Thursday, October 28, 2010
If the office is just for you, don't be afraid to follow your personal tastes. If you find bubblegum pink energizing and fun, then paint your office pink. Spiderman posters inspire your creativity? Go ahead. Paint the walls red and post the art that revs up your spidey senses. Choose eucalyptus green and lots of natural rock if it makes you serene -- but not if it puts you to sleep.
In short, if you close the door and burrow in all day, then let this be your fantasy room. The contrast between this room and the rest of your home can help the division between work and free time.
If you see clients in that office, though, you may want to choose colours that don't seem homelike. Jewel tones of sapphire or exotic red-purples -- or, at the other end of the continuum, charcoal grey -- will emphasize the professional separation of office and home. Go with traditional office furniture, too, to keep professional visitors comfortable.
On the other hand, the office that is just a corner of a bedroom, a built-in on the opposite wall from the refrigerator, or an armoire in the living room shouldn't stick out because of its colour. This isn't the place for black and chrome unless that's your basic colour scheme.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Warm colours like red and orange make people feel hungry, so they can cause diners to relish their meals. However, they also make people feel hurried, so they can cause people to rush through the meal. This makes them popular for restaurants, where getting patrons in and out quickly increases profits.
For your home, think about moving toward blue from the red part of the colour wheel. Colours like burgundy or aubergine can have the richness of red without the adrenaline.
If dinner is a time for the family to relax together and enjoy conversation, blues are a good choice. Blue is such a popular colour for china that it is likely to show off your good dishes, too.
White can seem too stark for relaxed meals, but black makes a dramatic background. Put the two together to make all your table settings seem grand and intense. Neutrals like biscuit or chocolate brown will never clash with your tables settings, either, if black and white are too dramatic for your lifestyle.
If you have lots of dinner parties, think about peach and pink shades. Your guests will look better -- those colours make almost every skin tones glow.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
For example, if your bedroom is mostly for sleeping, then natural colours like those in this bedroom will help you relax and sleep. Soothing pale blue, natural stain on the walls, and fresh white paint or fabric will be prefect for a simple room intended for sleeping.
Does your room double as a fashion parade? If you try on lots outfits there before heading out to make your mark on the world, go with white walls for the best backdrop. Mirrored walls or closet doors are a practical touch, and you'll want to keep your linens and soft furnishings neutral, too.
Is the bedroom for romance? Most skin tones look their best with a backdrop of a peachy shade. Coral tones for soft furnishings will flatter, too -- and don't forget the lampshades.
Maybe you sleep there, but you also work or work out in the bedroom? Choose warm colours like shades of red, yellow, and orange. Spicy shades will rev you up for your Pilates and get you pumped to take on the professional world. Just be sure to dress the bed in blue or green sheets and pillowcases and have dim lights by the bed. Turn off full room lighting and spend half an hour with dim light, a good book, and your restful bed before lights out so you can calm down and sleep.
If you entertain and play in your bedroom, think about green and earth tones. These colours are less distracting and will also make the bedroom seem less like a boudoir and more like a multi purpose room.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
You may see efflorescence, blistering, or peeling paint. You may also have trouble with mould or mildew, especially in the case of leaks (salts present in rising damp are likely to prevent mould growth). A drop of chlorine bleach on the wall will show you whether you're dealing with mildew: if the drop quickly removes the discoloration, then it probably is mildew. Mould and mildew can create health problems as well as an unsightly appearance.
First, you have to solve the dampness problem. Simply cleaning and painting won't keep the problem from coming up again. Rising damp may require chemical treatments, undersetting, or a new damp course. Leaks require mending of the leak.
The next step is cleanup. A wire brush, sanding, and household cleaners such as sugar soap or chlorine bleach solution will usually do the trick.
If there is extensive mould, contact a professional painting contractor for the health and safety of your family. Small patches of mould and mildew will usually respond to a solution of 1.5 cups of chlorine bleach in a 10 litre bucket of water.
After cleaning, make sure that the walls are completely dry before you attempt painting.
Once the walls are prepared, use a good primer before you paint. Your painting contractor can help you choose the best products for your circumstances. Without proper surface preparation, you're very likely to find your new paint will show stains.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Once the waters recede and you have things sorted, though, you have to think about paint. Here are some concerns:
- Is there lead paint in your home? Many Australian homes were painted with lead paint before 1970, and many such homes have had layers of new paint applied over the old paint. That's fine as long as the lead paint remains undisturbed. Once it's gotten wet, the lead paint once again becomes an issue. If your house is old enough to have a possible lead paint issue, you must have it tested and have the problem resolved. The wisest course of action then is to have a Master Painter certified in lead paint management deal with the painting. This will keep you, your family, and the workmen safe.
- Is mould under control? If you've had water in your home for two days or more, or if it wasn't possible to clean and dry the house within 24 hours after the water receded, you're very likely to have mould growing in the house. For small areas, you may be able to remove the damaged and porous objects, clean thoroughly with household cleaners, and then use a mould-killing primer before painting. A solution of 1.5 cups of chlorine bleach to 10 litres of water can kill many types of mould. Follow with a disinfectant. If there is extensive mould growth, or if your family is sensitive to mould and experiencing symptoms of allergic reaction, hire a professional.
- Are the surfaces really dry? Moisture in walls will keep your new paint from adhering properly to the wall. You can easily end up with flaking, peeling, or blistering paint if there's any dampness remaining from the flood. Use a hygrometer to check moisture levels, or cover a sunny patch of wall with plastic overnight. Tape a square of clear plastic firmly to the wall. The next day, check to see whether the plastic has been clouded with moisture. If so, the walls are still damp.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Choose colours that warm and enliven the room, but don't automatically go to dark colours it's true, a large space can be your opportunity to use colours like bottle green or oxblood, but a huge expanse of a deep or bright colour can also seem overwhelming.
Consider breaking up the colour, using different hues on different walls, or going with a complex, multi-toned colour scheme for drama without excess.
Divide the room into areas: a living room might have a conversation area with a sofa and chairs grouped around a fireplace, a music area with piano and seating, and a media lounge area with telly, stereo, and more casual seating. Use slightly different paint colours on the walls to distinguish the areas, while still keeping the colours toning for a cohesive feel.
You can use more elaborate window dressings and soft furnishings in a large room, too. Colours like gold, deep brown, or red look comfortable in a large space, where they might seem fussy in a smaller room. Choose a biscuit or grey for the walls and use bright hues like shocking pink and turquoise for soft furnishings. you can even use midnight blue or black in a large space.
Above all, choose furniture and art work in keeping with the scale of the rooms. Then you can really spread out and enjoy yourself, instead of feeling dwarfed.
Monday, October 11, 2010
These can be good ideas for your small space, but we suggest that you think more deeply before you decide.
First, do you want the room to look larger? Traditional advice for decorating small rooms centers on this idea, but that may not really be your primary goal. That tiny powder room under the stairs might be just the place to try out a very saturated plum or peacock blue: it could be over the top in a larger room, but exciting and daring in a small space.
You can also embrace the smallness of the room and go for cosy, with soft, napped fabrics and deep colours on walls and furniture. The effect can be like a sanctuary. Complex, warm tones of butterscotch, olive, terra cotta, eucalyptus, or coral can look wonderful in a small space.
If you do want the room to look larger, go with light colours -- but you might be surprised by how well it works to use a darker colour beneath a chair rail and a lighter shade of the same hue above. Finish with a ceiling in white or a very pale tint of the same colour. The gradual lightening of colour will give an airy feel to the room.
A large mirror can give an illusion of additional light and space, if you like the look of mirrored walls. If not, you'll find that a monochromatic colour scheme can do wonders to give a small room a feeling of sophistication. Stick with smooth textures and keep window dressings simple for maximum roominess.
The final word on small spaces: tidiness. Built-ins and a spare look keep a tiny space from feeling cramped.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Choose a paint roller with an extra long extension handle. If your ceiling is textured, you'll need a thick-nap roller to get paint into all its nooks and crannies. Remove all the furniture from the room, and cover any built ins and the floor with drop cloths.
If your ceiling is to be a different colour from the walls -- and this can give a nice effect, especially if you use a shade that's just a tone or two lighter than the walls -- then you'll need to mask the edges with painters' tape.
Prime the ceiling with a good primer designed to work chemically with your paint. Then climb up on that ladder with a small paintbrush and paint the cut-in line. That's a line around the edge of the surface, where the roller might not do as good a job.
When using a stepladder, be careful not to climb onto the top step, keep your paint can securely on the shelf for that purpose, and don't reach out too far and lose your balance.
Start rolling on the paint while the cut-in line is still wet so you won't have any visible lines. For a ceiling, it's especially important to dip the roller into the paint at the deep end of the roller pan and then roll it across the shallow part of the pan, to minimize drips.
If you have a complicated colour scheme in mind, if this process sounds a bit too arduous for you, or if you simply have better things to do with your time, call Courtney & Wise at 9958 1099 or your local Master Painter if you're not in or around Sydney. Some painting jobs are better left to the pros.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
But one of the most successful approaches is to choose an inspiration piece. Here we have a ceramic objet d'art with a lot going on.
Our first thought might be to go with the background colour of the piece, perhaps using something like DuLux Jules. An accent wall in this vibrant colour combined with the more neutral Sheer Passion, which echoes the colour of the base of our inspiration piece will make a dramatic room.