I contacted Tara and explained to her that the coloured rooms were painted white on instruction of real estate agents. I wanted to sell my house so did as I was told. It looked shocking, but what would I know? The general public hates colour, don’t they? So Better Homes and Gardens thought what a great story, they did a reverse, rooms turning from white to colour. They came, they did the TV show and the rooms were published in the December issue of Better Homes and Gardens.

So I began to think why doesn’t the general public not like colour. Is it because they are afraid of making a mistake? Is it our socialist and egalitarian penchant for anonymity? Whatever it is it is holding the country back. From the little black dress, the navy suit and the beige house the result is the same. No risk, no growth, no originality, no pride.

Well that is a pretty big generalization but let’s face it. How many buildings does one enter in this city and get a lift because of the excitement of the colours used. From Kings Hall at Parliament House, to the rooms of Government House, the Potter Galleries of Australian Art, all the apartments that come on the market, all our friends houses, even all the churches, no colour. Hospitals and prisons have the same colour schemes as these examples. The reason is also laziness, the same laziness that believes that nothing can be done to get the power lines underground.

May I suggest some of the reasons why colour is not used.

  1. People are bombarded with advertising that uses colour to shock us into noticing it. Driving along our wire strung streets all the signs in all their garish colours clash onto our senses with unremitting force, not softened by trees, they have been cut in order for us to see the signage. We hate the signs so we hate the colours.
  2. For our homes we think colour costs money . If we make a mistake then it is expensive to change. I
  3. Lush colours in fabrics are more expensive than bland colours.
  4. Bold colours often remind us of other cultures, Mediterranean colours used to paint polychrome brick houses so that inferred that colour meant ignorance of white anglo Australian society.
  5. Shops/retail outlets make it very difficult to by colour. Carpets are produced in a variety of colours but really they are grey/green/ grey/pink, grey/blue/, grey/brown, etc, anything that will go with everything if you screw up your face and squint.
  6. One gets the carpet which is of this dreary palette and then one is locked in to upholstery and curtain fabrics that have to go with it. Anything that shows a bit of real colour looks totally
  7. I had the experience the other day of visiting David Jones department store, you know the one that is the best department store in the world. I wanted a dinner set for the kitchen that is both elegant with a bit of coloured design, a smart shape and dishwasher proof. Well the choice was white or white? Just like the old Soviet Union. The shops dictate to us through there lazy buyers that we do not have colour in our homes. They lock us in, tame us to make us predictable purchasers of their limited range of goods.
  8. This costs this economy a huge amount of money. Why train our kids in the fashion industry, to become textile designers, interior designers, industrial designers if they believe that colour cannot be used in this society.
  9. Non use of colour represents a feebleness of personality. Colour was always used as a sign of power. The exquisite colour schemes and textures of the palaces and country houses of Europe and the USA which are then used as a basis for new hotels restaurants, office interiors and homes require the same sensitivity when it comes to the assemblage of furniture, art and clothing. Colour sells class, and intellect. Colour is an indication of how one looks at life. Colour is a reflection of our socio-economic standing. Royalty and religion have always used colour as s delineation of status, just as there was a control on the colours certain stratas in society could wear according to law.
  10. Australia being a migrant, working class utopia has never seemed to think colour was relevant, except in the display of roses at Flemington which bloom during the Spring Carnival.