To choose a color, or not choose a color...

Home Stager with ALR Home Staging and Showcasing, LLC


I just started flipping through a new book that my mother sent me, Color Your Life by Elaine Ryan.  Although I haven't gotten too far into the book, it begins with explaining why we choose, or don't choose, certain colors in our homes.  She mentions how most of use have been trained to rely on white or beige because it's a safe choice. For Home Staging purposes, yes, those neutrals are the best choice because it is attractive to the masses and it is safe.   For actually living in the home...colors personalize it.  Most of the reasons pertain to how we were brought up and there is a ton of reference to dear old MOM...she is usually the ultimate reason why we do what we do and choose what we choose.  Isn't that true about everything!  LOL  Isn't mother's approval over whatever you do the ultimate satisfaction?  I completely related to her story about a young woman's first visit to her new home by her mother.  She sweat through every detail of her new home getting it ready, especially her pride and joy:  her new living room.  When her mother arrived, her reaction was "It's nice".  The young woman was devastated that her mother didn't LOVE it.  Her mother then offers some of HER furniture, that she had been 'saving' to pass on to her daughter, as a reasonable fix.  Oh, I have the same mother! 

The book then talks about what colors we are typically driven to and why.  There is an extensive list called Your Personal Journal Reaction that asks questions regarding lifestyle, feelings, etc. which is supposed to help come up with your perfect interior colors.  I found it interesting and may utilize some of in color consultations for Re-design clients.   Then it jumps into her Supermarket Test...the condensed version:  by using fruits and vegetables you can decide what colors are most attractive to you, figure out why and see how different colors can work together in nature.  If they can work together in nature than they can work together in the home as well.

The Supermarket Test reminded me of painting classes that I took.  The painting rooms were set up with various still-life arrangements...all colors, shapes, textures, and content...around the perimeter of the room.  The painting easels and stools were lined up in front of them.  Because the classes were so packed there were few opportunities to really choose what it was that you were going to were just lucky to get an available easel.  The painting professor always said "It doesn't matter WHAT you paint.  Just paint.  It's better that you don't like what you are painting so you aren't connected to it."  I didn't get it.  My feeling was that if I liked the subject then I'd paint it better!  Makes sense, right?  The logic was whether you were painting a taxidermied chicken (yes, and I had to) or a bowl of fruit on a silver platter (did that, too), you should paint them with the same interest and ability.  The lesson to was to learn about COLOR.  The lesson was to learn about PLACEMENT.  It was to learn about TEXTURE.  It had nothing to do with the subject.

OK, so what's my point here. 

Using color in an interior is very personal choice.  Yes, there are the colors of the moment and this book also provides a list of major color used in homes, by decade, going back to the early 1900's.  These are the colors that we see in homes and can tell what year the home was painted...they are trendy and scream 'UPDATE ME' when you see them.  Trendy paint colors, while still a personal choice, are less personal than going through the Supermarket Test to find your colors.  Either way, they should both be changed when staging a home.  Give the new homeowner a fresh canvas to work with.  Let them take their own Supermarket Test! 



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Abby Roselli

Staten Island Home Stager
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