Staging with Color Ė White is Black

by Pam Christensen† Posted on February 2, 2016†

Benjamin Moore and Glidden announced their color of the year for 2016 is Ö. white? Sherwin-Williams and Behr are also showing an off-white in their 2016 color trend forecasts.

But wait, isnít white, um boring? I think itís all in how you use it and of course what you use for accents and accessories. Kitchen cabinets painted in Benjamin Mooreís Simply White contrasted with a black counter top and black pulls create a crisp clean look. Add some primary colored canisters to the counter tops for a pop of color and voilŗ, you have a kitchen that states, clean and crisp with a side of fun.

Appliances can be classic stainless steel or white is becoming a clear star across a broad range of kitchen styles, but do keep in mind for us baby boomers, these new models are not the white appliances you may have grown up with. White cabinets paired with white appliances add to the flow of the space, which is particularly important in a small kitchen.

You can also add bright pops of color to your kitchen with some of the smaller appliances, such as a bright red or blue Kitchen Aid or even a toaster, and bright color metal retro bar stools finish the look.

For living rooms, Cappuccino White from Glidden is a creamy white that works best with warm hues. Used in a room with a dark floor, it will boost the light in the space and help to create the warm glow you get from a sunny day. A creamy white is warmer and friendlier than the grays that are currently popular and can help to keep the chill away during the upcoming gloomy winter days.

But for those of you who are just starting to love the grays painting walls with Sherwin Williams Alabaster,† accessorizing with a mix of grays and browns will create a visually interesting, warm and welcoming space. A bonus of a neutral-only room is that you can easily add pops of seasonal colors to keep a room fresh and interesting, adding sunny yellows for spring, bright blues and teals for summer, and olives, burnt oranges and purples for fall.

For furniture such as sofas and large chairs, I recommend staying with creams, beiges or grays, rather than whites. Whites work well for formal, seldom used living rooms, but donít hold up well for day to day living. Iím not sure that the old real estate advice of painting everything white is on its way back, and even if white stays on as a lasting trend there are a multitude of shades of white to consider.

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Editorís Note: if you are rehabbing a house in the affordable range and not high end, I recommend that you stay with flat antique white for walls and semi-glass bright white for trim. Why? Because most people will accept neutral colors (which blend will all furniture).

Reprinted by Permission. Pam Christensen is an Accredited Staging Professional Master, located in Shoreline, WA. Visit or call (206) 650-3620. She is the founder and CEO of Staging for Charisma one of the top staging companies in the Seattle Area.  In addition to staging, she is a nationally recognized speaker and trainer, teaching Advanced Home Staging Certificate courses to help others who have a passion for staging.  She is also the president of the Puget Sound Chapter of RESA (Real Estate Staging Association).