Which Wall Colors Are Best for Selling Your Home?

Use Paint Colors in the Home, But Choose Them WiselyCan neutrals be too much of a good thing when selling a home? Despite a common perception that buyers appreciate a blank slate when looking at property, a dose of well-chosen color on some walls might be a welcome breath of fresh air. The trick is to know when to forego bland and boring for something more modern and appealing.

Study a Color Chart

Designers classify color schemes in several ways.

  • Complementary schemes utilize colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel: Blue and gold, red and green or purple and bright yellow.
  • Analogous schemes employ colors that are adjacent on the color wheel. They are the most common in nature and usually are harmonious as a basis for home decor.
  • Triad color schemes pick up tones that are evenly spaced around the color wheel. Typically, a single color dominates; one is used as a secondary tone, and the third is liberally employed as an accent.

Professionals use variations of these three basic color schemes with wonderful results. Know the difference between warm and cool colors: warm up a north-facing room with sunny yellow, or "cool" a living room with southern exposure with mint-toned, off-white walls. Try to be subtle rather than daring when selecting wall colors.

Create soothing bedroom spaces. Grey and taupe are trending right now and adapt well to linens and accessories in earthy tones or fresh blues and greens. Remember, bedrooms should be relaxed, quiet spaces, so save the brighter, more-saturated colors for other rooms in your home.

Plan a Whole-House Color Scheme

Rather than picking a different color to paint each room, view the entire home as a single canvas. Here are some functional ideas, inspired by top interior designers and home stagers:

  • Paint a single wall in the entry a deep or dramatic shade—chocolate brown, brassy gold or bright navy, as an example; hang a colorful painting that you love, and make certain that the lighting showcases the art.
  • Pick a single color from the painting or a lighter shade of the accent wall color (café au lait, pale yellow or sky blue, for instance) for rooms that open off the entry hall.
  • Coordinate drapes or blinds with wall colors, but add some texture or pattern, and select flooring, furniture, art and accessories that will coordinate with the walls.

There are no "bad" colors, but try to master the art of using color wisely. Real estate agents and home stagers can be good resources, but you don't have to repaint with gallons of beige or pure white.

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