Do you really have to use neutral colors to sell your house?

The Power of Color

The first step in applying color theory to your home is to understand what you want each room to say. Is a bedroom used for rest and relaxation for the adults in the home, or is it a bright, happy playroom for the children? Is the kitchen a family gathering place, or is it an area where high-tech styling makes meal preparation fast and efficient? Asking questions like these will help you define moods for your rooms. Compare these moods to the emotions evoked by different colors, and you'll quickly create a list of general hues that are most appropriate for each room of your house. Narrow your color search further by looking at the paint colors in the middle or lighter ends of these ranges, since this will help you avoid painting too much wall space with a too-bold color [source: Better Homes and Gardens].

Now comes the fun part: designing your rooms with color and furnishings to capture the moods you've identified. There are countless factors that play into making each room right, including the furniture and decorative items, the flooring, the quality of light through the windows and your desire (and budget) to change these. In general, you can often create stunning effects by choosing one or two items to showcase with bold color, offset by neutral complementary colors in the rest of the walls and furnishings [source: Furniture & Design Ideas].

It helps to keep a sense of restraint when choosing color and design layouts; a bold color can quickly become overwhelming if used too much, and too many complementary colors in one room can make even sparse furnishings look busy and cluttered. Try to limit each room's color palette to no more than three colors: a bold accent, a middle-tone that can be used to frame the accent and a more neutral color for the background, like the walls [source: Furniture & Design Ideas]. This will ensure that, while you will be able to break free of the all-beige, neutral-color blahs, you will still have a home that has a good chance of selling without major changes.

For more information on choosing colors, check out the links below.

Related Articles


  • Better Homes and Gardens. "What's the Magic Color for Selling Your House?" (Feb. 19, 2011)
  • Demesne. "Choosing Interior Color." 2010. (Feb. 20, 2011)
  • Furniture & Design Ideas. "Interior Paint Colors." July 25, 2009. (Feb. 20, 2011)
  • Gillette, J. Michael. "Theatrical Design and Production." Third Edition. Mayfield Publishing Company. 1987.
  • Kenderdine, Anne. "Neutral paint colors help homes sell faster." May 20, 2009. (Feb. 12, 2011)

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