What is a good kitchen color?

Home Stager with StageTwoSell LLC

Have you every wondered about a good kitchen paint color?   Yesterday Stage Two Sell did a Real Estate Consultation for a seller in Horseheads NY who had done a great deal of preparing her home for sale.  Great!  There were just a few issues that we addressed.  We arranged furniture to better sell the spaces, rehung some art work to define the features of the spaces, then approached the issue of the kitchen wall color.  It was just too bright for the general buying public, and the photos I took quickly proved that the color would look pretty uncomfortable in the MLS photos.  It was a  bright hot yellow... like a school bus!

school busWe chose a new color that had a soft yellow undertone to go with the tile and wood cabinets.  It made for much better photos on line and in person.

When stuck for a color choice, follow these simple steps:

   1.  Look to the "hard surfaces" that are permanent like tile, stone, cabinets and counters.  Use this to begin your color selection.

  2.  Match  the color family from the bottom fan deck then go UP the color chips to the first or second color on the fan deck. This way you'll have the right undertones to the color and you'll find a more pleasing color.  The color you paint on your walls will morph slightly back to the color you see at the bottom of the fan deck (if the colors are sequenced).  

 fan deck      For our kitchen we chose: Ben Moore Lady Finger

This color gave a soft yellow look but worked well with the brown and copper tiles in the backsplash.

Bye school bus!  Hello beautiful!

Comments (29)

Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Richfuscious say...color of any kitchen should match accurately...choice of wife

Apr 23, 2015 11:55 PM
Janice Ankrett
Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Great choice! It's definitely a good idea to take the lead from the hard surfaces.

Apr 24, 2015 12:15 AM
Rochelle Kretchmar
GenEquity Mortgage - Lewisville, TX
Simply Irresistible Staging

I always suggest neutral colors when we are preparing homes for sale. However, sometimes the neutral gets a bit drab so have an accent color that will add a little character to your home, this can be done in one room or several rooms.  It doesn't have to be a beige tone to be neutral.  :)   Good color choice by the way. 

Apr 24, 2015 12:18 AM
Woody Edwards
First Choice Realty, Inc - Chesterfield, VA
A Realtor® Who Answers His Phone!

One of the first apartments I rented.....many years ago.....had a kitchen painted BRIGHT yellow.  That included the ceiling!  There was also an east facing window & a south facing window.  When the sun came up until about 6pm, you had to wear sunglasses in the kitchen!

Apr 24, 2015 12:41 AM
Debb Janes
Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
Put My Love of Nature At Work for You

I love how paint can dramatically transform a space - so quicly and cheaply.  I like the color and I'm sure it compliments all of the other surfaces. Happy Friday. D 

Apr 24, 2015 12:50 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

That's a beautiful color for a kitchen or any other room in the home.  Hope you will share before and after shots!

Apr 24, 2015 01:47 AM
Theresa Akin

If the new buyers want to paint, they will want something that will be easy to live with for awhile but easier to cover later. Most buyers prefer to at the most just go in and clean or have pros do it. They don't always look forward to painting right off the bat. Love the "Lady Flinger"

Apr 24, 2015 01:48 AM
Rose O'Reilly Sievers,CRS,SRES
Carlsbad, CA

Debra, good idea.  I took Art Classes several years ago and the teacher told us about the importance of color.  Home sellers have lived with the color, for so long, they don't see it like Realtors because we see so many houses every day.

Apr 24, 2015 01:53 AM
Doyle Davison
Hawaiian Beaches Hawaii - 714-968-6767 - Huntington Beach, CA
30 years as your Concierge services listing broker

lady finger looks like a good safe color for the masses. I get more bad comments from buyers that use bold color than just neutral colors... I think it's offensive to some. I showed a home and they called it the pepto bizmo home and in a bad way. made my tummy turn.

Apr 24, 2015 02:37 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Debra paint color is ever so important when selling a home. Great ideas to help sellers make WISE color choices.

Apr 24, 2015 03:54 AM
Brenda Corder
Cozy Corders Interiors, LLC - Philippi, WV
Home Stager, Home Staging Professional, Redesigner

For staging maybe a neutral color, but for me..my kitchen wall are white and I have red cabinets with a black wash and a carrera marble backsplash. Everyone loves my kitchen.

Apr 24, 2015 04:00 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I know in general stagers will tell us to go with lighter and neutral colors.  But I also want something that will not show dirt and finger prints.  We painted some cabinets white once.  It was a disaster. 

Apr 24, 2015 05:33 AM
Margaret Mitchell
Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty - York, ME
Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate

Hi Debra - I loved this post.  Finally, practical advice on how to use the color fan.  I never knew where to start!


Apr 24, 2015 06:37 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Things have certainly changed over the time I've been in the business, Debra Landy.   Today's Buyers want so much more .... and to do so much less after they move in to a home.  You assist Sellers in improving their chances to capture those Buyers with your suggestions and paint advice ...


Apr 24, 2015 07:32 AM
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

Choice of color should be appealing to the buyers if you are marketing your home.  Matching the hard surfaces should work as long as they are neutral and easy to live with.

Apr 24, 2015 01:08 PM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

This is good advice.  I love Benjamin Moore Lady Finger!

Apr 24, 2015 03:15 PM
Teresa K. Nelson
Compass - Woodinville, WA
Your Trusted Real Estate Advisor

I like the lady finger. I'm also trying to re- do my kitchen. I think it's harder for us to make changed/decisions because we see so many options - both good and bad! Best of luck to you!

Apr 25, 2015 01:44 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Nina, #8, sums it best IMO, yet, I prefer semi gloss white walls and perhaps cabinets too with contrasting trim, fixtures, appliances and accessories that make the kitchen pop.

Apr 25, 2015 03:33 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

It is all depends on the style a person likes. Some like mute or natural colors, some prefer bright and happy. My kitchen is white, since I like simple modern style with bright colorful accessories.

Nov 02, 2015 07:45 AM
Debra Landy
StageTwoSell LLC - Horseheads, NY
PA and NY Home Stager

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Helping your sellers find the right "soft to sell" color on the walls, coordinating with whatever hard surfaces are there already will be a better choice than stark white.
And you are also right, sellers are demanding more these days!

Nov 18, 2015 10:33 PM