Thursday, June 30, 2011
When it's cold outside, warm the inside of your home with warm colours. Warm colours actually make you feel as though the temperature is higher than cool colours.
Which are the warm colours? They're the ones on the left side of this colour wheel: reds, oranges, and yellows.
Painting your walls a rich gold or vivid orange can raise the apparent temperature of your room and let you get by with less heating. Murobond's Tender is the Night palette is an example of a warm palette.
Another example is Lost Memoirs from Dulux:
Use colours like these to make your home feel cosy even in winter.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Does your neighbourhood have covenants restricting your options when it comes to exterior painting or decorating?
Are you sure?
More communities are making requirements about the materials, colours, and maintenance required of homeowners. We've seen covenants requiring all of these things:
- Painting must be approved by the council before beginning.
- Any changes to colours must be approved.
- All colours must be pre-approved by the council.
- No more than 70% of the exterior of a home may be of a single material.
- Only earth tones may be used.
- Air-conditioning units must be painted to match the walls.
Friday, June 24, 2011
When you think about decorating your commercial property, be it a hotel, a block of flats, or a suite of offices, you may think first about the lobby. The executive offices or reception area, the meeting rooms or other obviously public spaces come to mind next.
The last thing you think of might be the back stairs. The restrooms. The kitchens. The hallways.
And yet these places are on view. Not only are they visible to your clientele, but they also matter. In a recent study, 69% of respondents said they wouldn't return to a restaurant if they felt they restrooms weren't up to par. Another study showed that people who were dissatisfied with the state of a company's building would complain to an average of five other people.
Certainly, cleanliness is a basic issue. However, shabby paint and paper can make even a clean room look dirty. Take a fresh look at your premises. If you were a new visitor, what would you think?
If you can see that it's time for an update, give your local professional painters and decorators a call. If you're in Sydney, call Courtney &Wise. You may be pleasantly surprised by the affordability of redecorating, and by the return on your investment.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Some homeowners try to save money on an exterior painting job by choosing a lesser quality of paint. This is a mistake. It just means that the job will need to be done again sooner. Since much of the cost of a painting job is the labour, the cost of painting more frequently ends up being far higher over time than the additional cost of a good quality paint.
Other homeowners try to do the job themselves, thinking they'll save money in that way. Unfortunately, by the time they buy the tools, put in the time, and possibly have to do the job again sooner because they didn't do it well enough (see above), the savings can be negligible.
You can certainly save money, however, by doing the preparation.
- Clear away any debris around the house.
- Move furniture or decorations that might interfere with the painting.
- Check for any boards that need to be replaced.
- Hammer in any protruding nailheads.
- Clean the building exterior.
- Cover and protect anything that can't be moved, such as plants (don't forget your neighbor's trees if they come within reach) and statuary.
- Remove the old paint.
- Remove any crumbling caulking, too.
- Do any patching or caulking that needs doing.
- Sand the surfaces.
- Prime all the surfaces, including the patches.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Inspiration pieces for a room are usually a work of art, a rug, a vase, or a fabric. There's no rule that says they have to be a piece of the room's furnishings, though, or even something you plan to put into the room.
We read recently about a bathroom with a decorating scheme inspired entirely by the packaging of the homeowner's shower gel. The colours of that cardboard box seemed just the perfect combination to him.
The story reminded us that design inspiration can come from anywhere. A case in point: the picture at the top of this post. Not something we'd want on our walls, perhaps, but the contrast of the blue green and russet, with the surprise of bright yellow and a warm tan shade from the ground and the girl's skin -- what a great colour scheme for a living room or study!
When something catches your eye, look at it with an eye to its colours, no matter how far removed it may be from the room you're planning. You never know where inspiration might lie!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Chandeliers are a breakout trend in decorating this winter. Small chandeliers, the sparklier the better, are showing up not just in dining rooms but in bedrooms and bathrooms as well.
How do you paint a room with a chandelier?
It is possible to remove a chandelier before painting, and you may want to do so if you have a valuable antique chandelier. It can be very difficult to remove stray paint spatters without damaging an elaborate fixture. If you decide to take the chandelier down, have an electrician in to do it safely.
If you're ready to take a chance with your chandelier, be sure to cover it securely, just as you do electrical outlets, before you paint. Wrapping and taping it is the best plan.
Then carefully paint the surfaces nearest to the chandelier with a brush and a steady hand before using a roller or other tool for faster paint coverage.
Of course, you must always prepare and prime your surfaces fully before painting.
Use a rich colour like the one shown in this picture for maximum drama. Then you can dress up your chandelier even more for special occasions by adding beads, ribbons, or flowers in matching or toning colours.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Your office chair this year won't look like a tree or have enough attachments to make it look like a cross between a spaceship and a squid. Instead, you'll be seeing streamlined shapes in top quality materials.
What kind of wall goes with this new look? Take your pick:
- Go with the luxe feeling and choose a suede effect or a stylish wallpaper with a bit of mica. Choose colours like charcoal grey, old gold, or a purple so deep it looks like brown.
- Keep it minimalist. Chinese white or a neutral paper with a hint of texture makes a terrific background for furniture that reminds you of a race car.
- Today's business shows off by keeping things simple, but top quality. Choose a neutral colour but make it look really sharp by picking out architectural details in a contrasting or toning colour. Impeccable paintwork and natural materials keep the look upscale yet natural and sincere.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Mixing wallpaper patterns is very popular right now. Here are some fun ways to bring in multiple patterns:
- Paint or paper with a solid color or muted print. Then cut out big shapes in a variety of wallpaper patterns. Animal silhouettes in a circus parade make a fun effect in a child's room, while a pattern of squares can spark up a hallway or living room.
- Use one paper on the walls, and a different one as the backdrop for shelves and cabinets in the room. Floral walls with gingham backings on the built-ins look fresh and pretty.
- A border at the edge of the ceiling with a bit of mica shimmer is very trendy right now. Mix it up with a coordinating patterned paper.
- Mix up the scale. A large-scale pattern will work more easily with a small pattern than with another large one.
- Don't mix up the colours. Stick with different shades and tones of one colour or of complementary colours.
- Use patterns that are designed to go together. When you see a toile, a plaid, and a floral combined in a magazine picture, chances are good that they really are made for each other -- they don't just look that way!
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Very small patterns will appear almost solid from a distance. Be sure to look at the papers you're considering from the distance at which you'll see them most of the time -- across the room.
- Patterns often come in more than one colourway. Try not to be so swayed by the colour you see in an example photo or someone else's room that you overlook how you might feel about the paper in another colour scheme.
- Asymmetrical or even random patterns are more forgiving if you're doing the papering yourself.
- Consider the overall style of the room you're decorating in choosing your paper. Even if you fall in love with the wallpaper design in a sample book, a romantic floral can look odd with your chrome and leather furniture.
- Consider the size of the room, too. If you love a big, bold paper and you're papering a small room, think about papering one wall and painting the others. You can also paper one wall with the knockout print and paper the others with a coordinating, smaller pattern.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
As wallpaper regains its popularity, we're seeing more creativity. One idea from a previous wallpaper heyday is the pendant frieze. "Pendant" means "hanging," like the pendant hanging from a chain in a pendant necklace. A pendant frieze in wallpaper was like the more common wallpaper border, but with "pendants" -- motifs hanging down from the border. Sometimes there was a single pendant, sometimes they were very close together, and sometimes they were grouped to create a focus.
A pendant frieze often came with wallpaper and borders in a set. It wasn't uncommon in the Edwardian era to mix a number of different but coordinated wallpapers in a single room. There might be a patterned border near the floor, a stripe or another pattern up to the chair rail, another design above the chair rail, a special frieze or mural style on one wall, another border, perhaps including a pendant frieze, and a final border edging the ceiling. Very sophisticated and lavish effects could be created in this way.
Now, interior designers are mixing whimsical wallpapers in small doses with larger amounts of geometric patterns. A pendant frieze is a perfect way to do this.
Most papers of this kind are sold "to the trade" -- that is, designers and manufacturers sell only to tradies and not to homeowners. Contact Courtney & Wise in Sydney, or your local decorator if you're out of our area, and ask for options with this effect, or for the particular paper you've seen and liked.
If you prefer DIY, be sure to measure and plan carefully so that the pendant parts of the wallpaper frieze work as a focus in your room. You certainly don't want to end up with a pendant cut off in a corner! Measure to the center of the wall and position the center of a pendant there for best results, and calculate the space to the corners before attaching the paper to the wall.
If you plan to use companion wallpapers and borders, draw out your plan ahead of time and be sure to decide on any points of overlap before you begin pasting.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
If you love brown, you haven't seen much of your favourite colour in decorating mags lately. If you're seeing brown at all, it's showing up in natural materials like wood and leather that just happen to be brown.
Earth colours have tended toward gold, caramel, and flesh tones rather than a straightforward brown.
For the upcoming season, though, we're seeing a new kind of brown paint. Not paint made with brown pigment, but yellows and reds mixed together for shades that are more complex and nuanced. A modern brown paint might be almost purple, almost pink, or a yellow shade like the hottest mustard. Greyed browns in the taupe family are gaining ground, too.
Are you determined to go with chocolate brown or espresso brown? Pair it with teal for the newest look. For exterior painting, save that deepest brown for the shutters and doors of the house, and choose a taupe or toffee shade for the main walls.
Really, really love brown? Go ahead. It's your home. Fashions come and go, but your favourite colour can make you happy regardless of the trends.