Paint colors matter. They convey a mood, a sense of style and can define a space. Selecting the right paint colors for your home can change your entire environment — but it is also important to remember that your personal tastes could potentially affect your home’s buyer appeal when you’re ready to sell it.
According to some of New York City’s top designers and staging experts, the following paint colors are the best for each type of room in your home. These colors offer design versatility and will not only enhance your quality of life, but also maximize your property’s potential sale price down the road.
Best Paint Colors for Busy Spaces: Kids’ Rooms, Home Office
Interior designer Townsend Lloyd of Townsend & Co Interiors recommends the “Calamine” color from paint company Farrow & Ball for kids’ rooms or a home office. The New York and Connecticut-based designer says it is her “go-to color for spring — a soft, slightly dusty, not-too pink, pink.” She adds that she loves it for “children’s rooms or an incredibly chic home office.” Pink has a calming effect and is ideal for getting little ones ready for bed, or for helping you find some zen before your next work Zoom call, despite the mess of papers on your desk.
Best Paint Colors for Grand Spaces: Living Rooms and Great Rooms
These spaces often take up the most square footage and are the heart of every home. In open-concept apartments or houses, great rooms typically set the tone for the entire main living space as they usually also consist of the dining room, office space and a den or sitting room area. Given their functionality, “it’s in your best interest to stick to crowd-pleasing neutrals in order to enhance your home’s resale value,” says staging expert Jason Saft of Staged to Sell Home. Saft is a fan of Benjamin Moore’s “Balboa Mist,” calling it his “favorite greige (a color between beige and gray), for its ability to pull together a variety of colors, furnishings and design accents.”
Lloyd also recommends greige for larger spaces and points to Farrow & Ball’s “Cornforth White” for its “seamless adaptability to almost any environment,” she says. She adds that it pairs well with Farrow & Ball’s “Wevet” color on trim and millwork, which is described as white with a hint of gray.
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Best Bathroom Paint Colors
Most modern bathrooms have white tile or marble as a base and limited natural light. Combine that with a white wall, and you’re left with a lackluster space that can quickly look and feel dingy if the paint isn’t fresh. One of the best ways to make the white stone and tile pop — and a pro staging trick — is to go with a bolder and darker color for the walls. For this reason, Saft says he often refreshes tired-looking bathrooms with Benjamin Moore’s “Kendall Charcoal,” or if you want to “get very moody,” he recommends the brand’s darker “Wrought Iron” color, which also works well in small rooms.
Best Kitchen Paint Colors
“The kitchen is a great place to add some color,” Saft says. “A deep, rich navy blue will never go out of style and is very on-trend at the moment, especially as it pairs well with warm-toned metals like brass, copper and gold, which are trending for kitchen hardware.”
Saft says his go-to in the kitchen is Benjamin Moore’s “Hale Navy,” which he says can instantly transform older kitchen cabinets to look fresh and new. Another option he recommends is “Salty Dog” from Sherwin Williams.
Best Dining Room Paint Colors
Dining rooms don’t always have the best natural light. Particularly in apartments, they often face an interior courtyard. Even in houses, daylight often isn’t a priority for a formal dining space. Therefore, choose a paint color that helps to brighten the rooms.
While there are endless shades of white to choose from — and to some, they might all look the same — the one you select ultimately comes down to personal preference. For a dining room, a warmer white creates a clean canvas that plays well with various table styles and will evoke a more welcoming tone. Lloyd recommends Benjamin Moore’s “Simply White,” describing it as clean and crisp, but “with a hint of sunshine.” She prefers it to the ever-popular “Decorator’s White” from the same brand, because it is “a touch creamier and creates a look which is more inviting.”
Both Saft and Lloyd agree that choosing a paint color has to do with myriad factors including natural light, ceiling height, type of flooring, room flow and, of course, your personal taste. Inspiration can come from anywhere — the outdoors, a favorite art print or textiles you own.
While pros like Saft and Lloyd can easily create a scheme and test a color with wall swatches, the rest of us can take advantage of new app-based technology that allows you to virtually stage a new paint color in your home with no actual painting required. Many interior design apps include this feature, and Benjamin Moore and Sherman Williams offer their own apps for exploring paint color options as well. These tools can save you a ton of time and money — and you’ll know if you’ve chosen wisely if your real estate agent doesn’t ask you to repaint.
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