Sunday, April 17, 2011

Your Basic Goof-Proof Color Scheme: Black and White


Want to make the task of choosing colors for home staging easy?  Just go with the ultimate color combination that's not technically about color at all -- black and white.

Don't be scared off by decorators telling you that white is sterile. Forget your old notions of black and white being the stuff of silent movies, funerals and institutional bedding. 

Fact: White goes with everything. The trick is to pick a white that works with the non-change-able fixtures of your home -- the refrigerator, the carpeting, the painted trim, the toilet. Make a decision to go with a creamy white, or a pure bright white, or a grey white. Then, you're on easy street.

Paint things like mismatched furniture, vases, and frames shiny black. Slipcover your sofa with white. (Learn how from Kristi at Pink and Polka Dot). Add curtains in a black and white print. Buy new white towels and duvet cover. Put white shades on all your lamps. Now you're getting somewhere.

It's perfectly fine to add some color as long as black and white predominate. There are bound to be touches of wood, and greenery, and metals here and there. If you need photos to guide you on your way, here's encouragement.
I don't think this room would be as striking if the colors were different. Yes, you can choose contrasts this bold when staging because the colors themselves are not a distraction. Notice the use of a framed black and white photograph, an ideal and economical way to play up your subtle theme.
Outdoor spaces take on a sophistication and unity with a black and white scheme. A concrete patio can be painted white to make it look new. A can of spray paint will give outdoor furniture a fresh face. Planters and flower pots and even chandeliers are easy to paint as well.

Black and white doesn't mean stark. It's also luxurious. Many classic designs come in this combo. To nail down that luxe look, pay attention to textures. Make sure there are some glossy, reflective surfaces and some soft, inviting ones as well. 
Strong graphics and colors like this will make your home the one house hunters remember. Did you know that you can change the colors of an upholstered chair. Fabric paint can turn one of your own  rejects or thrift store bargain into the star of the show. 
  All photographs above: Apartment Therapy.

When you go with black and white, walls don't have to be white. Here, designer Gregga Jordan Smieszny gave the walls a lustrous grey finish. I like the black wall sconces. The two average-sized photographs take on added importance when given wide frames and mats.  Anything here for you to copy ? Photo: Desire to Inspire.
No matter what the architectural style or age of your home for sale, there's a black and white pattern that's a perfect fit -- polka dots, checkerboards, houndstooth, buffalo plaids, zebra stripes, chevrons, key motifs, pinstripes, diamonds, wide stripes, paisleys, toile -- all classics. Read about mixing patterns here. Photo: Marimekko.

Don't let the simple, versatile popularity of black and white pass you by. Instead, harness its appeal to help sell your home. I wrote about all-white color schemes here, and blue and white color schemes here. Take your pick, and get staging!

For more tips about color and style selection to make your home sell, download my eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar. It's loaded with helpful advice, easy-to-follow advice that lets you stage your home yourself to appeal to home buyers.      



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