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While furniture, layout, and decor are major factors in a home staging job, the right color palette can also be a game-changer for adding to a home’s value. “Colors are part of the story we tell through our staging, and they are really unique to each home,” explains Julie Chrissis, founder of her eponymous design and staging firm. “We think carefully about who the likely buyer is and what we can do to draw them to the home.”
Although Chrissis determines a home’s palette based on its architectural features, the amount of natural sunlight, and styles that are trending in the area, she says it’s important to think about the ultimate goal: Making a sale. “By choosing on-trend neutrals, your home will appear more current and updated to buyers,” she explains. “As a bonus, painting your home makes it look well-maintained, which buyers like.”
So, which colors can help add some value to your space? Read on for these pro-approved shades. Whether you’re listing your property or craving a makeover, these hues offer plenty of bang for your buck.
Trends come and go, but you simply can’t go wrong with neutrals. While wispy grays and barely there tans used to be the “it” shades, charcoal is now having a moment. According to a recent paint analysis from Zillow, kitchens that are painted in a dark gray like Benjamin Moore’s Charcoal Slate tend to sell for $2,512 more than similar homes. Truthfully, it’s not hard to see why the hue is such a hit: Dark gray is moody and adds plenty of visual intrigue, but is versatile enough to work with a bunch of different accent colors.
Although white isn’t as popular as it once was — Zillow found that an all-white kitchen can decrease a home’s value by up to $600 — Chrissis argues there’s still plenty of room for the goes-with-everything hue. “Light and bright sells, period,” she explains. “Lighter neutrals make rooms feel larger and will reflect natural light, which makes the room feel brighter than darker colors.” While white can act as a wonderful blank slate — allowing potential buyers to envision their own belongings inside — there are a lot of nuances and undertones to sift through. For a great place to start, Chrissis recommends Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, a crisp shade that’s warm enough to keep your home from feeling sterile.
Neutrals might reign supreme in a real estate listing, but that doesn’t mean a home has to be devoid of any pops of color. The secret is knowing where to place them. “Kitchen cabinets are a great way to add color to a home,” explains Linda Graveline, owner of Boston-based design firm Eleven Interiors. “Dusty blues and greens along with darker greens are the most popular colors I’ve been seeing lately.” Why stop at the kitchen cabinets? In 2017, Zillow found that homes with light blue bathrooms sold for $5,440 more than similar spaces. (Times might change, but blues and greens remain go-to shades, as they create a serene atmosphere.)
Torn between blue and green? Graveline recommends grabbing a muted mix of the two, citing Sherwin-Williams’ Underseas and Behr’s Brooklyn as fabulous options.
Don’t forget your home’s exterior. For a statement-making moment that will help your bottom line, consider covering your door in Benjamin Moore’s Black.
“What strikes me now for front doors is black or a simple unpainted wood,” Graveline adds. “It looks amazing if it fits the personality of the house and if the buyer pool is design-savvy enough to appreciate it.”
In 2022, Zillow claimed that a black door can increase a home’s value by up to $6,449 — and its most recent report confirmed that prospective homeowners are still ready to shell out the big bucks for a high-contrast exterior. (Want to take your curb appeal to the next level? Check out these color combinations Realtors can’t get enough of.)