Choosing Paint Colours

One of my goals when I started Dress My Nest was to blog every week ... hahaha .... that was before I had real clients!  I took most of January off (well I staged two homes and had a couple of client meetings but it was mostly a lovely long break in the sun with my gorgeous girls) ... I was so excited to get back into in on the 1st of Feb!! Well, I forgot that when your juggling kids and work even the best laid plans can get thrown out the window -  we have had two weeks of illness in my house! Yes sick kids and sick Mama - the worst!  So I'm starting the 2016 today and wanted to blog about something very exciting that is happening today - but I jumped onto my website and found a blog post from NOVEMBER that I hadn't even published yet, so I'll finish that one first and then blog about the other exciting news next week - two blog posts in a week, crazy!!   My actual new goal is to try and blog once a month.  Watch this space.  In the meantime here are my thoughts regarding choosing paint colours (one of my favourite tasks)...  

I’ve been obsessed with paint colours since we renovated our first house, a tiny railway cottage, some 14 years ago.  Back then we hired a colour consultant who suggested half tea on the walls, double tea on the doors and quarter tea on the ceilings – the early 2000’s were the age of beige!  Quarter Tea is still a popular choice for walls, but in the last year the top two ‘colours’ in New Zealand have been whites.  In the US, Benjamin Moore have just announced their ‘colour’ of 2016 and surprise surprise it’s white!  I love love love white walls but this is a trend that might not be for everyone.  If the starkness of white is a bit too harsh for you, a pale grey or greige (grey / beige) neutral could be a lovely choice, especially with some fresh white trim.  Or, there are plenty of warm whites that give you the freshness of a white interior without it seeming cold or harsh at all.  

If choosing a colour scheme for your home is overwhelming my first piece of advice is to start a pinterest board.  Be warned though once you get started it can be addictive!  Find some boards to follow and prepare to be inspired.  Once you start pinning you can have a look back through your board and have a look at the trends emerging – you might be surprised by what you are attracted to and you will get a great insight into the look that you are trying to achieve in your own home. 

Don’t try and choose a paint colour at the paint shop – take some samples home and have a look at them in your own space, with your own décor and window treatments, in different lights.  Pay attention to the undertones - if you’re choosing a neutral colour does it have a pink, yellow, green or blue base? 

Don’t be afraid to have different colours in different rooms.  Colours work differently depending on the natural light, the direction of the light and the furnishings of the room.   When we moved into our house it was freshly painted in ... yes you guessed it Quarter Tea!! Argh that colour is haunting me!!  I don't mind it sooo much in the rooms that are flooded with northerly light, but in some of the shadier parts of our home, ugh it could definitely look better.  So we have been slowly repainting each room in ... yes you guessed it WHITE!  We have mainly used Resene Black White but have mixed this up with Dulux St Claire in our master bedroom which is lovely and crisp with a definite grey tinge.  We have also added a few paint features - its so easy and adds personality to the space.  

How you use the room and who uses the room should also have an influence on your colour choice.  It is however, a good idea to ensure that your colour scheme flows and that you don’t feel like you are moving house when you enter a different room.  We have lots of white paired with almost black walls in our lounge, a yellow stripe in our office, a pink stripe in our bedroom and a very slightly different pink triangle in Annabelles room.  So all the rooms are unique but they do look like they belong to the same family.  I am choosing colours for our family bathroom at the moment and we are going to do the bottom two thirds of the wall a colour and the top third & ceiling white - I'm trying REALLY hard to choose something other than another shade of pink!  I have been visiting my clients homes recently that I have specified the paint colours for and am loving the pale blues and aquas used in some of their rooms so I may just have to use them myself! 

Use the resources available to you.  Paint charts will often list complementary colours.  Dulux has just released their colour trends for 2016 with four distinct palettes that also provide a great starting point. 

Dress My Nest provides a colour consultancy service and I love to design colour schemes.  If choosing paint colours is daunting or you need some inspiration -  give me a call, I’d love to have a chat.  Using a professional who deals with paint colours every day in different rooms and different houses will save you making costly mistakes. Most importantly it will give you the confidence you need to get your renovation projects completed.