Why Do We Paint Houses In Boring Beige?


When we first moved into our heritage loft six years ago, guess what colour it was? Yep, builder’s beige. Our cool, industrial looking, former train factory loft, was painted beige top to bottom. I understand the logic behind the choice – – it’s cheap and easy for contractors to be consistent, plus, buyers like neutrals right? Not this buyer.

I felt drab when I looked at the insipid colour from wall to wall. It was uninspired, unimaginative, cookie-cutter ordinary and I had to make my space represent me, us, our family. So I went all out on the colour spectrum!

I started cautiously, (well, if smack-you-in-the-face-Home-Depot-orange is cautious) and painted the main living room wall a vibrant orange. I have to admit, I did almost back out when I realized that I was buying the Home Depot logo colour.

I then watched my husband and his stepfather transform that beige canvas into a wall of ‘HI THERE!! HOW YOU DOING?’ It worked. (Thank God, orange is a bitch to paint over).

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The dining area was next. I fell in love with some spectacular wallpaper at a local paint shop. The green worked well with the orange and I loved the trees. The touch of ‘nature’ helped to off-set the harder industrial elements in the space.

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The difficulty in living in a completely open space is that you have to know where to stop and start with your colour. If you’re struggling with that, you’d better send me an email because each space needs its own assessment.

Over time, I integrated colour into throw pillows, accessories, art and my newest treasure, a yellow antique shelving unit. All of these bright colours are offset by neutral furniture. The couch is off-white, the wall units are white and grey, and the dining chairs and table are chrome, glass and dark brown.

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If you find all this commitment to colour too much, don’t start with paint, begin with a duvet, or some blankets and see how you like living in colour.

Citizens, if you’re struggling with decor problems write to us! We can help. Send us your pictures, your decor dilemmas and your success stories. Perhaps we’ll feature your place next. Have a happy, colourful day!

Written by: Rachell Matthews Burton

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