Armourco Solutions Inc’s Cathy Doherty talks 2015 colour trends and the transformative effects paint can have on personality

The great 19th-century writer and critic John Ruskin said, “Color is the most sacred element in all visual things.”

Paint companies know the effect that colour plays in a home; colour can not only set the mood but in many cases influence the mood of those in the room. Personality tests often refer to colours when ascribing emotional values and attitudes to candidates (blue – calm / orange – social & energetic / green – balanced). In the same way, designers will use combinations of colours and hues to transform a space taking into account the room’s use and flow with adjoining rooms and an owner’s sensibilities. For one owner a dark kitchen palette may generate feelings of claustrophobia while to another it may evoke old world haute cuisine.

Each year, using the purchasing choices of customers from the previous year, paint companies make changes to their colour swatches for the upcoming year – setting in motion the new trends. This year the paint pallets are trending toward new pastel shades with echoes of nature. Rather than the candy pastel shades of the 70s, the new colour trend incorporates calm watery blue, cheerful hyacinth yellow/white and relaxing ryegrass green. The newer hues of nature offer the prospect of experimenting with natural fabrics and furniture accents. For urban living, this is the opportunity to bring the restorative elements of nature into the home.

Paint colour is the single most effective way to change the personality of a space and transform it to its best advantage.

But residents of condominiums aren’t only concerned about the colour selections of their individual suites. The lobbies, corridors and common areas have an influence on the communal feel and overall investment value of the entire building. The burnt orange colours of the 80s might have been in vogue then, but now, 30 years later, there may be a tiredness about the space. Potential investors will make their first impression based on the lobby and corridor and it may not be the best impression even though the individual suite itself is beautifully updated.

 

When looking at maintaining the owners’ investment, generally property management focuses on protection and maintenance. Often the aesthetic function of paint is overlooked as a tool in maintaining a property’s value. With ever increasing competition from an abundance of new builds, maintaining curb appeal is paramount. Attracting buyers and sustaining property values are dependent on your presentation and maintenance.

The decision to update the interior colours of a condominium building is important. Choosing appropriately is crucial. Occasionally there is resistance to changing a colour scheme. Property management may experience complaints, and even resistance from owners who are attached to their outdated décor. Most commonly, many people struggle with being able to visualize the new colours.

Just as designers assist individual suite owners with their colour and accent choices, so too can designers bring ideas for updating trends to the overall look and feel of the condominium. Bright institutional yellow lobbies can be transformed into welcoming natural urban settings with appropriate colour choices.

The trend in 2013 included juxtaposing colours for dramatic effect; 2014 trends took influence from rich historical designs and 2015 is moving toward incorporating subtle natural colours to provide an emotional bond with one’s surroundings. New paint colour choices can be an inexpensive design solution reflecting personality as well as providing an economical means to influence a return on investment. But, care must be taken when following trends. Whether in a suite or a corridor, always the question must be asked “is this a ‘just for now’ choice or will this colour choice stand the test of time?”