There is something timeless about the natural look, probably because natural elements are made to last. In this modern world, where so many man made fabrics are available, we appreciate the natural products even more. Cotton and linen fabrics are washable and easy to maintain and create a wonderful laid back look. Hemp fabrics are becoming really popular and I love the fabrics from Hemptech. http://www.hemptech.co.nz.
Rugs are a great idea to zone areas and to make vast cavernous spaces more approachable. Rugs made from 100% wool with art silk running through them are stunning. Or for a more laid back approach you could have a rug made from jute or sisal. As with fabric, hemp is becoming popular for rugs, remember that hemp softens over time so it gets better with age.
Smooth Face Bricks
Bricks for exterior projects are back in fashion. People are beginning to appreciate the natural look of brick again and the brick manufacturers are responding to this trend and releasing new and innovative bricks that look too good to render over. The smooth face range of bricks gives a sleek look not dissimalar from a rendered finish. On this house the mortar has been matched to the brick colour but these bricks also look great with a crisp off white ironed mortar to show the outline of each brick.
Designers are also mixing up the finishes for exteriors combining smooth face bricks, natural stone and rendered finishes. The James Hardies range of lining boards also look great used with these bricks. As with any scheme, the rule is to generally use no more than three different finishes so don’t get too carried away with including too many looks. Below is a good example of a house with Austral bricks and render. The design of the house is classic and the colours are simple but the effect is very pleasing due to the textural variation that the bricks bring to the scheme. The beautiful timber on the windows and doors adds another natural element to the look.
Contemporary Burlesque Bricks
The Burlesque range of bricks from Austral make a bold architectural statement. These bricks are highly glazed and bring a very contemporary and different high gloss finish to the exterior of your home. Of course for a feature these can also be used inside. The edges are crisp and with off white ironed mortar the look is very distinct. For an ultra modern look you can use this on your entire exterior or mix it up with contemporary large profile rectangle smooth lining boards in crisp white. These bricks are at the cutting edge with their textural finish and also with their amazing colour palette – even the names are provocative.
Dry Pressed Velour Bricks
Both Boral and Austral bricks have a range of high quality dry pressed bricks. These make a classic statement and will endure the test of time. The Gertrudis renovation range from the Bowral collection at Austral are particularly good for restoration projects or to create a heritage look for your build. With bricks this good you can use them inside for a classic look.
A last word on bricks
Before selecting a brick for your new home consider whether you are in an area with salt spray. If this is the case you will need to choose bricks that are finished in an exposure grade. Generally it is recommended that these bricks be used on all homes within 1km of the ocean. You will also need to consider the type of mortar that you want to use as this will change the look of the brick considerably.
The majority of people love neutral colours when it comes to the exterior of their house. A classic, timeless look that works with the bright Australian sun, working with the streetscape rather than dominating it. A neutral colour is one that doesn’t contain too much of one colour therefore making it easy to teem with other hues. All colours however have an underlying hue. Some may contain more red, yellow or green so you need to ensure that a colour that appears very neutral appeals to you in daylight. Neutrals for exteriors need to be much greyer and darker than you would imagine. Once the sun shines on these colours, the grey washes out and the colour shines through so if the colour is not grey enough, your house could end up looking like a fruit salad!
A good tip is to paint a large piece of board with your chosen colour. Use two coats and then move the board around the exterior of the house and view it at different times of the day and from different aspects. The colour will appear quite different on the south aspect of the house compared to the north which gets more sun. A colour during the daytime will also appear different in the late afternoon light.
Greys are perfect to use on the exterior of a house. They are sophisticated and sleek. Greys work well with natural silver windows and silver colorbond trim and are perfect to use in the Australian light. Dark greys work best on rendered walls and look great when placed next to natural stone. As with neutral browns, all grey hues have an underlying colour. This house is painted with subtle green hues that work well in a suburb that is home to many native gum trees.
Grey may seem an uninspired choice but when used with other natural elements, particularly richly coloured timber, it offers a very understated look which is timeless and elegant.
Remember to view grey samples outside. Only in natural daylight will you see the underlying colour. Also bear in mind that the larger the colour sample, the lighter it will appear. A colour that looks very dark on a small paint chip will look much lighter when outside and on the exterior of a house.
Remember that even the neutral greys have an underlying colour. This is often a blue or a green and some greys will appear warm and others cool. Ensure you select the right one to go with your roof colour.
Neutrals for Weatherboards
Weatherboard houses are popular in Australia and these lining boards lend themselves to colour. Greys with a definite underlying colour work well on these houses as the weatherboard creates natural shadow and therefore breaks up the colour.
Pink is undoubtedly the most feminine and pretty of all the hues in the spectrum. Pink is perceived as soft, gentle and restful. However, in these androgynous days, pink is no longer perceived as a totally feminine colour. Men’s fashions today use many tones of pink and even men’s toiletries are now packaged with pink wrapping, a trend that was unheard of even ten years ago. Pink therefore has entered a renaissance period and is now accepted by both women and men in decorating palettes.
Pink can be introduced into a decorating scheme with small accents to prevent it from becoming too overpowering. A child’s bedroom could be painted off white but brought together with pictures and fabrics in pretty pink.
How to use Pink
A derivative of red by adding white, pink is an ideal partner with either fresh white or with green which is red’s complementary hue on the colour wheel. To counter the sweetness of pink, choose hues that have been slightly greyed down. These appear more sophisticated and should definitely be used for painting any surface other than in a child’s room. Another key to ensuring that your choice of pink paint produces a stylish look is to keep the finish as matt as possible, unless you are using a special metallic finish. Introducing fabrics into a decorating scheme is a good way to inject colour into a room. Paint is an excellent way to bring colour to a scheme but it can be overwhelming, but fabrics are softer and you can use as little or as much as you would like.
Overview of Colour Palettes for 2011-2012
According to paint company, Resene, colour palettes are becoming increasingly individual. Consumers are appreciating colour more and understanding the importance of introducing colour into our lives. Resene draws particular attention to items that were once boring colours like accessories in our kitchens. Brightly coloured refrigerators are now prevalent in stores where once we would have only seen white or stainless steel. Small accessories for the kitchen are designed in bright, cheerful colours and are seen as a fashion statement. This trend is very retro 1950s. The kitchen was seen as the domain of the woman of the household and as pastel tones were all the rage, these spilled over into kitchen accessories. Homes are all about comfort now and individualism so rather than stick to neutrals, break out and enjoy some of the beautiful bright, clear uplifiting colours that are the trend for 2011-2012.
Resene’s colour predictions for 2011-2012
As you can see from Resene Switched On and Outrageous, colours are cleaner and less complicated than they have been in the past and these colours are designed to draw the eye towards them. As we have seen with colour trends lately, nature continues to play a huge role in colour popularity. Consumers are appreciating handmade items that have imperfections but have been crafted with love and care rather than factory mass produced items that quickly make their way into landfill. The reds are deep and strong and pink is a real favourite for 2011-2012. Colours are altogether more feminine. Blues are also making a comeback. These colours haven’t been as popular recently but are returning with an intense quality and as a viable neutral alternative to grey.
The PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM is the definitive international reference for selecting, specifying, matching and controlling ink colors. Companies all around the globe look to Pantone for guidance on colour trends before launching new product lines. Pantone’s colour of the year for 2011 is called Honeysuckle. This is a bright and uplifting colour which adds a touch of fun to interiors. The global financial crisis has produced an atmosphere of worry and stress and in these times we need something to embolden the spirit. Honeysuckle will be a great addition to your interior decorating scheme. Perhaps in a feature wall or just as an accent for accessories like placemats, glasses and bowls.
Pantone’s forecast for the Northern Spring 2011 (our Autumn) is for a palette of Russet, pink, orange and blue
The lifespan of a colour trend
The following is just one scenario of the lifespan of a colour trend.
A leading trend setter or designer may be on a tour of the Far East and comes across a delicate Celadon bowl. Liking the colour and registering that it is something different they will return to their studio and amongst other ideas that they have amassed on their travels, use this as inspiration for their new fashion range. This will be shown on the catwalks of Paris and Milan and trend watchers will be eagerly assessing what’s new, not only in colours but in the styles that are being shown which will in turn dictate the type of colour that will be popular. Textile houses, carpet manufacturers, paint companies, furnishing houses and homewares designers will then use these colours for their new designs and products. These are then launched to the market place. Generally the upper end of the market receives these new ideas first and then they trickle down to the high street shops. Once they reach here, the trend is almost over.
Trend Forecasting for the Luxury Market
Clearly it is imperative that companies designing and manufacturing products get the colours right and there are many ways for colour trend watchers to be ahead of the game. Companies manufacturing high end items like luxury cars will be sometimes working 3-5 years ahead on their colour schemes and in many ways these are the people who are dictating colour choices. You may find more of interest in colour trends by looking at the BMW website than by picking up your favourite decorating magazine. BMW has a stunning gold/brown colour for their luxury cars at the moment. This is new and different from the black and silver colour trend that we have been used to seeing in recent times and it is no conicidence that the 2011-2012 colour palette has moved away from the silvery greys to the warmth of gold and brown. See more about BMW at www.worthingtonbmw.com.au.
Paint companies have a huge investment, both in time and money in assessing colour trends. They will analyse current global trends and then see how these affect colour choices. Companies like Pantone in the United States release a major new colour palette every five years, gaining input from colour specialists around the globe and each season they also release colour palettes for the fashion and homeware industry. These are highly anticipated by designers seeking the latest colour trends for their designs and products.
A complete contrast
What could be more of a contrast than black and white? These colours are at either end of the tonal scale and you really make a statement in your interior decorating when you partner these two colours, particularly if you do not use another accent hue. When choosing colours, designers will think about mood first and foremost and nothing is quite as dramatic as the introduction of black into a decorating scheme. Black is seductive, mysterious, elegant and sophisticated. At the opposite end of the tonal scale is white. Fresh, pure and clean it has been the mainstay of neutral decorating schemes for decades.
Black and White in history
The pairing of black and white can be seen throughout the last century in fashion and textile design. Chanel’s innovative design of the little black dress paired with creamy white pearls has been an enduring classic, epitomised by Audrey Hepburn in the 1950s as the height of style.
Black and white used together produces designs which have great definition. Used often during the Art Nouveau period at the beginning of the 20th century, these colours placed together produced dramatic examples of geometric and linear designs which have been revived during the 1960s and again recently.
The Art Deco period which spanned from 1910 through to the 1930s was a natural extension of the Art Nouveau period. Black and white floor tiles were used extensively in Art Deco interior design and black and white striped animal skins were also very popular. Sofas were veneered or lacquered in black.
There are many items to consider when choosing the appropriate joinery for your new kitchen. Firstly, you need to consider the style that you would like to achive. Do you want a sleek contemporary finish or would you prefer an English country style kitchen or a classic French Provincial look? The style that you choose will go some way to dictating the appropriate finish for your kitchen joinery. Secondly, you need to decide how durable the surface needs to be. Will it get a lot of use and are there children in the house who tend to be harder on surfaces. Is it an outdoor or indoor kitchen?
There are a myriad of choices now for kitchen joinery ranging from simple melamine finishes, high gloss laminates, matt, satin or shiny 2 pack polyurethane, timber veneers or solid timber. An Interior Designer can assist with the appropriate selection of materials and also advise on the colour scheme to ensure that it fits in with your style and the rest of your decorating scheme.
Laminex has a wide range of colours and finishes. They have recently introduced 22 new colours to their palette and there are many whites and timber veneers to choose from. There are also a dazzling array of bright colours for those of us creating a retro kitchen design. Laminex has a range of colours in a Silk Finish which is a soft satin look or for a high gloss finish, Crystal Gloss by Laminex is an excellent choice as it offers supreme durability. This is particularly stunning in a timber veneer look and offers a more durable alternative to a two pack polyurethane finish over a real timber veneer.
Fineline aluminium framed laminate doors offer a very contemporary look. Rather than just an aluminium trim, these doors sit in an aluminium frame. The insert can be either Lamiwood, glass or timber veneer. The timber veneer finish works very well with this look, as do the long chrome handles. Laminex also produce a range of natural timber veneer panels which are supplied raw. These make a stunning architectural statement.
Laminex Crystal Gloss Sample Colours
Laminex Fineline Aluminium Sample Colours
The re-emergence of bright colour
In 2008/2009 we witnessed a renaissance of strong clear vibrant colour and the trend for Summer 2010/11 is a continuation of this theme, but if anything the colours are even bolder than before. Beautiful strong bright colours have re-emerged as the stars of decorating, breaking out from the more muted tones that we have become accustomed to. Strong bright hues were traditionally used as accents in a colour palette but now they are being all jumbled together and used as the main theme. Colour has always been a great way to manipulate a space and now it is right at the forefront of any design. Designers still appreciate the beauty of grey and the subtleties that it can bring to an environment however bright colour is everywhere at the moment, in fashion, homewares and in textile design. This wallpaper is from the Bazaar collection from the Eijffinger range from Verve Designer Collections.
How to select the correct paint for your job
Selecting the right colour for your decorating job is difficult enough but there is an amazing array of different paint companies with many different products and it can also be quite daunting to select the correct paint and finish. One of the first items to consider for interiors is how the space that you are painting will be utilised as this will help to determine the durability level of the paint. For exteriors you need to assess the local climatic conditions. Finally, you need to consider the style and mood that you are endeavouring to create, for example an ultra contemporary space will require a different paint finish to a heritage listed renovation project. There are a myriad of possibilities, however the following are some basic guidelines to follow:
This is generally the most desired finish for interior walls as a pure matt finish doesn’t reflect any light and the colour appears to have greater depth. As there is no light reflection minor imperfections in the finish of the wall are disguised. However, pure matt acrylic paint is usually difficult to keep looking good as it is not washable and therefore is not recommended for high traffic areas. A matt finish is also not recommended in high moisture areas like bathrooms, laundries and kitchens.
The traditional paint companies manufacture some gorgeous matt finish paints. Murobond has Murowash which offers a finely grained, streak free flat finish with subtle colour variations. Porters Paints also has an ultra flat finish acrylic. Dulux, Taubmans, Bristol and Wattyl all have flat paints suitable for most interior and exterior substrates. Many of the exterior matt finishes are textured to different degrees which works well on concrete rendered finishes.