The survey, which polled a sampling of CIL paint stores across the country, showed that neutrals accounted for 65 percent of sales in the last 12 months. Of the neutral hues, grey was the most requested colour (25 percent), followed by beige tones (22 percent) and whites (18 percent). Greens and blues were next, with 11 percent of consumers choosing green and six percent choosing blue tones for their rooms.
“While most people seem to acknowledge that using a more colourful shade can rejuvenate a room, when it comes to actual purchases, the majority appears to take a more conservative approach,” said Alison Goldman, brand manager for CIL paint, a brand of PPG Architectural Coatings. “Neutrals like whites, beiges and greys are often preferred because they are safe, long-term investments that don’t go out of style and don’t compete with other objects in a room.”
Goldman cited CIL paint’s top-selling neutral paints as Granite Grey (00NN 37/000) grey, Chinchilla White (10YY 46/041) taupe, and Antique White (43YY 78/053) white.
While neutrals are less dramatic than their more colourful counterparts, they need not be perceived as boring, Goldman emphasized. To help spruce up neutral rooms, she offered these tips:
Think outside the walls: To add interest to a room, paint darker or lighter versions of the main neutral wall colour on baseboards, trim, windowsills, ceilings and doors. The simplest way to find related colours is to check the paint chip for darker or lighter versions of the same tone. Or, you can ask your paint retailer to add white to the paint for a lighter tint and black for a darker one.
Mix and match neutrals: Using two or three different neutral colours can warm up a room and add appeal. Decide on a colour theme that is either monochromatic (colours from the same family) or related (colour groups which lie beside one another on the wheel) colour, and paint an accent wall or two, doors and trim, in different neutral hues. Goldman suggested CIL paint combinations such as Ominous (50YR 26/023) with Silver Shores (50YR 53/011), or Deacon’s Bench (20YY 33/145) with Desert Castle (20YY 53/124) and Wedding White (70YY 83/037).
Add a vibrant accent wall: If nerves are what stop you from trying a more vivid paint shade, add a splash of colour on an accent wall – around a fireplace or behind a headboard, for example. An accent wall is an easy way to experiment with colour, and it is quick and simple to update at any time. Try a popular look of rich magenta such as Romanesque (50RR 17/372) by CIL paint on one wall, with Zeppelin (30YY 46/036) mellow grey on the other three.
Accessorize in colour: If you prefer to stick with one neutral paint colour in your room, bring in colour through accent pieces such as rugs, pillows, paintings or furniture. Most textiles start with a neutral base, so the walls and accessories should work well together no matter what patterns you choose.
Other findings of the CIL paint survey show that Canadians painted their bedrooms (24 percent), living and family rooms (23 percent) and kitchens (22 percent) more than any other rooms this last year. The poll also pointed to colour selection (44 percent) and paint preparation (34 percent) as the biggest challenges people associate with painting projects. When it comes to choosing colour, 77 percent of Canadians, have a color family in mind before entering a store, while 15 percent make their color family choices in-store.