Traditional wisdom says to stick to white paint when you’re trying to sell your home. It’s clean-looking and inoffensive and gives any potential homebuyer a blank slate to work with. However, white walls can also seem glaring and sterile, which isn’t always something you want buyers to think when they view your house. If you’re repainting prior to putting your home on the market, consider taking color psychology into account when you make your choice.
Color psychology is exactly what it sounds like—the study of how color makes people feel. Marketers use it to design websites and logos, and hotels to decorate rooms. By paying attention to the way certain colors make people feel, you can choose colors to match the feeling you want in a room.
The trick? Pick soft and appealing shades, whatever the color. Here are a few you might want to consider:
Brown (and all its earth-toned variations). Brown feels stable and natural to most people. For that reason, it’s popular for common living areas and kitchens. Brown doesn’t just have to be, well, brown, though.
The closer to white you go (think beige), the brighter a room will look while still maintaining a cozier feel than plain old white. If warm, casual living areas are your thing, brown is a good way to go.
Blue. Blue is one of the most popular colors for both genders, and for good reason. It has a tendency to trigger calming reactions, and many people find lighter shades reminiscent of a clear sky. It’s also said to increase focus and productivity.
For these reasons, blue makes for a smart option in an office or a bedroom, where that calming effect can really shine.
Gray. If you’re searching for a neutral that isn’t beige, gray could be just what you’re looking for. Like blue (which is very appropriate, considering that cooler grays often look blue), Gray is a calming color that often ends up feeling slightly more elegant than cozy browns or cold whites.
It’s a great choice for a wide variety of rooms in your home, like an office or bathroom, or even more formal dining or living rooms.
Red (and orange). We’ll lump these two together, since both make people feel energized and warm. And there’s a reason so many restaurants stick to color schemes in this family—they make people want to eat. For that reason, they work well in kitchens.
Take caution with these colors, though, and use them only as accents where you can. They’re attention-grabbers, and not everyone is going to feel comfortable with them.
White. Surprise, white has its uses too. While shaded of cream and off-white can work well inside, outside is where white really shines.
White exteriors are one of the most popular choices, and one of the safest when it comes to keeping your house looking bright and spacious, even it’s really neither.