I recently had a stager in to help me get my house ready to sell. My kitchen is older and a bit dated. One of the things that she suggested was replacing the doorhandles and doorknobs on the cabinets. I looked into it, and it is expensive! I have about 40 doors in my kitchen, and the handles that she suggested were about $5 EACH! What would you suggest?
I think that your stager is absolutely correct in asking you to change out your door handles. Shy of replacing or re-facing cabinets and re-doing the countertops, sink and applinaces, this is a very reasonable way to make your kitchen look less dated and more streamlined.
I've included phtots of a kitchen that I recently staged. Notice how the first set of handles look dated and chunky. The new handles are streamlined, clean, and match the rest of the hardware in the kitchen, including an oiled bronze ceiling fixture. When you choose new hardware, try to match what already exists in the kitchen. If the kitchen tap is brushed nickel, go for brushed nickel. If it is shiny chrome, go for shiny chrome. You get the idea!
Additionally, you can most likely get good looking, simple handles and knobs for much less money. Try mass retailers (Home Depot, Target, Walmart) or go online. I've seen decent looking handles for less that $1 each. And make sure that you bring one of the handles with you when you go shopping. You need to insure that the spread (the distance between the two ends that screw into your cabinets) is correct!