Design trends come and go, and if you are staging your home to sell, you want to be on the cutting edge of what is current. Potential buyers are looking online, and in person at hundreds of houses and thousands of photos, trying to find the “perfect” house for them. You want your home to stand out in the crowd. One of the least expensive ways to do that is a fresh coat of paint. There is a psychology behind color, and since buying a home is as much of an emotional decision as it is an economical one, you want to choose wisely.
When choosing a paint color for your home, you want to consider both trends, and the room you are painting. What are
you trying to draw attention to? What style is your home? Who is your potential buyer? While Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra- Violet, I don’t recommend going that bold with wall color. Other’s may recommend staying neutral and going with a safe version of white. While that may seem a good
“Greige” is all the Rage
For several years now, grey has been the “it” color. Neutral and chic, it captures attention by simply being a great background for furnishings, accessories and art to stand out against. But, grey can tend to be cold and more contemporary color. Greige is combining the chic of grey by warming it up with a bit of taupe, making it what I like to call a “warm grey”. Greige is a great color for many homes, because while it is updated in hue, it pairs very nicely with both transitional and traditional home styles. If your floors are a golden brown tone, or your kitchen cabinets are a rich brown, greige has enough earth tones to complement them. If you have white cabinets, it warms the room and unlike a grey, keeps it from being too stark.
It works well as a staging color because it pairs well with complementary neutrals as well as existing pieces you may have in the blues, greens and other bold colors.
Sherwin Williams Keystone Grey SW7504 and Modern Gray SW7632 are two of my favorites. For lighter hues, SW7516 Kestrel White & Mega Greige are favorites of many designers and stagers.
Zillow recently came out with a color analysis, looking at what colors sold a house for more or less money. Surprisingly, after looking at more than 32,000 photos from sold homes around the country, they determined that homes with blue bathrooms sold for $5,400 more. While hues of blue fluctuated from spa blue to periwinkle, the highest sales premium of all colors went to blue. Runners up were other natural tones like oatmeal and grey.
My favorite spot on the planet is Lake Tahoe, and it’s myriad of rich blue hues can be used very successfully in bathrooms, offices and bedrooms. The psychology of color supports this phenomenon. Light blue suggests serenity & peace, so is a good choice for bathrooms & bedrooms. Dark blue is associated with intelligence and clarity and enhances productivity, so is a great color for offices. Just keep it out of the kitchen, it is known to be perceived as unappetizing.
For an accent wall in an office, Sherwin Williams SW6244 is a bold choice. It pairs well with furniture and accessories in white and natural tones while creating a dramatic background as well as visual depth (a great choice for a small room). While Sherwin Williams Color of the Year is Oceanside SW6496, I prefer a softer tone, Deep Sea Dive SW7618. Stormy Sky 1616 by Benjamin Moore or Stunning 826.
Serene tones of turquoise and sky blue, Benjamin Moore has Woodland Blue and Gossamer Blue. I like the chalky tone of Sherwin Williams Breezy SW7616 and the grey green tone of Silvermist SW7621.
White the Wrong Way
Somewhere along the way, people were told that if you want to create a neutral palette, then simply go with white. But “contractor white” is a utilitarian color – a temporary solution until the space’s occupant can select an appropriate palette. When staging a home, we don’t want it to be utilitarian, we want it to be welcoming. Contrary to the images we see in magazines and Pinterest, decorating a space in dazzling white can come across as cold, stark and empty if not done well. An entire house painted white needs to have visual interest to break up the monotony. It can be too harsh on the eyes, as well as being very challenging to photograph because of the reflective nature of pure white. It can also tend to look dirty or grey when placed in a room that is not light & bright.
To use white the “right way” when staging, make sure to choose a warm hue. Keep in mind that white has several undertones of color, it can be tinted green, pink, grey or yellow. Depending on the lighting and what it is reflecting, that will become more prominent. For example, a house sitting on the 3rd green or next to the lake will tend to reflect more blues and greens. For a neutral palette that is easy to work with, look for more natural cream, ivory and oatmeal tones. Remember when choosing colors, hold the entire paint chip up, and the darkest color (on the bottom) will show you what base color it derives from.
Look at your white washed room as a painters palette, and be sure to add texture and color in your furnishings, artwork and accessories. When staging, neutral is not “nothing”.
When using white as a trim, you can go brighter, but don’t overlook the undertone tint here either. If your wall color is sandy or earthy, then choose a creamy trim color. If your walls are bold and bright, you may want a cooler choice of white.
Some favorite whites: Sherwin Williams Bungalow Beige SW7511 and Canvas Tan SW7531, Reserve White SW7056 Visit Sherwin Williams for more tools to help you decide.