The Guide - Design

How to use colours and textures with confidence


Australia and the people who live here are recognised around the world as colourful, vibrant people living in a country that’s also full of life and colour. So it’s surprising that we tend to choose so much white for our new homes, despite the massive range of colour options available to all of us.

Choosing colour can be one of the most intimidating design choices of all. But, as with most things, some understanding and guidance on how to make colour work for your home will give you the confidence to make smart colour choices and achieve lively looks in your new home.


Colour confidence

Feeling confident in your selection is crucial. But how do you get that colour confidence? Let’s start with a reality check. It’s paint. It goes on quickly and easily, and it can be covered over. You can test colours before you commit to covering a whole wall. So, let’s start with worrying a little less. Aussies love neutral colours, and they can be great, but there’s no doubt that colour is  the best way to add mood and character to your living spaces. If you get your base tones right, you’ll be off to a great start and can build a colour scheme from there.

First base

Combining a colour with those beloved neutrals like a crisp white or grey will give any room strength and energy and also a more creative design flair overall. You can quickly and easily look up the moods of the different colours, and then choose a mood that suits you and that room, and then find a neutral base that will work with your feature colour. For example blues and greens will always bring a room to life with an injection of joy.

Let’s twist again

Of course, heritage homes often work best with a more traditional colour palette but you can always add a modern twist with strategically placed colour accents. Choose a color range that suits your home, and vary the palette while staying within that range. This will achieve a cohesive and continual colour feel to your home.

Bold and beautiful

Bold colours can definitely be beautiful, but with the risk of being overwhelming. Bold colours can be fantastic for adding life to areas that might be very boring, like stairwells or archways. A larger room will always handle a bold colour far better than a small space, so bear that in mind. With plenty of bright, natural light in a room, bold colours will feel more at home, and less dominating, which is good. Bedrooms are great for experimenting with bold colours, because most of time you’ve got your eyes closed. Just kidding, but it can work well to experiment in the low-traffic areas of your house to see how the colours feel.

Try it test it

You have to be either very gifted or very lucky to get the colour right the first time. This is a process and can be an enjoyable one. Test your colours first by starting with 3 options and testing them on some paper or card. This way, you can carry the test-card around the house and consider it for different walls in various rooms.

Then it might be time to get some sample pots and wall-test your favourites. When you do, don’t decide on the spot, live with them for a little while and see how you feel after a day or three.

Remember, at the end of the day, mixing up your colour schemes and injecting new colour is a very affordable way to create a dramatic difference in any home.