I tell my sellers all the time that neutral doesn’t mean neuter. One of the best things that Apple did early in its history was to offer their computers in fabulous colors and shapes which was so unique in the marketplace. They appealed to our senses with something as mundane as a computer and your house needs to do the same. This can be confusing when all you hear is neutralize, neutralize, neutralize. I am here to set the record straight to help you go neutral but not neuter your house of all personality when you are staging.
When most people hear neutral they think white, beige, tan, gray. Sometimes using these colors can actually make a room feel flat and lifeless so venture out into the land of more color. Every color has its own grayed down version of itself which really mutes the color and can be used very effectively in Staging. The idea of neutralizing your wall color is that you don’t want it to be the first thing buyers notice in the space. You want to use colors that recede—blues, greens, purples. The added benefit to using these colors on your walls is that they can actually make your space look larger.
Add Pops of Color with Accessories
Don’t shy away from bright color in your staging decor! Just add it in small doses with accessories and flowers. But remember, accessorizing for Staging means that you should accessorize using larger items and fewer of them. The first house that I ever staged got an offer in the first 3 weeks on the market and had accents of orange dotting the entire main floor. The bedroom that I did in shades of citrus green and yellow got the most dramatic positive responses of any room that I have ever done. A recent project of mine featured plum colored accents throughout—after being on the market 3 times without offers, it ended up in a bidding war in the first 2 weeks after staging. It is easy to figure out what are the most popular accent colors just by walking into your local Target or HomeGoods. Even a little research on the internet or in decorating magazines can clue you in to what colors you may want to use.
Go Big or Go Home
When Staging for the virtual market, your art and accessories can be colorful and need to be larger scaled than you think. Think about the size of your listing photos online. They are already pretty small and nothing makes a picture look more visually cluttered than a lot of smaller items scattered throughout or several small photos or art hanging on the wall. Also, the color in your photos needs to jump off the page to stand out. I’ve already cautioned you to use wall colors that recede so what is going to pop in your pictures is achieved by your art and accessories–think red, orange, and yellow. It may not be in your comfort zone to use large, colorful art and accessories, but I am sure that you can tolerate it if the final goal of selling your house quickly is the potential outcome!
The bottom line is that knowing a bit about color and using well placed color in your wall color, accents and accessories can add the much needed personality and packaging that you need to drive buyers in your door and sell your house quickly.