Neutrals vs. Colors

Colors within a home have tremendous power. Not only do they affect the moods of residents and visitors, they can also make or break the selling process. Recently, neutral colors have been the go-to palette for decorators and homeowners – nothing seems to balance a space as well as a cool stone gray or milky warm white. However, the overuse of neutral color schemes can make a beautiful space seem bland and boring. Below are tips for decorating with pops of color, interesting textures and gentle tones.

– Accents –
One trick that adds flare to a room is neutral walls and colorful accents. From pillows to rugs, lamps and wall art – these are easy, inexpensive additions that make an impactful difference. Experiment with adding color to surprising places like a door frame, bookcase or ceiling. These techniques will add a pop of color without overwhelming guests, and perhaps more importantly, potential buyers.

– Contrasts –
When decorating a room, think in contrasts – warm versus cool or textured versus polished. For example, pair a neutral burlap chair with a sleek steel table or a shiny, mahogany armoire with a linen sofa. Furthermore, think in layers. If neutral pieces of furniture fill most of the space, layer colors, textures and tones on top of that foundation for added depth.

– Patterns –
Homeowners are often weary of using patterns in fear that the space will appear overcrowded. However, patterns add movement to a room when mixed and matched appropriately. Start by picking a pattern that will make a strong statement, then select a pattern that’s half the scale or size of the first pattern. For example, if the first pattern is a large floral design, the second pattern could be a geometric shape with similar colors. A third pattern is often needed and should incorporate colors from the first two patterns.

– Seasons –
Since neutrals go with almost anything, a foundational neutral color palette makes it easy to change out décor from season to season. Switch out darker-toned pillows for a bright, patterned pillow in the spring or add plants and greenery to corners and counter tops in the fall.

– Color trends –
Many homeowners are afraid of a color disaster and therefore shy away from any color at all. Below are a few color trends that are currently dominating the industry.

• Deep turquoise makes its mark in living rooms and bedrooms and is a popular color for both men and women. It tends to bring a feeling of calmness and serenity.
• Dark Plum proves that bold is back. From painted doors to kitchen cabinets, this tone makes a serious statement and can be showcased just about anywhere.
• Emerald Green is steeped in history yet popular among the younger generations. Like blue tones, greens represent nature and often have a calming effect. Look for “Courtyard Green” by Benjamin Moore.
• Black has also been trending recently. It adds a tailored, masculine look to a room, especially when paired with gold accents and leather furniture. Keep in mind that dark rooms can appear smaller, so it might be best to save black tones for details like baseboards and accent walls.

Remember that picking the right color, texture and pattern boils down to the feeling it brings to the area. The idea is to allow potential buyers to envision the space as their own. If you need help picking the right shade or accent, as with all other real estate questions, we are here to help. Ask us! It’s our job to understand what buyers are looking for in today’s competitive market.

Lawrence M. Lipman is the owner and president of The Lipman Group / Sotheby’s International Realty in Nashville. Real estate is Larry’s career, but also his passion. He can be reached by calling 615-364-3333.