Taubmans Colour of the Year

Yesterday morning I was invited to the announcement of Taubmans Colour of the Year for 2017. This is the first time Taubman’s have chosen a Colour of the Year. The colour was selected by a panel of global colour experts for its distinctive qualities and rise of this shade on the runway, textiles, technology, automotive and in the commercial and residential segments.

Designer’s the world over eagerly await Pantone to announce the Colour of the Year each November but this is the first time as far as I’m aware, that an Australian paint/colour company has chosen a Colour of the Year.

The presentation comprised a panel of five experts in the fields of Sound, Taste, Smell, Touch and Feel (Intuition) who all spoke of the way colour affects their chosen fields.


Taubmans Brand Ambassador, Shaynna Blaze led the panel discussion and and announced the Colour of the Year as Violet Verbena. Shaynna called the colour elegant, sophisticated, calm and nostalgic and explained that used with geometric lines it can take on a masculine vibe. Under cool light the colour looks like a warm grey and in quarter strength could be the perfect neutral. But when viewed under warm light it softens as the blues and purple undertones are exposed. Mix Violet Verbena with white and strong colours and it will give energy yet paired with granite and concrete it won’t look like a Nana colour anymore and have a modern edge to it.

Charlie O’Brien aka Chux, the Sydney based DJ, created a piece of synthesised music inspired by the colour. Of course, most of us can’t help but think of the late Prince when we see shades of purple and this influenced Charlie’s piece too. Charlie said if Violet Verbena had to have a sound, it would be D Minor.

Chef Nelly Robinson discussed the importance of colour in his presentation of food. Nelly said food had to look good first and foremost and then the taste has to work with the colour. He prepared little balls of sheer bliss for us all to try. The balls looked soft and chewy but once bitten a tangy flavourful liquid was released into the mouth, giving us all a surprise. This was then neutralised with a jelly made from the leaves of the Verbena plant.


Dr Lisa Cooper, florist, artist and author, took us on a journey of violets. Did you know the Greeks plant little, tiny violets under the olives to ward off evil? We then got to work creating a posy with violet coloured flowers (including violets) and edible herbs in bright and soft greens.


Textile artist Grace Garrett released her new collection in predominantly Violet Verbena. Grace loves texture and was quick to point out that colour will look completely different depending on the fabric or paper on which it is printed. A sheer fabric printed with her designs in Violet Verbena will look soft and dreamy but the same print on a solid flat fabric will look masculine.


And then Harry T, psychic medium, enlightened us on the colours of our Chakras. The Crown Chakra is violet and closely aligned to spirituality. The crystal Amethyst (which we were all given) helps with our intuition so we should keep one in our pocket or handbag, which would come in very handy when I change my mind and end up choosing the wrong thing. Like queues at the supermarket!


So what do you think of Taubmans Colour of the Year – Violet Verbena? Paint your whole house or use it as a bedhead? I think the colour will make people feel comfortable and happy as it’s not offensive but just a bit more cheery than plain old grey.


If you would like assistance adding colour to your home, contact me for an appointment.

Bye Bye Bland

As a Colour Consultant, I spend my time working with, reading and thinking about colour. So I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of Judith Briggs’ new book “Bye Bye Bland.” Judith is a fellow Colour Consultant and Interior Decorator and has worked in the industry for many, many years.


I read the book when I was on holidays in Hawaii a few months ago and it was a very easy read. It’s not at all technical and is filled with easy steps to guide the homeowner through colour selection for the home. Over the years I have collected a number of books on colour and many are more suited to the professional Colourist. Some are very wordy and seem to go around in circles explaining the same thing many different ways which ends up getting confusing.

So Judith’s book was very refreshing in it’s simplicity. The book is broken up into four sections and then easy chapters like What is a Colour Personality, Combining Different Colour Personalities, Considerations When Choosing Colour, What Colours Where?. There are case studies and lots of drool worthy photos to illustrate the point.


“Bye Bye Bland” would make a great Christmas present for the home decorator or new home owner. Judith has very kindly offered free freight to all my readers. So if there’s someone in your life struggling to define the look they would like in their home or about to embark on a renovation, this is the perfect gift.


Click through to the website and use the check out code of NOF07 when you place your order for free freight. All copies are personally signed by the author.

And if you go to page 138 you’ll see one of my bathrooms using the fabulous Catherine Martin wallpaper.



Happy shopping!

Blue, blue, my world is blue

Is it just me or have you noticed a profusion of blues in your emails, Instagram feed or just while you are out and about?


Blue from Sportscraft

Blue looks like it is making a huge comeback in Spring/Summer 2015. That’s if it ever went away?

Blue from Shannon Fricke

Blue from Shannon Fricke

More people list blue as their favourite colour than any other. It doesn’t seem to matter the gender, race or religion, Blue is the world’s most popular colour. Perhaps it’s because nature is full of large blue expanses and it’s tonal range is extensive. (Meaning there’s a blue for everyone) It conveys peace and tranquility, freshness and positive feelings. And don’t we all need more of that in our lives!

Blue decorator items

Blue decorator items

It’s a colour that’s relatively easy to live with and suits so many different shades, styles and textures. And it loves it’s family with all blues going together.

Blue from William Yeoward

Blue from William Yeoward

Happy 1st of September. Is it time to prepare your home for the warmer months by adding some blue? If so, contact me for an appointment.



Spring Colours


Spring Flowers

Taubman’s Spring Transformations was launched in a wet and miserable Sydney yesterday. The venue was decked out with the new colours and loads of spring flowers. I loved the installation of rollers, brushes and ladders dipped in the paint.


Taubman’s Brand Ambassador, Shaynna Blaze shared her top picks for spring for 2015. I was pleased to hear Shaynna say that she was dreading the impending ’80’s revival which had her (and me) picturing olive green and salmon pink. Shaynna put a twist on those colours and came up with a crisp pastel palette that captures the change of the seasons perfectly.


It’s always so nice to see colour after winter.

Taubmans Spring Colours Paint Pots

Taubmans Springs Colours Paint Pots

The colours are fun and energetic without sacrificing sophistication and refinement. These colours all work with the current trend of oak timber for furniture and flooring and of course the mix of metals we have today – rose gold, copper and silver. The neutral in the palette is a soft taupe which can be used either as a base colour or as an accent.


A mix of metals, oak furniture and Spring colours

Taubman’s have released a number of How To videos designed to get the home renovator off the couch and into the paint. It’s one job that you can see results in a relatively short time so doing it yourself can be very satisfying. Start with the Paint Planner and after you’ve answered a few questions, you’ll be emailed with your plan – shopping list, advice, how many litres of paint you need, timing schedule and local store to make your purchases. You couldn’t ask for much more than that!

Walls in Taubmans Endure Really Rose

Feature wall in a bedroom in Taubmans Endure Really Rose

If you would like assistance creating a Spring Palette for your home, contact me for a consultation.


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 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?





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.


Laundry Love

Laundries have come along way and are no longer that dark, dank room under the house or out the back where the washing gets done. We have so many more reasons today to have a beautiful laundry.

Mud Room and Laundry

Dogs are washed here, an extra fridge is stored here, there may be an extra bathroom attached or included in the laundry servicing the outdoor entertaining area or it might be the “tradesmen’s” entry to the home. With such beautiful fixtures and fittings available why not make it somewhere you want to be?

Pet Washing Station

There’s plenty of inspiration over on Pinterest or have a look at this fabulous line up from Inside Out Magazine.

Bathroom Laundry

If you would like assistance in recreating your laundry, contact me for a consultation.

New App for Renovators

There are literally thousands of apps to help make renovating easier for the home renovator. But now there’s a new one available for those of us who want to incorporate timber in our homes. And let’s face it, timber floor boards are the one element nearly every home owner desires at the moment.


Intergrain have created a great little app to assist you visualise what the floor will look like stained or treated with their range of colours and finishes. You can take a snap of the flooring and then choose from their colours to get an idea of what the end result will look like.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 4.44.32 pm

Maybe you’re half way through a job and need some advice? You can just click on the Solutions tab. Not sure how much stain you’ll need? Click on the Calculator. Ready to roll but don’t know where to buy the product? Click on the Store Locator.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 4.44.48 pm

I can see this will be a very handy app for me to use as well, when I’m trying to assist clients with their flooring needs. It works for both inside and out, flooring, decking, fencing, doors, windows, panelling, stairs, garage doors and furniture. You can download it right now, for free!

Pool Deck

If you would like assistance with choosing timber species and colours for your home, contact us for an appointment.



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.


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.

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