When insurance checks start popping up in the mailboxes in the Sandy-battered Bayshore, homeowners will be relieved to start rebuilding and repainting their homes.
Port Monmouth painting contractor Bob Crane is rounding up employees in preparation for the six- and seven-day work weeks he anticipates. "I really thought I'd be swamped by now, but everyone is waiting for checks," he said. "I'll do my best to service everyone I can."
The handful of clients with storm-damaged homes he has currently taken on are paying for renovations out of savings. And they are indulging in color. One client wants Kelly greens and royal blues, another wants pumpkin and burlap, another likes April sky blue and Chardonnay. "They like to see the color, said Crane. "They've got the vivid picture of the walls damaged, and mucky water on them, and mud sticking to them, and now they're happy to see the wall with color and the room getting done."
At Sherwin-Williams on Route 35, account representative and color specialist Andrea Dinice spread out color swatches last week and predicted the post-Sandy interior paint palette will be all about comforting neutrals, combined with contrasting accents in furnishings, pillows and drapes, which cost-conscious customers can be satisfied with for years.
A decade ago the trend in paint color were those saturated jewel tones: the sapphires, rubies and topaz. Now, the paint company is touting a theme of restfulness in one of its 2013 collections, which is describes as "the layered hues of a mineral deposits, sea-buffed stones and the weathered shutters of a rustic farmhouse."
Dinice points out the earthy tones in the company's Honed Vitality, with names like Herbal Wash. Wickerwork, Spiced Cider, Mountain Stream and Poolhouse. "I think we're going to see this because of Sandy, it's such a soothing palette," she said.
Whites will be softer, mixed with black, grey, and raw umber for warmth, she said. "White reminds of us something sterile, and we want to be warm," she said.
Picking out a bucket of paint can be anxiety-inducing for some, who don't know where to begin. Dinice advises them to "start with the things in the room that you have the least decisions with." With a bedroom, start with your bedset, because you can bring a bedspread to the paint store and ask the specialists to mix you that color. "Do the paint and window treatments last," she said.
Sherwin-Williams' website has a Color Visualizer feature that allows users to upload a photo of their room, and digitally paint the walls with different colors.
Everyone sees color differently, seen through the lens of our personal memories or even the yellowing of the lenses of our eyes as we age, said Dinice.
Lighting will definitely play upon your choice of color, she said, and should be considered. You can paint the walls grey, but when you flick on a fluorescent light, it will bring out the green. The LED bulbs bring out blue. When you mix in natural light, the mixed effect may be different than intended. So lighting is key, she said.
Because color preference is so personal, Dinice suggested that homeowners allow themselves to be pulled to a favorite. Look at homes, read magazines like Architectural Digest, and go with your intuition. "It should be a color you're really attracted to. If you have the least bit hesitation, don't do it. It should say to you, 'Put me on your wall, I'm perfect.'"