Plus three other features that could help you earn more from the sale of your home.

By Marisa Spyker
May 29, 2019
Photo: Laurey Glenn; Stylist: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

When it comes to trends, you might consider yourself a rebel, never succumbing to fast fashion or design fads that may or may not be in vogue in 10 years’ time. And, generally, that’s a good thing.

On the rare occasion, however, it can pay—literally—to be a bit of a follower. And, if you’re thinking of selling your home, this is one of those times.

Thankfully, the trend in question has nothing to do with Millennial Pink or avocado appliances, but is a rather crowd-pleasing (and practical) addition to any cooking space. According to a recent report by Zillow, if you want your home to sell faster and for a premium, you might want to consider knocking out those clunky upper cabinets in favor of easy, breezy open shelving.

Photo by Max Kim-Bee; Styling by Lindsey Ellis Beatty

In their 2019 Home Features That Sell analysis, the real estate marketplace found homes that advertise the Fixer Upper fave earned a 10 percent price boost and were snatched up 11 days quicker than comparable homes without the addition. (In fact, homes that mention open shelving sold quicker than homes that shared any other home feature, including farmhouse sinks.)

Related: 7 Kitchen Trends That Can Raise the Value of Your Home: 

With kitchens trending toward more open layouts and people on quests to KonMari their lives, it’s understandable that buyers might be attracted to simpler, airier spaces. And the ubiquitous open shelving certainly delivers. From an aesthetics standpoint, floating shelves take away the heaviness that cabinetry can bring and present an opportunity for an eye-popping backsplash to really shine. They also encourage you to stay organized, as dishes that would’ve otherwise been tucked away are now displayed front and center as part of the décor.

Photo by J. Savage Gibson; Styling by Liz Strong

But Charleston-based designer Jenny Keenan, who installed open shelving in our 2018 Habersham, South Carolina, Idea House, also finds open shelving to be practical. “The key is using it for things you grab every day,” she says. If you live by the beach, where house guests are a given, open shelving is especially smart, as it makes it easier for friends and family to easily locate what they need and help themselves in the kitchen.

If open shelving isn’t your thing, however, there are other potentially beneficial kitchen features that Zillow flagged in the report. The ever-popular subway tile is one of them, the mentioning of which in a listing could result in a home selling 10 days quicker than expected. If more cash is your goal, a steam oven is your best bet: The premium feature is a shared trait among homes that sell for 34 percent more than expected.

And if you like your kitchen just the way it is, here’s an idea (perhaps the best one yet, in our opinion): Build a second one outdoors. According to Zillow, it just might fetch an extra 25 percent for your home.