Home decor trends that could impact your sale

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Interior design trends are nothing new, but the latest décor dispute is running down generational lines as fans of “Millennial grey” and “Boomer beige” battle it out on the home front.

Social media has been awash with Millennial grey jokes, with some saying the calming shade allowed healing from “the trauma of the Tuscan villa décor” and “farm-animal-themed kitchens” of their childhoods. One TikToker branded it “asylum grey”, adding: “We’re living in peace now.”

Not to be outdone, Boomer beige has been both slammed and revered in equal measure, with critics saying it should be “illegal”, while fans said the look was “classy, warm and welcoming”.

Interior designer Juliet Love (left) and a white and brown home exterior (right).Interior designer Juliet Love (left) and a white and brown home exterior (right).

Interior designer Juliet Love says when selling your home it’s best to stay away from bright-coloured decor. (Source: Supplied/Fox & Wood)

Those too apathetic to pick a side – looking at you, Gen X – are opting to blend the two by coating their walls in “greige”, which is where industrial, achromatic grey meets the sheen and luxe of beige.

However, when it comes to selling a home, real estate experts advise owners to keep their walls a safe shade of natural white because popular or bright colours are prone to “date” a property.

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Interior designer Juliet Love told Yahoo Finance: “Grey and beige are both neutral tones so, in terms of selling a property, they fit into the ‘safe’ category. You want to steer away from bright colours like pink or orange feature walls that might be polarising or off-putting to potential purchasers.

“Greige, as the name suggests, is a combination of grey and beige, and is broadly appealing because it’s neither too cool nor too warm. Sometimes, grey on its own can seem sterile and cold, and beige can be too dated and warm, so greige is a good option.

“To be honest, I don’t think you can beat natural white on the walls, and vivid white trims to freshen up a space when selling. That’s almost always my preference over grey or beige because you end up with a brighter, more appealing space.”

Interior designer Debbe Daley told Business Insider, “Many homeowners jumped on the grey bandwagon”. But she predicted the colour was on its way out in 2024, as homeowners shifted to cosier vibes.

Natural colours ‘create better feeling of space and light’

Jed Wood, director of boutique real estate agency Fox & Wood in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire, told Yahoo Finance his stylists generally opted for Dulux’s Lexicon White or Hog Bristle Quarter – the latter of which contains a creamy hint of beige.

“They are natural, easy-to-work-with colours and create a better feeling of space and light,” he said.

Interior photos of a kitchen (left) and a bedroom (right) which feature a mostly white and neutral colour scheme.Interior photos of a kitchen (left) and a bedroom (right) which feature a mostly white and neutral colour scheme.

Crisp white walls are recommended when selling a property and avoiding bold colours that might put off buyers. (Source: Fox & Wood)

When selling a home, Wood advised owners to paint over bright or bold colours and avoid trends such as feature walls, which became popular in the 2000s and had now been rebranded as “accent walls”.

“It’s about the ‘transference of feeling’,” he told Yahoo Finance. “You want them to metaphorically buy into that property so they can see themselves living there.

“Unfortunately, the problem is a person’s colour choice is often not appealing to the majority of the population. If they don’t like the colour scheme, it makes selling a bit harder.”

Love also advised sellers to avoid “anything permanent that’s bright or distracting”.

“You want people to see the potential in your home, and to visualise themselves living there, rather than be hit in the face with a colour they may hate,” she told Yahoo Finance. “It will make it seem like more work for the purchaser to have to get rid of the feature wall or colour.”

Mistakes to avoid when selling a home

When it comes to selling, advertising online and having open houses, Wood said there were certain mistakes that must be avoided – such as keeping up personal, family or wedding photos.

“Everyone will be having a stickybeak to see who they know in the wedding party – who they went to school with, or they’ll be looking for an ex-girlfriend,” he said.

Juliet Love poses for a photo sitting on a bed (left) and standing next to a bed (right).Juliet Love poses for a photo sitting on a bed (left) and standing next to a bed (right).

Love suggests a neutral colour palette, decorative items like cushions and a sparkling clean home. (Source: Supplied)

Having “a nice aroma” from candles or diffusers could be beneficial during an open house, but it should “be subtle and not overwhelming”.

“You want people to feel comfortable,” Wood said. “It’s about the small ‘something’ they can’t put their finger on. They want to be able to see and feel themselves living in the property rather than just looking at someone else’s home.”

Top tips: Decluttering and cleaning is essential

Declutter and have a fresh coat of paint on the walls, consider “house washing” – hiring a tradie to pressure clean the exterior, pay extra attention to gardens and backyards, sweep away leaves and remove weeds.

Remove heavy curtains or dated blinds and replace them with more modern shutters or sheers to bring in as much natural light as possible.

Having a clean, fresh home makes a great impression, so hire a cleaner to make bathrooms pristine, windows spotless and floors shiny. Styling – such as cushions and throws – also certainly doesn’t go astray.

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