Avoid these big mistakes when changing interior design colours
We asked three interior designers and a Resene colour consultant to tell us the three biggest mistakes clients make when they are choosing paint colours.
In the first part of our paint colour blog, we featured three
interior designers and a Resene colour consultant talking about the
latest trends and the three most important aspects that need to be
considered when choosing paint colours.
Following on from that, the same interior designers and Resene
colour consultant give us their suggestions and advice on how to
avoid mistakes and what to think about when considering changing
the interior colour of their home or commercial space.
Where once there were rules, guidelines and boundaries when
choosing paint colours for your space, there is now free will, free
choice and endless possibilities limited only by your imagination.
Colour changes everything so let your mood be your guide to create
what you desire.
Do you want a cosy, warm and relaxing space or do you want
something more fun and lively to reinvigorate and enliven you? Your
happy place can be whatever you want it to be, so in choosing your
colours, make sure they reflect you and your needs.
You may choose to follow the latest colour trends for 2015 which
are inspired from the past but rejuvenated for the present.
Sophisticated, dusty and smoky pastels can be used to give you a
grounded feel touching your senses with timeless beauty and
ambience. Or perhaps the the soothing restfulness of duck egg blue
and grey-blues are more to your liking.
For a more upbeat and lively space, try the deep blue reds or
the uplifting bold pops of orange and yellow. Or consider the wild
and glorious purples shining forth with alluring boldness. This
year there are plenty of choices, so be courageous and dive into
the world of colour that is available for you to explore.
We asked three interior designers and a Resene colour consultant
to tell us the three biggest mistakes clients make when choosing
Jane McAulay-Frame, Bespoke Interior Design
Bespoke Interior Design is a
team of talented interior designers led by Jane McAulay-Frame.
Based in Auckland, Bespoke Interior Design specialises in
residential and commercial projects, both new build and
1. Not understanding the depth of colour
Often people don't understand that the depth of colour changes
from when you are looking at a small swatch or drawdown, compared
to seeing the colour on mass and in bright sunlight. Roughly half
your colour and use test pots.
2. Going too dark
The trend is to go dark, but you can go too dark for the
substrate (the material or surface on which an enzyme acts) and end
causing damage to the surfaces of your home. Timber substrates
should be treated differently to brick or plaster. If the paint on
timber is too dark it absorbs too much light and encourages boards
to warp, which could be a costly situation 4 or 5 years on due to
the harsh New Zealand sun!
3. What goes with existing colours?
Often people pick a paint colour to go with some existing
colours, say if they are partially painting, repainting windows or
just a front door for example. This is hard to do as some colours
have undertones that don't go with the existing ones and again this
is hard to read on a small swatch.
Bridget Foley - Bridget Foley Design
With a background in interior architecture and graduating as top
student at Inchbald School of Design in London, Bridget
brings a wealth of international experience to Bridget Foley Design. Bridget
Foley Design creates inspirational interiors that range from
upholstering a favourite chair to building your dream home.
1. Not using drawdowns or test pots!
Never try and choose a colour from a tiny chip on a paint chart
- these are provided as a guide only.
2. Not considering the room as a whole
Are you buying new furniture, curtains etc. or using what you
already have? There is no point painting a room a colour that then
looks dreadful with the curtain or furniture fabric you fall in
love with later. You also need to think about how the room will
look from adjoining rooms or hallways.
3. What actually looks good in your home?
Just because a colour looks lovely in your friend's house, a
hotel, restaurant etc, does not necessarily mean it will look good
in your house: consider lighting - daylight and electric,
furnishings, curtains, flooring etc. Again play with test pots and
Peta Tearle - Colour and Design Consultant
"I am excited to introduce you to my websit eand new venture 'Colours with
This year Peta celebrate 25 years of colour design for
buildings. Each colour selection she has worked on, whether simply
a front door for an existing scheme to entire housing developments
or commercial buildings, has been created with the same care and
attention. Peta's intention is always for her clients to love the
space they reside in. Hence the name 'Colours with
Love' was chosen for her online ready-made palettes.
1. Not following your heart
Test the colour in situ and if you still like it, use it. You
don't need a huge area of a favourite colour to provide an immense
amount of pleasure.
2. Painting square-stopped ceilings a different colour
to the walls
It just never looks right. Don't be afraid to add colour to
ceilings; if anything it can make the room feel more generous.
3. Forcing small rooms into looking big by painting
Trying to force small rooms into looking big by painting white
(especially those with limited natural light). Play with the scale
and try darkish colours instead to create intimacy and warmth.
Nikki Morris - Resene Colour Consultant
Nikki Morris has been a Colour Consultant with Resene for the past
seven years. Nikki's role is to inspire people and help them become
more confident when it comes to using colour. Nikki also solves
colour predicaments and ensures her clients create beautiful colour
schemes for the exterior and interior of their homes that are
practical and sustainable.
1. Be confident in what it is that you want
There are many potential mistakes that customers make selecting
colour. It is important that you keep the confidence in what you
want. Too many customers get cold feet using colour. When they
switch to a half tone, they are disappointed as in reality a half
tone is a completely different colour.
2. Don't over use colours
Another mistake is over using a colour you like. Sometimes
people love a colour so much that they put it everywhere. This
misses the opportunity to add contrast creating greater interest.
Colour can inject a lot of personality into a home.
As an example, when selecting interior colours we encourage
families to let their children select their own bedroom colours.
Colours look very different in alternative settings and
surroundings. It's a big mistake not using test pots to see how a
colour looks in your own surroundings.
3. Environment has a big influence
Seeing colour on someone else's house and thinking that they
will work on yours can have a disappointing outcome. In saying
that, if you see house colours you like, knock on the door and ask
the home owner if they would be happy to tell you what their
colours are, but make sure that you test them on your own home.
Resene have other tools in their Resene Colourshops to help colour selection.
The Resene Colour View allows you to apply your
colour choices to house 'cut-outs' to see how the colour
combinations work on a similar type of house. They have small model
houses painted in different colour schemes to give you ideas of
alternative looks and to stimulate your creativity.
If you are considering changing the colour palette of your home,
take the advice above of these colour professionals. And remember,
the beauty with painting and changing the colour of your walls, is
you can always repaint it in a different colour if the end result
is not what you want.
That said, by following these useful tips your painting
experience should be a cinch. Just give it a go and have fun.