Tips And Choices For Choosing Grey Paint Colours

Grey is certainly the neutral colour of choice at the moment.  Its popularity has grown immensely in the last year and with good reason.

It is classic and sophisticated but just like the other neutrals – beige and whites, it is a paint colour people struggle with choosing correctly.

When you look at the page of grey options in the Dulux colour atlas it is easy to see so many exciting combinations of grey with different coloured undertones.

Dulux soft
Dulux soft & chromatic greys

Like other neutrals that means there are cool and warm options.

Below are my choices of favourite Dulux greys:

STANDARD GREY:

Grey Pail (light)

Water Worn (mid grey)

Ticking and Domino (dark greys)

NB: Dulux Ticking is stunning but does have a blue feel.

COOL GREYS:

Manorburn (light) – also available in double, half and quarter strength.

Celtic Sky is a personal preference because I also love duck egg blue (mid darkness)

Maraetia (darker)

WARM GREYS:

Ghosting (light) – also available in half and quarter strength.  Can appear red in some rooms.

Rampart (mid grey)

Bushland Grey (darker)

Because grey is essentially a combination of black and white it is the perfect backdrop for colour, metallics and accents when decorating.

Grey needs that pop and lift and when you do that you will be fifty shades of happy with the result.

 

Tips For Choosing Neutral Paint Colours

As a Dulux Colour Consultant I am often asked about how to choose neutral paint colours.

I love neutrals and the many combinations that can be created with them.  Having said that, I always treat them with the respect they deserve.  If you become complacent with them, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t.

When we talk about neutral paint colours, we mean a vast array of white, beige and grey colours.

These colours have undertones of another colour, which alters how they appear and they can be warm or cool colours.  Undertones can be red/pink, yellow, green, blue or purple.

If you are looking for a neutral colour to go with an existing feature or paint colour, a tip is to pick warm neutrals to go with warm colours, and cool with cool.

I have compiled a list of warm and cool white, beige and grey Dulux paint colours (with their undertone in brackets.)

Feel free to choose these colours with more confidence and create a beautiful and cohesive neutral colour scheme in your home.

WARM NEUTRAL COLOURS:

Antique White USA (red)

Whisper White (Green)

White Duck Quarter (Green)

Silkwort (Red)

COOL NEUTRAL COLOURS:

Manorburn (Blue)

McGinley (Green)

Grey Pail (Blue)

If you’re painting your home to sell, choose a warm neutral if you can.  They tend to feel more homely but this choice does depend on the style of your home and the existing colour scheme you are working with.

Next week I will dedicate a whole blog to choosing grey colours. Everyone is loving grey at the moment but they are not easily chosen.  Stay tuned and I’ll give you my tips and another list of favourites.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to choose paint colours, I am teaching a course called “Colour For Interiors” on November 4 2016 at the iscd campus in Melbourne.

It is a one day course run as part of the School of Real Living – a partnership between iscd (International School of Colour & Design) and Real Living magazine.

It will be advertised in the next edition of Real Living magazine or you can enquire directly with iscd.

If you’re unable to make the trip to Melbourne and would be interested in attending a colour course in Gippsland, let me know.  If we have enough interest, I’d be happy to share my tips and tricks.

Don’t forget that Dulux have a colour consultancy service.  My colleagues and I take all of the stress out of choosing your paint colours and you receive a cash back offer when you purchase Dulux paint.

Choosing neutral paint colours.
Choosing neutral paint colours.

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.

What’s The Difference Between Interior Design & Home Staging?

I understand that the differences between interior design and home staging are not always obvious, so I thought I would clarify them in my blog this week.

Designers are trained to create a home you really want to live in.  Many of the skills used in interior design and staging are similar and a lot of designers offer both services.  So what’s the difference?

The difference is the intent or reason for undertaking these changes in your home.

Interior designers work with home owners to create a room/s or a home of the client’s dream to live in.  This work can take anywhere from a few days to a few months to complete and the designer works to capture the mood, tastes and style of the home owner/s.  Furniture, fittings and accessories are purchased for the home owner to keep and live with for a long time.

When staging homes to sell, designers often work more closely with real estate agents than with home owners.  Successful home stagers know the local real estate market; they know what types of properties are selling and what is not.  They are aware of the average number of days on market as well as recent sale prices.  They discuss with the real estate agent and agree on the target market, the people most likely to buy the property.  With this information in mind, the designer then stages the home to appeal to both the target market and as many people as possible.  Using their knowledge of scale, traffic flow, colour and the visual perception of space, they highlight a home’s features and minimise any negatives.  Hire furniture is used and returned at the end of the sales campaign.  Often the designer can stage a home without ever meeting the home owner/s.  Unlike interior design, the furniture, colours, accessories, artwork etc are chosen to appeal to buyers, not the personal taste of the home owner.  A lot of planning goes into home staging but the visible work is all undertaken in one day.  The designer does their job and hands the property to the real estate agent to do theirs.  Together, they aim to sell the property in the shortest amount of time and for the highest possible price.

Home stagers also offer consultation services.  They will visit your home for 1-2 hours, walk around and discuss the property with you, then provide you with a written report on what needs to be done to prepare the home for sale.  The home owner then undertakes these tasks themselves.

If you’re considering preparing your home for sale, don’t be afraid to speak with your real estate agent and a home stager for advice.  Many people can be reluctant to for fear of the dreaded sales pitch and the costs involved but agents and designers can make an incredibly powerful team.  Preparing your home properly is more than cushions, throws and lamps, it’s the combination of a great and skilled team working to get you the best result.

Home stagers and real estate agents are a powerful team to have on your side
Home stagers and real estate agents are a powerful team to have on your side.

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.

Why A Room Is Never Complete Without A Rug

It’s fascinating that something essential to all beautifully designed rooms is so often overlooked or purchased on a whim.

Interior Designers and Property Stylists LOVE rugs and for good reason.

A rug visually defines an area – eg. a seating area, a dining area, a lounging area etc.  This is so helpful, especially in open planned rooms. If you don’t know where to place your furniture in an open planned room, I recommend starting with rugs.  You’ll be surprised how much easier it will be once you’ve placed your rugs down.  They also add warmth, texture, pattern, colour and coziness.  There aren’t many other furnishings or accessories that can achieve so much.

If you’re not sure how to choose a rug, here are my tips:

  1. Size Matters.  The mistake people make so often with rugs is they buy them too small.  In a lounge room both of the front legs of your seating should be on the rug at a minimum. If the size of the room allows, a classically traditional look can be created when all of your furniture is on the rug.  To achieve this you usually need a 2.5m x 3.5m rug. A standard dining table with six seats will usually require a 2m x 3m rug.  The rule of thumb is that all chairs should remain on the rug when pulled out to sit down or stand up.  The back chair legs should never sit off the rug.
  2. Make the rug an investment piece.  If you’re going to splurge on an item, consider a rug.  A good quality and cared for rug can will last approx. 20 years.
  3. Choose your rug first/early.  Rugs bring colour, pattern and mood to a space.  You can design a whole room around a rug.  If you do it the other way around it may take you months to find just the right rug to match everything else… if you’re lucky.
  4. Consider different rug shapes.  So often people choose rectangular but take a moment to consider oval, round and square ones as well.
  5. Always have a rug pad underneath.  Often overlooked, rug pads serve many purposes, the first being safety.  Rug pads prevent rugs slipping and moving as you walk and kids run over them. Because the rug pad keeps the rug from moving, this prevents damage to the fibres on the back of the rug as well as preventing premature wear and tear by acting as a shock absorber. A good rug pad can last approx. 15 years.
  6. Carefully consider pattern and colour when choosing a rug.  If you have a grey room with grey furniture, adding a grey rug will add texture but little interest.  You don’t have to be bold but you can have some fun.  The image below is an ideal example. Adding a rug with a pattern adds interest.  Rugs that have faded and aged appearances add instant character, especially in an older property.

We are lucky in Australia there are many fabulous rug companies.  My favourites include Dash & Albert, Designer Rugs and Cadrys.  I used to have a saved search on ebay for rugs and was often surprised at the quality of rugs I was alerted to.

I hope this gives you food for thought next time you are decorating.  Design is so much easier and successful with you start from the floor up.

A stunning example of a rug used beautifully. This is called Chrysanthemum from Designer Rugs.
A stunning example of a rug used beautifully. This is called Chrysanthemum from Designer Rugs.

Source: www.designerrugs.com.au.

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 Spot Light On Feature Walls

Feature walls have been part of Australian homes for some time now.  Their popularity is their safeness – the ability to add contrast and colour in a way that is not overpowering and limited to one area or zone.

Choosing a colour for one wall or area seems a lot easier for people than choosing a colour for a whole room.  As a result people tend to choose bold and bright colours – solid reds, greens, blues etc.

Sometimes the beauty in a feature wall can be much more subtle.  When I was specifying the colours for this shop, I wanted a feature wall that was calm, inviting but still drew your eye all the way to the back of the room.

The beauty of subtle colour choices.
The beauty of subtle colour choices.

At the time of choosing the paint colours, we were also selecting the carpets and we knew the timber would be a light colour.

The colour was chosen as part of a whole complete scheme and that is the true secret.

If you choose a feature wall colour to add boldness and interest without taking into consideration all of the other furniture and fixtures, your colour will look out of place.  It will be bold and interesting but not complimentary to the rest of your room.

Look at all of the colours that feature in your furniture, carpet, curtains, shelving, appliances etc when you’re choosing a feature wall colour and don’t be afraid to tone it down instead of up.  The impact will surprise you!

 

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.

Home Inspections, Children, Pets and Pongs.

Preparing your home for sale is a dedicated process at the best of times but what happens when you add in factors like young children, inside pets and pongs!?

I have a toddler who has the ability to create a path of destruction at one end of the house while I’m frantically picking up after him at the other end.

You may love your children and pets more than anything and they may melt your heart but their remnants can hinder you from presenting your home well or they can make it much harder to do so.

Interior design and paint colours I can give advice on but I’m not a parenting expert.

However I am a mum and pet owner and I do have some tips that can help.

  • Ask your partner, mum, dad, neighbour, good friend to take your children or pet out for an hour or two just before an inspection so that you are home alone to get everything ready.  Once you leave the home to the agent, you can meet them and join in their fun.
  • If you have older children and can negotiate with them, try a little bribery.  If they keep their toys/cupboards/room clean and tidy you will take them to a movie or park of their choice whenever there is an inspection. (Told you I’m not a parenting expert but it works every time.) Don’t be afraid to involve them in the selling process, it is their home too.
  • For pets – remove all of their bedding, litter trays and hair.  While your home is for sale try to keep your pet sleeping in one spot so that this task is much easier.  It’s only for a short period of time.
  • Even better than hiding smells is eliminating the source.  Avoid cooking strong smelling food while your home is for sale, remove your shoes to the garage or to a large enclosed plastic container and empty your inside bins daily.
  • Do NOT smoke inside your home while it is for sale.  It may not bother you and you may think no-one will notice but I promise you non-smokers can notice the smell of smoke the moment they walk in the door. It lingers in carpets, curtains, furniture and walls.

Once you have done this do not walk from one end of the home to the other spraying a trail of deodoriser.  This is a red flag to a buyer that you are covering something up.  Don’t make them think that when really you’re not.

I love Scentsy burners and candles.  They are subtle, welcoming and almost delicious – no!, don’t eat them. Scentsy can be purchased locally by their reps.  Call me, I can give you their details.

Don’t be afraid to live in your home and enjoy it with your family but while you’re trying to sell it always be ready for an inspection at a moments notice and leave it in a state that helps your agent do their job and speak highly of your home and its features.  Trust me, they’ll appreciate your efforts and it will make a difference.

Maintaining a clean home is essential when you're trying to sell it.
Maintaining a clean home is essential when you’re trying to sell it.

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.

Never Overlook Hallways and Entrances When Selling Your Home

Never underestimate the power and importance of your hallway or the entrance to your property.

Real estate agents will tell you that buyers can fall in love and make purchase decisions within the first few minutes of walking through the front door.  A good home stager will never overlook this important area of the home and neither should you.

I  love the example below from Houzz because it has everything a good entrance should.

Not every home can have an entrance like this but you can wow buyers using these tips:

  • The entry to your home begins outdoors from your footpath to your front door.  Make sure your front door is in good condition, clean and the handle is working properly.  A freshly painted front door can be a real showstopper and it is relatively cheap and easy to achieve.
  • Declutter, declutter, declutter is essential when selling your home.  Make sure your entry way is neat, tidy and clear of shoes, mail, bags and anything other than a rug, mirror, side table or artwork.
  • Lighting is key.  Your entry should not be dark and dinghy.  Add a lamp or leave lights on during an inspection.  Dark rooms are not friendly and inviting.
  • If you have a wooden or tiled floor, add a rug for texture and warmth in your entry.

If your entry is clean, light and welcoming, you’re off to a great start with buyers.  It is the first impression of your home from the inside and often the most overlooked.  Spend some time preparing this area of your home and you won’t be disappointed.

A Hallway That Has You At Hello!

A Hallway That Has You At Hello!

Source: houzz=http://www.houzz.com.au/photos/31772451/blenheim-residence-contemporary-hall.

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.

The Importance Of Photography and Floor Plans When You’re Planning To Sell Your Home.

Once you have taken the time to prepare your home for sale by decluttering, undertaking required maintenance inside and out and styling your home you are now ready for the next step, photography and a floor plan.

If that surprises you, did you know that properties that have these are viewed online approximately 80% more than those without?

Given that buyers decide which properties they like and want to visit by what they see online, professional photography and floor plans are imperative to generating interest in your home and getting buyers through your door.

This is an example of the same kitchen photographed from a normal camera and the second is photographed professionally.  Professional photographers understand how to get the best lighting and how to capture a room perfectly.  The professional photo showcases the Blackwood timber kitchen and hardwood floors in a way that normal photography cannot.

Taken on a normal camera
Taken on a normal camera
Taken by a professional photographer.
Taken by a professional photographer.

As I am writing this post, there are:

  • 1,363 properties for sale in Traralgon,
  • 383 in Sale,
  • 647 in Bairnsdale,
  • 986 in Lakes Entrance,
  • 1,201 in Paynesville, and
  • 540 in Metung on www.realestate.com.au.

You are in competition with all other comparable homes to yours, the moment your property goes online and you need to do all that you can to stand out.

Once your home is styled and ready for sale, make the approximate $300 investment in professional photography and a floor plan and you are armed with everything you need to choose your agent and allow his or her marketing team to do what they do best, contact their buyers and wow them with your home.

 

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 The Right Paint Colour When Preparing Your Home For Sale

When you are preparing your home for sale you have just one goal, to make it as appealing as possible to the widest audience.  You want to sell in the fastest time possible and for the highest price.

Painting your home is one of the easiest ways to transform and refresh it, but what colour do you choose?

As a Dulux colour consultant I am always asked what colour should people choose and everybody’s needs and homes are different.

But once you are preparing your home for sale, your needs are the same and simple – you need to be appealing to a broad audience.  You are not choosing the colour for yourself but for the buyers.

My top tips for choosing paint colours when preparing your home for sale are:

  1. Choose a warm neutral colour – there is a vast array of neutral colours to choose from but only half are warm based.  These colours are much more inviting and you can find them in greys, browns and popular colours like Dulux Antique White USA. Check out the Dulux Whites and Neutrals brochure, free from all hardware stores.  You will notice one side of the brochure has warm colours and the other has cold.
  2. Avoid white colours – I love a beautiful white colour but not when I’m preparing a home for sale.  White is stark and cold and it takes skill and a lot of accessories to warm up such rooms and to make them appealing.
  3. Everyone loves grey at the moment and so do I but there are warm and cold variations.  Look for warm greys that have a yellow, red or green underlying colour.
  4. Avoid bright colours – don’t avoid colour altogether but do tone it down.
  5. Paint over old feature walls and front doors that are no longer appealing.

Preparing your home for sale shows to the buyer that your home is well maintained and cared for.  If the buyer thinks they need to repaint your home they will factor that cost into their sale offer.

The more you prepare properly the more you will be rewarded when you sell your home.

Sold On Interiors offer colour consulting as part of their home staging services at no extra cost.

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 Prepare For A Home Inspection In Winter

A lot of people wait until Spring before placing their home on the market thinking it will appear nicer at that time of year.  This is not necessary.  People buy homes all year round for often personal, family or work related reasons and very rarely consider the weather.

Real estate agents will often say that more astute sellers place their home on the market in Winter when there is less competition, which makes perfect sense.

When your agent calls you in the middle of a downpour and asks to bring potential buyers through your home, what do you do?

I have a few tips for winning buyers in such weather:

  1. Make your home feel welcoming from the moment the buyers walk through the doors with a nice warm atmosphere.  If you have a wood fire heater, leave it burning beautifully (but safely!) or leave your heaters on a comfortable temperature, never off.
  2. Invest in a new welcome mat if you don’t already have one so that buyers can remove excess water and dirt before entering your home.  It’s a nice consideration and it may save you some cleaning as well.
  3. Leave lights on.  Not so that your house glows from down the street but so that dark areas, hallways and rooms are lit.
  4. Leave curtains open for natural light, even if it’s raining.
  5. Add warmth and cosiness with throw rugs and cushions on your lounges and beds.
  6. If you have any water leaks in your home, fix them properly and re-paint before placing your home on the market.

Don’t be afraid to sell your home in Winter.  Use this opportunity to make your home warm and inviting and you will do well.

Tips for preparing your home for sale in winter.
Tips for preparing your home for sale in winter.

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.