A Guide to Using Color Theory in Home Staging


When you’re selling a home, you need every competitive edge possible. As such, staging a house helps showcase the potential of the space and allows prospective buyers to picture themselves living there.

Great staging can mean the difference between getting a full-price offer and watching your house languish on the market. Although most professional home stagers will tell you to keep your color scheme neutral, truly great home stagers know how to utilize color to their advantage.

Understanding color theory, which explains the visual and mental effects that colors and combinations of colors can have on people, will help home stagers pick the best colors for each room of a house. Not only are there some colors — and combinations of colors — that are more pleasing or eye-catching, but research indicates using certain colors can evoke specific feelings in people.

Here are three tips for staging your home in the perfect colors to bring you the most green.

1. Pick the Right Temperature

Color theory categorizes some colors as cool (blues, greens, violets) and others as warm (reds, yellows, oranges). In that vein, it’s important to choose the color temperature that best fits the purpose of the room.

Generally, cool colors are more restful and absorb light, and they actually make a room feel cooler. Cool colors are great for calm spaces like bathrooms and bedrooms. Meantime, warm colors are more vibrant and reflect light and, thus, will make a room feel warmer.

Use a warm color palette in busy spaces like kitchens, dining rooms, family rooms and kids’ rooms. Even when using neutral colors (whites, grays, browns), choose one with a warm or cool tone that suits the space.

2. Get in the Mood

While the latest trends call for using neutral colors when staging a home, using bold colors strategically can help evoke favorable feelings in potential buyers. 

Red: It makes sense that red evokes feelings of love, power and passion. To many, shades of red represent friendship and joy, so use red in spaces (dining rooms, family rooms, etc.) where you want buyers to envision entertaining guests and hosting family gatherings. 

Purple: This color signifies luxury and royalty, making it a perfect accent color for a bedroom or living room.

Green: It’s not just about the Benjamins. In fact, green is said to signify family, nature and health, helping to bring a sense of harmony to any space. It’s a welcome addition to any room, so think about topping that sleek, neutral-sided table with touches of green to bring life to a room.

Yellow: On the one hand, yellow represents cowardice and deceit. But it also brings about feelings of positivity and happiness, amongst other traits. Use shades of this vibrant color in kitchens, living spaces and playrooms.

Ultimately, these and other colors should be used judiciously, as too much of any color in one space can be overly stimulating. Instead of accent walls, add these bold colors through area rugs and other accessories.

3. Be Complementary

When combining colors in a space, think back to grade school and use the color wheel to create your color scheme.

Colors opposite from each other on the color wheel (e.g., red and green, blue and orange, etc.) are called complementary colors and create a particularly vibrant and possibly jarring look when used together.

Meantime, analogous colors are those next to each other on the color wheel (e.g., orange, red, purple) and which create a pleasing and harmonious scheme.

Use Colors to Your Advantage

When staging a home, don’t be afraid of adding a touch of color here or there. Understanding the power behind certain colors, from color temperature and the psychology behind certain colors to knowing which ones work best together, will help you use color to stage your home for the best results.



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