I was recently asked by one of the new guys on our technical team what he could do to feel more confident talking about colour with customers. So, I have compiled a list of the top 10 colour questions and answers for him to be armed and ready for his next customer.
While doing this, I thought my readers might find this information helpful as well. Today, I’m sharing these findings in a two-part blog post (it’s a long read otherwise ). The following colour Principles in this blog are from my training at the Killam Colour Academy and reworded to suit a New Zealand audience. Enjoy!
1. Help me - I need to find a Grey for my exterior?
One of the hottest questions by a country mile is what grey can you suggest. I fear New Zealand the land of the long white cloud will be renamed the “land of many grey houses”.
While the grey trend left North America years ago, we are still holding on to tightly to this neutral. If you are considering a grey inside or out, there are only four useful greys you will ever need in your paint shed.
The Best Grey Options for your Home:
1. Green Grey
2. Blue Grey
3. Violet Grey, and lastly
4. A Grey with no undertone.
As I have mentioned in other posts, green-grey is easy to spot because it looks like the colour of concrete. This neutral can be a chameleon of colours because it can read green or even green Beige in certain lights. It’s a great neutral to tie in your landscaping and grey mortar from any brick or stone work. Midhurst from the Dulux range is a favourite among our customers.
The following photos are from the Dulux website.
After a year on the shop floor, I can say Blue-Grey is one of the most requested greys for customers. The right blue-grey will give your house the read of muted blue. As I know from personal experience getting the blue right on the exteriors is a tricky one, but if you are after a Hamptons seaside vibe, you can’t go wrong with Mt Hikurangi!
Whenever I mention a violet-grey, my customers give me a quizzical look. Violet-grey can look elegant teamed up with the same colour pavers or stonework. As you can see in this photo, there are peaks of violet-grey in this stone fence, which makes it a better fit than the other greys. I do think this house would look fresher with clean white trim. Grey looks the best with other clean or vibrant colours.
Grey – with no undertone. I’ve seen Manorburn from the Dulux range pop up all over my neighbourhood. In fact, my neighbour has just painted her newly built garage in this colour. It’s an easy grey to work with because there is no guesswork due to no secondary colour/undertone. My only suggestion with this grey, if you want to pop your white trim on the exterior, Manorburn double is the way to go!
2. I need a trim colour - what do you suggest?
Personally, when it comes to trim I prefer to use one of the four gradients of white. I love the contrast and crispness that white offers against the body of the house or against the skirting and crown molding for the interior. I have gone into depth on choosing which white is the right white for you in my free e-book here. I also offer up my favourite go-to-whites.
But to demystify choosing a trim colour in this post, look at the body of your house colour or your wall colour. If it’s a clean, cool colour, go with a blue-white or a true white trim. Alternatively, if the body of your house is an earthier colour go with an off-white or cream. If you have white aluminum or painted windows, finding the best white to match this look may be the case.
3. What colour do I paint my roof?
This question usually takes me a hot second to answer but has everyone in a pickle. Again, your house body colour will give you clues as to what colour will be the best fit. If your house colour is clean, modern, or cool, choose a colour to harmonise. If your house is traditional, earthier, muddy, or dirtier in colour then a warmer colour roof is likely more suitable. What I’ve seen lately in the Hutt Valley has me cringing, orange terracotta roofs paired with cool grey on the body of the house. Often designers use warm, cool contrast in interiors, but for exteriors, I personally don’t think this is the best combination.
My eyes prefer this warm white and brown accents with the terracotta roof all day long. What do you think?
4. What is your favourite front door colour?
I’m always intrigued by this question because my favourite colour is most likely not a match for your interior or exterior scheme. Colour can never be approached as a one size fits all. Unless you are building from new, you have to consider many factors to make a colour scheme flow. However, if you are searching for ideas for your front door, check out my last blog post here. In a nutshell, the colour principals of clean and dirty also apply to your home’s best statement piece.
One of my favourite front doors from the Dulux range below.
5. What colour is trending in 2023?
All I can say to this question is Beige is back, baby! But not like the drab granny Beige you knew before. The trouble with trends is that homeowners and suppliers go nuts with the new colour trend and want to put it everywhere, carpet, rugs, curtains, kitchen cupboards – you get the idea. When there is no relief for the eyes any colour trend can become overcooked and dull! The secret to keeping Beige fresh this time around is lots of white or off-white trim like this beautiful Villa below.
Photo source: Jessop Architects
Autumn is a fabulous time to consider your painting projects due to longer drying times. If you need help selecting the right colour inside or out, let me show you the way home with a free 30-minute in-house consultation (Wellington Region only).
Many thanks for reading!