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As I often tell home staging clients, a new coat of paint can work wonders. In the interests of maintaining as much neutrality as possible often the paint job will involve more than a little white.

However, as you will quickly realize if you walk into the paint department at any home store, there are a LOT of shades of white to choose from. And which one you opt for can make a difference that is bigger than you might ever imagine.

So just how should you make the right choice? A lot will depend on the natural light you have to work with as well as the ambience you want to create. One of the biggest goals of home staging is to create a space that is alive and welcoming, one that home buyers will be able to picture enjoying life in.

With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at some things, room by room, to keep in mind as you navigate your way through those aisles and aisles of paint chips.

In the Living Room

If there is good natural daylight: To create a lively, welcoming, family-friendly vibe, choose a cool white with a hint of orange or gold. If you want to evoke a more relaxing ambience, then add a hint of calming green, such as sage.

If there is poor natural daylight: Warm shades of yellow and gold compensate for cool light. So in the interests of making your living room feel cozy and welcoming, try using honey white or primrose white.

In the Bedroom

If there is good natural daylight: Calm greens and blues are perfect for encouraging a good night’s sleep. If this is the feeling you want to impart, choose a white with a hint of teal or moss. But for a revitalizing lift to indicate that getting out of bed in the morning will be an invigorating pleasure, opt for a white with a touch of gold, such as light caramel.

If there is poor natural light: Warm mauve and delicate lilacs are wonderful relaxing colors. To create a tranquil bedroom, choose a hue like violet white or blueberry white. But if you’d prefer a warm, sunny look throughout the day, then pick a white with tones of cream and peach.

In the Bathroom

If there is good natural daylight: To make the most of a small space, it’s best to choose a cool white such as pearl or almond. Or for an understated, contemporary look, pick one with a touch of green or blue, such as robin’s egg blue.

If you want your room to appear larger, then choose a white that tends towards a warm blue, perhaps with a hint of purple.

In the Kitchen

Good natural daylight: To create a calming effect in a busy family kitchen, it’s best to use a white with a touch of fresh pastel green or blue. But to soothe a stressed cook, add a hint of a chalky green, such as olive, to your white. If you have a contemporary kitchen and want a modern, calm look, try adding a touch of amethyst to your white.