Colour trends change over time. Sombre colours of 15 years ago will look dated to current buyers, even if they were once the height of fashion.

Paint colours reflect the world we live in. When the world has gone bonkers or we have sensory overload in our day-to-day lives we want safe nurturing spaces at home. That's
why there were sombre greens and greys following 9/11.

If you want the best chance of a paint job adding value to your property then the best thing is to choose next year's colours, not simply what appeals to you. That doesn't mean we'll all have the same colours in our houses.

Soft simple colours such as Duck Egg Blue, Soothe and Inside Back are in for those looking for a safe environment to retreat to, according to the colour consultants at Resene.

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Homeowners who want to define their spaces can use Resene Zinzan and Chalk Dust. Or if the cave-like cocoon is more your thing then Nocturnal, Dark Side and Nero are expected to be the colours for 2018.

There are also colour palettes for buyers with wanderlust and for those who want a rich bold home.

If you plan to stay in the home then surround yourself with colours you really enjoy, says Davina Harper, colour and design specialist at Dulux NZ.

If instead you are decorating with an eye to selling, it's best to stick with the latest fresh white or neutral options, says Harper. "It is easier (for a buyer) to visualise their stuff in that space if the colour is nice and clean and fresh. It is playing it safe."

Even if you're going for neutral, be aware there are many shades of whites and neutrals and some are more on trend than others.

The most popular interior colour currently at Dulux, says Harper, is Okarito, which she describes as fresh, crisp and versatile.

Some of the greys of recent years have done their dash. "Now you are seeing greys with a hint of brown (greige) such as Dulux Cashmere which is warmer, and greys with a green undertone such as Dulux Ohai," says Harper.

Karen Warman, marketing manager at Resene says sales are monitored to determine which shades are in the ascendance.

That, along with analysis of paints chosen by stylists and data from international colour trends forecasters, helps determine what the next year's colours will be.

Beware, says Warman, of choosing your paint colours from overseas magazines. In Europe, for example, the atmosphere has more smog, which changes the light, and the colours tend to be sweet – which doesn't translate to the New Zealand home.