Monday, June 28, 2010
These never provided adequate safety for workers. Accidents happened, especially when painters worked on hard-to-access areas. Housepainting was a dangerous job in those days.
Fortunately, things have changed.
Mobile towers, fixed aluminium scaffolding and various styles of elevated work platform are now common practice and the days of extension ladders propped up against buildings are long gone.
Planning for access to hard to reach areas has become quite complex. The good news is that it's much safer than in the past. The chances of homeowners' having dangerous accidents on their property are now quite slim. This welcome change has a cost, though. Painting has become more expensive.
When you assess a quotation, consider the approach of the contractor with regard to OH&S. You should be confident that the job will be undertaken as safely as possible. The cheapest quote may overlook OH&S issues.
at 4:04 AM
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Today's sophisticated processes of colour tinting and pigmentation mean that the range of paint colours available is massive. You can wade through a myriad of colours to try to make a choice. The you start asking friends and family for advice. Soon it's an emotional process, intense and confusing.
We give you lots of colour ideas in this blog, and you may enjoy the process. Or you may be waking up in the middle of the night trying to decide between eggshell and biscuit, or having angry words with your teen over that bubblegum pink she wants in her bedroom.
Colour choice can be simplified by engaging a colour consultant. These experienced people can walk you through the process – not just a whimsical artistic approach, but one which takse into account the light at various times of the day, surface textures, the use of the room and the effect of particular colour schemes on the psyche.
Once provided with a palette of colours, it’s crucial that the painter applies paint samples of all the chosen colours in areas where they meet each other. This will give a good representation of the chosen colour scheme.At that point, your colour consultant can help with determining the balance of colours and specific uses.
Over the years, as you enjoy the colours you've decided upon -- instead of wishing whenever you see it that you hadn't gone with mauve and teal -- you'll be glad you chose a professional.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The colours used for these buildings were a change from the previous styles: melon, pink, and pale greens made their appearance in house decoration. Pale window sashings combined with dark doors to give a dramatic air.
Indoors, pastels became popular. The complex colour schemes and rich colours of the Victorian era were abandoned for a light, airy look.
Sydney boasts some fine examples of the Art Deco style in buildings such as the Amalgamated Wireless Australasia Limited building on York Street, the Grace Building, also on York Street, and the Berlei House in Surrey Hills.
For your art deco home -- or if you just like the style -- consider beginning with a seafoam or mint green and bringing in pink, melon, and/or butter yellow. Grey shades for walls can tone down the effect for 21st century tastes.
at 7:12 AM
Monday, June 21, 2010
These traditional Greek columns are among the most common styles we see today, but there are other types:
In the example photo above, you can see that Courtney & Wise chose to match the column to the white walls. This is the typical choice for Greek or Roman columns, but many styles -- Egyptian, Persian, Victorian, Art Deco -- look well in multiple colours.
at 7:58 AM
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Decisions about decorating for the staircase in your home or commercial property are a bit different from decisions about other areas of the building.
Certainly, you want your staircase to be beautiful. A staircase can be a dramatic entryway, or it may be one of the first things a visitor sees upon entering your home or business. It can set the tone for the experience, even for people who stay on the ground floor.
It's essential the colors and materials used for the staircase suit the rest of the house. They should also be consistent from one landing to another, if your property has more than one story.
In the example in this photo, Courtney & Wise chose a dramatic contrast of black and white to showcase the architectural details and stand out against the natural materials of the stair treads. In a traditional foyer, you might choose to match the walls and stairs to the rest of the home's colour scheme, or to choose something a bit more striking for the wall of the stairway. Painting the balustrading in a contrasting tone or in several harmonizing colours can also draw the eye to a beautiful staircase.
But there is a difference. Colour choices in the rest of your home may affect your heating and cooling bills, your mood, and your furnishing options, but colour on your staircase can affect your safety as well. It's essential to avoid shadowy corners on a staircase.
Picking out the treads of the stairs in one colour and the risers in another can help with their visibility. A light colour on the bannister can make it easier to see in dim light. And deep coloured walls are usually not the best choice for a staircase, however dramatic they may be. In the example above, the differing materials on the staircase and the brilliant white alongside the stairs make it easy to see the steps. Black at a higher level adds drama without limiting visibility.
Choose your lighting well, too. Make certain that the light fixtures don't cast shadows that make it hard to see the steps. Your painters and decorators can help you strike the perfect match between beauty and safety.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
While they didn't sport the fancy gingerbread of the homes built at the end of the 19th century, these homes often have interesting architectural details on porches and gables. A Japanese influence is often visible in shape and details, and many different materials may be used for the exterior of a single house.
When you plan to paint your bungalow, consider how the paint colours you choose will harmonize with the brick, stone, or shingles of your home, as well as with the surroundings. Architects using this style liked organic colours, complex colours that blended into the landscape naturally.
Californian houses often look best in several shades of the same colour. Greens and terra cotta shades are true to the heritage of your bungalow, but buttery cream tones and greys can also be good choices.
Courtney & Wise are award-winning heritage house painters. If you're in Sydney, consult us for the decoration of your bungalow.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
When Courtney & Wise did the beautiful outdoor room above, decisions about colours and effect were informed by the landscape. The biscuit shade echoes the sand and the deeper shade evokes the surrounding plants and contrasts beautifully with the water. You can see that the effect is beautiful and restful.
One way to begin thinking about the colours that will work best in your home's surroundings is to take photos of the outside of the house. Get shots of all sides of the home, and be sure to include the physical setting. If possible, gather photos from different times of year as well.
Make colour copies to play with. Then just grab your marking pens and try to effect of different colours in your scenery.
Think about colours that harmonize with the setting and make your home look like an organic part of the scenery, as well as colours that contrast or blend with the surroundings. Draw inspiration from your garden or pool. And don't forget to look into the distance. A beautiful view can be enhanced by echoing its colours in your exterior painting.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
A bit of research may tell you what the original colours were; an old photograph may give you an idea of the number of colours and degree of contrast, while older residents of the town may recall the colours, or there may even be newspaper clippings that mention the colours.
But most often it's necessary to look to the building itself.
The "bulls-eye" method can get you the information you need.
Choose a spot on the exterior of the building that gets as little sun as possible. A protected spot under the eaves on the north side of the building is a good choice. Sand a spot in a circle, getting down to the bare wood in the center and revealing the successive layers of paint in rings around it. This will show the colour history of the building.
Create a bulls-eye in more than one spot to be certain, and also to identify areas that had different trim colours. Bear in mind that undercoats on old buildings might have been a different colour entirely to the intended paint colour. A professional will be able to help you determine the most authentic colour choice.
You may also need a professional if your house had lead-based paint. Courtney & Wise is certified to deal with lead-based paint safely and in an environmentally sound manner. This is important for your safety and health.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Do you think of something stuffy and boring when you think of "Victorian"? Not so in paint colours. Victorian homes were exuberantly coloured.
Italianate and Boom styles showed off Australia's wealth in the 19th century. Victorian homes of this period used many colours to get the lavish look then popular. You can choose as many as half a dozen different colours when painting a house of this period.
Typically, houses of this time had a light colour for the main walls, with deep,rich tones for the remaining colour choices.
The key to all the Victorian looks is to pick out the architectural details in different colours from the main walls. Consider using a tint (the main colour lightened with white) or a shade (the main colour darkened) for the trim. Then add accents of a contrasting colour for real pop.
Start with white, biscuit, or taupe shades for the house's main surfaces, and trim it up in bottle green or brown, with crimson accent touches. Inside, go with peacock blue, salmon pink, or gold and rose. Blues and greys work inside or out.
Your home is not a museum, though. You can honor the house's heritage while still enjoying current colours. Begin with the historical palette and choose the combinations that suit you best.