My Most Popular Staging Question
Do I need to paint my entire house gray when I’m selling my house to be current?
I get this question all the time so I thought I would write this post to put it in perspective. The answer is “No”
You always have to think about the integrity of the home whether you are preparing your house for resale or just wanting to update it for your own personal pleasure. Take an objective look at your entire house and look at the things that you are not changing (ie. flooring, carpet, tile, backsplash, stone, fireplace surround, countertop etc.) These are the elements that you draw your colour from.
Let Fashion be Your Example
Fashion trends come and go as fast as the wind changes, so you can’t always be replacing your entire wardrobe. People need to take an honest look in the mirror and ask themselves “does that mini skirt really good on my body?” or “can I really walk in those 6″ stiletto heels?” or “are skinny jeans really meant for my legs?”. You get the point.
Just because something is in style, doesn’t mean it’s good for every body type. The key is to notice the colours and the silhouettes of the trendy fashions. You can easily incorporate a few elements to your current wardrobe for an updated look that looks great on YOUR body. Accessories are the easiest way to update a look. Every body type can look beautiful if you style it personally and not what ‘fits-in’ with the masses. That is also what makes every body type unique and special. Embrace your body and dress it accordingly.
The same rules apply to your house. Not all houses are the same so they shouldn’t all be decorated the same. Embrace and enhance your home’s unique beauty.
Keep the Integrity of the House
I suggest that you take photos of each room in your house. A cell phone camera is fine. It’s amazing how you see things differently in photos. Decide what is staying so you know the colour palette that you are working with. Just like fashion, we can’t replace everything, but we can update.
Yes, Current Decorating Trends Are All About the Grays
You might not have anything gray in the entire house so if you suddenly paint everything gray it won’t look right. Yes, the colour will be in style but the finished look won’t be good (again, refer back to fashion styles). It will look like you’re trying to make your house something that it’s not. It won’t ‘feel’ right since nothing flows.
You can always add some gray accessories (artwork, accent cushions, drapes, lamps, candles, vases, linens etc.) but you have to have enough of them to make a statement. Remember, you are better with larger, but fewer accessories.
Walk through a home furnishing store like Home Sense, Crate & Barrel, Bouclair, Elte etc. to get a sense of colour trends. If you walk down the toss cushion aisles, you will immediately see what the current accent colour is to add to your neutral palette. Just make sure you have those accent colours elsewhere in the room.
Once you’ve brought in some gray accessories, you can always add a gray feature wall or even paint one entire room gray. Dining rooms are good rooms to paint gray since most of the furniture is wood so it won’t clash with any upholstery. They can also look very dramatic with great ambiance for evening dining. It makes a nice transition to the other rooms where you have added some gray accessories. Fortunately, there are so many different shades and different undertones, so there is a colour for everyone.
I always suggest to clients, to buy solid neutral coloured upholstered/leather furniture and paint neutral walls. That way they can keep up with the current trends through colourful accessories.
Again, back to fashion, it’s like the little black dress that can constantly be revamped through accessories.
Gray is a great neutral and looks amazing with so many other colours and that is why it’s so popular. It can look fresh and crisp, calm and serene or it can look dramatic and bold. I love how it can blend with all the other tans, creams and beiges that you might already have in your home.
No, you don’t have to paint your entire house gray to be in ‘style’.