Published on November 21, 2019

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open-concept layouts has coincided with the fall of formal dining rooms, which have earned the reputation as archaic, outdated, and not worth keeping around—right? Well, while this old-fashioned floor plan might not be conducive to the modern-day entertainer who wants to converse with guests while they cook, it’s actually a major plus for homeowners who are in the market to sell. 

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, a new study from Zillow finds. The share of listings that mention a formal dining space has dropped slightly (0.2 percent) in the past five years, and the price difference between the two types of blueprints has been cut in half, but the former still prevails for now. 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. 

Put down the sledgehammer and pick up the paintbrush. 

See more stories like this: 
This Kitchen Upgrade Increases the Value of Your Home
6 Easy Kitchen Upgrades That Don’t Require Ripping Out Your Cabinets
This Rental Kitchen Reno Took Just 3 Weeks to Pull Off