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Redefining neutral: Home color trends for 2024

Reading Time — 5 minutes

December 5, 2023

By Dabito

Opendoor's 2024 Home Decor Report.

Reading Time — 5 minutes

December 5, 2023

As a designer, author, and color expert, my design philosophy is simple: everyone can harness the power of color to tell a personal story in their home. From teal kitchen backsplashes to bold peel-and-stick wallpaper, color can be used to express your style.

When Opendoor approached me to collaborate on their third annual Home Decor Report, I was all in to educate and empower homeowners on how to use color in their homes. This report reveals a glimpse of what’s to come in home design and real estate in 2024, including redefined neutrals and color trends, and how homeowners are tackling renovation and decor spending in the face of economic uncertainty.

The homeowners’ color palette in 2024

The report tells us that the top home colors will be traditionally neutral tones. As a devotee of bold colors, I know that beiges, tans and whites can provide a sense of calm. Traditional neutrals offer a blank slate for home shoppers to easily envision their style.

The new neutrals of 2024 are muted tones that are grounding and offer stability.

To make creative use of traditional neutrals, one of my favorite methods is to pair different shades of white, gray and beige for walls, crown moldings, and baseboards. This creates subtle depth in a space, and using different paint finishes can add variation and visual interest.

At the same time, there is a need to redefine what is considered “neutral.” The new neutrals of 2024 are muted tones that are grounding and offer stability. Paint color brands’ 2024 Colors of the Year validates this notion, with many showcasing subdued greens and blues. 

Bright color trends had a big moment in 2023, but pink is overwhelmingly cited as the #1 least appealing color for exterior (43%), interior (34%), and front door colors (28%). For those looking to tip-toe into color, I suggest muted colors in green, blue, dusty pink, coral, or even an eggshell yellow, that are soft and easy on the eyes. And for those who are looking to give pink a try, a muted rose pink can be neutral and add warmth to a space without overwhelming the senses.

Investing in the home is a priority

While color is a big part of how homeowners refresh their spaces, remodeling and redecorating projects will also continue in 2024. As the housing market poses challenges for buyers and sellers alike, consumers are choosing to put their hard-earned dollars back into their spaces.

According to the survey, American homeowners spend on average $5,635 on home renovation and remodeling each year. Many invest in projects and accessories that breathe new life into their existing spaces, prioritizing kitchens and bathrooms. 

Notably, Millennial respondents told us that they spend about 37% more on remodeling projects than Boomers. Despite homeowners feeling locked into their current homes due to limited housing supply and high interest rates, they realize the importance of remodeling to customize and personalize — to reflect their unique styles and stories. It’s never been more important to create spaces that foster good energy and improve our well-being.

For those hoping to do some remodeling in the new year, small-to-mid range projects are budget-friendly and easy to tackle. Some quick ways to update a space without breaking the bank include painting, switching out or adding wallpaper, new wall panel treatments, or even DIY tiling.

In terms of home decor, Americans spend an average of $1,599 per year, per our survey. Millennials spend about 23% more on home decor than Boomers, who are more likely to have favorite furnishings and collectibles on hand. Decor like pillows, plants, colorful throws, mirrors, artwork, curtains, lamps, and vases are all easy ways to spruce up a space and add personality. 

Impressing home shoppers through design

In line with past Opendoor Home Decor Reports, homebuyers look for updated interiors, well-kept exteriors, and eco-forward features that improve day-to-day living. Outdoors, people  crave freshly-landscaped lawns and neatly-trimmed plants for maximum curb appeal. Indoors, they seek updated kitchens and bathrooms, which can potentially help with resale value down the line. 

There are two design features that can improve a space to entice buyers (or, if you’re home shopping, are great design features to look for):

  • A well-designed floor plan. The right layout will create a natural flow. Pay attention to how you move between spaces, from kitchen to living areas, or between bedrooms. You don’t always have to knock down walls – sometimes a well-placed seating area or dining nook can make all the difference.

  • The right surface treatments. For kitchens and bathrooms in particular, opt for handmade-looking tiles, mixed metals, and warm woods. For surface treatments, choosing paint, color, tiles, and wallpaper that add visual interest will go a long way. 

Want to read the full report? Download here.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your favorite spaces or considering buying and/or selling a home, Opendoor is here to help. Head to Opendoor.com to make your next move.

Dabito is an interior designer and color expert who consulted on the 2024 Home Decor Report.

Methodology: The Opendoor survey was conducted online among 1,022 nationally representative homeowners ages 25-74 in October 2023 interested in either decorating or remodeling their homes, or have remodeled in the past two years.