The One Kitchen Color That Actually Decreases Your Home's Value

(And Which Colors to Try Instead)

red kitchen with white stools
Getty Images

Whether you're selling your home for the first time or you're an experienced guru who knows all the tricks of the trade, there are a myriad of ways in which sellers can increase the value of their home before the appraiser arrives (bring out that checklist of to-dos). And no, we're not talking about your impeccable staging, the fresh coat of paint on the exterior or the Marie Kondo-like organization in your closets and pantry. While the scent of fresh-from-the-oven cookies may dazzle buyers during showings, this one minor-yet-critical detail might be the culprit that's lowering the value of your home.

The One Kitchen Color to Avoid

A 2021 Zillow study found that homes with bright red kitchens sell for $1,500 less than other colors. Don't fret just yet! A full gut renovation of your kitchen may not be needed to get a great offer, but it doesn't hurt to add a few upgrades here and there, including a fresh coat of paint (more on that in a sec). Buyers are attempting to envision their life when they walk through your home, and sometimes the imagination is deterred by the details like personal taste, clutter or family photographs. Real estate brokers know that most people experience difficulties seeing the bigger picture, so if you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, it's critical to present your home in a way that can resonate with all buyers.

Other colors to avoid? On top of X-ing bright reds, steer clear of bright green, bright yellow and pink. Zillow's study found that kitchens painted these colors hurt buyers' intentions to purchase and overall decrease the likelihood of offers. The biggest takeaway here: Red and other bright colors might read too loud for buyers' taste.

The Kitchen Color That Increases Value

Instead of a red kitchen, try white. White brings a fresh, bright palette to the kitchen and is the most attractive for potential homeowners. In fact, it was found that light, neutral colors will increase interest in a property as well as potential offers. Buyers are able to visualize themselves in the home with their own furniture and hopeful memories without getting taken aback by personal taste preferences. A neutral palette also makes a space appear more open and spacious, allowing the house to sell itself.

If white may be too bland for your taste, try an off-white or light yellow. Still not able to give up color? The study found that dark gray, dark red and dark green sparked a similar increase in buyer interest. 

Who knows, a quick white paint job just might be the trick that will have them saying, "Let's make an offer!" That and, well...cookies of course.

IMG 0045 e1692204525583

Associate Fashion Commerce Editor

Stephanie is a natural savant in the fashion, beauty, and dating & relationships beats. She graduated with a bachelor of arts at the University of San Diego, where she majored...