Maya Vander reveals the most important room to remodel if you're on a budget

Selling Sunset’s Maya Vander advises you to start here if you're planning to remodel your entire home, on a budget

Maya Vander's real estate team
(Image credit: Aisha Ali)

If you're in the world of home renovation then you'll be fully aware that it's a little... Addictive. And despite a rise in house prices and renovation costs generally, people's taste for house flipping and reno projects really isn't going away any time soon. Whether you're renovating your forever home or planning to sell and make a profit, knowing which are the most important rooms in a house to focus on can be key to success.

In an exclusive interview with Real Homes, luxury real-estate agent, and an Oppenheim Group original of Netflix's Selling Sunset, Maya Vander shares her knowledge on which rooms are the most impactful when it comes to staging and giving potential buyers a great first impression.

Maya Vander

(Image credit: Lindy Lin)

After all, even if you have a lot of cash to play around with, you still need to manage your budget accordingly for a successful project.

Which room is most impactful when showing potential buyers?

The kitchen is often argued as the heart of the home, and Vander says it's worth perfecting this space as a priority, especially if you plan to redo your entire house, but don't necessarily have the budget to do it all in one go.

'I think generally speaking kitchens are very important in a house, especially if the kitchen is open, because you do a lot of entertaining there. Start there if you want to remodel your house and you need to do everything and you don’t have the budget.'

navy shaker kitchen with pale pink island and wooden bar stools

(Image credit: Olive & Barr)

So if you're renovating your entire home, consider putting your efforts into a kitchen remodel to start with, followed closely by the bathroom: 'I would start with the kitchen, then bathroom.' Says Vander.

'I think kitchens are important and, of course, bathrooms.' Bathroom renovations require a fairly big budget, depending on your plans and taste, but they usually deliver a good ROI, and there are different ways to save on bathroom remodel costs also. 

'Bathrooms are very important if you do a remodel, I would say those two.'

Nicola Simpson has created a calm, Scandi-inspired sanctuary in the roof of the house she shares with her friends

(Image credit: Future© Chris Snook)

Other important rooms to stage

Last but nonetheless important rooms, living rooms should not be forgotten, especially when it comes to staging. 'The living rooms are definitely important.' Vander adds that you want to keep a good vibe in the living room at all costs.

'Living room, or family room; in the US you have a family area, you have a living area and one area you never use.' Maya adds that it's important to ensure the most used 'lived in' spaces in your home feel cozy and convivial so not necessarily the 'formal living room' should you have the luxury of more than one. 'I grew up in Europe where there isn’t such a thing, there is just one room.' 

Known and admired for her immaculate taste in interiors, not to mention her ability to close a deal on some of LA’s most glamorous properties, Vander has staged more homes than most of us and her expertise is so high in demand that she has recently launched her own educational course on becoming a Real Estate agent, 'I want people to follow their dream, but it's not as easy as we think, or as we see on Selling Sunset.' So there is every reason to follow Vander's advice when it comes to prioritizing rooms to remodel and decorate.

Camille Dubuis-Welch
Former Deputy Editor

I'm Cam, the former deputy editor of Real Homes who worked on the site from 2020 to 2023. As a renter myself, sharing a home with two friends (and my cat) in London, I know all too well the challenges that this can pose when it comes to creating your perfect setup. As someone who has always loved everything interior design-related, I cannot rest until a home feels right and I am really passionate about helping others get there too, no matter what their living situation, style, or budget may be. It’s not always the easiest to figure out, but the journey is fun and the results are so worth it.

After interior design, travel, art, and photography are my next big passions. When I’m not writing or editing homes content, I’m usually tapping into other creative outlets, exploring galleries in London or further afield, taking photos, scribbling, or drawing!