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Have you ever walked into someone’s home and just not “felt the vibe?” The look of a space–how it is decorated, cared for, the color it is painted–affects our emotions, whether we know that or not. And that’s what the colors on the walls do to potential home buyers.

Wall colors impress upon visitors in subtle ways. A deep brown or neon yellow will mute their ability to feel an emotional connection–just like you did at that weird vibe place–when they walk through the door. Bright reds might make them feel angry, darker tones can calm, but what color should you paint your house if you want buyers to buy?

What the Color Folks Say

Each year paint giant Sherwin Williams puts out a press release that names the “Color of the Year.” Most paint companies do actually and for the last few years they’ve all been pushing grays. Benjamin Moore selected “Simply White”, a white gray, as the color of the year in 2017. More recently Behr featured a graphic titled “Life in Gray” on its landing page and Sherwin Williams wrote a full essay on the positive complexities of “Poised Taupe,” a shade of gray that “take[s] a color to an entirely new level.” And in 2020 gray is still all over the glossy home decor magazines.

No Gray in Home Staging Please

So gray for 2020? No. Please don’t.  Look at this. Doesn’t that sad gray chair in a sad gray room make you want to eat a big bowl of ice cream and cry over The Notebook? Me too. Not the best way to make a potential new homeowner – a buyer for your home – feel.

And it’s not just my opinion as a home stager, actual science backs me up. Allow me to explain further...

A study from scientists Gil and Bigot actually tested the relationship between green, pink, white, gray, and people’s emotions. Gray linked more with sadness, negativity, and unattractiveness than any other color.

So please put down the interior design magazines that gush over gradients of gray. When you open your doors to prospective home buyers, you want them to feel enthusiastic, energized, and confident when they walk into your space.

This study illustrates that buyers will associate a gray room with low fog and dreary afternoons, industrial warehouses and toxic smoke. Not the image of your home you want to set in the mind of prospective buyers at all.

You shouldn’t paint the walls in your house gray, but you shouldn’t go too bold, either, at least if you are selling it. Another study from scientists Kwallek et al. concluded that people prefer to concentrate in white or beige rooms.

Women found beige and white rooms the easiest to concentrate in. Men found white, then green, then beige the easiest rooms to concentrate in. You should take into consideration the paint color that will appeal to the most diverse selection of buyers.

Though beige was seen as more distracting to men than green, white and beige were the least distracting to both men and women. Science says you should not go gray and you should not go vibrant. But beige? Isn’t that boring? Isn’t white too cold?

Not if you choose the right shades of these home staging staples. Here are some great ones. And doesn’t this living room look so much happier, so much more inviting than that dreary gray one?

For the Living Room:

  • Sparkling Wine, Benjamin Moore, 949
    Biscuit, Sherwin-Williams, SW 6112
    Vanilla Mocha, Behr, N260-1

For the Bedroom:

  • Cotton White, Sherwin-Williams, SW 7104
    Choice Cream, Sherwin-Williams, SW 6357
    Chenille Spread, Behr, HDC-NT-03

For the Bathroom:

  • Exclusive Ivory, Behr, HDC-MD-11
    Polar Bear, Sherwin-Williams, SW 7564
    Cayman Islands, Benjamin Moore, 952

For a Home Office:

Eggwhite, Sherwin-Williams, SW 6364
Warm Marshmallow, Behr, HDC-NT-11A
Bungalow Beige, Sherwin Williams, SW 7511

These are just a few suggestions, there are lots more excellent choices out there. Need help? Our home staging team is just an email or phone call away. But whatever you do, if you want to sell your home, no gray please.