When it comes to paint color, homeowners may have reason to go back to black.
Houses with front doors in shades of black — from charcoal to jet — fetched $6,271 more than expected when sold, according to the latest paint color analysis from real-estate website ZillowZG, -2.78%
A black front door wasn’t the only bold design choice that paid off for home sellers. Tuxedo-style kitchen cabinetry — where the upper cabinets are white or light-colored and lower cabinets or kitchen islands are dark navy or black — garnered a premium of more than $1,500.
“We’re seeing a notable shift in home design where pops of color — particularly in darker hues of blue and gray to even black — are becoming increasingly popular,” Zillow home-design expert Kerrie Kelly said in the report. “Contrasting colors, especially in kitchens and home exteriors, add interest and dimension to a room that plays very well in listing photos and videos.”
Pops of color are especially important for front doors, according to Zillow. It often forms the first impression in a prospective home buyer’s mind and can determine how they will view the rest of the property when touring a home. A door paint in a popular color can help make buyers feel that the property is well cared for.
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Cool, neutral wall colors are still popular though. Homes with blue bathrooms, specifically light shades like periwinkle, led to a windfall of nearly $2,800 over the expected sales price. Still, that’s lower than the $5,400 premium home sellers got for blue bathrooms last year, indicating a potential shift in taste in the years to come if blue is starting to go out of style.
The analysis looked at more than 135,000 photos from listings of homes that sold between 2010 and 2018, comparing the sales price of properties with colorful designs to those with white walls. Researchers controlled for multiple wall colors in a room, square footage, home age and the local market’s home value index.
The average premiums for different paint colors were calculated by taking the percentage increase in home prices among properties with those features and then multiplying it by the national average home value. The median value across the homes Zillow studied was $549,370, which is more than double the current national home value of $215,600.
Indeed, many once-popular paint choices are now considered gauche, and can detract from a home’s selling price. For instance, a brick red dining room will slash a home’s price down by more than $2,000 versus what was expected. Other ill-advised paint choices include yellows and browns.
These negative reactions to certain colors (or different uses of the same colors) are a reflection of people’s taste and the way specific colors may clash with the furniture and other items prospective buyers already own.
Experts recommend choosing colors with mass appeal that can work with a range of décor. It also depends on the specific property — white walls can work in a room with lots of natural light, but will make the space feel “dead” if it’s small or dark, according to designer Emily Henderson.