Painting kids' rooms for staging? Or leave as kids's rooms?

finz2leftSeptember 23, 2011

My daughters room is a Pottery Barn room -- a bright, cheery lavender with all the PB trimmings.

My sons' room is tan with a red chair rail -- so only the chair rail might be a problem -- their room is sports themed.

Do I need to paint DD's room tan or a pale yellow or pale lavender? She would cry horribly ... but we are prepping to sell this Spring already so it doesn't creep up on us!

Our master is a typical Master blue/gray.


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I couldn't bare to do it to my daughter. Her room is, sit down, purple with a lime green shag carpet. We didn't change it. My house was "sold" four times in less than a year. (The deals fell through because the buyers couldn't get mortgages for one reason or another but that's another story.) We really cleaned up the room though. It's crazy colors but it could be in a magazine. When I was showing it, I pointed out how easy it is to repaint and in fact, suggested pale yellow walls would look really nice with the carpet and they could do a nice garden theme. Now if I was in dire straits and I absolutely HAD to sell my house, I wouldn't take a chance that it would turn off a buyer and I'd repaint. I bet your son wouldn't mind if you repainted that chair rail a better color. You know, the more I think about this, I never had a problem selling any of my places with my crazy colors because, I think, even if it's not the buyer's taste, if it looks gorgeous, they love it anyway. I'm not saying they won't change it if they buy it. In my last house, my dining room was actually purple. Purple, purple. (It was an old Victorian farmhouse.) Most people would probably hate it. But that house sold immediately. It also had a red den. Other crazy colors. Heck, all of my houses have colors and I've never had trouble selling any of them. One of them even had big grey patches on the bathroom wall that I painted to look like a pony's hide! That house sold in two weeks for full asking. Admittedly, it was in Oklahoma--horse land--but still! Does it look great?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 10:28PM
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I think as long as the public areas of the house are good, then I would leave the kid's rooms alone. Doesn't sound like the kid's rooms are way out there and they're probably quite cute. As long as you have them really tidy and clean, people shouldn't be that concerned about the paint colors in smaller bedrooms. You should make sure the master bed and bath are really appealing though.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 10:41PM
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Clean the rooms, then clean them again, then declutter them by removing at least a third of the toys and clothes into storage. Don't worry about the colors as long as the basics like the woodwork and the carpet are neutral. If the rest of the woodwork is red, then paint it neutral. If it's just the chair rail, then it's fine.

A green shag rug I could deal with, but green shag carpet, ugh! Double ugh, actually. I'd have to demand an allowance for that.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 11:15PM
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My son's room is painted a bright lime green. All the real estate agents I interviewed said it had to be repainted a more neutral color. All the stagers I interviewed either loved it immediately or thought about it for a while and concluded it could stay.

My kids' bedrooms are down a hallway and are the last rooms a potential buyer would see. I think if the rest of the house is "wow", then having kids' rooms painted cute colors and staged as kids' rooms (decluttered!) is totally fine.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 7:41AM
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I wouldn't repaint either room based on just the colors. (If the rooms NEED new paint, that's another story.) Your buyer may have kids who would love the decor. Much easier to give a buyer a few dollars to cover the lavender IF it's a deal-breaker.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 9:58AM
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When I bought my 1st house I put lavender carpet in the den and custom levelor lavender blinds on the windows. One entire wall was windows, so there was a lot of lavender. Young and single is my only excuse for the decor. Anyway, when I sold the house, the realtor said the purple had to go. I told her that I loved the room and wasn't changing it. When the house sold really fast, the realtor looked embarrassed and said that what sold the house was the purple room. Buyer loved it. It's all personal taste and you can't predict what buyers want because they are all different. Your daughter's room sounds tasteful. I've never seen anything too "out there" from pottery barn.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 9:58AM
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Thank you all. I woke up to this board and a huge sigh of relief! Her room is adorable, and I'd hate to see her feel any more misgivings about moving. Now, I can let her feel comfortable while we stay in our home.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 10:48AM
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I'm late to the conversation, but I'm glad you are leaving the room the colors it is. I went through this with my dd two years ago. She was almost six and had picked out the bedding, curtains, and pink wall color herself. She was really upset that her room was to be changed. It wasn't worth stressing her out any more than a move already does. At the stager's suggestion, I took down the pink curtains and replaced them with white. I switched out the bedding for a more nuetral color that went with the garden theme of the room. Dd's stuff (with her permission) that wasn't used for staging went into a box for the new house. When we walked through the house with the new owner, she complimented the room. It was the only room in the house that she complimented. IMO, it helped sell the house.

I think if your rooms look magazine worthy, then leaving them as is, is fine. If they are just a hodge podge and a mix of stuff, it is better to repaint or stage so that it looks more appealing. I have seen some kid's rooms that made me cringe because everything clashed or looked like it had been thrown together with no thought of what worked.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 11:34AM
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Thanks adellabedella! Every voice is a voice of reassurance :-).

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 7:18PM
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Just for the record, kids don't get stressed unless you stress them. They are incredibly flexible and will rise or sink to your expectations. If you get all stressed out, then they will too. If you stay positive and treat this as a new adventure, they will too.

Maybe some people are more judgmental, but in my book, kids room usually get a pass. As long as the colors aren't blinding and they aren't packed full of "stuff", I understand that kids decor is not the same as adults. decor.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 8:53AM
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Billl is exactly right. I grew up moving a lot because we lived in a city and whenever a better apartment came up, whether it was in the same building, on the same street, or on the other side of town, we moved. It was always a big adventure. Even when we moved from a luxury high rise (where my parents were the supers but where we had a beautiful apartment nonetheless) to a four railroad room cold water flat that had cockroaches (but where my mother was happy--after we got rid of the roaches--and so we kids were happy). My husband and I have also moved around. This time to other states. My daughter is a sophmore in high school and she is busting to move to the new place! And we're moving to a place that needs work! It's nothing as nice as I've got this place, though it will get this way after some time. If you're moving, it's a good thing, even if you are moving because you are in financial difficulties because at the new place, you will have less financial difficulties and therefore less stress. There's always something good about it. Don't put anything bad in your kids' heads.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2011 at 10:46PM
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Thank DD has special needs and transition issues. The boys are ready to go :-).

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 9:54PM
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