The colour Magnolia was the most ubiquitous paint colour in the UK. Millions of gallons of Magnolia paint have been used to cover every wall, ceiling, door and skirting board in homes throughout the UK.
The colour dominated sales during the 1970s and 80s – and is still prevalent in many homes today, so has the nation fallen out of love with Magnolia?
Today it has become synonymous with the words bland, boring and unimaginative, often referred to as the ‘M’ word by many interior designers in a derogatory or disparaging way.
Like anything that gets overexposed an inevitable backlash occurs, in this instance it seems to have coincided with the demise of Tungsten lighting and the introduction of low-energy halogen, LED and fluorescent lights, which create a cooler white / blue hue making Magnolia painted rooms look strange and odd.
So what colour is challenging Magnolia as the colour of choice in the rooms of today’s homeowners?
Well, if Dulux is right, it has to be ‘Shades of Grey’. Dulux has recently expanded it’s range and now offers a mind-boggling 557 variants of grey in every possible finish – emulsion, matt, eggshell, satin and gloss. Little & Greene also offer 28 variants of grey in their collection, whilst Farrow & Ball provides a select number of greys and grey whites.
Most of the leading paint manufacturers argue that a palette of greys provide the perfect neutral, backdrop to create fresh, modern, elegant and sophisticated décor schemes, allowing the use of accent colours on feature walls, or through the introduction of striking colours in soft furnishings and accessories.
Estate agents continue to suggest you keep interiors neutral if you want to sell your home quickly (estate agent speak for using magnolia paint everywhere). This is not necessarily the best advice.
Bold splashes of colour can be both striking and attractive if used in the right way and will help differentiate your home from the thousands of others bland looking houses on sale, creating a positive impression of your property.
Today’s younger, lifestyle-conscious homebuyers are looking to find properties that show potential to be developed to suit their lifestyle not properties that look dull, boring and dated.
How to get the best effects using a grey colour palette.
The way a room is used should guide which shade of grey you should choose. If a room is mainly used in the evening, or there are always lights on, you can afford to opt for a darker shade of grey, while rooms that are used all day long, such as the kitchen, requires a grey that works with both natural and artificial light.
Dark grey walls can work well in a kitchen if used with a light floor and light/warm greys on kitchen cabinets. Dining rooms, which often suffer from lack of light, can be painted in dark greys, which will create an intimate, cosy atmosphere but if this room is also used during the day, opt for a lighter grey. But don’t forget the use of bright, striking highlight colours such as yellows, pinks, blues or greens as they will bring a dash of modernity and sophistication to a room
Our advice is to try out different hues of grey using tester pots, painting small square areas on different walls and then checking which works best in different light throughout the day and evening.