Lydia Geisel

Published on December 19, 2020

The rise of open-concept layouts has coincided with the fall of formal dining rooms, which have earned the reputation as archaic, outdated, and not worth keeping around—right? This year, with more and more folks favoring separate rooms to maintain their sanity in quarantine, having a separate room for mealtimes is a good thing. And as it turns out, it’s also a major plus for homeowners who are in the market to sell. 

While the share of listings that mention open-floor concepts has gone up across the board, among the 35 most-populated metro areas, homes for sale with separate dining rooms are more expensive (and more common!) than houses with free-flowing layouts in 2020, Zillow shares with us. Since 2018, the number of listings mentioning formal dining rooms has risen slightly, so if you’re planning to move and thinking of making updates for resale benefits, you might want to reconsider knocking down any walls. Your kitchen can look just as light and bright with these three low-effort upgrades.

Paint the Cabinets

A fresh coat is sometimes all it takes for a room to feel good as new. Don’t relegate your palette to whites: The right shade of green (designers swear by Pewter by Sherwin-Williams and Moth’s Wing by Behr, among others) can read just as sleek. 

Swap Out the Hardware

Whether you go with something matte (like leather) or shiny (think: chrome or brass), fresh knobs and pulls are a little change with a big impact. 

Rethink the Sink

Keeping the existing walls isn’t the only way you can potentially pocket some extra cash. Houses with farmhouse sinks sell for an average 26 percent more than those without, according to a report released earlier this year. 

Our Winter Renovation issue is here! Subscribe now to step inside Leanne Ford’s latest project—her own historic Pennsylvania home. Plus discover our new rules of reno.

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