The multi-family industry across the whole country is in the midst of a color trend change. This change is taking place everywhere from fashion to products and housing. For the last fifteen years we have been influenced by colors with historic antecedents which are basically khaki based colors—earthy and muted. The current color trend is based on what is being called the Mid- Century Modern Revival. As architectural color consultants, we see this as atrend that is going to last for the coming decade.
The change comes from the renewed interest in the period from 1955 to 1965. The Mad Men tv series is the most obvious flag bearer for this genre. There is also a renewed interest in mid-century homes especially by the millennial generation as well as suburban boomers returning to the urban world. In our core cities almost all new multi-family housing is reflective of this period of architectural styles.
As a rule, millennials are the ones seriously drawn to all things Mid-Mod. So if you are trying to appeal to them and are looking for your communities to attract this generation through the next ten years it is going to be imperative that you plan now for these properties to offer a look and feel that appeals to them. And don’t forget the boomers—always hip to the latest thing— they're now looking to live in places reflective of “what’s going on.”
Translated into colors this means that we are going to be seeing things based on a gray-toned palette rather than khaki. And since vivid color is the new measure of looking current we are going to see a lot more use of unexpected color on buildings that herald the fact that the properties that use them are up to date. We are already seeing oranges and reds though these are already passé. As the public gets more and more sophisticated and 50s colors are more common the palette is going to change to turquoises, icy blues and cool yellows. What may be seen now as a bit outlandish will quickly be see as the norm.
As color trend experts we see our job as making sure your property looks up to date and on the front end of color trends throughout your whole eight-ten year paint cycle. This new color family will need accents because living in grays solely will never really be something that makes for an outstanding statement nor will it attract the millennial market. If, as a savvy marketer, you want to appeal to the young resident you will be wise to take the opportunity and really step out from your competitors before you find these other properties going bold and outshining yours. Never forget, it will be years before you can paint again.