Where (Not) To Use White

White is used throughout a professionally staged home. While there are always exceptions, here are seven places we recommend using white in your listing - and a few places you really shouldn't.

1. Kitchen cabinets. 

The number one requested color for kitchen cabinets is white. While you might enjoy decorating magazines and the myriad of colors used on cabinets by top designers, staging is all about appealing to the maximum number of buyers. You can never go wrong with painting older kitchen cabinets white. Make sure to use white in a semi-gloss finish.

2. Moldings.

99% of the time, I recommend painting molding with white semi-gloss. This goes for all types of molding: crown molding, chair rail, and baseboards, as well as window trim and interior doors. This creates a good contrast with the wall color, even when the wall color is light, and highlights the trim.

3. Lampshades.

A well-lit listing will command a higher price. For as much light as possible, use cream or white lampshades so that the maximum amount of light shines into the room. Avoid dark decorative shades: gold, navy, and black. Really, the darkest shade you'll see in a well-staged home is cream.

4. Bedding, linens, and towels.

A home is an emotional purchase. We want buyers to associate the home with positive feelings, which is why we use white bedding, linens, and towels. This emulates the look and feel of a luxury hotel room: happy, calm, and serene.

5. Ceilings.

Buyers want higher ceilings and more space. A ceiling painted with flat white ceiling paint - with the faintest blue undertone - will raise the ceiling and make your listing appear more spacious. 

6. Counters and tile.

Dark kitchen countertops were all the rage in the '90s. It can be hard to give the impression of light and space with black galaxy or ooba tooba granite. The same goes for dark backsplashes. This extends to the bathroom: bathrooms with dark tile and countertops can depress the sales price.

If you don't have the budget to change these, a good stager will use thoughtfully chosen white accessories to brighten up the space.

7. Basement and garage.

Cold gray cinderblock walls can make a room feel dingy and damp. Instead, paint the walls white in an unfinished basement, laundry room, and even the garage. White will open up the rooms and make them feel clean.

White is a fantastic choice to help appeal to more buyers, create more light and space, and raise the sales price of your listings. But, there are a few places where white just doesn't belong. These include exterior accents, like the front door and shutters (if repainting these, you can use them to set the stage for the interior color scheme). This also applies to kitchen appliances: stainless steel is still buyers' top choice.

There are always exceptions to the rule, but in these cases, exceptions are few and far between. If you'd like to discuss how we can lighten and brighten your next listing, please contact me.