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Office nr: 021 879 66731

Jaime-Lee Gardner
072 171 1979

Louise Martin
073 335 4084

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How bolder colour can change a residential estate

How a bolder colour palette can change the face of a residential estate

Abandoning safe monotones, we take a look at up-to-the-minute palette trends and colour combinations for cluster homes.

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How a bolder colour palette can change the face of a residential estate

Abandoning safe monotones, we take a look at up-to-the-minute palette trends and colour combinations for cluster homes.

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3 min read

A palette of vibrant shades is swaying contemporary developers to change their usual modus operandi when it comes to defining estate palettes; usually, this is to opt for beige, peach, white or grey. This bold change in approach is likely due to the effect of surrounding colour on our mental well-being.

The psychologists in our midst are fond of reminding us that colour plays an important role in our lives, and can affect our minds, bodies and the way we feel. Those shades on the colour wheel closest to red (such as orange and yellow) can evoke feelings of warmth and comfort – overflowing into the more heated emotions of anger and passion. On the other hand, those nearer to blue (such as purple and green) evoke a calmer, and often more meditative or muted, range of moods.

Thinking of renewing the look of a tired-looking estate during the colder months ahead? Social Media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram reveal that homeowners’ associations are selecting bolder paint shades in an attempt to make up for the Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) so many of us experience – even here in the Southern hemisphere – when skies turn greyer. In summer, the bright colours will echo the vibrant nature of the season.

Among the latest choices we’re seeing are:

  • olive green and forest-like hues, for their versatility, calming effect and ability to bring the verdant vegetation outside an estate into the mindspace of its residents;
  • Spanish-style burnt sienna, for its intense warmth and the nostalgia it brings for summer sunsets – leading residents to lay a fire or cook up a heart-warming curry to emulate that sense of comfort;
  • deep Prussian navy, to make a typically royal statement that veers dramatically away from any faint pastel blues and draws the eye with its richness – especially on the exteriors of homes with plenty of glass panels and those that are set beside the sea.

A local residential development that has taken this route is Agora 202, in Observatory, Cape Town, which was designed by Two Five Five Architects. The building draws inspiration from the colourful row-houses of the Bo-Kaap and Observatory. To create the façade, the architects pixelated images of Cape Town Harbour and Table Mountain to extract their base colours, and these were then used to form block-like patterns. The bold colours make the building stand out, without appearing out of place.

A few disadvantages of making colour changes? Remember that a colour can look very different on a swatch to how it will look when spread out over an entire wall; and that most paint shades appear somewhat lighter on the entire façade of a home, than they do on a small sample. Painting large-size swatches on a section of wall is the best way to help make the right choice before going ahead with the expense of the entire project.

“Because of the deceptive nature – even distortion – of those bolder hues in the midday glare, we advise developers and their teams to rather test a colour in the morning or later afternoon. And that they paint a limited section of an estate first, before investing in a large quantity of that particular paint hue,” advises Plascon’s Carol Ras. In order to ensure that the bolder, darker choice of colours is more durable with exposure to the sun, it is highly recommended that a high-quality painting system is implemented to ensure that the rich colours last longer. “That new splash of colour is likely to bring interest and positive vibes to estate residents and passers-by but, before you take the leap, it’s advisable to investigate what we offer via our Plascon Colour System – even book a colour consultation with us – so that an expert can assist you with any queries or concerns that you, or your team, may have.”

For information about the Plascon Colour System and a colour consultation, contact

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