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Can Colour Improve Social Housing?

Can Colour Improve Social Housing?

AkzoNobel's Peter Howard explains how colour can be the catalyst for improvement in social housing spaces:

'It's well documented that colour can impact an individual's mood, reactions and impressions. The use of colour in communal areas can have a broad range of influences on community living within social housing developments and can subsequently help the managing authorities in a variety of ways.'

Mood booster

The influence of colour can transform mindsets, leading to positivity, pride and passion towards the building in which they live. Reports indicate that this can help lead to a reduction in anti-social behaviour, thus resulting in reduced overall maintenance time and associated costs.'

'You can support your residents and help encourage the use of colour in their homes by giving them some ideas and choice about colour scheming, in turn giving them some ownership and involvement over their own environment. Colour can transform a dark room into a light and airy space; it can reflect an individual's personality and set the mood of the room.'

Colour coding

'Colour can also provide definition between different areas and help visually-impaired residents by introducing tonal contrast between critical surfaces to aid with navigation. The Dulux Trade Colour and Contrast Design Guide is a tool for specifiers that help maximise the inclusivity and usability of a space quickly and easily, so that their schemes not only look aesthetically pleasing, but also comply to the visual contrast guidelines set out in the Equality Act.'

Unlocking the power of colour

'Sometimes injecting colour and transforming a communal staircase or corridor can be intimidating, so we often see contractors given the instruction just to redecorate an area with an existing colour scheme. But if that existing colour scheme is institutional magnolia or white, a great opportunity is being missed to actually improve the space with colour. If there is a lack of expertise for colour scheming and commercial decorating in your organisation, draft in the experts to help. Dulux Trade's colour experts can help you by creating with imaginative colour scheming that suit the space and help you specify the right product for the right environment.

'Dulux Trade has also developed a wide range of free apps that can help to create colour schemes, paint specifications and even visualise the design before a drop of paint has been used. To help tenants transform or maintain building internals, our Dulux Decorator Centre Refresh Scheme offers a choice of two simple, convenient ways to provide tenants with paints, wallpapers and decorating equipment. We've developed two redecoration options: Decorator Vouchers and Paint Packs. We provide the vouchers, you decide the value and give to your residents to be redeemed at any Dulux Decorator Centre. Residents have a choice of three easy ways of ordering and can enjoy free delivery. Alternatively we can provide your tenants with all the paint and accessories that they require to redecorate their home in one handy pack to help transform their homes.'

Colour success

'Earlier this year Dulux partnered with Bell Group, a trusted member of our Contract Partners network and one of the largest contract painters and decorators in the UK. Working together we helped the Guinness Partnership rejuvenate one of their sheltered home's communal lounges. The area within Robinwood Lodge, Glossop, was very dated and had not been decorated for many years. This was a key community space for the residents and warranted some time, money and commitment to reinvigorate. We chose the colours together with the residents, so that they felt involved in the decision-making. The Dulux colour studio produced mood boards and visuals to be followed, and over five days the room was dramatically transformed. Dulux Trade contributed to the paint under our social value banner while the Bell Group completed all the work free of charge. We have been told the residents are delighted with the results and spend much more time in this colourful and welcoming communal area.

Read the full article in the September issue of Inside Housing magazine.