Next year will be a gem if predictions by Pantone, the self-appointed color authority, come true. The corporation recently named Emerald as 2013's color of the year promising that it will enhance "our sense of well-being, balance and harmony." Unless, that is, you're trying to sell your house. Realtors and home stagers advise sellers to stay away from bright colors because they don't appeal to most buyers. The only green they'll see is the cost of a new paint job.
The pros who decorate homes tell sellers to think like a buyer. When prospective buyers walk into a house they want to imagine it's their own home and not start tallying up the cost of updating things they don't like. That said, a savvy buyer may be able to negotiate a lower price by pointing out the things they object to. After all, a new coat of paint can be a cheap fix.
When painting your walls, remember that the gloss level affects perception of color. Flat paints (and textured walls) absorb light, so colors seem darker. Glossy paints and smooth surfaces reflect, so colors look brighter. The degree of glossiness may differ from one paint manufacturer to another.
In Consumer Reports tests of interior paints, 24 made our list of top picks. Benjamin Moore's Aura Satin was our top rated paint in that finish but at $66 per gallon cost twice as much as the next one on the list, Behr Premium Plus from Home Depot. The same brands topped the semi-gloss category in that order but flip-flopped in the flat and matte finish with Behr edging out Benjamin Moore.
In announcing Emerald's new reign, Pantone says, "this jewel-like hue will create a luxurious feel in an entryway, powder room, dining room or study, and bring life to a living room as an accent wall." Perhaps, but if you're putting your house on the market it's safer to add color accents that can move when you do such as colorful throws, pillows, dinnerware and artwork. Your neighbors will be green with envy when you get your asking price.
—Mary H.J. Farrell