Love Where You Live: Choosing Interior Colors

Love Where You Live: Choosing Interior Colors

As featured in The Columbian 8/12/18

Decorating your home can be a tricky business, especially when you are keeping future resale value in mind. There’s a fine balance to be found between making your space uniquely your own and creating a space that any potential buyer would love to live in. One of the easiest and most affordable ways to update and customize any space is paint. It’s a DIY project that doesn’t take weeks to complete, doesn’t involve heavy equipment, and doesn’t break the bank.

If you’re considering selling your home, you’ll hear the battle cry for neutral colors from your Realtor. The goal: to create a clean, simple canvas that makes it easy for a buyer to visualize adding their own personal style to the space without being overwhelmed by the seller’s personal taste. But doesn’t that sound like a boring way to live in your home? Here are four tips to help find some balance and design a home that you love to live in while considering future resale value as well.

1 – The Three Color Rule. Limit the color palette for a space to three colors that work together. Designer Mark McCauley recommends a ratio of 60% dominant color (walls), 30% secondary color (upholstery) and 20% accent color (accessories). Using this ratio creates a balance of color while including enough of a “pop” to keep the room interesting. Your wall color, the dominant color in the room, should fall into the neutral category, allowing you to tone down the intensity of the room when selling by removing or replacing some of the bolder-colored furniture. And your accent color can change seasonally, giving you an easy option to freshen up the space periodically.

2 – Start With Your Boldest Pattern. What is the boldest pattern in the room? Is it a rug? A piece of artwork? A piece of furniture? Use that as your inspiration piece for the color palette (3 colors). Start by pulling your dominant color from one of the whites, beiges or grays in the print.

3 – Decorate From Dark to Light. Much like the current ombre trend, decorate from dark to light within the room. Start with your darkest color in the flooring, then lighten as you move up. Picture a dark wood floor with a Persian rug; move upward to furniture in shades of blue; and further upward to pale gray walls and a white ceiling with bright light fixtures. Dark to light as you move upward. Throw in some blush-colored accent pillows and you’ve got a perfect pallet (blue, gray, blush) and a designer look, done.

4 – When In Doubt, Go Gray. Sometimes called greige (gray-beige hybrid), without a doubt, gray is the trendiest neutral shade. It’s multifunctional and can be warm or cool depending on the furnishings of the room. It works with literally everything. If you’re looking for a go-to neutral gray shade for any room, check out Gray Owl or GrayTint by Benjamin Moore; Passive or Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams; Montpelier Ashlar Gray by Valspar; and French Grey or Manhattan Mist by Behr.

If you are thinking of selling your home and want some tips on choosing colors to get the best return on investment, I’m more than happy to schedule a free consultation. Give me a call, 360.904.8497.


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Phone: 360-904-8497
Dated: August 12th 2018
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About Shana: Shana is not only a real estate expert, but also an accredited home stager, author, educator and coa...

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Shana O'Brien
2004 SE 192nd Ave Suite 100
Vancouver, Washington
360-904-8497
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