This is the term I used for determining what the buyer looks like, their life, family, style, entertainment choices etc.  Be thinking about WHO will be buying your flip.

Also, I am going to let you in on a not so secret, secret… When traditional families are buying homes…guess what… The WIFE is typically calling the shots!! She may not know exactly what she is looking for, but she knows what she ISN’T looking for. If she is “shopping” the MLS and that to touring multiple homes in the same neighborhood and they all look the same and have the same, bland, boring fixtures and finishes, and yours has character and appeal beyond the others, which one do you think she is going to become emotionally connected to!?

Now, what I’m not saying is to go full Pinterest, (you can actually get carried away with all those open shelves) but what I am saying is that adding unique elements to your flip can add the illusion of having a custom home that represents the buyers undiscovered style! It’s the facade you can create by adding in those elements and words such as a “designer curated home,” which is something we encourage all of our real estate investor clients to do when implementing our fixtures and finishes packages!

For potential buyers, the kitchen really is the room that can make or break the sale. An upgraded, attractive kitchen can make your home irresistible.

Ideally, your kitchen rehab should be what sells your property. But this depends on the features you choose, how much you spend on the rehab and whether your priority is to create a dream kitchen that will appeal to potential buyers…one of the biggest skills a professional designer can offer is neutral YET eye catching selections!!

As a designer who works with real estate investors AND homeowners, I want potential buyers to love the work that you put into your flips… and hopefully, make it their DREAM HOME!

So, here are the FIVE tips a Killer Kitchen for you DIY real estate investors.  

Fixtures and Finishes Tip #1

MAKE A SPLASH WITH THE BACKSPLASH: Make the overall style and color scheme simple, but not too basic? Go ahead and go neutral for countertops, cabinets, floors, and appliances. By neutral, we DO NOT mean white. Go natural and subdued instead BUT go bold on the backsplashes.

Fixtures and Finishes Tip #2

DON’T PULL ANY PUNCHES WITH YOUR KNOBS AND PULLS: Use high end “looking” hardware. And a word of caution: DO NOT leave the hardware for the homeowner to install.If you find an inexpensive but high-end looking hardware, it only adds a few $$ to the overall budget and it is so worth it.Buyers don’t want to have to do anything when they move in!

Fixtures and Finishes Tip #3

GO WITH TOP NOTCH COUNTERTOPS: There is nothing worse than the ol’ speckled granite countertop material in a $300k+ ARV property.Save that material for your rentals and put in a countertop that will wow your buyers!Use neutral colors but with some flair.The large veining of the quartz tops are all the rage right now.Here are few samples:

Fixtures and Finishes Tip #4

LIGHT UP THEIR LIFE: When selecting your fixtures, make sure that the decorative lighting makes a statement! Pendants over the island and dining chandeliers should be unique and give the kitchen / dining room some appeal and character.

Fixtures and Finishes Tip #5

ADD SOME “WOW” FEATURES:  Convenience items impress home buyers. Go for extra drawers & hardware, add glass doors to a set of uppers, pick an eye-catching accessory or even a pull-out pantry! Lighting, such as under-cabinet fixtures, will add ambiance and show off materials in the kitchen.

 Fixtures and Finishes Tip #6

HIRE A PROFESSIONAL FOR THE WIN: And for the bonus tip #6----------------> consult a real estate design professional like REI Design Solutions!!

We have over 20 years of design and construction experience and can help you put the PERFECT finishing touches on your projects! Speaking of….I finally decided on the LAUNCH date and it's official. We are rolling the online DIGITAL FINISH PACKAGES in APRIL 2019!!! Get on the waiting list today to be notified when they go live.  

And if you’d like to grab the FREEBIE I created for this blog post with images of various finish and fixture ideas and the links where to get them, grab that HERE and you can listen HERE to my Facebook Live Episode where I discuss these tips as well!

The following resources will help you with many of the things we have talked about here .  Let us know if you have any questions!


▸ Flipping Solutions for Real Estate investors Facebook group…join us there today!


 ▸ REI Design Finishes Spreadsheet Template


 ▸ REI Design Rehab Toolbox Checklist


 ▸ Follow REI Design Solutions on Facebook


 ▸ Follow What the FLIP Live to watch our weekly Live show


Christine HeartsillComment