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To use a bolder colour or go neutral?


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#1 StillDreaming

Posted 21 April 2019 - 04:07 PM

I’m trying to decide on colours for the interior of my new home. There’s a month between settlement and when I can actually move so I’m keen to use that time to get rid of some pretty serious colours that have been painted in the dining/family and bedrooms.

Currently the rooms have a dark coloured feature wall and I was thinking I could just paint those walls and choose a colour I actually like but now I’m wondering if I should choose a more neutral colour (which I’m assuming will be more work over the darker walls) and get rid of the feature walls....

I love the idea of a colour in the dining and family rooms but am I likely to get sick of the colour and wish I’d picked something more neutral that I can jazz up with artwork and colours in the cushions etc?

What have you done?

I plan on this being my home for a long time so I’m not so much concerned about resale value at this stage. I bought the place with pretty garish wall colours and I think whatever I choose will be less in your face (though that’s a matter of opinion I guess!).

I was planning on just painting over the feature walls to save money.

#2 somila

Posted 21 April 2019 - 04:44 PM

Obviously its up to you, but if money's an issue you could choose a 'dark neutral' for the new feature wall.  Dark grey, inky blue, strong coffee, rich taupe etc.  I've even seen black used (Dulux Domino I think?)

You could 'unify' the house by using the same feature colour throughout, which means fewer cans of paint for the job.

As far as I know, the safe trend is still cool whites everywhere, or for the more outrageous, grey on grey on grey.  But I notice the home magazines are getting very bored with trying to make this sound exciting, and are now featuring rooms which involve strong walls or kitchens and bathrooms involving deep/bright blues and emerald green.

ETA In response to 'what have you done' we retained the original early 1980s grey/white in the main living (repainted) and added colour to bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen (1990s-2000s before the white out trend came back).

Our most recent feature wall (from eight years ago) is Dulux Mallard, a smoky purple, in our extended living space.

Edited by somila, 21 April 2019 - 04:49 PM.


#3 Babetty

Posted 21 April 2019 - 06:33 PM

What is the colour on the "other" walls that you are not painting, and what colour/s are you painting over?

More than 10 years ago I helped my BIL paint dark feature walls in his place, it took at least 3 coats to get even and thorough coverage.

#4 StillDreaming

Posted 21 April 2019 - 07:01 PM

Thanks for your replies.

One of the rooms is purple and it’s a brushed (?) finish - meaning it’s textured and will most likely require sanding as well.... I’m planning to pay someone to paint as I won’t be able to (and I don’t think I’d do a very good job!) so hopefully they have the tricks to cut down on time. Hopefully there’s a new product that’s come out in the last 10 years that avoids the three coats!!
The other walls are a neutral colour and are bearable but ideally I’d change them too if it’s not going to increase the price too drastically. I have no idea what I could be up for. I have googled prices and it seems like $250-400 per room is the rough guide. If I could have the whole lot painted for under $3k I think I’d do it. I don’t really like the idea of different coloured feature walls throughout the house.

Somila, I was looking at emerald green. I think it would look amazing. The only thing is that I would then have to match furniture to it and I’m wondering if it would be too restricting...

#5 Pearson

Posted 21 April 2019 - 08:40 PM

I am a fan of neutral - do not go with a yellow based neutral though - it yellows more with age.
I have antique white through the house - freshly painted 10 years ago before we moved in - blech so bad.
I want to repaint with a very brilliant white. A light light grey could also be an option, with bright white trims.
With these colours, I could throw any colour in the room, and change with my whim. This house is one we will stay in for a while (unless we win lotto!).
My daughter changes her favourite colour all the time, so frustrating. Yet, she wants me to paint the walls her favourite colour.

In saying that, I really love the light grey, white trim and the jewel tones, like teal, green, sapphire...

Edited by Pearson, 21 April 2019 - 08:41 PM.


#6 mum2jp

Posted 21 April 2019 - 09:18 PM

We did a full reno on this house so had to paint the whole house. We decided on neutral. We went with Whisper white throughout the whole house and did three feature walls in total. The wall behind the bedhead in master bedroom, Main wall behind tv in lounge room, and a wall in back family room. We used Lime white for these which is a subtle greyish colour.

The only thing i don't like about our colour choice is kids grubby markes in the white. But it wipes clean ok.

eta. Timber frames were original dark stain which we did in a semi gloss of whisper white also. These were a massive pain, you have to undercoat well or colour shows through and took 2 coats of paint ontop of this.

Edited by mum2jp, 21 April 2019 - 09:20 PM.


#7 BadCat

Posted 21 April 2019 - 09:59 PM

i'm a fan of bold.  But it's really down to your preference.

If I was currently financial enough to have my house painted I would paint the wall behind my bed black or deep purple.  I'd paint a bright red wall in the entry way, and I'd think hard aobut painting my laundry lime green.

Well, that's today anyway.  Who knows what I'd do tomorrow.

#8 JustMyGirl

Posted 21 April 2019 - 11:15 PM

Neutral all the way. I have done both in the past and got sick of colour very quickly. I have lived with white walls in two places for the last 14 years and nit sick of it yet. Colour can be introduced in other ways which are cheaper and easier to change up.

#9 ~J_WTF~

Posted 22 April 2019 - 12:34 AM

I am all for bold.

White bores me and don’t get me started on white, one white, on white....

Paint is reasonably cheap and easy enough to change. So I say take the plunge and get exciting with your paint :)

#10 Apageintime

Posted 22 April 2019 - 08:36 AM

We've gone neutral in our house. I have lived in places with colours and ended up getting sick of them.

I do bright artwork and throws etc.

#11 Prancer is coming

Posted 22 April 2019 - 08:48 AM

I am into bold.  We moved into a house with a crazy colour scheme (pumpkin orange bathroom, hot pink feature wall in dining room) and I loved it.  Our furniture is all bland colours so it fits in fine.  You very rarely replace furniture anyway and I think most people to go for very basic colours of it anyway.

We have done some repainting over time (due to it needing repainting rather than being sick of the colours) and have still gone bold, but not as out there as when we moved in.  I spent a lot of time wondering if metallic purple splash backs in the kitchen were a good idea, but they were and I get lots of nice comments about them.  I find colours quite soothing and love coming home into our colourful house.

#12 somila

Posted 22 April 2019 - 09:37 AM

View PostStillDreaming, on 21 April 2019 - 07:01 PM, said:

Thanks for your replies.

One of the rooms is purple and it’s a brushed (?) finish - meaning it’s textured and will most likely require sanding as well.... I’m planning to pay someone to paint as I won’t be able to (and I don’t think I’d do a very good job!) so hopefully they have the tricks to cut down on time. Hopefully there’s a new product that’s come out in the last 10 years that avoids the three coats!!
The other walls are a neutral colour and are bearable but ideally I’d change them too if it’s not going to increase the price too drastically. I have no idea what I could be up for. I have googled prices and it seems like $250-400 per room is the rough guide. If I could have the whole lot painted for under $3k I think I’d do it. I don’t really like the idea of different coloured feature walls throughout the house.

Somila, I was looking at emerald green. I think it would look amazing. The only thing is that I would then have to match furniture to it and I’m wondering if it would be too restricting...

Ha ha!  Suede effects!  I was never a fan of that!

I should add that we only have one painted feature wall -- the other colours are soft pastels, and are on all walls, not just one.  I still love my soft green bedroom in Murobond Greengrass after well over a decade, and the Dulux Mist (blue) in my now adult son's room is just as great a backdrop for his black metal bed with grey/white/red furnishings as it was for his nursery furniture.

Emerald green looks great with timber furniture, white, etc.  Dashes of pink or yellow or even orange.

https://www.google.c...555976195294401

Edited by somila, 22 April 2019 - 09:40 AM.


#13 redchick

Posted 22 April 2019 - 09:47 AM

View PostBadCat, on 21 April 2019 - 09:59 PM, said:

i'm a fan of bold.  But it's really down to your preference.

If I was currently financial enough to have my house painted I would paint the wall behind my bed black or deep purple.  I'd paint a bright red wall in the entry way, and I'd think hard aobut painting my laundry lime green.

Well, that's today anyway.  Who knows what I'd do tomorrow.

Love love love the idea of a lime green laundry! It is the most boring/slightly grotty/unloved place in every house I have lived in and colour like that would make me smile every time I saw it.

So now I just need to be living somewhere I can paint the walls...

#14 redchick

Posted 22 April 2019 - 09:50 AM

But back on topic, we’ve done the feature wall thing and wouldn’t do it again as it does get dated (and I don’t think it is easy to paint walls).

It also depends on your flooring - I don’t like light carpet with light walls or dark flooring with dark walls.

I use furnishings/art etc for big bold colours as they are easier to change.

#15 little lion

Posted 22 April 2019 - 10:09 AM

I think painting the walls is easier and cheaper than changing art and furnishings? I have large colourful  artworks but neutral walls but am planning to introduce some coloured walls.

#16 spr_maiden

Posted 22 April 2019 - 10:20 AM

A house colour scheme I think looks fantastic is a friend's.
Most of the house is neutral - white walls with neutral tiles in kitchen and floorboards everywhere else.  Then in their lounge room, they painted the floorboards white and have an amazing patterned wallpaper on the main wall in there. Really dark background with lighter pattern. It looks gorgeous, it really suits a room that has all the TV equipment etc, makes the tiny room feel bigger and looks stylish n arty.
So you can go bold in one main room and neutral elsewhere?

Edited by spr_maiden, 22 April 2019 - 10:20 AM.


#17 BadCat

Posted 22 April 2019 - 10:52 AM

I have bright artworks.  I have to because the walls in this place are all something off white and boring.  Probably hogs bristle as it would have been painted around the time when that was all the rage.

When I have the money I'm getting rid of the crappy non-committal mid-brown carpet and replacing it with something darker, and I'm painting feature walls.  

The bright artworks can stay on the neutral walls and the feature walls can pick up the colours from the artworks.

Of course if I'm going to do that then I'd pay someone to paint the neutral walls in proper white instead of the murky colour they are now.  I hate off white.

#18 spr_maiden

Posted 22 April 2019 - 12:00 PM

Yes,  off white is not only boring but turns into a gross dirty cream that is depressing and shows up every imperfection. Ask me what colour the walls in this house are...

#19 MsLaurie

Posted 22 April 2019 - 03:29 PM

If you like colour, go for colour! Our lounge/kitchen/dining has been done mostly in white, with the one long wall in deep teal, apart from the picture rail, which is the white. LOVE IT.
Our smaller lounge room is in a paler aqua, with the dark teal used again for the picture rail, and white above the picture rail. My little girl’s room is the pale aqua all over (it was planned as a study until falling pregnant two months after moving in, whoops), and the big girl’s room (4yrs) is BRIGHT aqua below the picture rail, sunshine yellow rail, and white above.
Hallways are white and apart from the yellow, the three aqua/teal shades all work together so it’s not too much.
I spent too long living with renters beige, I like my house to look like my taste!

#20 Tinky Winky Woo

Posted 22 April 2019 - 03:54 PM

We had bold feature walls when we bought the place.  They were great at the time.  But 8 years later they looked dated and awful.  We have now painted in a neutral colour and are glad we did.

#21 molinero

Posted 22 April 2019 - 03:59 PM

TBH I think future decades will harshly judge the current trend for grey on grey.

If you find a bold colour you love, go for it!

If you want to change things up five years from now, you can....

#22 StillDreaming

Posted 22 April 2019 - 04:26 PM

Thanks everyone!! I feel like it’s 50/50 for how everyone feels. I do love the idea of colours but I also love the idea of injecting colour through cushions, art work and furniture. Perhaps it’s the feature wall idea that is putting me off and perhaps I can focus on the dining and living area having a nice colour and the other rooms being neutral - getting rid of awful feature wall colours. Ds asked for a pink room one day and then purple the next and then green the following day so neutral is probably a good option for him!!

Perhaps if I start with neutral and then pick a colour in a few years when I’ve been living there a while and I have more of an idea what would work... 🤦🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️

#23 **Xena**

Posted 22 April 2019 - 05:37 PM

I go neutral in the main areas of our house because our house is really small and bold in the bedroom because they can feel more cosy and don't need to be as light and airy :) I do have a bold wall in the kitchen though.

#24 AmicusCuriae

Posted 22 April 2019 - 09:52 PM

We’ve just moved into a place with a cream late 90’s colour scheme, and apricot bathrooms😬.  It is all a bit yellow toned for us, we are going to redo the living areas in white, but use some colour in the bedrooms after years of renting and leaving our last home totally neutral as we know we would sell fairly quickly after moving in.   We’ll probably go with lexicon quarter (like half of Sydney) for the white, and for bedrooms we will probably just pain the wall behind each bed.  DD has picked a pinky-purple, am trying to find the right navy for DS, and our room will be a almost black shade of blue.  If we hate it we will just repaint or wallpaper over it.  It’s easier to repaint than to buy new furniture etc.

#25 WTF_SM3

Posted 22 April 2019 - 10:09 PM

Our house is very neutral.  I hate it.  Our old house had lovely yellow and green walls, it felt so much lighter and happier. We had dark grey tiles and carpets. Bright walls aren't for everyone but it worked for us.




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