The days of everything beige and gray are so over. If you want your listing to grab buyers’ attention, carefully add pops of color to showcase the home more dynamically. But don’t go crazy—too much of a good thing can be a turn-off.
After staging hundreds of homes, I’ve learned that a nice balance of bold colors and neutrals can be a winning formula when readying a home for the market. Here are a few tips to pull off the look.
1. Accent a neutral room with pops of color that complement the exterior environment of the home. This means incorporating the colors you see through the windows, like in the sky, grass, or any water features.
2. When the seller can’t neutralize every room, roll with it and make color your friend. If there are some rooms the seller can’t repaint, select the high-impact rooms that can be repainted and neutralize them with a white, cream, or light gray. Have some fun with the colored rooms. Name them when you show the property, and try to use the color in an on-trend way. All colors can be neutralized with white and light furniture, rugs, and lampshades. The listing agent called the bathroom pictured below “the lilac spa.”
3. Accessories are everything. Sprinkle in vivid pillows, throws, table runners, old books covered in wrapping paper, bold art, headboard panels, and planters to add just the right pop of color and character to any room.
4. Flowers—real or faux, inside or out—add an upscale, polished look to any space. This small color detail can be a game-changer for listing photos and sparsely staged rooms. Mix up the colors; don’t make everything matchy-matchy. Diversity will make the room more memorable.
To help make color work in any situation, here are two basic color guidelines I always follow:
- When you introduce an accent color, try to repeat it—or a shade of it—two or three times in the space.
- Think about the entirety of a home as an ensemble outfit in which everything complements each other. The coat goes well with the dress and handbag. This does not mean it has to match exactly, but ensure there is a visual sense of color harmony.
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