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2021 Design & Paint Color Trends to Sell Your House

If we can use ONE word to describe the trend for 2021 it would be WARM. And BOLD. Okay, technically that’s two words but its a perfect description of a new era that is replacing the all white phase of white furniture + white walls + white kitchens or the all gray phase of all gray furniture + gray walls + gray kitchens + gray floors. I never was a fan of the all gray phase.

We’re seeing a DRASTIC change from last year’s design and color trends to this year. Due to the pandemic, we’ve all been stuck inside for far too long, working from home, online schooling, staring at the same boring 4 walls FOREVER. This pandemic has changed the demands we put on our home and what we expect out of our house. That means potential buyers are also going to be looking a new houses out of a different lense than they would have 1 to 2 years ago.

Open concept is trending out. Rooms now need to be multi-functional. Home offices are taking a priority as we need separate areas as multi zoom calls may be occurring in the same house at the same time. We’re tired of cool colors especially gray and will see warmer grays (aka griege) and bolder colors. Rustic styles mixed with contemporary will be replacing the shabby chic and farmhouse style that has dominated the past decade. We’re going to see more REAL plants in our home, to create a warmer, softer vibe. And of course, our outdoor spaces are becoming multi-functional as we spend more time outside. No surprise there.

So what does this mean for homeowners getting their house ready to sell? Do you need to build walls into open concept spaces and replace or paint your gray kitchens to appeal to the typical buyer in your neighborhood? No of course not, but with some tweaking, you can adapt your home to the new trends so it doesn’t look dated and will appeal to what buyers are looking for.

Design Trends on their way out for 2021

  • Farmhouse style is being replaced by rustic | contemporary – Granny Chic
  • All-gray or all-white interiors are going out: more pops of color
  • All Gray kitchens are trending out
  • Barn doors are being replaced by pocket doors or French doors
  • Shiplap is going out – seeing more natural plastered walls
  • Matchy matchy furniture sets are out
  • Accent walls are leaving us as trendy – especially light blue ones. Phew! Good thing I sold my two fixer uppers for top dollar that had light blue accent walls in the bedroom. LOL We’re now seeing entire rooms being painted one color.

Design & paint color trends for 2021 & how to use them when selling your house!

Just because a style or color is trending right now means that you should incorporate it into your home. Some styles and trends will fit into some houses and neighborhoods while other may not. Green kitchens are predicted to be the most popular kitchen color for 2021 but the decor of your house AND the demographics of your neighborhood need to be a good fit to make this bold statement in your kitchen. Similarly, more subtle and neutral trends may be too boring for your home and neighborhood. It’s wise to know what trends are going on in your neighborhood, and just as important, what trends are NOT going in your hood! Do your research and check out your competition. Go to open houses and scoop out current listings on zillow and realtor to keep informed!

Read think like a buyer when selling your house

12 Design & Color Trends for 2021 to Sell Your House!

1. Bold Color Trends

For the past couple of years, the paint companies have been trying to push us out of our comfort zone moving us away from our neutral grays and whites.  This year, they’re not so subtle. Both major paint companies, Benjamin Moore And Sherwin Williams have announced bold warm colors as their Color of the Year. Benjamin Moore has announced Aegean Teal as their color of the year with Sherwin Williams announcing Urban Bronze as their Color of the Year. Both are very different bold colors, both are warm, but almost opposite of each other. Aegean Teal is a beautiful warm blue-green that will warm up any room if its on the walls or furniture. Whereas Urban Bronze is a warm dark gray that will look stunning in a bedroom or dining room, or perhaps on a kitchen island! This is a sample of the contrast we will see for 2021. Read further to how to incorporate them into your home.

Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year, Aegean Teal, shown above, is a delightful contrast from the all white and all gray interiors that we have seen in this past. Its warm and welcoming. The style of furniture of rustic meets contemporary, is also a departure from the past.

Sherwin Williams Color of the Year, Urban Bronze make a bold and sophisticated statement. Photos: BenjaminMoore.com and SherwinWilliams.com respectively.

Benjamin Moore 1221 Potters Clay (left)

Benjamin Moore HC-9 Chestertown Buff (middle)

Benjamin Moore 2829-20 Rosy Peach (right)

2021 design-trends-sell-your-house-add-value-toyour-home-debi-collinson

SW 9140 Blustery Sky (left)

SW 6187 Rosemary (middle)

SW 6482 Cape Verde (right)

Other trending colors that we are this year from both Benamin Moore and Sherwin Williams include various shades of clay, blue-greens, warm mid-green tones and various shades of rose & copper and deeper blues than before. The lighter blues are trending out. We will see these colors on walls, painted furniture, couches, accent chairs, and accessories.

2. Gray is being replaced greige. Finally!

The cool grays are being taken over by the warm greiges. We will see that eventually not only in paint color, but flooring, kitchens, furniture and accessories. If your whole house is currently in the cool grays, read on to see how you can gradually add some warmth to your home without having to do a major renovation.

3.  All gray and all white interiors are on their way out

All gray and all white interiors have dominated for the better part of this last decade. Gray or white walls, gray or white furniture and accessories, with all gray or all white kitchens and bathrooms. It may have started out with one room being all white or all gray, then there was a kitchen renovation and/or a bathroom renovation until most or nearly all of your house has been taken over by this monochromatic color scheme. If you fall into this category, and realize your house has been taken over by the monochromatic phase, don’t dispair. We will see how you can add pops of color through paint, switching out some furniture and/or accessories with the new trends without having to start all over if you’re getting your house ready to sell.

Design Tip: Add these colors slowly into your house and with intention!

Your house should not look like a checker board. In theory, you should be able to take an upholstered chair to each room in your house and it should be able to fit in comfortably. There should be a flow to your home or the house will end up looking awkward and unbalanced. The ONLY exception to this rule is the powder room and kids rooms. 

How do you start adding these new trending colors?

If you’re used to decorating with all neturals, white or gray or whatever netural you have chosen, it can seem overwhelming to start adding different colors. Start with a plan and take it slowly by introducing new colors into your home. You don’t want your house to look like a chercker board. One house I staged had a different paint color in every room. The house looked disjointed and did not flow. The homeowner had to repaint his entire main floor to make it look more cohesive and appealing to buyers.

You can add these new trending colors in certain areas that will add a fun pop of color like a powder room, master bedroom, or a kitchen island. Home offices are entrance ways also a great way to introduce these new colors. Be careful about adding too many different colors as these trends are trends. It doesn’t mean we have to add every single new trend into our home. We also need to take into consideration existing wall colors, existing fixtures like flooring, kitchen cabinets etc, and any furniture that you want to keep and not switch out with something different.

Related: Best Neutral Paint Colors to Sell Your House

Read Best Paint Colors to Sell Your House

Need help choosing color(s) for your house?

You’re getting your house ready to sell but you have a room or room(s) in your house that have a dated paint color or the walls need a refresh coat of paint to show the house well to potential buyers.  But you need help in picking a paint color that suits the current furniture & fixtures in the room but is a current trendy staging color.

Click here to check out my 1-room staging paint color package.

4. Rustic meets contemporary

Farmhouse style, shabby chic, whatever you want to call the farmhouse style that has been around FOREVER, is on its way out. That means the “fresh eggs” signs should be coming down and being replaced by earthier more natural pictures.

Replacing that style is that wonderful mix of rustic + contemporary. It make be a bit challenging to get your head around it at first, but once you start pouring over pictures, you’ll start to really like it and think about how you can incorporate that into your home.

We’ll see rooms using the dark warm colors on the walls with rustic and contemporary furniture as in the picture left, or a mix of contemporary couches and a variety of wicker and woven materials as pictured on the right. Notice the use of plants in both pictures, and the use of metal plus woods and wickers. Photo (left) Bouclair.com Photo (right) CrateandBarrel.com

In this photo from SherwinWilliams.com we see the excellent execution of contemporary & rustic with the new deep wall color using Urban Bronze, Color of the Year, in this delightful mix of contemporary furniture, with various textures, a wood panel behind the fireplace, and a rustic wood beam in the corner for a cozy effect.

5.  Matchy matchy furniture is on its way out.

It use to be that all our furniture had to be matchy matchy.  Boring.  NO longer.  Its on its way. Sofas are soft and curvy now. Bold accent chairs replace one of the sofas where we had to. Sectionals are also very popular in living rooms and family rooms where we gather together and hang out. Coffee and ends tables are rustic or contemporary. They DON’T need to match. In fact they look better if they don’t! The trend is to have rustic pieces with contemporary furniture.  Mix it up! Experiement and have fun with it!

6.  Furniture color is bolder.


Thankfully we are starting to see variety in furniture. No more all gray or all white furniture. Depending on your style of furniture, you can easily replace a love seat with some stylish accent chairs or a different love seat. This is where you can have fun with your furniture and explore different possibilities. Photo: Benjamin Moore

7. Rooms are becoming multi-functional

Long gone are the days where the living rooms were very formal and only used for Sunday company.  Homeowners want and need more use out of this room and are putting in big sectional sofas for talking and lounging, and also big screen TVs.  Something you wouldn’t see 20 years ago in a living room.

Dining rooms may now do double duty with an office for a parent, or desks/tables for kids for home schooling. A spare bedroom may now have a desk. Living rooms have been turned into multi-functional spaces where two or more groups can gather in different parts of the living room for separate reasons. Some now have a desk in a corner or one behind a screen to add some privacy while they’re working or home schooling. Whatever the need may be.

Some unfinished basements that were not fully utilized have now be finished and converted into another family room, bedroom or office. The average sized family home no longer has the luxury of having empty rooms during the pandemic when most of us are working from home and kids may or may not be doing school online depending on the school area.

8.  Kitchens are darker. Minimalist. Two-toned. Wood kitchens are making a come back!


Photo: BigLarkinYan.ca

Kitchens are also taking a dramatic turn from all white and all gray colors where the cabinets, counters and backsplash were one monochromatic color. It will be common to see either the uppers or lowers to be a different color, or a bank of cabinets like above, or a kitchen island may be sporting a different color. They are quite minimalist in their looks with some sporting handle less cabinets. Note the handle-less uppers in the above picture. An entire wall of pantries is also another feature you will see in kitchens this year with large islands and counters.

If you find yourself with an all white or all gray kitchen, considering painting one of these areas a trending color to make it look less like your kitchen belongs from a previous decade. A kitchen can be the place were it can really date a house. Hiring a professional kitchen cabinet paint company would be a good investment if your house is in a high-end area, or your paint skills are at the amateur level range. Cutting back on costs in this area could have significant repercussions on the value of your home if the paint job is not up to what your area commands.

Photos: Left: ChrislovesJulia.com Middle: Pinterest Right: ACE Architects

We also see wood kitchens coming back (pictured above). Much different and more sophisticated from the 70’s.We will also see wood cabinets on either the upper or lower half with a different color in the opposite cabinet which makes for some interesting combinations. Greige is replacing gray for kitchens color (middle photo) and green is predicted to be the most popular color for 2021. In some areas, green would be appealing to buyers, whereas in some areas, it may not be and thus could lower your potential in attracting a large number of buyers to your property. You need to check out what trends are happening and also what trends are NOT going on in your neigborhood.

Related Post – Get Your House Ready to Sell

Read why you need to go to open houses in your neighborhood.

Related Post – 2021 Kitchen Color Trends

Read 2021 Kitchen Color Cabinet Trends

9. Flooring is warm, more natural, rustic, and wide

Photo: UptownFlooring.com

We are steering away from cool gray floors after this flooring color has dominated strongly over the past decade. If you still have alot of gray in your home, some flooring addresses this by having planks of gray and planks of beige in their mix to combine the outgoing trend with the incoming trend. Lighter oak flooring and white-washed flooring is becoming very popular, a great combination with the new rustic + contemporary mix that we are seeing in furniture & design styles. Browns are dominating in mid-tones and darker browns.

Photo: Wayfair.com

With the new trends, we are also seeing wider planks, anywhere from 5′ to 7 or even 8′ wide in rarer cases. Scraped flooring follows the rustic trends we’re seeing everywhere. Read the full post on 2021 Flooring Trends.

Related Flooring Trend Posts

Read 2021 Flooring Trends

Read Hardwood vs. Laminate vs. Vinyl Plank Flooring: Which one should you choose?

10. Home Offices are important

We’re spending alot of time in our offices these days as alot of us now from home. Perhaps we’ve had to carve out a space in an spare bedroom, or empty out a former dumping room in a basement to make room for an office. Where ever your new office has landed, or perhaps you’ve had to transform an existing barely used home office, this is a space where you can have some fun.

If you find yourself living in a monochromatic home of all white or all gray, the office would be a great place to break that look. Try a trendy color on your walls or perhaps keep your wall netural and paint your furniture in a warm and new color. Experiment! Have fun!

Office furniture is a great way to try out Benjamin Moore’s new bold and warm color of the year 2021, Aegean Teal. Photo: BenjaminMoore.com

Sherwin Williams Rosemary 6187, gives this office a fresh warm update. A very inviting space to make those zoom calls and spend your time in your home office. Photo: Sherwin Williams

11.  House plants


In past decades, we used to have alot of house plants in our home. Perhaps with the busyness of the world, and working outside the home, houseplants were ignored and became hard to keep up. They were replaced by fake plants or home decor such as long sticks in vases. But as we hibernated in our homes last year, staying safe from the pandemic, we embraced warmer materials that made us feel cozier like house plants. Working from home as also helped us embrace our inner green thumb, or for those of without a natural green thumb, new found bravery to attempt growing house plants to soften our home environment. Photo & Color: Benjamin Moore

12. Outdoor spaces are multi-functional


Photos: StyledbyEmilyHenderson.com

As we have been staying at home over this past year, we have been entertaining outside more to see our family and friends. As a result of this, we are demanding more out of our outdoor spaces. We are adding outdoor living rooms to be able to relax outside and pictured left, a divider has been added to create a sense of division between another outdoor area. We can add outdoor kitchens, pictured right, to enhance our dining experience.

Related posts in Getting Your House Ready to Sell

Read why you need to treat your house like a business when selling your home

Need help in getting your house ready to sell?


You know you need to declutter and depersonalize to get your house ready to sell but you’re not sure what to do or where to start.  You need direction and guidance.

In a zoom call, with you, your computer & camera, we will “walk” through your house where I will give you my savvy staging advise as a professional stager and house flipper on what should stay for staging, what you should remove, and make color, furniture arrangements & appropriate suggestions for your home based on the demographics of your neighborhood. You can record the call for your notes!

Click here to learn more about my 2 hour Staging Consult package.

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Welcome! I’m Debi Collinson. Stager. Home Stylist. Real Estate Investor. In 2006, at the request of a realtor, I nervously staged my very first home.  But the sellers liked their newly redesigned home so much that they turned down an offer for full asking price. I went back to design school and have never looked back. Since 2006, I have been staging & styling spaces to make them look like they belong in a magazine page. With my goal of becoming financially independent, I buy “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent. I’m currently living in my 8th “fixer upper.” Sign up to receive my e-mails of how to make your home stunning, how to sell your house for top dollar AND how to become financially independent one fixer upper at a time!

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  1. Wonderful site you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get feedback from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

    1. Try Facebook – HGTV Fixer Upper Show Followers. It’s a very interactive forum if you have questions. Also, you are welcome to email me any questions or topics you want covered here.

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