41% of people quizzed as part of the research commissioned by Dulux
last painted their homes in cream or ‘off-white’, largely on the
advice of property gurus and estate agents, although 45% of the
nation claims to think these colours are ‘boring’. A paltry 4% of
people believe cream or off-white reflect their true personalities.
However when asked to specify what
type of colours homeowners actually liked, they were distinctly more
adventurous with 38% claiming to love blue and 32% plumping for pink
or red. Only 3% said they actually liked cream or off-white. This
love of colour is shown to be associated with favourite childhood
colours; in fact 42% claimed red and pink were their favourite
colour as a child and 35% highlighted blue. What a shame that there
should be such a discord between the colours people actually like
and the colours they choose to paint their homes.
This lack of ‘colour’ can largely be
attributed to the fact that one in ten householders claims to have
decorated, solely with increasing the value of their property in
mind. Estate agents and property programmes on TV often advise home
owners to paint their homes shades of white and cream to ‘keep them
neutral’, maximising the appeal to potential purchasers. However,
the study also reveals that 86% of homeowners don’t really trust
estate agents, with only 9% admitting they would let them decorate
Louise Smith, colour expert at Dulux
believes that this is because the British public have had a decade
of TV programmes encouraging them to keep their homes ‘neutral’ for
a quick and easy sale. Brits are becoming increasingly frightened to
express their own personalities through decoration and we have
become a nation of subconscious home sellers … in the back of our
mind we are thinking of our homes as a commodity and potential sale.
We need to paint our way to a happy medium where we can enjoy
personalising our homes without fear of devaluing them.
But it’s not just our homes where a
distinct lack of colour is having a ‘dulling-down’ effect. When it
comes to British life in general today, 46% of those quizzed
described it as dreary ‘grey or black’, followed by ‘boring’ cream
or beige (26%), citing the economy as the main reason (31%),
followed by the weather (25%) and the British people (23%).
Londoners are the most likely to describe Britain as ‘beige’ (18%),
while northerners remain more optimistic, with 13% considering the
country to be ‘green’.
Gordon Brown might need to think
more carefully in future, when he gets dressed in the morning. When
asked which colour our political leaders made them think of, 36% of
people saw the Prime Minister as being ‘grey or black’ , 34%
suggested brown- although we think his name may be at play here) and
beige won 12% of the vote. . However the future is looking brighter
for David Cameron with 24% associating him with ‘blue’ (Maggie would
be proud) or ‘non-descript’ cream (24%), although his eco-friendly
efforts led just 4% to consider him ‘green’.
Louise adds, “Over the past few
years, the British homeowner has lost confidence in her ability to
use colour in the home and resorted to using ‘off-whites’ and
creams, which is clearly at odds with her true personality and
preferences. It’s time we made a case for colour and stop Britain
becoming bland, so Dulux pledges to focus instead on great,
contemporary colours in our new ranges.”
April 2008 -
Peterborough UK Community Website