Brighter choices uplift spirits

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 05:00 25/02/2013
Popular paint colours

TOP COLOURS: Clockwise from top left: rice cake, sea fog, blanc, tea, Spanish white, alabaster

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Sea fog and rice cake are Canterbury's choice when it comes to colour.

Colour experts say Cantabrians are making the most of earthquake repairs and choosing lighter, brighter and more uplifting colours than before in a bid to boost the mood of their home.

Wendy Elers, of Wendy Elers Colour & Design, said: " . . . At the moment there's a trend for light colours and off-whites.

"The palette is definitely lighter and brighter. I would say this harks back to the earthquake, and [people] wanting to feel more uplifted."

Resene's sea fog and rice cake, both neutral shades, were two popular colour choices, as opposed to previous favourites such as napa and double tea, Elers said.

Cantabrians were also fans of feature walls sporting warm yellows, mustards and reds, she said.

Resene colour consultant Henrietta Hiatt said many Cantabrians were sticking to neutral colours with a view they would be putting their house on the market in the near future.

International trends toward aquatic blue-green colours were also proving popular among some people, she said.

"I think it's really positive that people get to have a change when their turn comes . . . and it's nice to see refreshing tones that are lighter and more uplifting being used."

Painter and owner of Smooth Decorating Jamie Brill said rice cake, tea and blanc were the most popular shades.

"I think people are future-proofing by using neutral colours . . . everybody is going lighter, I haven't seen a single person going darker."

He said tea, which comes in quarter, half and full shades, was a "hit" as well as blanc, a French vanilla-type shade.

However, some are prepared to be bold. Karen Gowans said her family moved into their South New Brighton home just before the September 2010 quake.

"Before the quakes the whole inside of the house was various shades of grey and our bedroom was white . . . it was very very neutral."

"The living spaces are now different shades of napa [a smoky beige neutral] and in the bedrooms and office we've gone for quite definite colours."

She said her three sons, aged 11, 14 and 15, were given a colour palette and allowed to choose their own shade.

"We've got Resene's viaduct, which is like an earthy plum colour, in our bedroom and one of the boy's room . . . and we've got coastal blue, neutral green and robin's egg blue in the other rooms.

"I love it."

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- The Press

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