Colors for our rentals
Jacob Burrows
December 15, 2012 in Design Dilemma
My husband and I bought a duplex rental. We are planning on redoing the wood floors in the
Living and dinning rooms and re carpeting the bedrooms, the walls r all tan colored. We r thinking of going dark on the wood floors. What color or colors should we paint the walls?
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decoenthusiaste
BM Navajo White - very suitable for rentals.

December 15, 2012 at 8:59PM     
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Jacob Burrows
I understand white, but it seems so cold.
December 16, 2012 at 4:25PM     
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orangecamera
I agree with Navajo White, it's the "go to" color for rentals. You want to keep it neutral so your tenants can decorate to their own taste and items.
December 16, 2012 at 4:36PM   
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judianna20
BM Collingwood with Simply White trim and cabinets.
December 16, 2012 at 4:39PM   
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kah416
Hi there!! I would say do a bright white color in satin finish on all your trim, and a shade of light gray on your walls in an eggshell finish...those would compliment your dark floors, which sounds gorgeous, and will allow your renters to match their furniture and decor to very easily because its so neutral...and a modern classic color :) I hope I cold help :) Here's a couple grays I found as an example:
December 17, 2012 at 10:16AM     
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kah416
Here's a picture of the idea I mentioned...pictures always help most :) And a couple more shades of gray below :) Best wishes! I'd love to see an "after" picture if you choose to post one! :)
December 17, 2012 at 10:21AM     
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kah416
The cabinets would look nice in a bright white satin finish also :) Are you going to strip the paint off of the original knobs and hardware and use them? Or switch them out? Just curious :)
December 17, 2012 at 10:29AM     
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trebinje
We've owned several rental properties for many years, here's my rule of thumb about paint: you've got to use a neutral color that no one can dislike so much that they wouldn't rent from you. A light warm beige (more color than the standard builder's Navajo White) doesn't offend anyone.

Grey might, and I avoid it.

We've used many beiges over the years. BM Shaker Beige is an excellent option, especially if your property has nice moldings that can be painted a crisp white, and it will nicely compliment dark floors.
December 17, 2012 at 10:41AM     
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kah416
Trebinje, It all depends..if the apt i was moving into was shaker beige, personally, I'd ask to paint over it. It's too orangey for my taste. When doing a remodel, most of the designers on HGTV paint the walls a shade of gray, or do a Greige.
Here's a few colors from Sabrina Soto to consider for this apartment complex :) Hope any of them help or give you ideas for your space :) http://adorable-decor.com/2012/10/17/sabrina-sotos-favorite-neutral-paint-colors/
December 17, 2012 at 11:11AM     
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nasmijati
Almost all of the apartments in the sunny region where I live are painted semi-gloss Ranier White.
December 17, 2012 at 11:18AM   
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nasmijati
Spelling error. RAINIER white.
December 17, 2012 at 11:20AM   
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trebinje
kah416 - the door swings both ways. If you were my potential tenant and you said that painting the walls to your taste was a condition of renting ... then, I'd keep looking for another tenant.

With all due respect, what the designers do on HGTV is rarely relevant to the business of investment property as I doubt that (m)any of them actually have experience as hands-on landlords.
December 17, 2012 at 11:23AM   
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kah416
Wow, you'd choose to keep your wall color over making money on renting your space out?
December 17, 2012 at 11:25AM     
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trebinje
It's a business. How many months would it take to pay-off the added expense of painting an apartment, especially if it's just been re-painted following the last vacancy? There are plenty of tenants who don't make demands about the wall color.
December 17, 2012 at 11:29AM   
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kah416
Treb, this is not a competition or argument, at least not on my part, I just simply stated I don't care for the color you chose, it's too orange for my taste. If a renter asked me to paint over a color I had and they showed me first, I'd consider it in a heartbeat. We all have different opinions and tastes.
December 17, 2012 at 11:33AM     
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mollythecollie
Having been a both a renter and the owner of a rental, a nice off white has always worked well.
December 17, 2012 at 11:37AM     
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PRO
ct design studio
As a renter I would be delighted with beige or a warm greige, off white is always the standard. Off white is also easy to touch up before I move out. If you plan on painting between tenants anyways a soft beige would be nice. I would reconsider doing the wood floors too dark, darker finishes show damage more easily.
December 17, 2012 at 11:48AM     
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Jacob Burrows
My only thing with painting the place in beige is, that is what it is now:beige carpet, walls, trim, and I think the ceiling too. I feel that with most people's furniture, it all starts becoming way too brown/beige. I was thinking gray tones with white trim, and not just plan old white walls, will make/attract the right renters we want and allow things not to blend into the background. Friends of ours have an apartment that is yellowish walls with the white trim, and that looks nice. I also think the beige makes the rooms look smaller than they really are.
December 17, 2012 at 2:31PM     
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Natalie
Hi---Taupe... It will give just enough color to make the walls not appear stark and is versatile to coordinate with cool and warm hues. Hope this is helpful... Pic of color: Hampshire Taupe.
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December 17, 2012 at 2:41PM     
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carolannr
I'm sorry for all you beige people out there but I've been a renter, am a homeowner and a professional. White is not one color - there are literally hundreds. Beige on the other hand either tends to the pink or orange shade and I just can't do that to anyone. I personally would paint over beige walls even as a renter who had to repaint before I moved on. Maybe it has to do with how much light you have in the apartment but navajo I have used successfully even in south facing rooms where there is plenty of sunshine. There is a nice contrast between that and white white semi gloss trim to give an elegant look to whatever you decorate. It serves as a background irregardless of the color of the tenant's furniture. Beige just won't do that. And, never try to touch up a white if you do not have the original color, it won't match. Mid range color for the wood floor is more forgiving as far as the occasional nicks and scuffs that naturally occur with a wood floor.
December 17, 2012 at 2:56PM     
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judianna20
How about BM linen white on the walls, and decorator's white on the trim? Or make it easy and just do linen on the walls (matte) and linen on the trim (semigloss).
December 17, 2012 at 3:01PM     
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pjtime
As a one time renter...as long as it's clean and crisp, white, grey, beige, whatever...but definitely paint the cabs white. I must say as a homeowner, I prefer white walls and to bring in color with accessories so I can change my look whenever. My natural style is cottage. Particularly in small homes. I have one big home I'll have to revamp and that will be hard for me, particularly in the great rooms.
December 17, 2012 at 4:06PM   
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PRO
Linda
I would go for anything light colored which isn't either beige or brown toned off white. To me, off white just looks like you are a standard landlord with standard policiies and I might as well choose the standard rental down the next street. I like a little bit of a color and I detest antique white walls with corporate beige carpeting. Right now I'm using a really pale yellowish white that is described as Navaho White but seems a touch more yellow than classic Navaho and a light bluish-gray which looks fabulous against crisp, clean white trim.
December 17, 2012 at 5:02PM     
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mainstreetschool
I have 60+ rentals. We use SW Dover White eggshell finish. Paint the cabinets white gloss with original hardware.
December 17, 2012 at 7:26PM   
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Jacob Burrows
Thanks Linda, u said what I've been thinking for months.
December 17, 2012 at 8:05PM     
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Jacob Burrows
Thanks Linda, u said what I've been thinking for months.
December 17, 2012 at 8:05PM     
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kah416
Jakeburrows & Linda,
That's exactly what I though too...grey tones can be warm and inviting and look clean and fresh against white trim and dark floors...can't go wrong :) And there are so many grays to choose from! :)
December 17, 2012 at 10:49PM     
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hollybar
For the past couple of years we've been using pale neutral grays with White Dove trim on our properties.Seems a more popular & appreciated choice than the beiges these days.
December 18, 2012 at 2:06AM     
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PRO
amydutton Home
We own rental properties and I find that tenants want color to play with instead of the sterile white/ off-white. Trust me, you don't want your tenants to come to you and want to paint a wall after you have just invested in it yourself.
The battle of beige or grey is easily solved with a light taupe. Here are our colors that I've had good luck with:

SHERWIN WILLIAMS:TRIM: SW6154, Nacre

WALLS: SW6155 Rice Grain

OFFICE: SW6256 Ramie

RISERS: SW 6158 Sawdust

TREADS: SW 6159 High Tea

Note: I would definitely paint that cabinet in the kitchen either light (which will show the dirt but be bright) or dark (perhaps the SW6158) for durability.

Second note: These are Sherwin Williams colors but I have Benjamin Moore dealers mix the color with their paint - better quality = less expensive with time.
Have fun!
December 18, 2012 at 2:28AM     
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pjtime
I love the taupe Natalie suggested. It's something I might try myself. Juniper River...very beautiful colors! I bet they look great. You guys are giving me ideas for my bigger house! Thanks!
December 18, 2012 at 4:08AM     
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nasmijati
Now that it seems you have wall color ideas well in hand, I suggest that instead of dark wood floors you go with a mid-tone. Dark gets looking dirty very quickly, and any damage is quite visible.
My landlady has gone the opposite route with pale wood flooring. It also gets looking dirty fairly quickly. It is also hard to decorate around if one's belongings are not light and airy.
December 18, 2012 at 9:35AM   
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pjtime
I agree! I am right now in the middle of scrubbing paint off my old oak floors. The prior homeowner put laminate wood over some of it, which started peeling from damp mopping. I ripped it out and decided I could do something with the existing floors, which appears to be white oak with medium tones. Where I live it's very dusty dirty and dark wood shows dust as soon as you sit down from cleaning. I am grateful they weren't stained dark.
December 18, 2012 at 12:04PM   
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Jacob Burrows
The stairs and upstairs hallway have been painted the same paint color as the walls......so I'd like to change that!
December 19, 2012 at 6:04AM   
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pjtime
That combination suggested by Juniper River Home Design would be great then. Lovely colors in that palette they use.
December 19, 2012 at 1:44PM   
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Jacob Burrows
Thanks everyone for ur ideas.
December 21, 2012 at 7:15PM   
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