Colour Trends for 2018

Oh my goodness what a busy couple of weeks it has been as colour trends and forecasting start to emerge for 2018.

Last week Dulux announced their colour palettes for 2018.

They have announced four different colour palettes based on themes which produces quite a wide range of colours from light to dark. The themes are Kinship, Essential, Escapade and Reflect.

The overall feeling of these palettes is very earthy and the standout images for me were these because I am loving dark and moody colours at the moment…

The four colour palettes created by Dulux are pictured here…

Not all of the Dulux images were as moody as my favourite three.  Their forecasts have many amazing images, another selection are here…

This morning Pantone announced their colour report for NY 2018 Fashion Week…. drum roll please.

The reason this is so important is because fashion is a leader in colour predictions.  What we see on international runways is a great indicator of what we will see coming into our homes.

The colour report has created a palette of colours for Spring 2018 which is pictured here…

In addition to this palette, they also have a Spring 2018 Classic Colour Palette…

Overall, I believe our colours coming into 2018 will be earthy, brown based colours with pops of vivid bold accents.  As much as I love dark and moody colours, I predict our overall trends for 2018 will have a bright future but I’ll keep you posted.

If you’re interested in colour or have any colour questions please contact me, I’d be happy to help.

What’s Hot In Interior Design – June 2017

As well as being a creative industry, design is also an ever evolving one with new and repeating styles and trends.

As a designer it is imperative to keep up-to-date with innovative products, suppliers and trends in order to be able to create exciting spaces for clients. How do designers do this?  While it is important to watch what is coming out in magazines and online, it is essential to attend trade and industry events on a regular basis and keep building relationships with wholesalers.

This weekend I attended the annual DenFair trade event at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.  Having attended for the last three years, the event itself was pretty much the same… but interestingly the exhibitors weren’t.

Last year the dominating element was lighting.  It was everywhere and it was stunning.

This year, what struck me the most was the amount of fabric and upholstery.  When fabric is this prominent, it is telling designers that texture is what’s important at the moment…

Texture has been a big part of interiors for the last couple of years but mainly in big chunky knits and poufs.  The texture this year is very soft and velvety in a range of rich and vivid colours.

My favourite stand was one by a Melbourne based company called Austex fabrics (see below).  They have created incredible, light-weight and textured panels that can be used on walls, as bedheads and on doors.  With a large range of patterns and colours to choose from, these were a product I hadn’t seen before.

In addition to their panels is a new range of incredible fabrics for commercial, healthcare and boating coming to market shortly.

Austex display

So if you’re looking for new, fresh and exciting ideas for your home or commercial space, speak to a designer that is proactive in the industry and who attends trade fairs on a regular basis.  This is especially important for regional based designers who may have less contact on a daily or face-to-face basis with wholesalers and industry.

My ticket is booked for the next event in July, Decor and Design.

I’m always looking for more blog topic ideas. If you could pick my design brain, what would you like to know about interior/commercial design,  choosing paint colours or renovating your property? Let me know below, I’d love to hear from you.

How To Make Good Lighting Choices

This image always makes me laugh.  It was placed on the internet last year by someone who’s friend switched on the lights in his hotel room and looked up.  As you can imagine, the image went viral on the web and there are many comments that I will not link to here but if you google “funny lighting shadows”, you will find them.

The importance of good lighting design
The importance of good lighting design

Lighting is a quite complex area of interior design and should not be overlooked, under-considered or rushed.

Here are my top tips for choosing lighting:

  1. Don’t place down lights everywhere.  You have different lighting needs in different areas of your home.  There is no one lighting answer for your whole home.
  2. Think about what you will be using the room for, this will determine the amount of light you need. Designers work to create a balance between ambient (the lighting you need to walk around a room), task (more intense lighting to help you read, cook or apply make-up) and accent lighting (highlights artwork and architectural features of your home).
  3. Consider how your lights look when they are turned off as well as turned on.
  4. Size and scale. Take measurements and make sure the lights you choose are the right size for where you are placing them.  A lamp or pendant that is the wrong size (too big or too small) will instantly look out of place.
  5. Bench tops in kitchens and bathrooms require their own lighting so that you can see what you’re doing (task lighting as mentioned above).  Placing LED task lights or fluorescent under upper cabinets or adding pendant lights are a great solution.
  6.  Don’t be afraid to add lighting where it is needed.  I recently added a light to a bar in the function room of a hotel.  It added interest to the area, additional lighting for staff as well as creating a lovely atmosphere with the shadows it created once turned on.

When you’re next shopping for lights, keep the image at the top of this page in mind, chuckle to yourself and hopefully you will make a more informed decision.

I’m always looking for more blog topic ideas. If you could pick my design brain, what would you like to know about preparing your home for sale, choosing paint colours or renovating your property? Let me know below, I’d love to hear from you.

How To Use Interior Design to Attract Home Buyers in 2017

I always keep up to date on the local, state and national real estate markets and news.

It is so important because our homes continue to be assets and investments more than ever before.

The article that caught my attention this week is from a leading NSW real estate agent called D’Leanne Lewis and can be read here.

Much of what she says is more relevant (as many articles often are) to Melbourne, Sydney and metro markets than in Gippsland but what stood out to me were these predictions about what buyers will be looking for in 2017.

She mentions a “village lifestyle” in a good location, close to shops and schools etc. Then she goes on to talk about “homes with well-spaced layouts.”

“Open-plan homes with plenty of kitchen and living room space, separated areas for entertaining and bright airy outlooks are also marked to fetch premium prices,” Ms Lewis said.

She added that home buyers no longer want to move at major stages of their lives, such as children moving out of the family home or when they retire.

Ms Lewis said buyers have grown wary of the market. They are aware that once they purchase a home, they are likely to be priced out of others they may want down the track, so they’re buying for keeps.

“We’re going to see a real shift towards homes being purchased for longevity. Home buyers are willing to pay that little bit extra for a home they’ll be happy in for the long run. People aren’t looking for a home to flip in a few years. They want a home to grow old in and they’re making sure it has everything they need.”

This is a very different sense of the real estate market than we have seen for some time.  Much of the last ten years has focused on renovation for profit.

If Ms Lewis is correct in her prediction, my design recommendations to meet the needs of these buyers would be:

  1. If you have more than one living area, furnish them both to serve that purpose.  Don’t be afraid to have two living areas, if that’s what your home is designed for.  Many home owners can be afraid or unsure of how to furnish additional living areas especially if they are more than their current needs.  It may seem silly to have two lounge rooms if you don’t need them but that’s how you should present them for sale.
  2. If you have outdoor living spaces, showcase them with furniture and set the scene for how these areas can be used.  Therefore do not leave them empty, cluttered with old pot plants or dead herbs or as a storage space.  People move to Gippsland for our lifestyle, show them how your home will meet that desire.
  3. A fresh coat of paint does wonders to a home.   Choose a neutral, inviting and pleasing colour and paint it throughout. Grey is popular at the moment, you can try Dulux Terrace White, Dulux McGinley or Dulux Mt Aspiring.  Warmer options could be Dulux Modern White, Dulux China Mask or Dulux White Dune.
  4. If your budget allows, updating your kitchen bench top can do wonders.  This is a more costly investment and I would seek the advice of a real estate agent or designer first if you’re not sure.
  5. If you have one large open living area, use rugs and furniture to define individual spaces for dining, lounging and entertaining.  A large open area that is not furnished well can detract from the appeal of these open areas.
  6. Invest in professional photography and a floor plan of your home.  How your home looks on the internet is essential to attract buyers in the modern market and the inclusion of a floor plan can increase online views by up to 80%.

Sold On Interiors offers Gippsland home owners advice for preparing your home for sale in many different ways.

  1. Consultant report $195 – a full report with recommendations on what you should do and invest in to prepare your home for sale.  This can include paint colour specification if needed as well ($150 value).
  2. Paint colour consultation $150 – take the guess work out of choosing your paint colour.  Colour consultations are approx 1-2 hours and you are provided with a full paint colour specification, a Dulux cash back offer up to the value of $100 and A4 colour samples.
  3. Home staging – $800+ – depending on your needs, I can work with your current furniture or hire furniture and accessories as needed for the sale period, usually 1-3 months. This is ideal if your current furniture doesn’t look quite right or if your home is vacant.

Remember that nothing replaces good local knowledge.  Take time to see what homes have sold (and not sold) recently in your area, you can do this by looking on, taking a drive around your local streets and talking to real estate agents.

I’m always looking for more blog topic ideas. If you could pick my design brain, what would you like to know about preparing your home for sale, choosing paint colours or renovating your property? Let me know below, I’d love to hear from you.

A Hot Home Prediction For 2017 That Will Work Well In Many Gippsland Homes

According to a Facebook post from Belle magazine, the next big interior design trend is wall mouldings.

I love wall mouldings done well.  They add instant charm and character but only in the right property.  Lucky for us, there are a lot of homes in Gippsland ideally suited to wall and ceiling mouldings.

I attended a Gippsland home auction last year and spent most of the time looking at the ceiling mouldings.  Still in their original state, they combined my love of coloured ceilings, wallpaper and mouldings! I could have bought the home based on this alone…

This ceiling had me at hello
Stunning Gippsland home with moulded ceilings.

Wall mouldings essentially serve the purpose of covering joins e.g. baseboards cover the join between the wall and the floor, cornice/crown moulding covers the join between the wall and the ceiling and door and window casings conceal the gap between the jamb and adjacent wall.

Other wall mouldings serve a different but practical purpose of wall protection (chair rail) and the hanging of artwork (picture moulding).

Then there are mouldings which are purely decorative and often add a sense of formality to a room.

This week I have included my top tips for how to choose wall mouldings and secondly how to paint them.

Tips for choosing wall mouldings:

  1. know the period of your home and do some research into what materials, profiles and sizes would have been used at that time,
  2. keep all of your trim in the same architectural style, and
  3. bigger is not always better.  Keep the size of your mouldings in proportion with the size of your room, walls and the height of your ceilings.

I love the power of paint and colour and this is especially evident in architectural features like mouldings.

Top tips for choosing paint colours for wall mouldings:

  1. You can emphasise your moulding details by painting them in a high contrast colour to the walls…
How to paint wall mouldings
Choose contrasting paint colours for big impact.

2. you can showcase your mouldings by choosing colours with subtle differences…

How to choose paint colours for wall mouldings
Emphasise your mouldings in a more discreet way.

3. your mouldings can set the scene for your room and add interest when painted in the same colour as the walls.

How to choose paint colours for wall mouldings
Set the scene and let the mouldings speak for themselves.

If your home is from a bygone era and lends itself to mouldings, don’t be afraid to embrace this trend… with restraint.

If you need help doing so, call me, I’d be happy to help you. Residential colour consultations are $150 and I can arm you with everything you need to do it well including A4 colour samples.

I’m always looking for more blog topic ideas. If you could pick my design brain, what would you like to know about preparing your home for sale, choosing paint colours or renovating your property? Let me know below, I’d love to hear from you.

Belle magazine article and moulding images are found here.

Is Pantone Greenery Gippsland’s colour of the year?

Earlier this week, Pantone released their Colour Of The Year for 2017 – a striking yellow green colour called Greenery.

I agree, I like it because it is much fresher than the olive greens we have seen a lot of in 2016.

For the first time ever, Pantone chose two colours for 2016 and both were muted tones in response to the hectic and turbulent world we find ourselves in today.

This colour feels much more optimistic.

Pantone said “Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate. Greenery is nature’s neutral.”

To use this kind of colour in paint, I would recommend a Dulux colour called Savoy (S21G7).  A solid green, similar to Greenery that would look striking as an accent colour with a white or grey room.

Dulux Savoy
Dulux Savoy

It is an ideal accent colour especially as we head into Summer and Autumn.

Is it a colour that we could use in Gippsland?  Absolutely.  We live in one of the most beautiful areas of the country surrounded by natural beauty, an inland lake system, gorgeous national parks and the gateway to the high country and alps.

Bring the outdoors in with Dulux Savoy in accent walls, painted furniture, accessories or rugs and embrace 2017 and its optimistic outlook.  I know I will.  Thanks Pantone.

To read more about Pantone’s Colour of the Year, click here.

I’m always looking for more blog topic ideas. If you could pick my design brain, what would you like to know about preparing your home for sale, choosing paint colours or renovating your property? Let me know below, I’d love to hear from you.

Central Hotel, Lakes Entrance design

I had the joy of working recently with Alison and Tyson, owners of the Central Hotel in Lakes Entrance.

Alison and Tyson were planning a fresh coat of paint for the coming Summer season and asked for my help.

We have begun with their function area.

The original room was painted in a light white with an orange/terracotta feature colour in the bar.

Working with the colours in the carpet and inspired by some of Alison’s beautiful cushion covers, I chose Dulux Franz Josef Double, Dulux White Duck and Porters Paints Quill wallpaper in Taupe as well as feature lighting.

I wanted a scheme that was neither masculine or feminine.  The room is used for weddings, 21st birthdays as well as corporate functions.

The room needs to have a welcoming, classic atmosphere that is also a backdrop to decorations, signage and banners.

We are still working on other areas on the Hotel so stay tuned, but I am thrilled with the results so far.


I’m always looking for more blog topic ideas. If you could pick my design brain, what would you like to know about preparing your home for sale, choosing paint colours or renovating your property? Let me know below, I’d love to hear from you.

Is This The World’s Ugliest Colour?

I came across an email earlier this week from Houzz which talked about decorating with “The Worlds Ugliest Colour.”  Of course, it captured my attention instantly.

The search has been on to identify the ugliest colour for use on Australian cigarette packets to discourage smoking.

The result: Pantone 448 C – an interesting mix of brown and olive green.

The World's Ugliest Colour?
Is this “The World’s Ugliest Colour”?

I LOVED this topic and article because I am fascinated by colour associations and colour psychology.

I believe that this colour would work well on cigarette packages, not because it’s ugly (as well proven in the Houzz article), but because to me it looks like cigarette tar from the old Quit ads. Yuck!

Colour association is so incredibly powerful and I see (and hear) it all the time from clients in comments like “that reminds me of…”.

When I come across attraction or resistance to a colour from a client that is based solely on emotion, I never question or try to fight it but I am always fascinated by it.

It is irrelevant if I think the association is correct or not, the important thing is that the association is there and if it’s negative, it will often be very strong.  When people don’t like a colour, they REALLY don’t like that colour.

That’s why so many home owners paint their homes a neutral colour when they want to sell it.  They assume these are the least offensive colours and they are correct.

The problem then is how to make a neutral home stand out from all of the other neutral homes also for sale.

Very few people are likely to paint their home in the Pantone 448 C colour equivelant.

The Houzz article showed this colour used successfully in a number of homes.  The secret to their success was the styling and furniture done by an interior designer.

The hardest homes to sell are vacant ones, those without styling and furniture no matter what colour they are painted.

I don’t believe there are pretty or ugly colours.  There are certainly popular and trendy ones but the success of any colour scheme is how it is put together.

What associations do you have with colour and do you think Pantone 448 C is the world’s ugliest colour?  I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Click here to read the Houzz article.

I’m always looking for more blog topic ideas. If you could pick my design brain, what would you like to know about preparing your home for sale, choosing paint colours or renovating your property? Let me know below, I’d love to hear from you.

How To Choose Front Door Paint Colours

Yesterday I had the joy of seeing the result of a colour consultation I did recently.

My client was looking for an exterior feature paint colour for her outside dining area and front door.

Painting front doors a feature colour has become popular recently because it adds interest and modernises what is often an overlooked part of your home.

So how do you choose a front door colour?

You need to consider the aspect of the door – does it face north, south, east or west and is it in direct sunlight or under a verandah or porch area?

The reason this is so important is because some colours reflect light and some absorb it.

Exterior paint colours that absorb light also absorb heat.  If you paint these colours onto a wooden door, the wood is likely to split and become damaged by the heat.  This problem has become so common that some door manufacturers void warranties for doors painted in certain colours.

These colours tend to be darker colours but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them.

Also, exterior paint colours can look up to 30% lighter when in direct sunlight.

My client is an outgoing, kind, fun, joyful person with a very welcoming home.  So once I had thought about light and heat we talked about colours that she liked and disliked.

Taking all of this into consideration I chose a blue for her called Dulux Boathouse and this is the result….

Original Paint Colour
Door now painted in Dulux Boathouse.
Door now painted in Dulux Boathouse.

Dulux Boathouse is a fantastic backdrop for my client’s Art Deco inspired screen door and has added a new “wow” to the entry of her home.

Adding interest to the front of your home increases its street appeal which is important if you’re thinking of selling and can make entering our home more pleasurable.

My client posted her new painted door on Facebook and has received many positive comments…

Feedback received on Facebook.
Feedback received on Facebook.

If you would like to do a similar paint project at your home but still don’t know how to choose the right colour, search online (Pinterest, Houzz, Google Images etc) for inspiration or call your local Dulux colour consultant for help.  Consultations cost $150 and you receive a cash back voucher for $1 per litre of Dulux paint you purchase up to 100 litres. 

I am teaching a one day Advanced Colour course in Melbourne on November 4 for Real Living magazine.  If you want to learn how to choose your own colours with confidence, click here for more information.

I’m always looking for more blog topic ideas. If you could pick my design brain, what would you like to know about preparing your home for sale, choosing paint colours or renovating your property? Let me know below, I’d love to hear from you.

Black Ceilings, Wallpaper & Porters Paints, What A Great Week!

This week I have been extremely busy with an exciting commercial project.

Commercial colour specification is something I am really loving at the moment because it allows for so much more scope than many residential homes.

In my current job I was asked for black ceilings and wallpaper… I said “absolutely!”  What a fabulous request!

As soon as I heard black, I thought of Dulux Domino and as soon as I heard wallpaper, I thought of Porters Paints.

If you have not heard of Porters Paints, let me open your world to a very special and boutique paint company that create incredible paint products and wallpapers.

Porters make water based, low VOC (toxic), durable, easy to apply and hand-made paints.  My favourite is their Eggshell Acrylic and I use it in my own home.

Visiting a Porters Paints store is also an experience of delving into a whole new world of colour, paint and wallpaper.

When sourcing (with much delight and joy) the wallpaper for this project I visited their Fitzroy store.  A colour consultant at a Porters Paints store is just like a kid in a candy store.

My choice for this building was their Nairobi Dusk design, pictured here in White Quartz, Twilight and Granite.  You’ll have to stay tuned to see which colour my client chose, but I can’t wait to see and show you the results.

Porters Paints, Nairobi Dusk design
White Quartz, Twilight and Granite

If you’re looking for inspiration for your next painting project I highly recommend taking a look at Porters Paints.

They have stores in Melbourne and Sydney and you can order online to have your paint delivered, which is what I do.

Porters Paint

I’m always looking for more blog topic ideas. If you could pick my design brain, what would you like to know about preparing your home for sale, choosing paint colours or renovating your property? Let me know below, I’d love to hear from you.