The Best (and Worst) Colors to Choose When Staging A Home - QC Design School

Christina Kittelstad is a tutor of QC Design School and an accomplished color consultant, home stager and painter whose work has been featured on HGTV’s show House Hunters. She is the owner and lead color consultant for Spiral Design Color Consulting. She’s best known for creating beautiful, functional spaces through the use of color and creating a sense of style and personality that’s as unique as each of her clients.

Let’s talk about color, and how it directly applies to home staging! Research overwhelmingly shows that staging a home with the right paint colors can lead to faster sales and increased profits. Research also shows that the wrong colors can cause potential buyers to drive right past a home and not give it a second glance!

Online shoppers will take one look at a listing and decide in seconds if it’s THE home for them or not. A home well staged will bring in more buyer traffic and create more showings, leading to a successful sale in record time.

Curb appeal is everything. I’ll say it again: curb appeal is everything!

beautiful house exterior with excellent curb appeal

This means that choosing the perfect paint colors for the interior and exterior of a home is key. By using the right colors, buyers will visualize themselves and their family living in the home and being happy there!

The right colors will create a fresh, updated look that makes a perfect impression. It’ll also give buyers even more incentive to make an offer at – or above – asking price! Every home is different, but there are colors that have proven to work well, creating a beautifully staged home that can increase property value up to 5%. This is because these colors draw the right buyers in.

Knowing how to use the proper colors in a home will become second nature to you when you get the proper training and color consultant certification!

Let’s talk about what types of colors work well, where they work best, and why.

*Note: All color recommendations are Sherwin Williams.

The Best Colors for Home Staging

Exterior Staging Colors

  • Keep It Neutral
    Painting the exterior of the home is key to creating maximum curb appeal, as well as getting buyers to lock in a showing as soon as possible.
  • Add Some Personality
    While the main body of the exterior of the home should remain neutral, the front door is a perfect location to bring in some personality and style! This is an easy location to update later if it doesn’t completely appeal to the buyer, but it will create great curb appeal in the meantime. It’ll also look amazing in listing photos!

Recommended Colors:

Tri-corn Black, Naval, Oceanside, Positive Red, Polished Mahogany, Decisive Yellow and Cape Verde.

painting front door of house blue
  • Take Community Cues
    When choosing new paint colors for the exterior of a staged home, be sure to take note of the overall community the home is located in. Are there any other newly painted homes in the area? What colors were chosen, and what are the current trends? This will ensure that the home you’re staging gets positively noticed as fresh and updated, while still blending in nicely to the surrounding homes and keeping neighbors happy.

Recommended Colors:

Dovetail, Chatura Gray, Magnetic Gray, Downing Stone, Summit Gray, Cocoa Whip, Functional Gray, Rare Gray, and Perfect Greige.

beautiful exterior of naval-colored house with great curb appeal

Interior Staging Colors

  • Create a Stylish Space
    The interior of a properly staged home should feel relaxed, cozy, fresh, updated, open, bright, and stylish. Buyers should be able to easily envision themselves happily living there! Finding this balance through using the right paint colors is the goal, and something taught to you when obtaining your color consultant certification.
  • Color Can Vary By Room
    Remember: every room serves a different purpose! While the goal is to keep an open and balanced flow throughout the home, different rooms can benefit from different colors. Keeping it neutral, while bringing in some personality to each space, is key.

Main Living Areas

Keep things fresh with neutral or warm grays, off-whites, greige, beige, and taupe.

Recommended Colors:

Agreeable Gray, Perfect Greige,  Repose Gray, Mindful Gray, Knitting Needles, Accessible Beige, and Maison Blanche

modern, bright living room staging, with off-white walls

Master Bedrooms and Bathrooms

Blues, grays, whites, greige, watery blue-greens, and lavender work best in these spaces. They all create a serene, spa-like retreat for the home owner!

Recommended Colors:

Tradewind, Sea Salt, Mineral Deposit, Silverstrand, and Rainwashed.


Light and bright whites, warm whites, light grays, or blue-greens work best.

Recommended Colors:

Pure White, Extra White, Eider White, and Alabaster.

The Worst Colors for Home Staging

In general, stay away from colors that are too bold, personalized, or dated.

Avoid colors that are dark, or ones that may make a room feel smaller. An accent wall or a painted kitchen island can work with a darker color, but only if well placed. If it’s not a popular color in general, then don’t use it!

woman using roller to paint a wall a dark turquoise

Consider what feels like a fresh, updated space. It varies by neighborhood, architectural style, and geographic location. If you’re not 100% sure of a color, the safest option is to skip it entirely!

Whether you’re a color consultant, a home stager, or both, it’s important to stay current on trends. This will allow you to properly stage a home, and bring that “magic touch” to each project that shows off the home’s best features. Your goal is always to set up a home so it screams to a potential buyer, “This is THE house!”

Training and education in both home staging and color consulting will teach your designer’s eye to naturally see how best to set up a home in this way. With planning, well thought-out colors, and your home staging and/or color consultant certification, homeowners will be proud to show off their home – and you will continue to have successful projects going forward!

Ready to earn your color consultant certification in 2020? Enroll in QC’s leading online color consulting course today!

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