Blank canvas and a splash of pumpkin yellow
Kerala homes have been experimenting with innovative colours. Ash and other lighter shades are in vogue now
What paint you use plays a major role in lending character to your house. Keralites have been experimentative when it comes to colour. The choice of colour for the walls of their home, is for many, an expression of their personalities.
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If brighter shades of blue, yellow, green and orange were once preferred for residential buildings in Kerala, lighter shades such as ash, beige, off-white and light yellow are now in vogue. Darker shades are usually restricted to the exterior walls, and lighter shades for the interiors.
According to an International report, the 2023 paint colour palette includes soft neutrals, bold earth tones and jewel tones. Some of them are blank canvas – a warm off-white shade, which has a versatile appeal, redend point – blush beige which gives a warm and earthy look to the interiors and Vining Ivy, teal that blends both the colours of blue and green.
Kerala homes have also been experimenting with these innovative colours. “I have done many residential and commercial projects and over the years, I have noticed that there has definitely been a change in colour trends. This is because of increased exposure to architecture and trends,” says Ajeesh Kakkarath, architect and academic coordinator, DC School of Architecture and Design, Thiruvananthapuram.
“People have started realising how colours influence the space being designed. Certain colours tend to make the rooms look spacious. For instance, darker shades may make the room look congested, while light shades make it look more spacious.”
Ajeesh believes architects should educate clients about the potential of the space that is being designed and then make them choose the colours. “Earlier the clients preferred light colour interiors with a highlighting colour,” he adds. “For example, if one wall colour is white, they like to have other walls with bright colours. Now, people prefer a combination of light colour and a natural texture.”
Other colours preferred by clients are pumpkin yellow and the colour of dried spices, which is dark, but neutral. Olive green is an emerging favourite for walls of bedrooms. “Colours are also being politicised. Though earlier people preferred different shades of orange, now it is often seen as representative of a political party,” says Ajeesh.
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In Kerala, a lot of importance is given to the colour of the furniture or home decor to compliment the colour of the wall. “We don’t use bold colours for the walls since we use a lot of teak wood for the construction,” says Shabna Nikhil, partner and creative director of Kozhikode-based architecture firm Thought Parallels. “Furniture and home decor usually come in brighter shades. Hence, only white and grey compliment the colour of teakwood. So, our interiors are based on those lines.”