Dream house, dream life, yeah right. Dream on…

Posts tagged ‘walls’

Choosing colours

First order of business when I bought the house was to change the colour scheme. Last painted in the late 80’s the butter cream yellow and autumn toned kitchen had gone well with the 1975 autumn toned carpet but not as well with the newer pink toned cream carpet laid in the mid 90’s.

A few years back when everyone started painting their walls white I thought they were crazy. I thought I’d be the last person on earth to paint my house white. Somehow, by the time I owned some walls I was hankering after a nice light neutral but not white. I’d never use white.  I’d never decorate with greens either. Oh how we change.

I spent months  looking at colour charts. Next door was so neutral coloured it was basically monotone. I didn’t want that. In fact I had feature walls in mind for most of the rooms. But what colours? I don’t like browns. I hate pinks. I’ve seen some nice reds, but they’re not really me, besides I wanted a relaxing home, not an angry colour. No yellows or creams – too close to the 90’s colours.

I looked at HUNDREDS of colour scheme room photos. Not one of them worked with the amount of varnished wood in this house. Mantles, window sills, skirting boards, bookshelves, entire glass walls surrounded with timber, and I was just about to expose a lot of the floors – more Tassie Oak (Eucalypt), all of it in shades of orange.  I pulled out the colour wheel and looked for complimentary colours for orange. Greenish blues. Hmm, well I quite liked the ocean…

A lot of  sites recommended taking a colour scheme from a loved object, like a bowl or artwork. Everything I owned was bought to go with my mother’s colour scheme so that wouldn’t work. Then one day I saw a cushion in Coles that I quite liked. A couple of weeks later it was reduced to half price. I figured it was a $4 sign. I knew what my main colour and my neutral looked like now.

This was about a year before the teal blues  really started appearing in the stores and colour schemes (wow, I’ve never ever been ahead of a trend before!)

Now to actually find them in paints. I spent weeks with colour cards  propped against all surfaces. Dulux Azure blue was one of the cards (there were about  15 all in the same range of greenish blues. It’s scary contemplating painting with such an intense shade though. Plus I have blues in the kitchen laminex and the kitchen floor and I didn’t want them to clash.azure blue dulux

Indecision reigned and the off whites remained completely elusive. Everything was  too brown, or too cold in tone  or it was a cream.

And then there was the bedroom. The master bedroom was a hideous shade of salmon pink. It needed to be changed. It also needed to be different to the rest of the house. It had to be my haven, not just another room. Since I was somewhat reluctant to move into this bedroom it also had to be something I absolutely adored, AND  completely different from my old room (which had been a light sandy peach for decades, and before that a wisteria mauve.)

One single colour scheme photo struck a chord as far as the bedroom went. From the moment I saw it I was hooked. It was in a Wattyl ‘Inspiring Designs’ booklet. (Most of them inspired me to yawn or throw up.)

wattyl bedroom Mantra

 

Wattyl Mantra looked perfect in the image and I loved the idea of black (Colourbond Nightsky is a fancy name for  black) accents –  although when I finally worked out that the throw rug wasn’t black the only possible black in that photo is a few centimetres of skirting board visible under the bed. When I got a sample pot of Stalactite though I discovered it was as white as it looked on the page. So obviously the ceiling. But was was that wall colour above the blue?  A half dozen sample pots later and long  sessions with the colour atlas and the aisles of sample cards and I was no nearer finding out. Colours that looked perfect during the day in the bedroom looked like cold sandstone or cement at night. Colours that looked great at night didn’t go with the Mantra in the daylight.

Apart from spending a fortune on sample pots I was running out of time.  I wanted to have the majority of the painting done in the lounge, hall and bedroom before I got the floors refinished and I had an annual ‘party’ in early December and I really wanted the painting mostly done by then. Then suddenly I had a confirmed date that the guy would be coming in with the sander.

I hated the idea of paying someone else to choose my paint colours. I’m fairly good with colours, I like playing around with them. So it especially hurt that  I was about to employ someone to essentially pick out two shades of white!

Calling Fiona , the local Dulux colour consultant was probably the best decorating decision I ever made.  The hour and a half that she fitted in at extremely short notice was invaluable.  Not only did she find  three ‘neutrals’ that I just love but she helped me decide upon the azure blue for the living room, made a heap of decorating suggestions as we chatted, redid the entire exterior colour scheme and was so enthusiastic about all my plans and ideas that I could have happily chatted all day. It was nice to have someone validate my choices without suggesting I use “Hog bristle” (I could NOT use that colour, I’d think of the name every time I saw it), or stating that I’d never be able to sell the place with a dark colour on the walls (hello, I just BOUGHT the place, please leave defeatist attitudes at the door.)

Fiona Dawson has, unfortunately for those of us in Tassie, moved to Queensland, and can be found at Dawsons Designs or on Facebook

After the consult I went straight out and bought the paint, no more mucking around with sample pots, these colours were going to have to do. I put the first coat of Dulux White Duck (Half strength) on the lounge wall and thought I’d made a HUGE mistake. It was green. Like duck egg green. Too bad, I had the paint, so on went the second coat.

It’s not green, not even slightly, in any light. It is the most wonderful colour, almost white, but not. Not cream, but warm. Not grey, but neutral. I love it so much that the bedrooms and sunroom which originally weren’t going to change colour from the “Swiss Muesli” they had been for years, have now  (or soon will)  become White Duck half.

 

Check out the final schemes (Posts with accent colours and pics coming soon).

Bedroom

  

Wattyl Mantra double strength. (feature wall)
Dulux Domino (windows, skirting) Wattyl Stalactite (Ceiling – all the ceilings are this which is much brighter than the sample above shows on my screen)
Dulux Beige Royal half (Cupboards and neutral walls)

Living areas

 

Dulux Azure Blue
Dulux Lexicon Half (Trim)
Dulux White Duck Half

 

What’s your favourite colour scheme and how did you settle upon it?

 

 

 

 

 

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De-Shelving

I’ve spent today removing the glass from my bifold doors and sanding and varnishing them ready for the new glass. With any luck  on Monday they will have 5mm shaved off the outside edges (“De plane, de plane!” Sorry, I digress,) and be hung. And that will essentially finish  stage 1 of the renovations. Scary  stuff.

The living room doesn’t have  many walls – it’s essentially  three walls of windows and one of doors. It did have  two sets of built in shelves.

The first thick Tas oak shelves built by my  father in the  late 70s. The pillar they are on is actually a chimney. When we moved in there was a small wood burner in the flat below, and an oil heater in this room. Dad hated oil heaters so it went  so fast I don’t remember what it looked like. The shelves were built to  accomodate a revolving selection of plants from the large glasshouse that Dad had in the back yard.  I don’t seem to  have many pictures, but I have mental images of them stacked with  begonias and coleus, overflowing with  colour.

Hoewever everything I own seemed to be too large or wide or just didn’t fit on the shelves. And the couch was too close to the coffee table and looked clumsy pushed against a shelf.

They also seemed to make rearranging the room impossible – their position in the middle of the room seemed to define all the spaces around them. They had to go.

Problem is, my father built things to last. I didn’t realise until later, but I could have climbed the things instead of a ladder to paint the ceiling! Each shelf was attached to the wall with a 30cm dynabolt (long bolt into  a metal tube that  expands  against the brickwork.  The bolts were placed through holes through the depth of the shelf . The holes were covered by a facing of 1cm thick timber that was not only nailed on but glued too. Each shelf was in 3 pieces – but not just a diagonal seam – it had a another angle in it (hard to describe and not really visible in this pic – the middle shelf was like a jigsaw piece, it interlocked.

Chisel, hammer, more chisels, pinch bar, just getting the strip off the first piece took  some 30 minutes hard work.

One section of shelf the bolt simply wouldn’t  shift so I ended up pulling the whole thing out of the wall. It managed to pull a pulverised brick out with  it. This was the second layer of  filler  in that hole

The phone plug was half way up the wall. Not just inserted in the plaster – oh no, that would have been too  easy, it was mortared in againt the bricks.

Nearly done. A full week of  filling and smoothing and setting and filling.  Of course the originsal wall isn’t flat or level, so that makes it hard to work out what level is smooth.

One edge of this hole is actually  several millimetres higher than the opposite.  It could be worse, the house across the road has textured plaster – every  mend is visible for ever. Renovation there is going to have to start with coating every wall with plaster board.

All in all, although I KNOW where the patches are, most people can’t find them so I’m pretty pleased.

In the opposite corner we had a built in tv unit.

I actually designed these shelves 20+ years ago and we had them built. Practically the tv was too far away from where I put chairs, and again limited the rearrangability (oooh a new word!) of the whole room.

So, lifting off the tops was relatively simple (got to find a good project to reuse that timber).

Then the strips were screwed into the wall – simple. Some of the screws weren’t even filled as they weren’t visible.  Well, three of these long screws managed to strip themselves as I tried to undo them. Tried levering them out of the wall, but they wouldn’t shift (the wood broke around them). No hope of hammering them far enough into the wall. I ended up  using a combination of hacksaw, pliers and brute force to make them break at the top of the thread.

However the green plastic plugs were still in every hole and wouldn’t pull out, nor push in enough to get plaster over them. So the neat little screw holes had to be opened up with a chisel and the front of the plug sliced off. Oh great, more gaping holes to fill.

I used the better part of two large tubs of polyfilla in this room (the ceiling cracks weren’t deep, but they were plentiful). Sometimes I feel like I am singlehandedly keeping Bunnings in business. Plastering done, time to paint.
Coming up – the living room reinvented.

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