Now I understand that the family's heart was most definitely fixed in the right place! But what we came come to was to say the least, a surprise! The timbers of the house had been painted Mission Brown, (remember that?) and white. Inside was what can only be described as a plethora of 70's psychedelica! Crazy over the top patterns in lurid oranges and blues. They even pulled out the old claw foot tub and replaced it with a shower in blue mosaics. Suddenly the soul had gone from the house.
Do you see what I'm getting at? I actually adore 70's colours and patterns, but not in a 1900's cottage!
Remember, even the designers of contemporary homes of today will have taken inspiration from another style in one from or another. Learn what that style is and you are half way to choosing the right colours for your home! Don't follow trends! They come and go like the wind and the integrity of your home will suffer.
A word of caution: A modern home built in a traditional style is still a modern home. Don't go overboard trying to re-create the past or it will end up looking 'twee'!
If you are lucky enough to own an older home, ( I'm very biased towards older homes !!!) you have a choice. You can either go with a traditional colour scheme, eg. Federation red green and cream, or steer away from this altogether and go with a more contemporary colour selection as long as you are sympathetic to the style and keep the original features of the house, picture all white!
As in the case of my childhood home, following the current 70's trends sucked the character out of the house, ( unless you like styles that clash like 2 raging bulls, in that case go for your life!). Rather, restoration would have been the way to go.
So take the time to learn a bit more about your home Does it have a history? Is it a new home inspired by an historical style/ It's actually a fun and enlightening Journey to make!
Colour Isn't Just on the Wall!
A comment that really annoys me, and I here it all the time is, "You can always paint over it!" It's easy to change a paint colour, yes. But, that doesn't make picking the perfect colour any easier!
People agonize what colour to put on the walls without giving any consideration to the other elements in the room, all of which are colours in their own right. Here what I mean...
Don't Ignore the Floor!
The floor is sometime referred to as the 5th wall, because whatever you put on the walls needs to relate to whats on the floor. When I worked as an in-store colour consultant for Wattyl, helping clients with choosing paint colours, I'd ask them what colour is your floor, and the answer would inevitably be "wood colour". But what sort of wood. Green walls will give a totally different fell against a jar rah floor the will against a pine floor. The colour you choose will only look good if it relates to the colours in your floor.
A good tip is to hold your colour sample next to the floor, rather then in the middle of the wall, to see whether the colours complement each other. This applies to any type of flooring.
Be Inspired by Your Art
Look at all the art you have in your room, pick a colour and find a match. Bingo! Instant colour scheme!
Co-ordinate The upholstery.
When you have to work with what already exists, eg, a large sofa that you're not enamored with, don't add wrong to wrong by trying to overpower it with a contrasting colour. Pick colours that complement what you already have, the overall look of the room will be balanced, and the sofa won't stand out.
When To Go Dark, When To Go Light.
If the room in question is dark an boring, you'll get a much more dramatic and chic look if you go for a bold grey, like charcoal. Painting a dark room in a bright colour only adds to the gloom because it emphasises the fact. use good lighting and bright accessories to lighten the mood.
If you have a room that is light and bright you can't really go wrong using any colour, especially when the space has great architectural features.
Colour and Mood
As we talked about earlier in these articles, it's never wise to follow trends, and this includes colours.
Putting your stamp on your home means going with colours that appeal to you personally. The trick is using these colours in a way that result in a balanced combination.
If possible, when deciding on a colour scheme, choose things like carpets, tiles and furniture First, because these come in a much more limited range then paint.
Ask yourself these questions- "What mood do I wish to create/"
"Which colours achieve that mood?"
There is so much information about the psychology of colour available on the net I won't worry about going into depth. What I would say is, give consideration to what emotions certain colours bring out in you and your family. For instance, you might want to paint your bedroom a luscious bohemian red, it makes you feel exotic and adventurous, but if red makes your partner irritable, it kind of defeats the purpose!
Once you find something you like, stick to three colours for the scheme, any more takes a seasoned eye to pull off and if done badly ends up looking cluttered.
Colours behave in three basic ways: active, passive and neutral. Light colours are airy and make a room feel larger and brighter, dark colours are sophisticated and intimate.
Don't forget the ceiling! It doesn't have to be white. 'Lowering' a ceiling using colour might sound claustrophobic but it can actually bring a real sense of intimacy to a room.