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Colour and continuity

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I had mentioned in my post on stone-finishes for interiors, that I would follow up on colour and continuity so I thought I would bash out a few pointers.

When doing colour in interior spaces one of the most difficult things to achieve is a flow from one room to another that is not jarring or clashes with what is in the line of vision. Perhaps this is why many people who do use colour simplify their palette by using only one or two colours dominated by neutrals.

I did a colour consultation for a family who had a very 70s red tiled bathroom that opened up to the corridor. The owner could not afford a renovation so I decided to make use of the red glow that came through the bathroom glass door as a feature of the paint scheme. Of course we all know that the bathroom door will remain closed most of the time however the transparency and my belief in transition from one space into another became an important consideration. The problem was that the corridor (from the front door) led to two bedrooms at either end, one to the left and one to the right with all rooms visible, including the bathroom, at the juncture to the family and living space.

In bedroom one we decided to paint a venetian lime wash from Porter’s that would develop blooms. A gentle stone colour with a touch of pink very much like champagne, but a little darker, was selected. This bedroom was on the sunny side of the house and required a soft colour due to the small scale of the room and the clutter created by busy timberwork and lattice wardrobe doors. The sunroom attached to the room (via a doorway) was painted the same colour to avoid too many colour transitions.
Bedroom two on the other hand was on the cold side of the house so to create the feeling of warmth we decided to paint this room in a warm and inviting dusky pink lime wash (again from Porter’s that would also develop blooms). This would help radiate the feeling of warmth in the room even when not heated.

The hallway was painted an off white with a touch of mint green – it was ever so slight. The effect of this was to contrast with the red of the bathroom and to reflect light through the dull hallway. It also allowed a fresh contrast to the two bedrooms that had warmer tones and allowed a variation in reflected light – fresh in feel away from the bathroom area and door and a warmer reflected red glow where the light radiated through the glass bathroom door. The fretwork and the front door was painted red to create continuity with the bathroom.

Some of you may be thinking this is an odd idea but when we are trying to hide what we don’t like you create a situation where you won’t be able to live with your environment for very long. The family could not afford to renovate the bathroom for some time so we treated it as a feature, something we could work with.

I guess the moral to the story is to always remember to look deliberate as there is nothing worse than trying to look like you’re hiding a mistake. Use it with pride. If you can’t manage that then go the full make over rather than try to camouflage with a paint job.

I tend to have a rather brave approach to colour as you have seen through ‘Doing colour’ and also enjoy playing with texture. This may not suit everyone but the lack of confidence to use colour comes mainly from the fact that very few of us understand how to use it.

I hope this post will help you understand there are ways we can easily experiment with colours. If you are having trouble imagining colour try using swatches and colour samples to help you. Many of the paint manufacturers also supply colour consultants who can assist you but if you want to take a more adventurous route to your colour renovation, just drop me a comment and we can run an open thread.

Categories: Design, Ideas
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