Best Paint, Flooring, and Cabinet Colors for Rental Properties: Keep it Neutral!

Swatches of color and fabric materials for interior design

Creating a living space that appeals to a broad range of potential tenants can be tricky, especially if interior decorating isn’t your specialty! Many times, investors and landlords are searching for simple color recommendations to use in their properties that will make the space look great while also being simple enough that virtually anyone could move their belongings in and achieve a good match.

Choosing the Right Paint Colors

Bright colors and colors that aren’t considered neutrals tend to appeal only to those who have selected the color, or only fit in with a particular decor scheme. These options are likely to be a turn-off for anyone visiting the rental property in Philadelphia and could severely reduce the number of possible applicants for your space.

Instead, choose neutral colors that tend to lend an even background and make sure to keep the tones light, so undertones and subtle colors don’t get in the way of the neutral effect. While white is often a natural, go-to neutral, it can often make a living space look too sanitized or institutional and doesn’t make any place feel like a home. Instead, look for neutrals that offer a bit of warmth. Some examples include trusty beiges and light browns, trendier grays and greiges, and possibly very pale yellows and gold tones.

It’s also a good idea to use the same color throughout the house. This will keep the flow from room to room even and prevent any rooms from standing out or looking off, so it’s easier for prospective tenants to imagine themselves in the space. As a bonus, using the same color throughout an entire unit is more cost effective as you’ll be able to take advantage of bulk pricing.

Lastly, make sure your painting crew does a good job. No matter how perfectly neutral your paint color is, having drips, patchy areas, crooked lines around the trim, and painted over switches and outlets will cause any otherwise lovely unit to look cheap and uncared for. Hire experienced painters and make your spaces look like they’ve been well-kept.

Carpeting and Flooring

When choosing flooring for your Philadelphia rental property, neutral is again the key to getting the best results. When looking at carpet colors, a common choice is a light beige color, but this can be a mistake. Although beige is a neutral color, the lighter tones are far more likely to show stains and wear and tear. Instead, darker browns and grays are a better choice as they will hide stains, dents, scratches, and marks, so the flooring lasts longer.

Don’t be afraid to use lighter color tile and linoleum flooring. Both are much easier to clean, and they’re also stain resistant, so it’s more appealing to a renter. However, it’s essential to stay away from busy patterns and other distracting details that might not be what potential tenants are looking for. Laminate flooring offers a durable, long-lasting alternative to natural wood, but avoid exotic finishes, high variation patterns, unnatural colors such as whitewashed finishes, or anything else too busy. Instead, stick to classics with a hardwood appearance in blonde or honey tones.

Kitchen Cabinets

Dark, deep colored cabinets may be a trendy style for this season, but it’s not one that will last forever. Honey Oak is another popular choice, but its appearance can end up being associated with generic rental kitchens, and sometimes can feel cheap even when you’ve invested in quality cabinetry. Some tenants may appreciate your efforts, but most people are more concerned with looks.

Instead, when choosing colors for kitchen cabinets, make white your go-to—especially if you’ve avoided white paint throughout the rental unit. In the kitchen, white cabinets help the space look clean, bright, and fresh, all things that people want to see in the area where food is prepared. Also, don’t bother with decorative kitchen elements such as a statement backsplash or fancy lighting fixtures. Most of these things are highly dependent on someone’s taste and will impact the broad appeal of your rental unit.

Need Help from a Property Manager in Philadelphia?

Capturing the attention of multiple sets of eyes is the goal when renovating your rental or turning over your unit after a move-out to prepare for the next tenants. While bold, trendy styles might seem like a great way to get the attention of modern renters, the truth is that non-neutral colors and finishes are more likely to turn people away. Remember, most people are moving in with an existing set of furniture and at least a few decor items, and they want a home where their style can be applied. Your job is to provide the backdrop and let your tenants add personality.

We highly recommend that landlords and investors check with our property managers at Bay Management Group before upgrades are installed and redecoration projects begin. We’re happy to provide simple recommendations that will help lease the property quickly and keep it leased for the long term. Contact our team at BMG today!


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