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Of the 4,800 different shades of paint available at Eastside Paint and Wallpaper, Ken Zurowski says white tones remain the most popular with Saskatonians.
The longtime Benjamin Moore franchise owner would like to see people get more adventurous in their home colour selections.
“Whites and off-whites have been dominating for the past four or five years. I personally don’t get it. If I’m in an all-white room for too long, I start shaking,” jokes Zurowski. “I understand where people are going with it, but all-white rooms are not my thing. I need colour to survive.”
Colour is a great way for pandemic-weary customers to perk up their homes, Zurowski adds.
“Colour can make our homes more comfortable and inviting. It doesn’t have to be on the wall at all times. It could be a colourful lampshade, a pillow, or wallpaper, which is making a bit of a resurgence.”
A gentle way to introduce colour into a home’s décor is to explore the range of grey-beige tones in Benjamin Moore’s palette, he says. His favourite “greige” shades include Vermeer Pewter, Silver Satin and Edgecombe Grey.
Benjamin Moore’s 2022 colour of the year is October Mist.
“It’s kind of a greyish-green. It’s a soothing shade and has been quite popular,” says Zurowski.
“Also on trend are the darker blues, especially as an accent colour. The blues and greens are good choices for two-tone contrasting kitchen cabinets.”
This spring, Benjamin Moore is highlighting a palette of floral-inspired pastels, including Wildflower, Blue Daisy, Dusty Trail, Spring Iris and Gardenia. The company suggests using one of these shades in an unexpected place like a stair riser, the back of a display cabinet or even a bathroom floor to bring spring-inspired joy and whimsy to your interior.
A pop of colour can also transform the exterior of a home. Painting the front door is a quick and easy refresh, says Zurowski.
“Benjamin Moore has a paint product specially formulated for front doors called Aura Grand Entrance. It’s available in any of our colours. My own front door is done in a shade called Radicchio, which is a red lettuce colour.”
If you think opting for a couple of cans of white paint is the least complicated choice when renovating your home, think again. Benjamin Moore has more than 150 different shades of white, including the perennial designer favourite: Cloud White.
“Cloud White goes all the way back to Benjamin Moore himself. He made that colour way back in the 1890s,” says Zurowski.
How can consumers narrow down their choices at Eastside Paint and Wallpaper?
“Come in, talk to us, narrow it down to a few choices, and buy a few testers. Take them home and paint a few sheets of Bristol board. Hang them on the wall. Look at them morning, noon and night. Move the sample around. Put it at eye level today; tomorrow move it higher up on a different wall. How it looks will change throughout the day,” says Zurowski.
“Lighting is everything when it comes to how a paint colour looks. Three years ago, I replaced all the fluorescent lighting in my stores with LED lights. It’s made selecting colours way better.”
To ensure a successful paint project, don’t skimp on brushes and rollers, advises Zurowski.
“Buy good quality applicators. Many times, I’ll see customers buy our premium paint products. When I take it out to their car, they’ve got a bag full of brushes in the back from the dollar store. Buy good tools. A good cut brush and good roller refills are worth their weight in gold. If you buy cheap applicators, you’ll get a cheap-looking paint job.”
Like every other retail sector, supply chain issues have affected the paint industry.
“Before you start a paint project, shop in advance and make sure you’ve purchased enough paint to finish the job. You don’t want to get halfway through and then find out there’s going to be a wait to get more of that product,” says Zurowski.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Eastside Paint and Wallpaper. Zurowski opened the store at 1202A Walpole Avenue, just off Eighth Street, in 1992, after working for 15 years at a retail outlet and then as a wholesale representative for Benjamin Moore. In 2005, Zurowski expanded operations with the opening of a second store in Erindale, at 406 Ludlow Street.
Customer service has been the key to success at Eastside Paint, he says.
“It’s personal attention that you’re not going to get in a department or big box store. The relationship I’ve established with my customers over the past 30 years has worked.”
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