Design & DIY

Why you should use these paint colours in your cottage (or not)

Paint cans sitting on a wood floor against a grey wall By Suriya KK/Shutterstock

Disclaimer: We didn’t consult any design or real estate experts for this article. That should become immediately obvious.

Thinking of selling your cottage? Thinking of renovating to sell it in the future? Then you should think about paint colours. At least, according to a new survey by real estate marketing company Zillow you should. Zillow surveyed more than 3,000 “recent or prospective Canadian home buyers” to gather feedback on their reactions to images of different rooms painted different colours. How interested were they in touring or buying the place? How much would they pay? The results were…confusing. Still, what lessons can cottagers take from all this? We’ve broken it down.

Survey says: Canadian buyers were willing to pay more—about $6,500 more—for a place with charcoal grey kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, and living areas. 

Lesson for the cottage owner: Charcoal grey the hell out of everything. Paint the porch grey. Paint the closets grey. Got a bunkie? Grey it up. Buy a grey dog, and include it in the listing photos.

Survey says: Even though green kitchens and bathrooms are trendy—wait, they are?—buyers would pay less for them. And don’t even think about painting your kitchen sunshine yellow. According to the results, yellow kitchens, and for that matter, living rooms, were “generally unpopular.” Well, obviously. Why would anyone pay for sunshine when they can get the real thing for free? Blue kitchens and white kitchens scored higher.

Lesson for the cottage owner: Paint your kitchen blue and white. Better yet, paint your kitchen ceiling blue with white puffy clouds, like the ceiling in the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. You’ll be bringing the outside inside! 

Survey says: Burgundy is big in bathrooms—for people who speak French. Apparently, buyers from Montreal would be willing to pay up to, roughly, $4,400 more for places with burgundy bathrooms.

Lesson for the cottage owner: If you can’t source a paint called Burgundy, go with Bordeaux, Merlot, Berry, or, in a pinch, Maroon. Just don’t paint your cottage powder room the colour of fresh blood. That smacks of serial killer.

Survey says: Contrary to the results suggesting that people don’t like green, buyers from Calgary would pay several thousand more for a mint green kitchen.

Lesson for the cottage owner: According to Zillow, “When study participants thought the homeowner had similar tastes to them, they perceived the home more positively and were also more likely to make an offer more than $2,000 higher.” So, give prospective buyers from Calgary mint chocolate chip ice cream as soon as they enter your mint-green kitchen. Double the mint, double the offer! Unless, like many people, they think mint chocolate chip is gross because “it tastes like toothpaste.” In which case, you’ve shot yourself in the foot. And now you’re left with a mint-green kitchen and a freezer full of polarizing ice cream. Sorry.

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