Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Decorating 101

I know I don't normally post on a Wednesday as I'm at work, but because I was so slack on Monday I thought I'd better post today!
So today is a quick word about how to start decorating for those who want to do SOMETHING really don't know where to start!
My first piece of advice is find a good neutral and stick with it. As you may have noticed from my previous posts, my main wall colour in my house is Taubmans Pebble Bay. I found this colour when we were in our old place and it just works with all of my favourite colours (or favourite Greys as the case may be!). Its also a colour that works in all rooms - light and dark.
Choose a neutral and use it through the whole house. Then you can add feature walls or paint a darker shade of that colour where you like. It makes it SO much easier when you're buying paint - you only need one colour, its cheaper - you can buy it in bulk, and it's easier if you need to re-paint or touch up - you don't have to try and remember which colour is where!
Neutrals aren't always Neutral
It's a tricky thing - all colours except pure white will have a tinge of colour to them, even though we call them Neutral. So here's a few never-fail colours that I ALWAYS use...when you are staring at the Dulux wall at Bunnings they all look the same but each has a different base!
Dulux "Hog Bristle" - this is the warmest of the neutrals and has a sandstone colour, great if you like a really country or beachy look. It's darker friends are Russian Toffee and Self-Destruct.
Dulux "Beige Royal" - My favourite! This neutral I just adore, it goes well with a lot of colours - purples, chocolates, reds, greens, indigo blues and greys. It's more sophisticated than the Hog Bristle, and similar to my Taubmans colour so checkout the photos of My House to get an idea. It's darker friends are Candlebark and Linseed.
Dulux "White Duck" - Another good one but more green and a little colder than the others. Works nicely with greens and blues and is still sophisticated. It's darker friends are Apparition and Oyster Linen.
For those of you wanting a crisp modern house with stark white walls - sorry! You've come to the wrong blog!!!!!!!!
When I talk about trims I mean skirting boards, window frames, door frames and doors. I ALWAYS paint ALL of these the same in EVERY ROOM!
I hate white for walls. I love white for trims. Why? White trims just seem to freshen everything up, make it look clean and make the wall colours really pop. Especially when you've got neutral walls it's nice to have that contrast.
I use Dulux "Vivid White" - It's untinted white paint to not only is it VERY white, but it also saves you waiting in line at the paint counter as it doesn't need to be tinted - just buy it off the shelf!
But If you don't like white then the easiest thing to do is to paint the trims in the same colour as the walls, or in half or quarter strength. Always do this in a gloss and you'll still get some contrast - even if it's the same colour. Or you could go with the darker friends listed above.
Ceilings & Cornices
Please Please Please - stick to ceiling white for the ceilings and cornices :)
How to un-boring your now neutral house
1. Feature wall - think about where this is going to go. Best to go behind a bed, behind a sofa, or on wall you look directly at when you walk into a room. Not so great on a wall with a window or door. If you don't have a good wall for a feature wall, consider...
2. Paint the whole room a shade darker than the main wall colour. Always a good option in the main bedroom, lounge room, or dining room where you want a more intimate feel.
3. Artwork - if you've got artwork on a neutral wall, choose something interesting with colour or a bold or interesting frame. If you're artwork is on a feature or darker wall, stick to something simple with a lot of contrast - perhaps white frames and white mounts. Again it's about making it punchy!
4. Cushions, Bedlinen, Accessories - Use all of these to add a bit of colour and character - they're easy to change so have fun but don't get carried pieces which you love or have meaning to you, not just for the sake of having something to fill a gap. We don't live in display homes!!
Remember...It's easy to have a beautiful home! Just keep it simple and make sure it's a reflection of who you are and the way you live and you will always love it!
And you can always email me :)
Luce xx


  1. What a great post with some fantastic tips! I will definitely be referring to this again :)

  2. Great post Luce, well done! And I can vouch for the "Beige Royal" tip :)

  3. Great advice - thanks Luce :)

  4. The post is giving useful information about decorating. Good post

  5. Great advice. I am about to paint my house and am going with Dulux Royal Beige (love it far better than Hogsbristle). I will be using Antique White for trims, however now contemplating going with 'vivid white'. Any advice for door colour?

  6. Hi...I will be doing the exterior of my house in Beige Royal - BUT not sure whether to go 2 or 3 shades darker? because of the sun hitting it...Please help???

  7. Hi I am looking for a render colour for two double houses next to eachother. They are units transformed into double story houses. One has Primrose windows (yellowish) and the other has Rivergum (stonish and light). Both have Paperbark gutter and fascia/gable. Above the garage is red brick. It will be partial render partial red brick. Charcoal roof. Anyway I am considering hog bristle, or more paperbark or this russian toffee colour you mention. Do you think hog bristle will be too light? We also need to have roller shutters?