If you’re planning to stage your home before selling it, by now you’ve likely heard the advice, “stage your home in neutral colors.” The common belief is that painting and staging your home in a neutral palette helps your house appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers. By avoiding color, you avoid pigeonholing your home into a specific style that only appeals to a select group of people.

Supposedly, neutral colors allow potential buyers to more easily imagine the house as their own and visualize how they’d personalize the space after buying. In addition, color theory suggests neutrals associate with positive emotions that might subconsciously influence buying decisions. For example, browns evoke stability and comfort, while black, when used sparingly, evokes safety and sophistication.

And while all this may be true, that doesn’t mean you can’t use color while staging your home. In fact, a home that’s staged entirely in neutrals can come off as cold, impersonal, and uninviting. The key is to use color wisely and with purpose. As real estate agent Christie Cannon puts it, “You don’t want it too spicy, and you don’t want it too bland.”

While staging your home with color, keep these tips in mind.

Know Which Colors to Avoid

When choosing a color palette, keep your choice of colors as gender-neutral as possible. Pink and purple, while fantastic colors when used correctly in interior design, are often perceived as too feminine to appeal to the general buyer.

In addition, avoid colors that stand out too much. You want your use of color to complement the house’s assets, not distract from them. Stay away from bright, overwhelming shades like red or orange. Even on the opposite side of the spectrum, a pastel color palette that’s too soft can be equally distracting.

Keep Color Off the Walls

Neutrals may be the best choice for the walls when staging your home; however, not all neutrals are created equal. Trends change from year to year. While white was overwhelmingly popular a few years ago, grays and greiges (gray and beige) are trending now.

With that said, it’s best to relegate those bright pops of color to the more “temporary elements” of your home staging. Use the 60/30/10 rule to guide you:

  • 60% of the room should be your dominant color—likely your neutral wall color
  • 30% of the room should be your secondary color—for your furniture, choose something relatively neutral but complementary to your dominant color’s undertones
  • 10% of the room should be your accent color—use this on those “temporary elements,” like paintings, lamps, pillows, rugs, or vases

Reduce Color Clutter

Reducing clutter of any kind is especially important when staging your home. When something doesn’t match your chosen color palette, it’ll be immediately obvious—and distracting—to potential buyers. The bright green clock might be your favorite part of your kitchen, but if you’re going with a gray, white, and blue color palette, it’s best to pack it away for the showing. Reducing color clutter also helps guide the eye more easily through the room, creating a comfortable, natural feeling throughout the house.

How you stage your home can have a big impact on your selling success. If you’re looking for expert advice, look no further than Minnesota Home Interiors. Schedule a paint color consultation for help finding the right shade for your home, or learn more about our home staging services.