What "Color Me Beautiful" Taught Me About Staging

By
Real Estate Agent with Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. AB95346

Many years ago, I had my colors done. 

The idea is to figure out which groups and shades of colors make you look terrific, and which ones make you look like an organ donor waiting to happen.  Of course, you want to go with the look-good-feel-good colors that work for you.

They say this approach is also useful when you are working on decor for your home.  You get a good feeling about a room when it's decorated in your colors.

The woman who did my analysis worked for Color Me Beautiful.  They divide people into one of four "seasons".  And people in one season, the "Autumns" like and look good in browns, golds, maroons, olive greens, and unusual shades of other colors.  But the Autumns only make up about three percent of the people on the planet!

So the other day, I showed a house where they had moved out the buyers pretty decent stuff and brought in a stager.  Well, this gal must have been pure Autumn, because it was all the shades that made my buyers (she was a spring and he was a winter) just want to run out the door!  Golden green couch, Chinese rugs with brown and gold patterns, and maroons swags. 

"Wait!" I said.  "You're reacting to the colors."  And once they realized what it was, they were able to see beyond the staging and realize it was a terrific place.  It's on the possible list now.

This made an impression because I am preparing to list a house that has all the wrong colors - out of That 70's Show!  The seller is up for letting us consign his olive green couch to Value Village and bring one in from our staging warehouse.  He's agreed to have the place painted to make the maroon walls in the master bedroom disappear and transform leaf gold dining room into an oasis of cross-season neutrality. 

And to help choose the colors, I'm going to call a favorite colleague who helped me with my own house.  Oh, my friend is a summer, but she's good at picking universal colors that everyone can feel comfortable around.

 

 

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  1. Judi K Barrett 11/07/2009 12:33 PM
  2. Gary Swanson 11/07/2009 12:50 PM
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Topic:
Home Selling
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Stage It Forward...
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washignton dc real estate
patricia kennedy

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Rainmaker
525,909
Shirley Parks
Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Homes
Sands Realty 210-414-0966

Haha... this brings back memories.  I also had this done back in the 80s and found that I am, or was, a summer.  I was invited to one of those parties recently and was surprised that they are no longer doing the color thing... now they are mostly into spa treatment products but still offer make-up.  Smart to relate this to using colors in staging.

November 07, 2009 01:02 PM
Rainmaker
360,747
Kathleen Cooper
EXIT Realty Partners - Broker, REALTOR®
Kathleen Cooper, Best Option-EXIT Realty Partners, REALTOR®

Hey Pat! The yellow star fairy found you again!  Congrats!  =) 

Sincerely,

Kathleen

November 07, 2009 01:09 PM
Rainmaker
191,856
Sarah & John Rummage
BPOR, ePro, Realtor
Benchmark Realty LLC, Brentwood, Nashville TN 615.516.5233

I had my colors done years ago too. She said I was autumn, and I went overboard with oranges, olive greens, etc. I'll bet I looked freakish.  Now I am back to more wintry colors.  Not so garish.

BTW, did you see the scene in "Roger And Me" where Roger Moore had his colors done?  That movie is 20 years old but I watched it the other day.

Sarah in Nashville

November 07, 2009 01:11 PM
Rainmaker
400,543
Marian Goetzinger
Crystal Coast Real Estate NC
Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000

Pat, I had forgotten all about that "Seasonal" color thing.  I too had myself "done" once and the colors the "expert" chose for me were colors I hated.  So I think there's more too colors than skin tones and so forth.  I think personality and personal history always enter in too and if a certain color makes you feel good, then I say surround yourself with it, whether it's your home or your clothing.

On the other hand, when selling your home, it's no longer about what makes you happy.  Now it's about what makes the home appeal to the potential buyers so good points.

November 07, 2009 01:37 PM
Rainer
128,921
Deena Cottingham
Home Stager & Photographer
GreenApple Staging & Images, Calgary Staging & Photography

When changing anything in a home, color choice is free to get right . . . but costs you when you get it wrong!

November 07, 2009 01:42 PM
Ambassador
962,308
Jason Crouch
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
Austin Texas Homes, LLC
Pat - it's challenging sometimes to get buyers to look past the decor. Sounds like you're doing all the right things to prevent problems before they happen. :)
November 07, 2009 01:45 PM
Ambassador
1,529,256
Gary Woltal
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth
Keller Williams Realty

Pat, there is indeed a lot of meaning to color analysis. Ask any stager or Feng Shui expert. Thanks for the reminder.

November 07, 2009 03:22 PM
Rainmaker
312,353
Lori Churchill Cofer
Realtor - 509-330-0086 - Pullman, WA
Beasley Realty

Pat,

Mmm....good point!  I had never thought about that before...

November 07, 2009 07:47 PM
Rainmaker
191,969
R.E. Renée Hoover, Salesperson
Poconos, Pike, Wayne, Monroe Counties, PA
Century 21 Geba Realty, Milford, PA

Perception can be everything, and if a fresh coat of paint and some Feng Shui helps achieve the selling perception, I'm all for it.  However, if I were the buyer, it would be all about the bones and layout and care of the home.  The first home I made an offer on when moving from NY to the Poconos, in January after a significant snow fall, had all the charm and pretty colors - it was everything I thought I wanted.  Came back a week later with my builder brother for a closer look - snow had melted from the roof, and the roof was sagging - went into the attic and it was propped up!  I will never, ever forget that very good lesson.

November 07, 2009 07:54 PM
Ambassador
895,064
Missy Caulk
Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
Missy Caulk TEAM

Pat, I remember those days. Darn...I can't remember what I was. I think a winter. I like red's and white white's and black.

Which I wore anyway.

November 07, 2009 08:07 PM
Rainmaker
1,228,671
Michelle Gibson
REALTOR
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc.

Patricia - I remember those "color me beautiful" days.  Certain color palettes can definitely turn a buyer off, it's great your seller is going to do some neutralizing.

November 07, 2009 08:53 PM
Rainmaker
506,095
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate

Love the post today.....thanks for getting it out to us.   Color is so personal, I like green you like blue..... I'd forgotten about Color me Beautiful...thanks for the reminder

Patricia/Seacoast NH

November 07, 2009 08:56 PM
Rainmaker
261,430
Wayne B. Pruner
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI
Oregon First

I really like what staging brings to a property, but as you say, it has to be neutral and appeal to as many people as possible. Clients of mine bought a house recently that had been on the market for a long time, like 2 years. The seller had installed bright blue carpet. Expensive, luxurious, soft, bright blue carpet! Once I got my clients to see past the carpet, they bought the very best house in Tualatin in their price range. It was a real bargain.

November 07, 2009 08:57 PM
Rainmaker
116,367
Susan Peters
The Better it Looks the Better it Sells
Dove Realty Inc.

Hi Patricia,

As a fellow redhead and an Autumn I have to throw in my two cents. I use warm Autumn colors in almost all of my listing. The basics are usually neutral and the accent colors are in warmer hues. Even in this market my listings have been selling within a a few weeks at the most. This one just sold in 4 days. Maybe there are a lot more Autumns in Seattle.

November 08, 2009 12:13 AM
Rainmaker
824,184
Marc Swartz
CPA, CA - Toronto, Durham & York Regions, Ontario

Hi Patricia - I had my colours done many years ago and was told that I am a summer.  I have always been attracted to summer colours previously.  You can get a good sense of the season that purchasing agents at clothing stores belong to since often most, if not all, of the clothes relate to that season's colours.

November 08, 2009 08:07 AM
Rainmaker
47,743
Kim Dillon
Creative Eye Home Staging

Another reason to keep it neutral and use accents for color and fun!

November 08, 2009 08:59 AM
Rainmaker
807,614
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg Homes
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg IL Real Estate - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago

Patricia: I haven't heard that mentioned in quite awhile but I do believe that colors effect our choices and feelings.  I am more open minded but your buyers definately gave an example of how staging to as many groups as possible is the best advice.  I am much more accepting of reds vs. others that I know.  I think it's a trend that needs to disappear sooner rather than later. I think the paint companies are the ones doing it!

November 08, 2009 09:11 AM
Rainer
10,041
Lisa Lucas
Lisa Lucas Design

I have to agree with Susan that here in Seattle, the warmer colors get great results.  Most stagers out there know that rich neutrals with a few color accents work wonders. I add Fall seasonal color but keep the furniture neutral. Some confuse staging with interior design. One narrows the choices to a personal style while the other broadens the appeal. Beige living room with black chairs and Fall accentsImportant to find stagers that understand this important difference.

November 08, 2009 03:33 PM
Ambassador
1,550,626
Christine Donovan
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Donovan Blatt Realty

Color Me Beautiful and people as seasons.  I hadn't thought about that in a long time.

If Autumns are 3%, what are the majority of people?

November 08, 2009 10:27 PM
Rainmaker
645,151
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate

You made a lot of valid points.  The pictures other stagers posted were helpful.

November 16, 2009 03:57 PM
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Patricia Kennedy

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