While watching Dr. Oz discussing the positive influence on mood made by the color yellow with Leslie Harrington from the Color Association of the United States, I began to think about the advantages of using yellow in home staging. After all, a color which puts buyers in a good mood couldn’t hurt!
Color seems to influence how we feel. Our first response to color is not to the aesthetic. It is an innate physiological reaction. Our second reaction is to a learned association. These learned reactions to color change due to cultural differences, sex, age, and socio-economic status. The use of color not an exact science and there is not a lot of empirical evidence on the topic. However, there are some things which are generally accepted about yellow. And, these make it seem like a good color for staging.
Yellow is universally associated in all cultures with the sun. Like sunshine, it can elevate our mood. Yellow is thought of by almost everyone as a cheerful, happy color. This may go back to our days as cave men. During the day it was easier to hunt and gather. After the sun went down, the world became more dangerous and we felt a little uneasy. When we use yellow in staging, we don’t have to fear a negative reaction to yellow from any cultural group.
Yellow is also the first color to be noticed. It is an attention grabber. This is why it’s used in caution signs, taxis, and school buses. The combination of yellow and black mimics bees and snakes — associated with caution for humans. With it’s high visibility, the stager can confidently direct the viewers eye to selling features with splashes of yellow.
Yellow rooms can have some negative effects. It is a very stimulating color and speeds up the metabolism. Because it reflects a lot of light and requires two groups of cones within the retina of the eye for processing, it can cause eye fatigue and irritation. Adults in yellow rooms tend to loose their temper more often, fight more, and stay mad longer. Yellow nurseries are said to make babies cry more. Stagers also caution against painting all the walls a strong shade of yellow with the reasoning that it is too taste-specific. The staging safe shade of yellow for walls would be more muted, like Benjamin Moore’s HC-6 Windham Cream.
Tips for using yellow in home staging:
- Plant yellow flowers near the front door. The high visibility of yellow makes it perfect to draw the eye to the entrance, creating a welcoming impression. Besides high visibility, yellow also works well with most other colors found in your home’s exterior.
- Accent the kitchen with a bowl of lemons. Lemons have other advantages as well. Their scent is fresh, clean and simple — best for staged homes. They also last longer than many other fruits.
- Keep the use of yellow to a few accents in a bathroom. You will avoid causing a reflection that makes complexions look sallow in the mirror.
- If your gray room looks drab, add a few pops of yellow. Grey is a trendy color for decorating but can look boring if not well done. Gray and yellow are a perfect combination.
- If a room is dark, adding a few yellow accessories brings in a sunshine effect.
- Use cushions, throws, vases, flowers, trays and other portable items to add yellow to a room without making a permanent color commitment.
- Instead of painting a room pure white, consider adding a hint of yellow to give a warmer, less institutional feel. Or try the staging safe Benjamin Moore HC-6, Windham Cream.
- Proceed with caution when using yellow in the staging of a master bedroom. Yellow is a very stimulating color and you want your master to be a serene, restful retreat for the new owners.
- Stage your office with some yellow in the inexpensive form of some yellow pencils and a new legal pad. Yellow makes us focus, hence it’s use on legal pads.
- Use yellow accents freely in children’s bedrooms to make them cheerful, fun and stimulating. Yellow is appropriate for either boys or girls. Be cautious about using bright yellow walls in bedrooms. It is not conducive to sleep and it is too taste specific to help your sale.
- If you are repainting your home’s exterior, don’t rule out yellow. The best yellow for selling is thought to be a pale sunny yellow, without greenish or orange tones. White trim and green accents would work well with the pale yellow.