Remember, the overall goal of home staging is to make each room feel fresh, inviting and neutral enough so that prospective buyers can imagine themselves living there. That doesn’t have to translate, however, to bland, boring and devoid of style. Sometimes white can work, but a greater concern is making sure the room doesn’t look too stark. These elegant, crowd-pleasing neutral paint colors can help you stage your home to perfection.
Gray has been the new white for years now. But not all grays are created equal. “Greige,” a pale gray with a beige undertone, is one of the most versatile colors for staging. Essentially a pale taupe, greige is a cool, sophisticated hue that can elegantly complement and add depth to a mostly white room. It’s great in both large and smaller spaces.
Wall paint: Elephant’s Breath No. 229, Farrow & Ball
Wall paint: Kestrel White SW-7516, Sherwin-Williams; also try Mega Greige, Sherwin-Williams
I always refer to this type of blue as a grown-up turquoise. A warm medium blue with sunny undertones, bird’s egg blue is an elegant choice for living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms, particularly when the rest of the room is white, beige or gray.
Wall paint: Pale Powder, Farrow & Ball
In this large bedroom with textiles in shades of white, the pale turquoise creates a stylistic feature of the angled ceilings and beams while still giving the room a peaceful color palette.
Wall paint: Woodlawn Blue, HC-147, Benjamin Moore; also try Lulworth Blue No. 89, Farrow & Ball, or Gossamer Blue 2123-40, Benjamin Moore
A darker color can also be a surprising neutral. Many people might be hesitant to use a dark paint color, thinking it will make the room look smaller or darker. A dark color can, however, add depth on an accent wall. In a dark room it can conceal any shadows and replace an overall dark feeling with a serene and stylish one.Charcoal, a deep gray, is a perfect dark neutral that can raise the style factor in a room as well as add a refreshing cool tone that complements beige and orange wood hues. Adding subdued drama, it works well in light-filled rooms or on an accent wall, especially in smaller rooms or on walls where you want to feature an architectural element.For a stylish contrast, coordinate charcoal walls with accessories and furniture in lighter colors, such as whites and pale beiges.Wall paint: Kendall Charcoal HC-166, Benjamin Moore
Accent wall paint: Stormy Sky 1616, Benjamin Moore; also try Peppercorn SW-7674, Sherwin-Williams
Let the sunshine in with a little golden yellow on your walls or fixed elements such as cabinets. This photo shows how a cheerful yellow can add warmth to a mostly white kitchen; it works well with white or stainless steel appliances.
Cabinet paint: Castilian Gold, Pratt & Lambert
Look for a yellow that has a slight wheat or creamy undertone and that isn’t overly bright or garish. A mellow yellow coordinates with most wood hues, earth tones, blues and pastel colors.
Wall paint: Traditional Yellow 170, Benjamin Moore; also try Ray of Light CSP-910 or Beacon Hill Damask HC-2, both Benjamin Moore
Navy blue is an excellent paint color to add sophistication, drama and a feeling of refined maturity to a room. Similar to charcoal gray, navy works well in a light-filled room or on a featured accent wall, particularly in smaller rooms or walls with architectural details like a fireplace.
Coordinate navy with contrasting pale hues like whites, silver or beiges.
Wall paint: Stunning 826, Benjamin Moore
Wall paint: Hale Navy HC-154, Benjamin Moore; also try Indigo Ink HDC-CL-26A, Behr, or Commodore 6524, Sherwin-Williams
If your walls are already a shade of white and adding a new color isn’t in your comfort zone, look to neutral creamy whites to give the room a warm and refreshing look.
Creamy white has an undertone of pale beige or greige, without being too yellow. The added warmth can give a stark room a welcoming glow without adding color.
Wall paint: Elmira White HC-84, Benjamin Moore
Wall paint: Muskoka Trail 974, Benjamin Moore; also try Linen White 912 or Glacier White AC-40, both Benjamin Moore; ceiling paint: White Dove, Benjamin Moore
Cons: Because it’s an engineered product, sometimes pattern repetition occurs; not as heat resistant or scratch resistant as quartzite
Pros: Durable; because it’s a natural stone, there is infinite variation in color and pattern (no two slabs are the same); very heat resistant; not prone to etching; more scratch resistant than quartz
Cons: Not as stain resistant as quartz
1. Rotate your mattress. Before you put on a fresh set of sheets, take an extra minute to rotate the mattress if you haven’t done so recently. Rotating your mattress every few months will help it wear more evenly and extend its life (and comfort).
3. Clean entryway floors. If winters are cold where you are, road salt and melting snow can mean entryway floors take a beating. Pick up clutter and give the floors a good mopping.
To keep floors looking their best between cleanings, stash a few old towels in a basket near the door to wipe up messes.
4. Keep sidewalks and entryways free of ice and snow (even while you’re away). Ice and snow can make walkways dangerous for visitors. Aim to shovel snow promptly, and sprinkle gravel, straw or wood chips to provide traction. Frequent, light shoveling is better than letting the snow build up. And if you plan to be out of town during an expected winter storm, hire someone to clear the sidewalk and front steps of your home while you’re away. Your neighbors and mail carrier will thank you.
Tackle These Tasks Over a Weekend
5. Cook to stock up your freezer. A few hours of cooking on a weekend can produce major dividends if you focus your efforts on big-batch suppers that can be frozen and reheated later.
Knowing that you have homemade soup, stew, chili or casseroles in the freezer makes facing weeknight dinners much less stressful. Just add crusty bread and a simple salad and dinner will be ready in no time.
6. Organize bookshelves. Pull out volumes that you didn’t enjoy or are finished with and sell or donate them, leaving a bit of extra room on each shelf for new titles. And if you get distracted by beloved old books you had forgotten about, just roll with it. After all, there are few better places to spend a winter afternoon than in a comfortable chair with a good book.
7. Refresh your movie-watching zone. Winter is a good time to catch up on movies you missed in the theater or to binge-watch your favorite shows. So why not make your movie-watching zone as comfy and cozy as possible? Start by vacuuming the floors and upholstery (using a vacuum attachment) and by clearing away clutter. Next, assess your collection of movies and games, donating extras to charity. Finally, make sure there are plenty of comfortable pillows and throws and lighting that can be dimmed.
9. Check bathrooms for moisture, mildew and mold. It can be hard to give bathrooms enough ventilation when the house is closed up tight for winter.
Unfortunately, that buildup of moisture can lead to mildew or even harmful mold. Give the bathroom a thorough cleaning, paying special attention to grout, the ceiling and any other areas showing signs of excess moisture.
10. Clean the dryer vent (and check for blockages outside). Having the buildup of lint cleaned from your dryer vent at least once a year is essential to keeping your dryer working efficiently and preventing a potential dryer fire. In winter, snow can block the exterior vent, so take a walk outside your home to inspect the vent and remove snow or debris if needed.
11. Start planning for a spring or summer home sale. If you’re considering putting your home on the market this year, it’s a good idea to start the process now. Set a timetable, interview potential real estate agents and make a list of projects that need to get done to help your home show well.15 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Real Estate Agent
12. Indulge in weekly fresh flowers. With Valentine’s Day happening this month, the markets will be filled with fresh flowers at good prices.
Treat your home to a bouquet of fresh-cut blooms once a week to add a little cheer — spring may still be a ways off, but that doesn’t mean your dining table can’t look like a garden in bloom!
You can opt for simple linear grooves, like the previous example, or a fun geometric shape like this charming fish scale pattern.
Embossed cabinet doors look especially great in a dark, glossy finish, with reflected light catching the pattern and making it pop.
2. Jewel tones. Speaking of dark colors, after so many years of white kitchens being the dominant look, we’re definitely finding that more and more people are now choosing to use rich, deep hues, with jewel tones being particularly popular.
Classic jewel tones like amethyst, sapphire and emerald introduce an unmissable dose of color to shake up the all-white mold. They feel sophisticated and timelessly luxurious, making them a safer long-term choice than, say, bright orange or trendy pink.
4. Mesh inserts. Glass door cabinets and open shelves continue to be popular ways to make a kitchen seem more open and airy, but many homeowners prefer to keep their storage a bit more discrete behind closed doors.
Metal mesh inserts are a great middle ground, giving a slight peek at what’s inside the cabinet but without putting your stored goods on full display.
I’ve used mesh inserts instead of glass on many recent projects. It works beautifully in both traditional homes and contemporary designs with some transitional flair, bringing a slight sense of old-world charm.
Consider using mesh inserts on the “upper-upper” cabinets in a tall space on a full pantry wall…
… or on a single cabinet at a specific station like a mixing center or coffee bar.
5. Metallics. For those homeowners who love the crisp, industrial appeal of steel, why stop at the appliances? Consider bringing that “chef’s kitchen” vibe to your entire set of cabinets.
Stainless steel door and drawer fronts give a cool, ready-to-work look to your cabinets, for serious home chefs or just fans of industrial-style kitchens.
You can opt for a more matte foil finish, like the previous example, or a highly reflective metallic version like this glam modern kitchen.
Either way, your cabinets will definitely stand out and bring a warm glow to your kitchen from sunrise to sunset.
Keep in mind, of course, that glossier finishes will show fingerprints more readily, so you’ll have to decide whether the look is worth the extra upkeep.
6. High gloss in dark tones. Metal isn’t the only finish that can bring a glossy sheen to a kitchen. Lacquered or lacquer-look cabinets are a powerful option, and many suppliers at every level now offer high-sheen cabinets. In a murky tone like a charcoal gray, the deep, mirror-like appearance becomes all the more noticeable.
7. Gray. Is gray the new white? It’s hard to say for sure, but for those who like a light and airy look but are tired of white, a sumptuous gray or gray-beige is the next best thing.
At first thought, you might expect gray to seem cold and off-putting. However, as you can see in these examples, a wide range of tones, from charcoal to clay to just-off-white, make an excellent complement to wood floors or shelves for a welcoming palette that feels anything but chilly.
8. Sliding doors. Barn-style doors on a sliding track have become a very popular choice for interior doors, both as a functional solution in tight spaces and as a style statement. Now they’re starting to pop up more and more in kitchen cabinets as a fun way to create a gallery-case look.
A sliding door on a set of uppers combines the appeal of open shelves with the tidiness of a classic door cabinet, and it works in farmhouse style kitchens and modern spaces alike. Plus, not having to swing a door open and shut will make your kitchen feel just a bit bigger, and it makes a world of difference when two cooks are in the kitchen.
9. Two-tone cabinets. Throughout this article you can find many examples of two-tone cabinets, which feature upper and lower cabinets in different colors. Here’s a twist that takes the idea to another level: using two-tone doors on individual cabinets. For example, this breezy kitchen uses a single row of wood drawer fronts on otherwise white cabinets to get just a little touch of natural interest and a fun personality.
This idea is a great one to consider for people who want to give cabinets a little update but not a complete overhaul. You can swap out a few drawers or doors and leave the remaining ones as is to get a unique mix.
Alternately, if you have wood cabinets and want to freshen up the look without completely removing the wood, consider having some of the door or drawer fronts painted while leaving some wood elements remaining, to get the best of both worlds.
10. Mixing modern and traditional styles. Speaking of not wanting to choose, many homeowners and renovators are deciding not to choose only modern or only traditional cabinets. Instead they’re using a mix of both to create spaces that are rich with inviting character while looking current and interesting.
This kitchen, for example, uses crisp white traditional drawer and door fronts on the lower cabinets and flat, glossy upper doors in a coordinating taupe-hued off-white for a disparate style that comes together beautifully.
While black is hardly new, we do find more and more clients being bold and asking to include some elements of black to bring a stately appeal to their kitchen, especially when used as part of a two-tone look.
Using black on the lower cabinets, or a pantry area, paired with black entry doors and even some modern black fixtures gives a room an effortless, fashionable look.
This article originally appeared on houzz.com