Do I repaint a kitchen blah tan for resale?

Fori is not pleasedMay 16, 2011

The Kitchen Forum here on GW has offered their opinion on my green kitchen I should paint for selling. They are not into boring and have many interesting suggestions. My Realtor suggests boring. His team thinks the kitchen walls should be the same tasteful light tannish blah background neutral color as the rest of the house. I can't go along with that because it would clash, but I'm willing to accept green ain't the most appealing color to everyone.

The kitchen is a galley and can be separated from the house with doors, so I don't think it needs to be the SAME. If it matters, this should be marketed towards 30s-40s Silicon Valley types with/planning kids. I'm not sure this crowd sees likes tasteful blah tan as an advantage, but pistachio green might be pushing it.

Any tasteful color recommendations? It's all pretty neutral gray without wall color. Thanks!

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I hate blah tan. We have looked at so many houses that had every room painted white for resale. Guess what? They are not selling. The houses look cold and unlived in. Our kitchen is pumpkin orange, our dining room is blood red, and our kids rooms are purple, ocean blue, and green. We sold in 3 days.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 9:01PM
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who wants blah. go ahead and paint it bright orange for some spunk and fun. blah is boring. be daring and stand out.

ok, back to reality. Ignore what I just said above. Is that photo of the sage green the way the kitchen is now? If so, I would not worry about leaving it that way. It is pretty basic (or blah) already. It has a clean, modern feel. maybe the blah tan might go better with the cabinets and countertops and that is probably why the realtors are suggesting the tan.

your posts cracks me up, as it is very clear that you don't want to go neutral and want to express creativity.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 9:31PM
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Yellow is the most neutral color I could think to paint it. White is too light with those cabinets and a light gray would clash with the beige in the other room. Not sure how well red would go over in your area.I've seen several red kitchens here in my area. I think it would go well with the grey and also match with tan. Of course, it isn't nuetral. It could be reallypretty.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 10:25PM
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Fori is not pleased

Red! I'm not that brave. But it WOULD be fabulous!

The color is sort of celery green. Baby clothes green. Pistachio ice cream green. Not a grown up sage green, which would be a "Realtor color" based on what I just bought. And I do like yellow. But I'm not supposed to be doing what *I* like. =P

I'm not trying to express myself...I just don't want to ruin the kitchen in order to save it!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 10:59PM
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REA's are not designers, hence the advice to paint it tan. They fail to realize that there are countless shades of tan and the undertones of each one can make or break how the room will look once painted.

Any color chosen should be one that makes the kitchen more of a stand out as kitchens sell homes. Best bet? Invest a bit in hiring a color consultant to avoid trial and error.
Or, get a lot of sample pots in different shades of green and paint
sections...then choose and hope for the best.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 11:37PM
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Go bold. Bland is boring. We rented our house within 12 hours of putting on the market. Every room in the house, including bathrooms, is a different color. Red, tan, yellow, dark brown, pink, green, blue, khaki, light blue... used Benjamin Moore paints and matched to the character of the room. Probably depends on the house, but bold and fun make it lived in and attractive.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 12:34AM
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I always hated anything tan or beige. I've had walls painted purple (dark purple), red, blue, green, even white. I've never had a beige or tan.

But when we getting ready to sell our house we talked to a stager who recommended painting most of the house Kilim Beige (Sherwin Williams) and so we did. And here's the thing. It was a great, great color. So great I plan to paint most of my new house that color.

So, look at some tans or other neutral colors and maybe you will find one that isn't boring.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 2:31AM
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I wouldn't paint it tan if everything else in the house is. I do think it needs to be painted though since it is pistachio green to appeal to more people.

Since you said it has grays I'd look at colors such as greens with greyish tones, blues with gray undertones, or a darker gray. Grays are really popular right now.

I wouldn't go with yellow, but maybe more gold if that is what you were leaning. However I think golds/yellows were the recent trend that is phasing out now so with a younger crowd as your buyers going for a trendy color would probably be better.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 7:13AM
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Blah tan or cafe au lait? It's all in how you look at it. A tasteful tan may not sell your home but it's not going offend people (especially if it is in just one room). An unusual green may gave potential buyers pause for cause.

Your kitchen is gorgeous but from what I can tell, the current pale color doesn't enhance of the features of your kitchen. Your kitchen is pretty neutral so most any color will work. I wouldn't go really dark but I do think you need is a bit more saturation.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 7:56AM
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With the glut of homes on the market, if a buyer doesn't like what they see, they go to the next house. They don't think about what if we did this or that or repainted in some other color.
Take the advice your your agent and paint it neutral tan.
You're not trying to be creative, you're trying to sell a house.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 8:21AM
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I would suggest a soft blue. It's a break from the 'blah' tan, would compliment the gray in the kitchen and is currently very popular. ;) Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 8:57AM
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If you want to go neutral, I'd lean more toward a white than a tan. Tan won't contrast enough with your nice cabinets. Paint the walls a soft white, then add some bold touches of color (vase with flowers, bowl of bright fruit, etc.--all the typical staging touches).

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 9:27AM
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are the cabinets white? its hard to tell, with I'm guessing the floresant....

I would consider painting a grown up sage green or something.

we sold our old house with a light green bathroom, medium green dining room, dark blue kitchen and light blue bedrooms. definately much more colorful than the standard mantra, but they were all "grown up" colors that flowed well together and 99% of the buyers said it was great and they wouldn't have to paint it looked so nice. my point is color isn't always the enemy, but if your color is a real outlier and wouldn't be at home in a restoration hardware or pottery barn ad then maybe you should change.

I'd also change the light as it seems to throw off all kind of weird color, but I know cali has various laws prohibiting that...

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 10:35AM
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In my opinion I would go with a deep neutral. With the white cabinets you could pull off a darker color and would be very appealing to the most buyers. I used Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige in my LR and above the chair rail in my DR. Latte was used in MB and below chair rail in DR. I would not use kilim beige in the kitchen as it would just not do much for the space, but would go with Hopsack (a shade darker than Latte). All of my showings have been positive (on the interior) and all feedback has commented on the paint colors. I do currently have a red kitchen, but have been considering going with Hopsack for a change once we're off the market in a few weeks. If you're interested in checking out that color it's on the Sherwin-Williams color card 16. Home Depot color matched in the Behr paint.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 11:47AM
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Fori is not pleased

Thanks all. Cabinets are white, counters are stainless steel and a grey marble (backsplash on other wall is also marble). The floor is a dark grey with a blue cast and the ceiling is a very light blue (which I will consider for walls--it's actually nicer than the green and much more subtle).

The lighting is much better than it photographs. The fixtures themselves may be weird...

Would it be useful to ask the actual painter what people (who aren't in the RE business) are painting their kitchens these days? I'll see what he says. (For the record, he wasn't a fan of the green in the first place, so I don't think he'd lie to be polite.)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 2:20PM
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I would go with something that gives *just* a little more contrast, the green seems a little "minty"; maybe a slate or teal/aqua blue, one with a little grey to it? Not too dark, though. Blue is a very calming color, when done right, of course.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 2:27PM
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Brownish colors are classic, & if you use a cocoa or cafe-au-lait-ish deep color, I think it'll complement the light cabinets & bring some warmth & snap to the stainless steel appliances.

Cool colors in a kitchen often look "backwards";
kitchens are the heart of the house, & they should be warm!

I always recommend *against* what I call "rent house white";
it looks like the owner bought the cheapest ceiling paint & painted everything the same to save money, it's cold rather than warm,
& it makes everything-cabinets, fixtures, furniture, & window treatments-look dirty by contrast.

When someone needs a light/white color, I recommend Behr (Home Depot) Cottage White.

Best luck!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 4:10PM
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If I were you, I would look at the Benjamin Moore Pottery Barn color collection and see if there is a color there that fits the room.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 4:20PM
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I could not tell that the cabinets were white, they looked tan to me. I'd pick a color out of the granite and go with that. I love green, but I'm not on the market for a house right now.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 4:26PM
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Notice how all the well meaning suggestions are the true colors of your cabs and counters can't be determined from the photo.

That is why the better bet is to either hire a consultant, or get paint sample pots and choose what looks best with the most mass appeal.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 6:18PM
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Despite all the propaganda from HGTV - beige, gray, "greige" etc. are not most people's choices. Just like sage green was all the rage (on TV at least) a few years ago, most people who imitated it decided it was kind of sickly in reality. Go with what looks good to you, but nothing too extreme. Kitchens should look warm and cheerful: they are the heart of the home.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 8:43PM
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Man! I just wrote this big long thing about how I sell all my houses with "crazy" colors and then I closed it by mistake and lost it all. I'm just going to post a link to my blog because I just wrote a story about this exact thing. My real estate agent friend advised me to go neutral. Nah. Check out the story. I have some pictures on there too of my purple dining room.

Here is a link that might be useful: Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 11:31PM
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I thought your cabinets were pink. I cannot see any grey except the counter top by the sink. The other counter top appears pink/grey. Thought it was a bit strange.

I'd go a soft grey. You are trying to sell your house, and need to appeal to the masses. Don't decorate for yourself.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 12:26AM
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I just read LoveInTheHouse's story. There was a comment that people who like blah house's don't know how to decorate. I think that is so true. Unfortunately, when you decorate with color, you also have to pick the right color. I think that is where a lot of people go wrong. The color actually has to be complimentary to the house. I don't mind a pink bedroom in someone's house. I don't like Petol Bismol or bubble gum pink. I've yet to see anyone pull off those colors.

I like gray like the OP's. I think she probably has to put something on the walls that compliments the grey. It may not be a nuetral color. I don't think a tan will work.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 10:54AM
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scarlett2001 and adellabedella, EXACTLY!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 12:45PM
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"blah houses are for people who don't know how to decorate" - that may be true, but you need to remember that one person's "blah" is another's "simple and refined"; one person's "bold and punched-up crazy" is another's "muppet vomit"

You need to sell your house, pick something that will appeal to the most people, that will complement and not overpower the space. Ask a friend whose taste and opinion you trust to help you make your final decision - based on the fireplace recommendations from another post, I'm pretty sure that's not your realtor.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 1:42PM
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but this isn't about artistic sense;
it's about painting the kitchen to sell the house.

I tell my seller clients that they may have bought "Neiman's", but they need to sell "Sears".

That form-fitting shirt may look stunning on your trim little body, but the boxy tops at Sears will fit anybody who comes into the store!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 2:15PM
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It's kind of funny to read these comments. Though, I'm not sure how funny it is to say that because someone likes a blah house they don't know how to decorate. Just because the color palate is neutral doesn't mean their decor and furnishings are blah. Honestly, I would much prefer a blah color that I could live with for a while over a sage green or purple that makes me feel bad. The whole point of choosing a color scheme for selling is to create an environment that is friendly for almost everyone. Some might think my color choices are blah, but not one potential buyer or their agents have had anything but good things to say about the colors. I don't think my decor is blah either and fortunately for me I can change out my accessories without having to repaint anything...which is what I'm looking for when I go house shopping in the future. While a purple (no offense to the one with the purple room) dining room would not keep me from buying a house, I would make sure to rule out any other houses first that I didn't have to paint immediately. In the current market we're in, there are alot of houses to compete with and expressing your artistic side isn't necessarily going to sell your house quickly. It sort of stinks, but that's the way it is. I still stand my SW #16 color that blah-ness.

sylviatexas, love your advice!!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 3:27PM
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I thjink going purple would be a bad bet, but going blah is not the best either.

I completely agree that those people with "blah houses are for people who don't know how to decorate"

you don't have to go wild on the walls, but everything has to hang together. if you have a lighter color decorated nicely that works fine. I've seen plenty of houses people have lived in for 10 years with realitor beige on the walls and no pictures, or just a few pictures, and some really ugly sparse furnishings.

There are people on both sides of the color debate, and a lot get it wrong, then end up with muppet colors, or bland undecorated spaces. niether of those help you sell.

you have a nice style to your kitchen in the cabinets, countertops etc, pick something that goes with it, that has a bit more mass appeal, but doesn't scream undecorated, or realitor beige. I would think a blue or green/grey would work

I think you should go with Graywings suggestion, get a pottery barn color chart from benjimen moore and pick a color from there that goes.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 11:50AM
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The house we currently live in had sunny yellow walls in the living room, deep blue in the dining room, a reddish brown in the kitchen and more of the sunny yellow in the TV room. The guest room had the same deep blue on top with white on the bottom.

I loved it. Haven't changed a single color other than adding a deep red wall to the TV room and painting my children's bedrooms - one wall of reddish brown for my son's Indiana Jones-themed bedroom and pale pink for my daughter's zebra stripe/hot pink bedroom.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 7:44PM
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