7 Things Houseguests Usually Notice About Your Kitchen


Expecting guests? Make sure you’ve got these spots covered before their arrival!Whether you like it or not, your home will be, at some point, under the scrutiny of family and friends. One of the places people usually end up in, one way or another, is the kitchen. They either want to get something to drink, grab a quick snack or just keep you company while you’re preparing the food. Whatever the reason, the kitchen is not only a room where you cook, it’s also the center of the house.

That being said, you don’t want guests coming into your kitchen and instantly get a bad impression of it. To know what spots to focus on, read on to see what interior design specialists had to say about the things that draw most of the attention when people first enter the kitchen.

Ready to learn how to make a good impression?

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Where they can socialize with others

Apart from its functional purpose, the kitchen is also a hub where people get together around the table, refilling their glasses while catching up with the latest gossip. It’s where the action takes place, with a different vibe than that in the dining room, where the main activity takes place.

However, if people enter the kitchen only to get out a few seconds after, that’s because something made them feel unwelcomed. According to Yasmine El Sanyoura, home designer at the real estate website Opendoor, “depending on your kitchen, set up a drink station by the countertop edge, a small charcuterie board on the island or peninsula, or some chip bowls on a nearby table” to allow guests to enjoy a short but enjoyable break.

The smell

Smell is often used in marketing and sales as a way to entice people; whether we’re talking about attracting shoppers to certain products, such as fresh bakery in the case of retail stores, or to make a house put up for sale seem more welcoming, it’s a strategy that really works.

So why not use this trick on your guests too? Nothing spells inviting and cozy than the smell of freshly baked bread or cookies, or your signature dish. Guests will have an idea what your kitchen looks like or feels like way before opening its door, explains Lily Will, founder and CEO at Ever Wallpaper.

Just make sure there aren’t too many smells coming from the kitchen, (from food, cleaning products etc.) as it can be overwhelming and disturbing for some of the guests. What you want is to create a welcoming atmosphere, one that doesn’t make people run for the hills.

Read also: 8 Hidden Home Odor Problems and How to Address Them

The sink

It’s normal in kitchens where there’s a lot of cooking to have dirty dishes. However, you don’t want your guests to see piles of uncleaned dishes in the sink or on the counter top, even if you’ve just eaten. It makes the entire kitchen look dirty and disorganized.

Best thing you can do is empty the sink before anyone arrives or put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher as soon as you pick them up from the table. “For a quick fix, you can consider using an over-the-sink cutting board to cover the mess,” recommends interior designer Lisa Jane.

The floors

Given that the kitchen is where the cooking takes place, it’s only natural that the floors are not in their best of shapes, compared to those in other rooms. Food spilling and other stains, maybe from pets eating their foods there, all these can take a toll on the poor floor.

Guests can also contribute to making the floor even dirtier by walking inside with their shoes on. To make sure your kitchen floors are not a reason for guests to get a bad impression of your kitchen and consequently home, “be sure to keep floors clean on an ongoing basis” says El Sanyoura. She recommends a combination between dry cleaning for dust, crumbs, pet hair and the like and wet cleaning to maintain floors squeaky clean and shiny.

You might also be interested in this article: 6 Simple Kitchen Design Mistakes That Are Costing You Money

The clutter

Your kitchen countertops might seem just fine to you, even if they are packed with cereal boxes, vitamins, condiment jars, children’s drawings and whatnot. But to guests, all those things spread across the kitchen might spell chaos and disarray.

Messiness and uncleanliness can say a lot about one’s personality and even mental health. You don’t want guests to think of you as a disorganized and unreliable person. “Clutter takes up physical space, drains mental energy, and can cause stress and anxiety, so take a few minutes to declutter your kitchen before your guests arrive,” suggests Christina Giaquinto, professional organizer and brand ambassador of Modular Closets.

Photo by Romix Image on Shutterstock

The tidiness

Similarly, if your kitchen is dirty, there are grease spots and the like everywhere, do you think it will really matter to guests that the food smells delicious? Trust me, no one wants to eat something prepared in a dirty environment.

According to El Sanyoura, a clean and tidy kitchen doesn’t include just cleaning the floors and counters. You should also pay attention to areas which can become thriving bacteria environments, such as sinks and cleaning utensils, as well as high-touch areas such as door knobs, light switches, cabinet fronts etc. All these surfaces have to be cleaned and sanitized properly to make sure your kitchen is not only a welcoming environment but also a sanitary one.

“Taking some time to wipe [them] down will go a long way for first impressions,” says El Sanyoura.

Check also: 9 Kitchen Wall Color Ideas Recommended by Designers

The grimy refrigerator

The refrigerator is a key element in the kitchen. It stores all the food that guests are about to eat, so it’s only natural for them to pay extra attention, willingly or not, to this particular appliance. If there’s grime or it smells like someone died in there, you can be sure that no one will be able to enjoy the food you’re preparing or stored in the fridge.

To avoid unwanted reactions from your guests, make sure you clean your fridge on a regular basis and use baking soda to get rid of nasty odors.

On that same note, check out this article as well: Expecting Guests? Here’s What They Usually Notice in a Dirty Home