Beige is in. So it seems if you look through the weekly real estate listings, carpet retailers stock, tile stores and new home subdivisions across the country. A number of clothing retailers seem to favour a similar approach. It’s safe. Easier to choose yourself. And it meets the needs of most customers.
Even the majority of architect-designed new homes published in NZ design magazines illustrate a lean towards unpainted plywood, concrete and concrete block. This format fits in with our natural landscape. Is it also, however, that our Kiwi preference for neutral colour and materials reflects our awkwardness and fear of uncoordinated colour in our homes? My own five-year architecture degree included a one hour lecture on colour! If it hadn’t been for working in a New York architects office for seven years which had a dedicated interiors department of 50 staff, in addition to 200 architects, I would probably be a little more colour shy as well.
I find colour energising, uplifting and a way to make our homes unique. It doesn’t mean each room has to be saturated in hot pink! To the contrary, beige may still be the underlying colour scheme. Texture and colour through furniture, carpets, curtains, light fittings, art pieces, floral displays etc. can be used to create a harmonic colour scheme.
I’ve always preferred the multiplicity of colour that can be introduced into design, similar to that of a varied floral display. I can still enjoy the richness of a beige decorated room, if it is designed with texture, an accent colour or feature. Modern Manhattan apartments do this well. It is a wisely used technique of developers in the USA. Take a blank beige painted interior and transform it via a neutral colour scheme with discrete textural qualities and secondary colour.
Do consider colour in your home if you are going to embark on a renovation. Ask your designer about their perspective, experience and interest in colour as part of your evaluation in selecting the right professional to suit you.
Nick Leko is a Registered Architect with 20 years experience whose work includes residential design and build. If you have any questions on house renovations you would like him to address in Vibrant Hutt, get in touch today.