Region's decorators stay in neutral territory
FORGET feature walls, floating shelves and stylish sofas – those in the South West have a safe and traditional approach to decorating and furnishing their homes.
Step into a lounge or living room in the South West, usually the focal point of the home where most time is spent, and it appears people are choosing safe colour schemes to accommodate their furniture as opposed to transforming a whole room, according to a survey by Homebase.
Neutral colours such as creams, mochas and beiges dominate over half of homes, and nearly two thirds of people prefer carpets instead of wooden flooring, curtains instead of blinds, and fabric sofas rather than leather sofas.
The notion of keeping decorating decisions 'safe' appears to be a cross-generational thing, where younger homeowners are influenced by their parents' traditional tastes of keeping things simple.
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Some 40 per cent of 18-24 year olds also said they preferred a traditional or classic appearance to their home – the same figure for over 55s.
It could also be that in times of austerity people are being less bold in their choices.
Certainly when looking back at the flamboyant choices of the Seventies, people are more reserved.
It could also be that the traditional decorating taste in the South West is reflecting the older nature of buildings in the area, as there are double the number of homeowners living in cottages than elsewhere in the UK.
The traditional mentality in the South West also seems to date back quite far, as over half of people would like to see a return of linoleum flooring and wood panelling.
For all of the neutral colours and basic tradition throughout the South West, a change to experimenting with colours in different rooms isn't something you can expect to see anytime soon.
Around half of local residents say the avocado bathroom suite and woodchip wallpaper are two of the biggest decorating crimes of the past.
"We find that people often are concerned that putting their own touch on their home can be costly or may worry about how they can add value to their homes," says Homebase marketing director Jo Kenrick.
"But actually as it is somewhere personal to you it should really reflect your personality and making even small changes can be cheaper than you think.
"Decorative touches are not just paint and wallpaper, but cushions, throws, pictures and so much more."
While there doesn't seem to be much personalisation in the South West, there are still noticeable home preferences elsewhere in the UK.
In decorative terms, 37 per cent of people in Yorkshire opt to have feature walls and it's also the area more likely to see a brown or black leather sofa in the lounge.
And while the majority of areas of the country have white front doors, in Northern Ireland you would be more likely to knock on a brown one, such is the choice of 38 per cent of the population.
Welsh people are more traditional in their decorating tastes, with 40 per cent keeping tastes within reason, while Londoners are fairly modern in taste, 23 per cent making their homes fit with today's latest look.
Homebase launched this survey ahead of the launch of its new Autumn/Winter furniture and accessories collection.
With over 2,500 new items in store, whatever the look of your home, you can individualise your space with Homebase.