Art & Design

Color Story: What Your Walls Are Telling Prospective Buyers

feng shui colors

Excellent curb appeal may get people through the door, but a home’s interiors have just as much power when it comes to attracting potential buyers. Since wall color sets the tone for each room, your interior palette is one of the main factors to focus on when preparing your home for sale. 

According to one 2018 study, certain paint colors can positively or negatively affect your home’s sale price. Analysis found that homes with a black or charcoal-gray front door sell for $6,271 more, on average. The study also found that periwinkle blue bathrooms increased a home’s sale price by $2,786; two-tone kitchen cabinets (the lower cabinets one color and the upper cabinets another) increased the sale price by $1,547; and light-taupe living rooms increased the sale price by $2,793. On the other hand, homes with brown dining rooms sold for $1,684 less, on average, and homes with red kitchens sold for $2,310 less, on average. While these are just a few examples pulled from one particular study, it’s always a good idea to look into what colors tend to perform well among homebuyers in your local market, and overall — something your trusted real estate agent will be happy to discuss with you.      

Color has even been shown to affect our mood, which only makes the case for well-informed paint selection that much stronger. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you choose the right hue, for every room:

Familiarize yourself with the basics

At the most basic level, colors fit into one of three categories: primary, secondary or tertiary. Primary colors are blue, red and yellow. This does not include variations of the hue, such as pastels or darker versions. When two primary colors are mixed together, they make a secondary color — think green (blue and yellow), orange (red and yellow) and purple (red and blue). Tertiary colors are made when a primary color is mixed with a secondary color. 

While understanding these three categories is a great place to start, your next — and perhaps most important — step will be determining whether you want to opt for a warm palette or a cool palette. Yellow, orange and red are considered warm colors. According to Benjamin Moore, these shades are associated with energy, positivity and sunlight. Green, blue and purple are known as cool tones, and are said to have a relaxing and calming effect. Neutral colors such as white, gray and beige can be warm or cool, depending on their undertones. 

Consider the elements of feng shui and their associated colors

At the core of the ancient feng shui philosophy, there are five elements: earth, metal, water, wood and fire. Each element is associated with specific colors and is believed to promote specific energies. Since each room in the home has a distinct purpose, it stands to reason that the feelings you wish to evoke in one room may differ from the feelings you wish to evoke in another. When choosing what sentiment you want each room to convey, consider these five elements and their corresponding colors:

Fire is embodied by vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow and is associated with passion, inspiration and visibility.

Wood is tied to deep green, brown and, according to some practitioners, purple, and is associated with growth, healing and vitality.

Water is linked to blue and is associated with deep wisdom and connection.

Metal is connected to black, gray, silver and white and is associated with joy, beauty and precision. 

Earth is represented by muted shades of brown and beige and is associated with self-care and boundaries. 

Follow these general dos and don’ts 

Just as you should limit the number of personal keepsakes and knickknacks you have on display — so that potential buyers can imagine your home as their own — you should avoid using funky or niche paint colors when prepping your home for sale. Lighter, neutral shades are always safest, but skip the brightest whites: Opt for warm beiges, grays and off-whites, instead. Stark whites, particularly cooler shades, can sometimes give off a sterile vibe — the exact opposite of the cozy, comfortable environment you want to create with your paint color.  

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