Getting ready to sell your house or condo? One of the easiest home improvements to get buyers' attention is a fresh coat of paint. Plus it's a cost-effective fix that will make your home look updated—which can translate to increased value. Sara McLean, color expert and blogger for Dunn-Edwards Paints, offers tips on how to choose interior colors that appeal to most people.
- First, she cautions on painting everything white or beige, because your home might end up looking more like an apartment, rather than upscale.
- Stick to earth tones and nature-based colors. Warm browns and milky tans—think latte. Light greens and blues are classy, and even some reds and oranges. Warm grays are popular now, rather than cool grays.
- Take the flooring into consideration and lay your color chips on the floor to see how they pair. Warm tones tend to look better with most hardwood, whereas tile, terrazzo or carpet may dictate other colors.
- While neutrals are safe, don't make the entire home so neutral that it's boring. An occasional accent wall in a darker or complementary shade adds a designer look.
- Give a room life without being personal. Many people have a visceral reaction to bold colors and buyers' first thought is that they will need to repaint.
- Kitchens and baths work well with a little more color to brighten up and make them fresh, clean and inviting.
- In the kitchen, soft buttery yellows with slight brown undertones are popular, happy colors. Olive and sage greens make it feel garden-y and fresh. If you don't have a tile backsplash, create one with an eggshell or semi-gloss paint—either a solid color or with a decorative stencil.
- Baths, laundry rooms and powders can incorporate brighter colors because they're smaller—play with color a little bit. Oranges and reds are trending now and through next year, as well as teal and turquoise.
"Once you have chosen a color, pick up a few samples and paint a section of the wall near permanent structures like fireplaces, flooring and cabinetry," McLean recommends. "Live with the samples at least a full a day to see them in all light sources. What looks light and bright in the morning, may look dungeon-y at night."
Next step, she advises, is to choose the gloss level. Flat, velvet or eggshell are good for interior walls, while a higher sheen looks pretty on trim and in kitchens and bathrooms. The higher gloss levels are easier to clean, so they are ideal for high traffic areas. Look for trim paint that is water-based but with the upscale look of oil-based.
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