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Too Much Timber

For the past two years I have been corresponding with a client in Airlie Beach, Queensland. As I explained when we first started exchanging emails, it’s been over 30 years since I was in Airlie Beach so she figured I wasn’t going to pop in for a consultation any time soon, no matter how much I would have liked.

Airlie Beach and The Whitsundays

Airlie Beach and The Whitsundays

Mel has a house on acreage which is all timber inside and her query was the same as I am often asked, “Will I paint the timber?” She had timber panelled walls and timber panelled ceilings. A number of skylights were allowing some light to enter but she was also wondering if she should instal more skylights.

Before

Before

Before installing more skylights, I suggested she paint the ceiling but leave the beams in timber, as the timber on the ceiling AND the walls was sucking up any light that was getting in to the room. I was conscious of the fact that the timber panelling was part of the style and architecture of the home and I always believe that the architecture should be maintained or acknowledged. I wasn’t sure if Mel was open to painting the walls as well.

Timber panelling on ceiling AND walls

Kitchen Before

Mel came back to me very quickly saying, Yes, she was open to painting the walls. She had just completed painting her son’s bedroom and realised that paint doesn’t detract from the charisma of the timber. She agreed that the paint modernised the space and took away that dated look.

Son's Room Before Paint

Son’s Room Before Paint

Son's Room After Paint

Son’s Room After Paint

Just as we had completed the emails, I spotted this image which I sent through to her. From then on it was a done deal.

Perfect example of leaving some timber

Perfect example of leaving some timber

So last month she sent through images of the living area all painted. Hasn’t she done a wonderful job?

Before

Before

After

After

There is never a right or wrong way to treat timber. Just keep in mind what you want to achieve. In this case, Mel wanted light, bright and modern. I think she got it.

Look at that stained glass detailing. You couldn't see it with all that dark timber.

Look at that stained glass detailing. You couldn’t see it with all that dark timber.

Painting the ceiling

Painting the ceiling

Kitchen After

Kitchen After

If you would like assistance with your interior design dilemma, contact me for a consultation.

 

When white is not white enough

I was at the Caesarstone showroom last week when a lady came in to look at the white slabs. She was commenting to the showroom assistant that the Pure White and the Snow didn’t really look white. Her house was all black and white and she thought these colours looked too cream.

Caesarstone Whites

Caesarstone Whites

Choosing white is probably the hardest colour of all. When a “white” is put next to another “white” it suddenly doesn’t look “white” after all.

All white kitchen with Caesarstone Snow benchtops

All white kitchen with Caesarstone Snow benchtops

So how do you create a white kitchen (lets face it, everyone wants a white kitchen at the moment)? Firstly, choose your benchtop white. Caesarstone Snow, Pure White or Organic White are all very white but they each have a dash of another colour – yellow, grey, brown. But the trick is to match that white with the right white cabinets. If the benchtop has a touch of grey and the cabinets are stark white, then that’s the look you will end up with – grey benchtop and white cabinets. There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want. But to get an all white kitchen then you need to have a touch of grey in your cabinet white.

All white kitchen with Caesarstone Organic White benchtops

All white kitchen with Caesarstone Organic White benchtops

Marrying the right white with the white benchtop will give you a seamless look. The same rule applies to tiles and other surfaces. It’s always best to choose them first and then the paint as paint can always be matched to the surface but it’s a bit harder to choose the paint colour and then find the right surface to match that.

All white kitchen with Caesarstone Pure White benchtops

All white kitchen with Caesarstone Pure White benchtops

And always look at samples of the paint and surface in your own home not in the showroom under harsh lighting or when the slabs are vertical but in your kitchen the benchtop will be horizontal. That will have a big impact on the perception of the colour.

Matching the right white paint to the white tiles will give you that seamless white interior.

Matching the right white paint to the white tiles will give you that seamless white interior.

If you would like assistance choosing the right white for your kitchen, contact us for an appointment.

 

Warmer Colours Sighting

Have you noticed that brown is back? I’ve been noticing the plethora of tan, camel and chestnut when I’ve been out at the shopping malls. I started to wonder if we are seeing the “brown” trend come back again or is it just the warmer months we are wanting warmer colours?

essastone Vesuvius

Essastone Vesuvius

Sure enough Essastone have sent me some information on their new colours – Vesuvius  and Marscapone. Vesuvius is a light to medium taupe while Marscapone is a more subtle and creamy based neutral. Essastone includes 28 designs and advise that the warmer tones are becoming increasingly popular.

Essastone Marscapone

Essastone Marscapone

I think the warm tones especially in the earthy spectrum will remain timeless for indoors and outdoors. Let’s hope we don’t go back to the lattes, chocolates and cappucinos of the noughties. A neutral with just a hint of brown is enough for me.

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Meanwhile I hope you spend this weekend surrounded by chocolate. Happy Easter!

Chocolate-Easter-Egg-easter-eggs-30423577-2560-2302 If you would like assistance adding the right shade of brown to your home, contact me for an appointment.

Dulux Colour Award Winners Announced

A big Congratulations to Mim Design for receiving the Grand Prix award with their Lexus Design Pavillion. Judges awarded the prize based on the use of subtle ombre colour appearing to ‘come off the wall’, which flat colour alone cannot achieve. With a stunning alignment to a French Impressionist feel the project was a great example of colour expression. This entry fell into the “Installation and Events” category which was a new category for the Dulux Colour Awards this year. The judges said this project was a clear standout. Rebalancing the harsh metallic of a Lexus car, the gentle palette helps visitors understand the softness within. The subtle ombre Dulux Leek and Coral Atoll was used to great effect, providing a dimensional impact which flat colour alone couldn’t achieve. The sage green gives the illusion of a floating sea with the floral ceiling display a beautiful upside down “Monet’s Garden”. Truly angelic, the space would be lovely to enjoy a champagne trackside.

Dulux Colour Awards 2015 Installation & Events Winner - Lexus Pavilion by Mim Design_Image Credits Shannon McGrath

Lexus Pavilion by Mim Design Photography by Sean Fennessy

 

If you follow my blog, you would know that I was a finalist in the Commercial Exterior category with my Warringah Creative Space project. Unfortunately I didn’t win (not that I was expecting to). Craig Tan Architects won this category with their Brompton Pavilion. Judges comments included the Brompton Pavilion created a dynamic display of colour within a sparse landscape. The 3D outer framing provided a sneak preview of vibrant colour. The structure balanced external, internal and in-between spaces through thoughtful use of colour. The palette combines both muted and bright shades highlighting the unusual structural aspects, including bright oranges and reds in Dulux Circus and Red Clown.

Brompton Pavilion by Craig Tan Architects Photography by Jaime

Brompton Pavilion by Craig Tan Architects Photography by Jaime

Congratulations to all the category winners and Highly Commended, it’s certainly a colourful read.

If you would like assistance choosing colours for you project, contact us for a consulation.

An Aged Care Makeover

Time for an update on the Aged Care Facility I have been working on for the past 12 months. These places can be so depressing and I am sure it’s because of the colours used some 10-20 years ago when the facilities were last updated or built. This is the second facility I have been called in to refresh. You can read about the first one here.

New Paint Colour in Hallway

New Paint Colour in Hallway

Hallway Before

Hallway Before

Initially I was asked to help out with paint colours. The rooms and hallways were quite dark and depressing painted in mauves and mustards. (Who decided mauve was an older person’s colour?) There were dashes of bright blues and yellow but in the main the place was dark. So working with the existing carpet, I chose a palette of fresher colours and instead of painting everything the one colour, I did what we would do in a home, and chose a white for the skirting boards and doors. This just lifts the whole space and adds some contrast and therefore interest.

Sitting Room Before

Sitting Room Before

After the painting was completed we installed shutters in the sitting rooms to make the rooms more streamlined.

Sitting Room After

Sitting Room After

Nurse's Station Before

Nurse’s Station Before

 

Nurse's Station After

Nurse’s Station After

I have also been sourcing new fabrics to co-ordinate with the new colour scheme and reupholster selected furniture pieces in the hallways and foyer. It will all come together once the painter moves into these areas and we get rid of those mustard walls.

Arm chairs before

Arm chairs before

Arm Chairs After

Arm Chairs After

Now I’m having fun finding new furniture for one of the dining rooms in the facility. New upholstered chairs, new dining tables, a sideboard and outdoor terrace setting to make the place look like a club is my mission. Let’s get rid of the institution feeling and make it a more friendly atmosphere. I’ll let you see when it’s all done.

If you would like assistance co-ordinating furniture, fabrics and paint colours in your home, contact me for an appointment.

 

Bright Colours on Your Home

I recently contributed to an article on house colours for the Domain website. Most of us want our houses to look like all the other houses around and we certainly notice if someone has decided to paint their home a bright colour. Is it wrong?

Bright and Colourful Exterior chosen by Inside Out Colour and Design

Bright and Colourful Exterior chosen by Inside Out Colour and Design

No of course it’s not wrong, you can have whatever colour you desire but you do need to consider carefully if you want your house to be known as the “purple house” for instance or if you are happy for it to stand out in a sea of greys and taupes.

Grey Exterior Colour Scheme Selected by inside Out Colour and Design

Grey Exterior Colour Scheme Selected by inside Out Colour and Design

My theory is that as long as the combination of colours works together then the overall effect will be great. Unlike this house which I featured 5 years ago. It still hasn’t had a coat of paint.

Pink House

You can read the article here.

If you would like assistance choosing colours for your home, contact us for a consultation.

 

Dark House Colours

As I drive around Sydney, I often find myself looking at recently painted houses and wonder what colours I would choose if I were asked to provide a colour consultation. I rarely see a colour I don’t like, (except maybe a colour resembling a baby’s dirty nappy) but I do see a number of houses where the placement of colour (or lack of it) does nothing for the house or the colour.

Nappy Colour

Nappy Colour

One such house was this one which has recently been painted and is now on the market.

Dark paint colour all over

Dark paint colour all over

I have no problem with the dark colour. Dark colours can add drama and sophistication but the fact that the entire house is painted in the same colour with no relief whatsoever leaves this house quite depressing to look at. Besides, it goes against all the pre-sales styling advice anyone in the industry will give – make the house appeal to a wide variety of prospective buyers. I think this dark colour will do the opposite!

This was Shannon Fricke's cottage in Bangalow where I went for a Styling Workshop.

This was Shannon Fricke’s cottage in Bangalow where I went for a Styling Workshop.

There are some wonderful examples of dark house colours when you google it.

Queenslander with a dark paint colour

Queenslander with a dark paint colour

But the houses that look fabulous have been teamed with loads of white to lighten the effect. Contrast is so important in any colour design whether it be inside or out. No contrast and the overall effect is just plain dull.

A stunning dark house with loads of white to add contrast

A stunning dark house with loads of white to add contrast

I think you have to be very brave to choose a dark house colour but the end result when done well is striking. What do you think, was this house epic fail or fabulous? I’ll be watching what the new owner decides to do with the colour.

This was the house prior to it's current paint job.

This was the house prior to it’s current paint job. Not great but at least there’s some contrast.

If you would like assistance choosing house colours and placement for your home, contact us for an appointment .

Pantone Colour of The Year 2015

Yuck!

As a Queenslander who supports the Maroons and wore a maroon uniform for 7 years to primary school, and someone who prefers red wine to white wine I can still be honest and say I really, really don’t like the 2015 Pantone Colour of The Year – Marsala.

Mighty Maroons

After years of bright, clean happy colours like Radiant Orchid, Emerald, Tangerine Tango, Mimosa and Honeysuckle it’s a HUGE turn around to go for something dark and gloomy.

PantoneRadiantOrchid

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone Color Institute says it has an organic and sophisticated air as well as a vintage but neutral feel. Does that mean old and daggy? She also says the name marsala is “feel-good” evoking pleasant memories and inspiring consumers to invest in the hue.

PANTONE MARSALA

I did think it will fit nicely into the colours and trends predicted by Victoria Redshaw at the Future Trends Seminar I attended in July. But I still don’t like it.

morena

So what do you think? Will you be moving out the greys and into the browns again? Maybe moderation is key and surround it with other fresh, happy colours.

Burgundy

 

Window Frame Colours

One of my biggest bug bears is yellow window frames. There must’ve been a time when all aluminium window sales people were pushing the colour Primrose as nearly every residence I attend which has existing aluminium frames are this shade.

Primrose Window Frames

Primrose Window Frames

When you choose aluminium frames there are only a limited number of choices for standard colours without incurring added costs for custom colours. I’m all for keeping costs to a minimum but there is no place for Primrose. The other standard choices are

PN1F1-White-Opal

White Opal Window Frames

or

Pearl White Window Frames

Pearl White Window Frames

Even the White Opal is a bit too yellowy for my liking and I agree the Pearl White might be a bit stark but you can co-ordinate so much more with the Pearl White than with a yellow based white.

Recently I was asked to consult on a timber cottage at Ramsgate which had Primrose Aluminium Window Frames in the front of the house but timber window frames in the rest of the house. The clients wanted a dark colour for the walls and I didn’t want to enhance the yellow. It makes sense to paint the interior of the window frames the same colour as the exterior, and with aluminium windows you don’t have any other choice.

House Beforehand

House Beforehand

Whilst the house was painted a cream colour, the Primrose window frames didn’t stand out so much. But I knew once the exterior was painted a charcoal the yellow would stick out like a sore thumb. Fortunately the windows had wide timber architraves that we could paint and try to disguise the Primrose.

House colour

House colour

So, as I always do, I stuck up a range of dark colours for the walls. The colours on the right are options for the front door. The clients chose the top colour (Dulux Charcoal Light) for the walls and opted for a glossy Black front door. So then which colour will lift the darkness of the building but not accentuate the yellow of the window frames. Good ol’ Dulux Chalk USA came to the rescue. It has just enough cream to tone down the Primrose yet “white” enough to lift the dark colour of the walls.

Dulux Chalk USA

Dulux Chalk USA

Then we went whiter still on the eaves, and remaining timber windows using Dulux Whisper White.

Dulux Whisper White

Dulux Whisper White

The clients were thrilled with the end result and the house sold promptly.

After

After

Rear View Before

Rear View Before

Rear View After

Rear View After

If you need assistance choosing colours for your home, contact us for an appointment.

Without a doubt

this is THE busiest time of the year for my industry. Which is why a week and a bit went past without me appearing here on the blog. It just gets frantic as I chase up clients to place their orders, follow up suppliers to ensure they’ve received the orders and that they can fulfill them prior to Christmas and their summer holidays. Most manufacturers close over January and keeping a track on when they close and when they re-open is almost a full time job. Fortunately I have a spreadsheet for that! Throw in launches, new product releases and end of year soirees and it’s no wonder I have no idea what day it is.

Tinsel Tangle

So a little recap on the past week or so.

I attended the pre-launch function, held by Interiors Addict at BoConcept for the Greg Natale‘s The Tailored Interior. I’m a bit in awe of Greg. He’s so clever and terribly humble. Furniture, rugs, carpets, wallpaper and now a book to showcase his amazing talent. The book is fabulous with lots of how to’s and of course stunning imagery of his beautiful tailored spaces. Great Christmas present if you’re trying to find something for that person who loves interiors.

The Tailored Interior by Greg Natale

The Tailored Interior by Greg Natale

I’ve been working with a couple who are giving their home a makeover and bringing it out of the ’70’s. We’ve chosen a new colour scheme for inside and out (banished that dark timber paneling) and have this week decided on a new sofa and armchairs for the sitting area. With some colourful cushions to echo the new red front door.

Chair fabric and cushion fabric

Chair fabric and cushion fabric

The dogs and I enjoy our morning walks around the neighbourhood drinking in all the colour and smells that spring brings.

IMG_4983

The Jacarandas are spectacular this year (but I think I say that every year) and the jasmine is just gorgeous. I’m lucky I don’t suffer from allergies or hayfever. It would be devastating to miss out on my daily dose of colour inspiration.

IMG_4982

New fabrics were launched this week from Harlequin. New collections are so inspiring and I couldn’t decide which pattern and colourway I liked best. There were so many stunners and I often come home thinking I should redecorate my entire house just so I can use them. Anyone need new window coverings, bedheads, sofa fabrics, cushions, bedlinen or even a new bib and brace?

IMG_5030

And I finally had one of these installed in my kitchen. How fabulous to get rid of those clunky power plugs and leave the power points free for kitchen equipment!

IMG_5018

Today I’m overseeing a curtain installation and then tonight is The Colour Society’s Christmas Party where we will be looking at colour in wine! Have a great week, there’s only 36 days until Christmas!

I’m already taking bookings for January, so if you would like to update your home with colour, fabrics or furniture, contact us to make an appointment.

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