A fresh coat of paint is an easy and affordable home upgrade that anyone can tackle if they have a can and a brush handy. Where this task gets tricky is before you even open that first can of paint: With so many gorgeous color options on the market, it can be tough to choose the right one for your home.
While your specific color preference will depend on your unique tastes, current furniture, and the style of your home, we can walk you through if you should head in a more neutral or colorful direction.
When Neutral Is The Right Choice
Some will say neutral is boring; others will say sticking to white, cream, or gray is an elegant choice to make. So how can you cut through all that noise and decide if a neutral paint color is a way to go?
Here are a few situations when a neutral paint color makes a lot of sense.
This Isn’t Your Forever Home.
If you plan to sell your home shortly, then a neutral paint color is your safest bet. Buyers are picky, and it’s hard for them to envision making a home their own when strong design choices have been made. Sticking to a neutral color will make your home more universally appealing to potential buyers. The last thing you want is to make it harder to find a buyer or to lower your property value by adding major paint redos to your buyer’s to-do list.
You can, of course, always repaint your home a more neutral color before putting it on the market, but the darker the color it is, the more work and money it will take to cover it up with a neutral shade.
Your Home Has Small Rooms
Color, incredibly dark colors, often make rooms feel smaller and more closed off, whereas a lighter, more neutral color like a crisp white makes the room feel open.
If You Lack Natural Light
Speaking of light: If your home lacks natural light, a neutral paint color keeps things feeling bright, airy, and fresh. If your home is short on windows or the sun doesn’t hit your home at the right angle, lighter walls help give the illusion of more natural light.
You Like Bold Home Decor
If you have a flair for design and aren’t afraid to embrace color when it comes to furniture, curtains, art, and other decorative objects, then a neutral background will help those colors pop.
When Colorful Walls Are The Right Choice
There are a lot of benefits that come with a more neutral paint color choice, but that doesn’t mean you should be afraid of color.
When Everything Else Is Neutral
Does your home have white cabinets, backsplashes, floor tiles, and countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms? Plenty of homes do these days, and while adding white paint into the mix creates a fresh and clean look, you can also take advantage of the muted colors in your home by embracing more colorful paint colors.
The same goes for furniture. Because furniture is so expensive, a safer and more neutral paint choice often makes sense. Having all-neutral furniture leaves you room to make a bolder — but much less expensive — the choice when it comes to painting color.
You’re In Your Forever Home
If you know you want to stay in your home for the long haul, now is the time to design a home that you love. Paint your bedroom a serene green, let the kids go as bright as they want, or make a funky choice in the guest bedroom. Take your time to design a home that truly aligns with your style.
You Have Some Small Spaces You Want To Play With
While it’s true that lighter neutral colors like white or cream help open up a small room, sometimes that won’t be your goal. Most of us don’t have plans to try to trick ourselves into thinking our guest bathroom, laundry room, or walk-in pantry is sprawling. Because these spaces are so small, you can use fun paint colors to make a statement without worrying about the color being a focal point in your home.
If you plan to sell your home soon, neutral paint color is a safer bet, especially if your home has a closed-off floor plan or lacks natural light. On the other hand, if you intend to stay in your home for many years, you’ll find that adding a little color can help you personalize the space. At the end of the day, though, none of these “rules” really matter, as you should always make home decor choices based on what makes you happy.