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What are the world’s favourite room colours?

Which colour should my living room be? What are Kiwis’ colour preferences in kitchens?

These are questions our clients often ask us, especially when they’re thinking about resale. Of course, we’re able to provide answers based on our vast experience of renovating and decorating, but we were intrigued recently to come across a more scientific approach that had been used by a pair of Swedish researchers using the power of the Internet. 
If you haven’t already discovered it, Pinterest is the Web’s version of a pinboard that allows you to collect, organise and share the things you love by “pinning” up photos, projects, videos and objects. Popular categories include movies, cars, travel, sports, fashion and design. With nearly 50 million users around the world, Pinterest has become an inspiring place for home decorating.
That’s why two Scandinavian researchers turned to Pinterest when they were asked by a Turkish paint company to find out what their market’s favourite room colours were.  Mie Frey Damgaard and Peter Ørntoft titled the project Colour and Space, and set about mining the photos pinned up by Turkish home owners on Pinterest and  analysing what they found by colour and location.

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They presented their findings in pie graphs cleverly overlaid on a greyed-out room shot.  This one shows that white was the preferred colour in 18% of kitchens.

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Somewhat surprisingly, the colours in kids’ rooms were more muted, with 18% preferring the faintest  pink and 14% palest blue.

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Adults preferred bolder colours in their bedrooms, although 22% were white.

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The colours in living rooms were bolder again, with more than 50% in greys, blues, greens, reds and lilac.

While Colour and Space has only published their Turkish results to date, their technique of mining the Web is fascinating because it will allow them not only to expand their research across the planet, but also to identify regional differences and to track changing tastes and styles over time.
We’ll let you know when their New Zealand research comes out. 

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