Thursday, 23 May 2013

On Colour

We're painting the interior of our house yellow. Bright yellow. With added colours.

Cue horror.

Okay, I know that living inside a highlighter doesn't suit everybody. But to use colour in your house you don't have to have it this bright - there are some lovely gentle blues and pinks and greens that look so beautiful. But in my experience (no interior design qualifications whatsoever, obviously) using any interior colour at all is unusual for houses in Melbourne. Aside from my mum's place, which is mostly yellow, with red, green and blue rooms added in for variety, and my mum's best friend's old place, which had lots of gentle greens, I can't think of another Melbourne home that I have visited that isn't painted in neutral colours.

According to Dulux, 'Australia's Favourite Colours' are 'Antique White USA', an ivory white; 'Natural White', which is a bit less warm; and 'Hog Bristle', a beige white. Boring!

Borrowed from Dulux.

On television, houses in the UK and USA look like they might be more interesting. But apparently not. Farrow and Ball in the UK has their their top selling interior paint colours as neutrals, as do Benjamin Moore in the US. Sigh.

I know that these best sellers are based on volume and don't reflect trims and highlights that people much do in some much more interesting colours. But it does seem that most Melbournians lean towards painting neutral shades instead of soft. I think that it has something to do with making houses easier to resell in this funny economic climate, people want houses to be a neutral blank canvas.

Still, there is hope! According to a Canadaian Dulux survey in over 30 countries, “When presented with paint swatches... most people seem to like yellow – as long as it’s called something other than yellow, that is.” Apparently worldwide sales volume of paint colours shows yellow as the most popular, but even though only 5% of people would cite yellow as their favourite colour. It's a lovely warm colour, although apparently it makes babies cry (didn't seem to bother Miss 2 much). So maybe the world as a whole isn't that boring after all!

Do you use colour in your home's interior?

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