Tips on developing a colour palette when staging!

I’m going to be getting a house ready for sale next week and I’m excited about this one. The clients (a referral from good friends who I’d met previously and really like) have a great townhouse in Craig Henry and they’ve done some nice renovations. The painters will be over there early next week painting an accent wall and the stairway a nice warm tan, slightly lighter than the colour in the rest of the LR/DR. The newly remodeled kitchen is blue. The MBR has the tan paint; a second bedroom has blue paint, a third is perfect the way it is (it’s used as an office.)

The clients really like this bedding and so I decided to work from it. (Ignore the wrinkles: I’ve been carrying it around in my purse all week.) I always like to dress a bed up, so I’ll add some big shams and this accent pillow which matches the red in the bed perfectly and has the beige tones of the paint.


Now I needed curtains because the ones that are on the window in the MBR now are short (they were hanging above a chest of drawers that’s going into storage as part of staging.)

I think a bedroom should always have curtains that fall to the floor. I found these, and given the bird pillow, the subtle twig theme seemed just right.

DSCN0100The living room is open to the dining room. When you’re standing in the living room, you can see the blue wall from the kitchen.

The owners’ sofas are dark brown leather, so I went out looking for cushions that would pull this whole scheme together. I like a house that feels cohesive, where items in one room tie into other parts of the living space.  And so, I found these. Note that although they are going in the living room, they could easily work with the bedroom drapes. The pillow that has the blue in it also has green accents.


For the upstairs blue bedroom, I found these light coloured cushions  with a tree design in blue and gray.  I have two of them which I will use in place of shams on the bedding.  Or I may use them in the LR: that’s the great thing about finding pieces that work together; you can use them anywhere.  (I love these cushions. I think they’re stunning.) And note the blue silk curtains hanging above them; they’re going into the dining room to tie that area together with the blue of the exposed kitchen walls.

DSCN0102The owners are putting a huge armoire that was in the dining room against the accent wall into storage. We’re going to have a chest against that wall but I wanted to find a big piece of art that would really draw the eye to that wall.

This is what I came up with (about $ 180 at HomeSense). It’s a huge painting: around 3′ x 4′. It’s one of those pieces I’ll keep to stage other homes with and probably move out to the cottage some day. It has the blues and greys and tans of the rest of the house, but also hints of red and green in it that don’t show up well in this photograph, and the dark brown of the sofas.


I found another piece of art I loved ($ 50 plus taxes) which uses exactly the same colour palette as the big one. It will go in the living room, and see how its colours work so well with the MBR bedding? It won’t be used in that room but it could be, and that’s why it will help give a cohesive look to this colour scheme. DSCN0105

So that’s how you build a colour palette. First, find something for inspiration. In this case, I used the client’s bedding. Once I found the bird pillow, I decided to go with trees and twigs as a subtle design scheme.

I try to keep at least one colour that’s consistent from room to room; here  it is that lovely tan colour used on the walls, but I’ve also pulled the blue out of the kitchen and used it in the LR and DR to tie things together. A few plants and knickknacks, some great fluffy towels and pillows, and this house will be ready for sale.

Oh, and the total cost so far? About $ 450 including taxes.


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