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Homes | Picking paint

Neutral colors a selling point for homes on the market

Real estate agents, home stagers and decorators strongly recommend painting a home in neutral colors to help it sell faster. Why? "Today's buyer doesn't want any work," says home stager Carol Buckalew of Frederick, Md. You don't want buyers to walk into a house and immediately think about the extra costs of repainting because they have a strong reaction to a color, she says. Neutral colors also help a property look best in photographs online, which is where potential buyers first make the decision to look at a house or condo in person, says Long & Foster real estate agent Deb Gorham. Washington Post

A few exceptions

There are only a few situations in which they'll bend these unwritten rules.

• Gorham says it's okay to not repaint children's rooms, because it could be upsetting to a child who already is facing a big change when the family moves. Plus, she says, "sometimes you have families moving in, and perhaps those colors even entice the new family."

•Another exception is in powder rooms, where home stager Monica Murphy believes it's easier to add personality: "Bathrooms, since they are private rooms and often have the door closed, can have more whimsical colors, like pumpkin, or a deeper green, or a silver gray — colors I would never suggest for a public room like the living room or dining room," she writes in an e-mail.

Suggested choices

Here are some recommended colors and the best places to use them from home stagers and designers:

Ground Ginger from Behr. This pale olive isn't overwhelming.

Kilim Beige from Sherwin-Williams. This khaki color makes the house more useful-looking. It covers up flaws nicely, and it has a very crisp look. Consider a near-white shade, Marshmallow, from Sherwin-Williams, for the trim.

Pale Smoke from Benjamin Moore. This paint is a soothing pale blue-gray that reflects well in photos.

Rain from Sherwin-Williams. This smoky blue is perfect for bathroom walls. The bathroom is one place where designers recommend color, because most homes have white bathroom fixtures.

• Rice Paddy from Duron. Use it as accent walls, especially in kitchens above the sink area." This celery-green goes well with the popular granite countertop color uba tuba, which is a shade of green.

Wickham Gray from Benjamin Moore. Use this solid gray to cover up bright colors, like a red dining room.

• Woodmont Cream from Benjamin Moore. This pale neutral color helps rooms look brighter and more airy, even in small spaces lacking natural light.

Neutral colors a selling point for homes on the market 05/29/09 [Last modified: Friday, May 29, 2009 12:27am]

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