Neutral exterior hues popular, should colour make a comeback?

The colour scheme for Doris de Pont and Tejo van Schie’s Grey Lynn villa was controversial at first, says Doris; their ...
JANE USSHER

The colour scheme for Doris de Pont and Tejo van Schie’s Grey Lynn villa was controversial at first, says Doris; their son Micky even screenprinted a T-shirt with the slogan: "I do not live in a pink house".

Much like Kiwi women's tendency toward a black wardrobe, Kiwi homes tend to hail a neutral or monochrome exterior hue. 

Clothes designer turned fashion historian and curator Doris de Pont is not scared of clashing colours, that's evident upon first glance at her pink, green and blue home.

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Fashion historian Doris De Pont at home.
JANE USSHER

Fashion historian Doris De Pont at home.

When it came time to paint her "heritage yellow" hued home over 12 years ago, the decision to paint it pink was a simple one.

"Everything looks good with pink," she says. 

So, with the help of friend and neighbour Jane Admore, an architect and colour consultant, they chose green, blue and gold to accompany the bold hue; taking inspiration from the richness and colour contrasts in Indian saris. 

READ MORE:
How to pick an exterior paint colour?
Homeowners shy from bright exteriors
Groom your home exterior ready for sale  

 

"What could be more cheering than coming home to a pink house?" she questioned, "it's constantly smiling at you."

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Rumble in the jungle cushion designed by Nellie Ryan
Rumble in the jungle cushion designed by Nellie Ryan
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So why don't more New Zealander's opt for similar colour choices? 

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It all comes down to saleability. First impressions are vital says Nicky Malloy, top Harcourts sales consultant based in Henderson Heights. 

"Most people can't get past bold and unusual colours on the exterior of houses. Paint your home purple or pink and you are going to very much limit your market when it comes to selling your house."

Rachel Grunwell loves her "Smurf house", and so do her neighbours.
RACHEL GRUNWELL

Rachel Grunwell loves her "Smurf house", and so do her neighbours.

Neutrals, she says, will appeal to most potential buyers. When there's a cost of over $10,000 to get a house repainted, bold colours are not going to appeal. 

Malloy recently marketed a house that was painted mustard. The colour proved a problem for buyers and it didn't sell. Having since repainted it soft grey, there is already a noticeable increase in interest she says. "Yellow-based colours are out." 

Rachel Grunwell, health and wellness blogger of Inspired Health, tends to agree on the yellow front, she can't imagine living in a sunshine yellow home. But that's where her aversion to colours stops. Grunwell lives in what's been nicknamed, "the Smurf house." 

Resene's Karen Warman says more colour tends to come via hues such as grey blues. This home is painted using Resene's ...
RESENE

Resene's Karen Warman says more colour tends to come via hues such as grey blues. This home is painted using Resene's Bluegrass, Copper Rust and Half Pearl Lusta.

Five years ago she and her husband made the decision to go "bold and brave" and paint their exterior in a Karen Walker duck egg blue. And they love it. 

"We thought about the time frame and knew we weren't going to move out in the next seven to 10 years, so thought why shouldn't we paint it a colour we love, it doesn't really matter." 

The couple live in Mt Eden, a highly vibrant and energetic suburb anyway, says Grunwell, "so we fit right in." 

"Colours make people happy, make us happy," she says, "I don't live a beige life, nor do I dress in beige, so I wasn't going to have a beige house." 

Grunwell thinks the white fence, window and door frames soften the impact of the colour, which hasn't faded in the five years since they painted. 

Resene's marketing manager Karen Warman says "homeowners we talk to that have brightly-coloured houses are always in love with their exterior and often it inspires other neighbours to go bold." 

Although colourful exteriors are a talking point and there are seldom problems, except where low quality paint is used, popular colours are still blackened whites and greys through to beige-greys, she says. 

More colour tends to come in via hues such as grey blues and colours like Resene Half Duck Egg Blue

Karen Warman suggests painting the front door a bright colour is a good alternative to painting the entire exterior.
JANE USSHER

Karen Warman suggests painting the front door a bright colour is a good alternative to painting the entire exterior.

Warman suggests for someone looking to go bold but not all out, "paint the front door. It will be warm and welcoming to your guests and gives you a chance to show some personality with a favourite colour that can be easily changed later." 

Popular front door colours include citrus hues and reds. 

WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE CHOOSING YOUR EXTERIOR COLOUR

1. "Whites and light off-whites can be very glary in the bright sun," says Warman, "we recommend considering a shade darker than your original choice to ensure it's not too glary." 

2. Want a tone on tone colour scheme? Warman suggests making the contrasts greater, especially if it's a light colour. This way it will still work if the sun isn't shining. "Use triple, full and quarter strength variations instead of full, half and quarter."

3. If you have the option to choose joinery and roofing from new, choose colours that go with many different colour options (for example colours like Grey Friars for the roof and neutral or aluminium joinery.)  This will give you and future owners, more scope to change the colour palette later.

 - Homed

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