How to pick great exterior paint colors and an inconvenient truth about selling your home.

September 2017 Newsletter-
Northern Lights Home Staging and Design
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My adventures in picking exterior paint colors for my own house- Part 2

Time to Paint Your House? How to Pick the Perfect Exterior Paint Colors. Part 2

Last month I wrote on How to Pick the Perfect Exterior Paint Colors for your home and shared my process for picking my own paint colors.   And like many home owners, even though I thought I was done, something came up and I changed my mind! 

What happened? Well, I researched reviews of exterior paint and found that Sherwin Williams had better reviews on exterior paint than Benjamin Moore. I think both companies are great and I recommend colors from both to customers for my design and home staging projects. Since the reviews for exterior paint seemed better, I decided to use their products for this project instead.

And of course, each company has their own colors and it was impossible to perfectly match my original selections. But, I think I have now found even better colors for my house!

I had previously narrowed my choices to a deep gray or a dark teal, both with off white trim and a yellow door. I had decided on the dark teal. I had considered my roof color, surroundings, neighborhood, landscaping etc. I had used the Benjamin Moore color visualizer on a photo of my own house to try on the ideas.

I found a new color to replace the teal called "Moscow Midnight", which is an even darker teal and almost a combination of the gray and teal I had been considering before. I selected an off white called "Pearly white" that Sherwin Williams recommends as a color that coordinates well with Moscow Midnight. I decided to change the front door color to "Forward Fuchsia", a bold color that perfectly matches the color of the rose hedge in front of my house (not shown in previous photos). When the roses are blooming in the summer, I think this will tie it all together and look fantastic.

One drawback was that I found the color visualizer on the Sherwin Williams site does not work as well as on the Benjamin Moore site. When adding the "Pearly white" over the dark stained decks of my own house photo, the color did not completely cover it and looked “white washed" and somewhat gray. To get a true idea of how the colors would look, I had to use some of their "sample scene" photos rather than my own, which you can see above.

And, I have to admit, I was swayed when I read their description of the section of colors that "Moscow Midnight" was described in.

" Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its' essence is not easy- your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself."

Considering I am also a wildlife biologist and a dancer when I am not home staging or designing....that sealed the deal for me!

The moral of this story is to research reviews before making your final selections and don’t be afraid to change your mind!


An Inconvenient Truth about Selling Your Home

I love to feature great articles that help home sellers. This is one of my favorites, An Inconvenient Truth about Selling Your Home, by Susan Atwell of Atwell Staged Homes.

Truth is few things are more inconvenient than selling your home and having it on the market.

An Inconvenient Truth about Selling Your Home
Susan Atwell- Atwell Staged Homes

By Susan Atwell as published in The Somers Record

Imagine a bad reality show, where you are forced to live in Macy’s window for weeks on end. Your personal items, your life, constantly exposed to strangers and their criticisms – with no end in sight.

If your home is currently on the market, or going on the market soon, you may already feel this way. So what’s the best way to get out from under the microscope? Sell fast. Well, that sounds easy – and obvious – but how do you sell fast?

In addition to the right price and a good real estate agent, the winning combination also includes home staging, effort, and a willingness to be inconvenienced while your home is on the market. The following questions will help you understand if you are ready, willing, and able to do what it takes to sell a home in this market?

  1. Are you willing to detach yourself emotionally from this home and view it as a product or commodity?
  2. Are you willing to let go of your personal style and decorate to appeal to the widest variety of buyers?
  3. Are you willing to pack up anything you won’t need for the next few months – even if it includes children’s toys, personal photos and keepsakes?
  4. Are you willing to eliminate or hide TVs, computers or other electronic devices?
  5. Are you willing to send your pets away when the home is being shown?
  6. Are you willing to furnish an unfurnished home so that it is warm, inviting, and spacious?
  7. Are you willing to clean like you’ve never cleaned before?
  8. Are you willing to establish a budget of no more than 3% of the price of the home for repairs, upgrades and updates?

If you answered “yes” to most, or all of these questions, then you are probably ready.

More than ever, home buyers are looking for move-in ready homes that feel fresh, spacious and up-to-date.  On the Web, buyers may like the price, pictures and attributes your home has to offer, but that’s not always enough. They need to be impressed the minute they walk through the door. Showcasing every space will make them fall in love at first sight. It’s this positive emotional response that can lead to an offer and hopefully a sale.

Here are a few tips to meet buyers’ demands, “up” your game, and beat the competition. At the same time, you’ll reduce the amount of time your home is on the market and consequently the amount of time that you will be inconvenienced.

Be prepared. The hardest part of living in a home that is on the market is constantly being prepared to show your home. But you must be ready at a moment’s notice. You never know when your perfect buyer will walk through the door. This is not a good time to entertain or have guests.

Clean sells. All homes should be thoroughly cleaned prior to listing. Daily touch-ups may be necessary for occupied homes, but vacant homes can become surprisingly dirty as well. Dust on surfaces, cobwebs in corners, stains in stagnant toilets, fingerprints on windows and appliances —all of these areas need to be inspected and cleaned regularly. Occupied or vacant, consider hiring a professional cleaning service during the period your home is on the market.

Pack it up. Pack up and store anything you won’t need while your home is on the market. Packing sooner, rather than later, will make the transition easier. Many moving companies offer storage options for those staging their homes to sell.

Stick to the essentials. Too much or no furniture can make a home feel small. Cluttered homes are distracting, while vacant homes can leave a buyer cold. Either way, buyers will have trouble picturing their furniture in these spaces. Define each space to have a single purpose, minimize clutter, and make sure there is plenty of light.

The more you do in advance of listing your home for sale, the faster it will sell, and the sooner you can return to a normal life. Showcasing or staging your home will help to minimize the stress and inconvenience that comes with selling. The truth is that you will be inconvenienced when selling your home, but it will be well worth it, and your efforts will be rewarded, when your home sells fast and for top dollar.

An Inconvenient Truth about Selling Your Home was reprinted from AtWell Staged Home’s Stage Every Listing Letter (SELL) a free monthly on-line resource of home staging tips, tools, and transformations. Whether you are a real estate professional, home seller, or just someone who enjoys interior decorating, these tips are for you! Subscribe at

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Thanks and stay in touch!

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read my newsletter. I hope you found some helpful information!

I would love to hear from you about some of your challenges related to selling your home, home staging or decorating to help provide ideas for helpful articles for you.  Mary Ann
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