Happy Little Trees—And Residents

Three years ago, my friend dressed as Bob Ross for Halloween. Once brushed out, Joe’s curly hair was a dead ringer for the painter’s giant ‘fro, and he spent hours meticulously applying the faux facial hair he still had from an old role in a church play. 

The resemblance was uncanny.

As the evening progressed, and the drinks continued to flow, Joe’s ‘happy little trees’ were getting happier and happier. Patrons at the New York City bar were in love with Bob Ross Jr., and cheered him on to victory as he stood on top of the bar and wildly pumped his artist’s palette in the air—Jersey Shore style—until he received the award for Best Costume.

Getting off the bar was less of a triumph.

But Halloween of 2010 taught us several important lessons. For instance, Joe learned that it’s not a good idea to wave your palette into oncoming taxi traffic while trying to hail a cab. He also learned that you shouldn’t go to sleep before removing your fake beard, lest you wake up with a mouth full of hair.

On the bright side, we also learned that people love paint—bar-hoppers and residents alike.

Choosing paint colors for an apartment community—much like choosing a Halloween costume—can be overwhelming, but color experts say it’s important to select colors that inspire today’s creativity and design.

“Color plays a huge role in attracting—and retaining—residents,” says one interior designer. “Today’s residents want the whole package, which includes a visually pleasing experience from the outside to the inside. There is a lot of competition out there, and apartment communities must differentiate themselves from the competition with their own unique look and feel.”

Some color experts say today’s apartments should combine a neutral base color with a single feature wall color in a complementary shade or bold accent color. Residents can pick the feature wall color or accent trim color they prefer from a preselected scheme—“preselected” being the key word. My old roommate painted her bedroom the color of a cantaloupe, a lesson in the dangers of carte blanche.

However, paint is just one important component to consider when renovating, restoring or developing a community. For more on everything from soothing paint schemes to stain-proof carpeting and adaptive reuse, check out units’ special section in the October issue, which mails Oct. 10.

And then get your Bob Ross on.