How to create a home color scheme that captivates buyers

The average buyer tours 10 homes before they make a decision. So, what can your seller do to make sure their home stands out?

According to Houzz editor Gwendolyn Purdom and PPG and Glidden color marketing managers, Dee Schlotter and Misty Yeomans, a carefully crafted color scheme can captivate buyers and help them see your space as their new home.

Warm neutrals are always a safe bet. (Photo by Daniil Silantev on Unsplash)

Warm neutrals will always be in vogue: Purdom says grays, whites and beiges will always be a safe bet for homeowners looking to put their property on the market.

“Data from the 2017 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study and 2018 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study tells us shades of gray are still the top choice of colors for both rooms, with 35 percent and 27 percent of respondents, respectively, telling us they chose to use it on the walls in their bathrooms and kitchen” she said in an emailed statement to Inman.

Yeomans agrees, echoing Purdom’s sentiments while also saying that white will always be popular amongst buyers.

“Whites are the most selected color family and are a great choice for a private space in the home, like a bathroom,” Yeomans told Inman. “It’s often a popular choice for consumers, as it creates a bright, fresh and airy space.” 

Blue hues have a calming effect. (Photo by Raphael Schaller on Unsplash)

Use color theory to your benefit: Schlotter says homeowners can use color theory to help them create a scheme that invigorates buyers.

“Color has the ability to not only identify with our collective moods but also our energy levels, design preferences, lifestyle choices, where we’ve been and even where we’re going in life,” she said. 

“Yellows, which are the brightest and most energizing of warm colors, are optimistic hues that exude happiness and are associated with the sun’s bright rays,” Schlotter added. “Additionally, while bright hues exude positivity, muted colors can also be associated with a tranquil, serene environment.” 

Beyond thinking about the mood a color evokes, Purdom says homeowners should think about the literal effect that warm and cool tones have on a space.

“Pros on Houzz say that those from the warmer side of the color wheel generally tend to advance in a space, whereas cooler tones tend to recede,” she said.

Use color to highlight special features in the home: Instead of using bold colors everywhere, Purdom and Schlotter say homeowners should strategically use them to draw attention to special features, such as a stunning archway, ornate crown molding, or an original fireplace.

“Don’t be afraid to work with a deeper neutral – the contrast will highlight a light trim color showing off windows and other details of a space, such as artwork,” Schlotter said. “Deeper colors convey character and appear purposeful on a wall.”

“Transitional spaces, such as hallways, provide a great place to experiment,” she added. Painting the end of a hallway a standout, happy color such as a bright green, draws attention away from the “tunnel” to evoke a destination.” 

“Another tip homeowners can use to make their home stand out is to paint their ceiling anything but white,” Schlotter added. “You can use the same color on the walls for the ceiling, but choose a color that is one to two shades lighter, or use a coordinating color that ties in with your fabrics.” 

Purdom added, “If you want to create a focal point, having too many other competing colors in the space can be distracting. Conversely, our brains will tune out if there’s not enough color to stimulate them.”

Photo credit: PPG Paints

Create curb appeal with natural tones: Yeomans says homeowners should choose exterior hues that complement the property’s architecture and landscaping.

“The exterior element that is most influenced by its surroundings, architectural style, and individual personality, is the front door. Deep, rich colors are trending for exteriors,” she said. “Gen Z’s favorite is yellow which is a great way to make a statement. The dual impact of the colors will give the doorway a welcoming feeling and will add to the home’s curb appeal.” 

Email Marian McPherson.

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