First Impressions Count: Just Two Changes Make a Big Difference

I just wanted to share a before and after of a client's home to show how much just two changes - a fresh coat of paint and a new door - can make. Although this client is fixing up their home to live in - not sell - the point is still the same. They took a house which looked outdated and a little tired and made an enormous improvement just changing those two things.

They really had their heart set on gray, but wanted me to help them choose the right one. I thought you would enjoy seeing how helpful some of the free online color choosing software is. This happens to be Personal Color Viewer from Benjamin Moore, but there are many of them out there by different paint companies. Here is the before photo of the house with three of the many shades of gray they were considering. We opted for a pale shade and selected one that was very warm in tone. You can also see that they tried out the door being painted the same cream color as the trim or being painted in a darker iron gray.

Portland House Exterior Before Painting Color software example 1

Color software example 2 Color software example 3


So here are the final Before and after photos of the house and also the close ups of the front door.

Portland House Exterior Before Painting

Portland House Exterior After Painting & With New Door

Front door detail before painting    New front door close up


The front door makes a huge difference giving the house an immediate lift to an upscale and more substantial feel. I hope you enjoyed seeing the difference that just two changes made!

Pangaea is a Portland, Oregon based Interior Designer and Professional Home Stager. If you would like help determining what changes you can make for the biggest impact, give here a call at 503.816.4394, or visit her website at Pangaea Interior Design.

If you enjoyed this idea for improving the look of your home, sign up for my FREE MONTHLY DESIGN IDEAS.


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Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
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Oregon Multnomah County
Services for Real Estate Professionals
Fixers, Flips, and Rehabs
Staging "Before" & "After" Pictures
Advice for Sellers
benjamin moore
paint color
curb appeal
interior design portland
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Sara Goss GMAC Real Estate - League City, TX
Realtor - Houston Bay Area, Texas

What a nifty little color selection program: the new look is a lot more upscale and contemporary. Thanks for the info!

Nov 16, 2009 03:33 AM #1
Lisa Moroniak
Keller Williams Realty | Northern Virginia | 703.635.0388 - Leesburg, VA
SFR - Short Sale & Foreclosure Certified

Personally, I rely HEAVILY on pictures to select and get my clients motivated to buy and sell (how a comp appears is HUGE in influencing price and presentation).  Well done!

Nov 16, 2009 03:37 AM #2
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

What a difference!    You're right, it's subtle, but has big impact.

Nov 16, 2009 04:03 AM #3
Betty Knowles
Coldwell Banker Vanguard - - Springfield, MO
TeamKnowles REALTORS® - Springfield MO Real Estate

Its amazing what a little paint and a new door can make! Another no-brainer is new carpet.

Nov 16, 2009 04:31 AM #4

Sara - Thank you! Yes, that program is cool. Not too hard to use, but if a client isn't used to them, I'll help them try out colors with it. 

Lisa - That's quite a picture you are using yourself! Certainly gets attention. You're right about photos being so important. Most buyers see a photo online first and make a decision as to whether they are even going to look, so it's worth getting good ones.

Betty & John - Yes, everything you can do to make a property feel fresh, clean and new is excellent. NOBODY wants to mess around with your old dirty carpet when they are thinking of buying a home. Carpet allowances are only useful to a teensy percentage of people who are able to visualize. Most can't.

Nov 16, 2009 05:43 AM #5
Deena Cottingham
GreenApple Staging & Images, Calgary Staging & Photography - Calgary, AB
Home Stager & Photographer

Great job! It is amazing what just a few "simple" changes can make to a home!

Nov 16, 2009 06:13 AM #6
Margaret Oscilia
Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Salem Oregon

I've used several of these sites and love them.  Another one that is online and easy for clients to use is - no software to download too.  Great example of a wonderful way to help your client! 

Nov 16, 2009 11:01 PM #7
Gary Swanson
Century 21 Harris & Taylor - Grants Pass, OR

It is absolutely amazing what a little bit of paint can do!

Nov 17, 2009 02:15 AM #8
Welcome Home Staging & Furniture Rental
Valesca Bogard - Roseville, CA

How far the paint companies have come...Offering the access to review color choices online. Another tool to enhance a Professional Stager's service package.

Nov 17, 2009 08:21 AM #9
Mary Lou Teague
Home Style and Staging Knoxville. TN

What a change...good job and I love the color and the new door...

Nov 18, 2009 01:59 AM #10
Pangaea Interior Design Kitchen & Bath Design, Remodeling
Portland Oregon - Portland, OR

Margaret & Valesca - Yes, these tools are wonderful! None of them I have used require any download. They take a little practice though and some are more intuitive than others.

Deena, Gary & Mary Lou - Thank you so much.

Nov 18, 2009 03:14 AM #11
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

Hi Pangaea, simple and effective changes that make a difference. that's the difference in hiring a professional to give you a little assist. It's much better the hit and miss method of most homeowners. How many times do we drive down a street and stare in disbelief at colour choices. Beautiful work as always.

Nov 18, 2009 12:06 PM #12
Suzanne Metz
Design to Appeal - Medicine Hat, AB

Great job! This home look so much better!

Nov 24, 2009 01:45 AM #14
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