As Toronto designer Shelley Kirsch points out, "Colour adds a lot of personality to an environment -- which is good and bad. If a buyer is very visual, they can see beyond a certain colour; but if they aren't, the colour can distract, making it hard for them to visualize themselves in the room."
Of course, that needn't mean you should always paint all the rooms boring beige before you put a house on the market. In fact, that could conceivably have the opposite effect, making a house seem plain-Jane (especially if it's limited in architectural detail or is underfurnished).
The ideal, in Kirsch's view, is to choose colours with just the right touch of life to them: neutral enough to present a blank canvas,but interesting enough to add some character. We asked her to give us some of her favourite all-round paint colours, both for resale and for very livable interiors in general.
Quincy Tan HC-25, Benjamin Moore
"I find this putty-grey-beigey-taupe to be a very neutral, non-competitive colour, but it also adds a certain depth and character that brings out the beauty of the home, rather than merely acting as a backdrop. Also, it allows you to use accents in stronger colours and still maintain a classic look."
40YY-51/084, ICI Paints
"Grey is very trendy right now, especially warm greys like this one. It's especially beautiful in townhouses, with architectural detail picked out in white trim, like cornice and crown mouldings, or marble. It's a very sophisticated colour, and classic settings like this seem to suit it better than modern or too-bright settings, which might make it look cold."
Note: Swatch colour may appear different on some monitors.