‘Unappealing’ kitchen colours that will ‘sabotage’ your house value

Mark Millar shares his tips for minimalist kitchens

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When it comes to interior design and working on your property, most homeowners tend to prioritise and spend the most money on ensuring that their kitchens are not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional. Whether it’s because kitchens are one of the most valued rooms in the house, or homeowners may be trying to appeal to prospective buyers, the colour scheme of a kitchen can essentially make or break the valuation of a property. According to a recent survey conducted by Rated People, 2,000 homebuyers in the UK specifically said that the design of a kitchen had an impact on their purchasing decision. So, what are the kitchen colours that devalue a property? Express.co.uk caught up with four property experts and a paint pro to get their opinions on which colours homeowners should be avoiding.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Jonathan Rolande, property expert with House Buy Fast, said: “A kitchen is very much the heart of a home. It’s where most of the work happens and, if there’s a table in there, it’s where much of our family life happens too. So property buyers still see the kitchen (size, layout and colour) as a major reason for buying a property. 

“They are also the most expensive room to change so getting it right is vital for an easier sale at the best price – especially in this market where buyers can afford to be more choosy.”

He noted that the colour should show some “imagination” but it should also tone well with the rest of the home. He added: “But be careful if using dark shades, red, green and blue darken the room, make it feel smaller and take light away from working areas. In the right home, a darker feature wall is ok but make this nearer to the dining section and away from preparation spaces.”

Katrin Mitkova and Simon Boden, property experts from the online estate agent, House Sales Direct, also noted the importance of kitchen colours. They said: “A fresh coat of paint goes a long way when it comes to adding value to your home, while that is true, there is still the danger of choosing a colour that will do exactly the opposite. 

“If you don’t choose the paint colour carefully and if you pick the wrong colour for a certain room, you risk devaluing your house’s market value rather than increasing it. Certain colours suit certain rooms better so it’s worth mentioning which colours to avoid when it comes to repainting your kitchen.”

The pros agreed that dark shades should be avoided. They said: “While some of your kitchen cabinets may get away with darker shades, your walls cannot. 

“Statement black doesn’t really fit all rooms equally as good, and kitchens are definitely not the places to be bold with dark wall colours. The complete opposite is not great for your kitchen either as it can make the room appear much smaller and even claustrophobic at times.”

They claimed that potential buyers are generally attracted to more naturally lit and spacious houses, so households won’t be doing themselves a favour if they decide to go with a dark colour scheme for their kitchen.

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Bruna Pani at We Buy Any Home told Express.co.uk that dark colours can “cause sabotage to your kitchen”, so it is best to steer clear of them. 

She said: “When painting your kitchen, it’s important to consider the size of the space and how colours may impact the feel of the room and the dimensions. 

“It’s advised to stay away from colours which are darker, such as reds, purples, greens and blues alongside basic shades of brown. This is because the darker colours can make the space feel more claustrophobic than necessary and make the room feel rather enclosed instead of opening it up which a lighter colour palette would do.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most popular choice for a kitchen colour tends to be anything that is light neutral, claimed the expert. She said: “Statistics show that over 27 percent of prospective buyers are more likely to buy a property if the kitchen is white, while 22 percent of people could be convinced to buy the property if the kitchen is light grey. 

“The popularity of having a neutral kitchen lies in the fact that lighter colours help make a space seem bigger, and they offer a blank canvas for future homeowners.”

Aaron Markwell, COAT’s colour Curator told Express.co.uk that lighter colours should be added to kitchens as it makes them more inviting. He said: “Kitchens should be warm, inviting spaces that have some striking details. Taupe or beige off-white, like Mindful, are great for walls.”

Jonathan agreed but advised avoiding pure white as well as Magnolia. He said: “Lighter shades are popular but buyers will find white itself too clinical. Avoid Magnolia at all costs, as experience tells property experts it is not popular.”

He said that it is important to make sure the colour fits in with tiles and worktops too and that it’s worth giving buyers an attractive blank canvas if possible. The expert added: “Even if they love vibrant colours they can add them later, but it is far better not to risk it as most people still opt for neutral.”

Both Katrin and Simon urged households to avoid using bright colours such as yellow, even though many people consider the colour to be associated with happiness and exciting energy. They explained: “When it comes to painting rooms in that bright yellow colour it can be a bit too much. The reason why it is a risky one to go with is because there is a lot of controversy with yellow, especially among interior designers. While some consider it a cheerful colour, others find it highly overwhelming both for kitchens and living areas.” 

If homeowners plan on selling their house, they never know which type of person they will stumble upon so they suggest Britons “stay away from it”.

Something many experts warn against is colours which are so bright that they resemble neon, such as citrus green. Katrin and Simon said: “Citrus green has proven to be a rather unappealing colour and one which can instantly decrease your home’s value. Despite the fact that green normally stimulates feelings of peace and relaxation, the brightness of it can not only be overwhelming but it can clash massively with your furniture. 

“We suggest you avoid similar colours such as lime green, bright blue and as we already mentioned – bright yellow. Because these are all very controversial it’s important that you steer away from them in order to capture a larger market of potential buyers.”

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