I have only had my Dulux Colour Expert apron on for a couple of months, and I am fielding all kinds of paint questions from friends and family. It’s wonderful to use my education and on-the-job training to help my nearest and dearest make the best possible colour selection. While I was putting together a brief for my friend Sharlene’s house exterior, I thought it might be helpful for my readers to see how a Colour Consultant actually approaches their day job.
At the start of the year, Sharlene asked me if I could help her pick a paint scheme for the exterior of her house. She originally wanted to paint the house a dark emerald green with red trim.
Her painter said that because of the LRV (Light Reflectance Value) was so low that this colour scheme was not going to have the best durability. LRV is measured on a scale that ranges from zero (absolute black, absorbing all light and heat) to 100 percent (pure white, reflecting all light).
From my colour point of view, I think dark houses tends to date quicker than light colour exteriors. The trend in North America now is for exteriors to be light, bright, and fresh. While I think it takes a while for Kiwi’s to catch on to what the rest of the world is doing, I am starting to see the white/black window combination (one of the biggest colour crazes to hit the US) and more greige (grey + beige) colours pop up around the neighbourhood.
The first thing I asked Sharlene to do was take a picture of her house and the surrounding houses. I asked her to do this because our goal is not just to create something beautiful for her but also harmonise with the surrounding neighbourhood. If we look at this photo above, it appears that her neighbours have painted the main part of the house a green-grey colour. Green-grey looks like the colour of concrete, and we can see this when we compare it to the driveway.
Now, back to Sharlene’s house. To make a colour plan, you first need to take stock of what you are working with and any bossy elements that need to be considered. Most people tend to think the world is their oyster when choosing their paint colour. Unfortunately, this is not the case; most often there are only a couple of colours (at best) that will work with your existing features of your house. For new builds this is a different story.
When I first looked at Sharlene’s house, I did a mental assessment of what was staying and what was going. Initially, the garage door was staying, and I told her to spray paint it the same as the house body colour, so it doesn’t split the house in two. However, I know from first-hand experience this does not last, so after I sent the brief, Sharlene has opted to replace this with a new garage door.
From this initial assessment, we can gather that the fixed and bossy element of this house is the roof. Already, this brown colour is lending itself to a warm colour scheme, so art gallery whites and bright clean colours are out.
Inspiration Photo 1
Although this roof is not Ironsand, this Mediterranean roof sits in the warm category with its oranges and browns. The body colour of the house is Dulux Willow Flat – a warmer grey with a hint of green undertones. A similar neutral green-grey is Dulux Narrow Neck which I have used below.
I wanted to give Sharlene a pretty green option for her second scheme as I know this colour makes her happy.
Inspirational Photo 2
Since Sharlene had to lose the emerald green house and red trim, I decided to give her some punch with her front door in Dulux Brick Red. I also think Musket Bay, a muddy green will look beautiful with the soft green above.
After I fired off my colour plan to Sharlene, I received this text not long after:
Thank you! Wow your ideas are awesome!
I love them!
And along the lines I was thinking in fact 💜
It’s good to know that I have happy customers and happy friends out there! If you have a burning colour question, please hit reply at the bottom of this post. Until next month – Au revior!