As letting agents we’ve seen it all: walls painted black, wall painted blood-red, green ceilings and pink butterflies. We’ve gazed, polite, but gobsmacked, at ‘feature’ walls decorated with the wildest wallpaper patterns whilst landlords have sagely assured us that the tenants won’t mind.
And that’s what makes me say that magnolia, however clichéd it may be, is actually a pretty good choice of colour. Generally, tenants will live quite harmoniously with magnolia, whereas a chimney breast decorated with gothic wallpaper, or painted a colour bright enough to induce headaches, will have them tripping over their feet in their rush out of the door.
Perhaps you have just bought a property to rent in Carlisle- if so, congratulations! Now, have a good look around at the decoration and try to be as impartial as possible- letting out a property is a commercial enterprise: you need your property to appeal to your ideal tenant- not necessarily to you, because you’re not the one living there.
Personally, I don’t have any particular problem with pink butterflies, although earlier in this blog you may have come to the conclusion that I have an aversion to them. The thing is, that Louis, my husband and fellow residential letting agent, really could not face sleeping in a bedroom with a feature wall of pink butterfly paper. And the fact is, he would be a pretty good tenant.
So, my advice for you as a landlord is: don’t take the risk with dodgy decorating- neutralise every time, as bad decorating will make your property take far longer to rent out- and an empty house costs you money every day.
When making paint choices, it’s not necessarily advisable to head for the industrial tubs of the cheapest magnolia emulsion either– a more enduring and washable paint can be worth spending on few more pounds on, as the walls can often be washed down between tenancies; a far cheaper option than redecorating the whole room.
Another useful tip- keep the paint tin after the job is done, because ‘magnolia’ is not as universal a colour as you may think, and different paint manufacturers have different ideas about what exact shade actually constitutes magnolia. It also makes sense financially to paint your whole property in the same colour- that way; you won’t end up having to chase different shades for repainting different rooms in the future.
But if the thought of painting your whole property magnolia strikes you as simply morally wrong and a crime against your aesthetic sensibilities, then why not go a little out on a limb and use barley white, or even-dare I say it- light stone? These are also lovely neutral colours which will help your property to let out quickly.
Fresh paint, fresh, light colours will help you attract your target tenants– so it’s really worth rolling up your sleeves and attacking any wallpaper nightmares with the scraper. And should your tenants cautiously ask you during the course of their tenancy: “Would you mind if we just papered a feature wall?” think very carefully before you agree.