Colour therapy and paint

Interior painting is included in our house contract.  We won’t need to select paints for a while, but it’s a relaxing way to spend time while I am waiting for construction to start.  In particular I want to get the double-height living room right because repainting it will involve scaffolding, an exercise I hope to avoid for many years.
Although I find rich, moody colours so tempting, the overall look we are going for with HBTW is light and natural.  My plan is to use just one colour for most walls in the house.  Here’s my shortlist:

Snow White, Feather dawn, Soft Apparition, Crystal Ball, Scribbly gum, Paper White.
I know it is absolutely necessary to test these on site because the colours online, in photos, in someone else’s room, in different light, etc, all look different.  Take Scribbly Gum as an example.  Based on the swatch above, it looks beige to me, rather than a light grey that I’m aiming for.  But check out how it looks in this bedroom:

Scribbly gum paint.  Source:   MS Mega Home Lottery.

Scribbly gum paint. Source: MS Mega Home Lottery.

More grey, don’t you think?
One of my blog readers, who just moved into her Webb & Brown-Neaves home, painted boards with her sample pots of paint, so she could move them from room to room, and see how the paints looked in different spaces.  Clever.
I am contemplating a different colour for two areas of the house.  The first is the fireplace/chimney wall:

I played around on Polyvore with some different colour options:

I do like the striking black, but I’m pretty sure my husband will say no.  And, when I envision one dark coloured column in the whole open living area (kitchen, dining and living room), it seems isolated and wrong.  My current preference is the grey, darker than the other walls, but not shouting for attention.  On the other hand, here are a couple of spaces that I love, that manage to have a “feature wall” without it over-featuring:

Photo sources:  1.  Lisa Petrole via Houzz, 2.  Archnew.
Oh, the indecision!
The second area in contention for a variation in colour is the library.  Originally, I assumed we’d stick to white/slightly grey, but my husband has other ideas and I could be persuaded.  I’m going to save that discussion for another time.  In the mean time, if you are craving colour, take a look at a few of my favourite places on the web for brave and wonderful use of colour:

(You can buy paint from them too if you are feeling adventurous.)

27 thoughts on “Colour therapy and paint

    • I’ve used Feather Dawn for all my mood boards on my “colour selections” page. I’ve seen photos of it used in rooms as a trim and it looks white, so I’ll have to wait and see how it looks on our walls. Soft Apparition is quite dark on my screen too, but I think it is common to opt for 1/2 or 1/4 strength. I’ve got a feeling I’m going to need lots of sample pots!

  1. Soft Apparition is beautiful – I’ve noticed the dark (rich) blue/grey creeping in again – it will be stunning – Farrow & Ball is all the rage over here though expensive! My advise would be dark where you get lots of light…

  2. Pretty paint colours! I found that what looks ‘beige’ on a chip really can look like a nice warm grey on the walls, like Dulux Grand Piano. Definitely worth sampling the Scribbly Gum.

    I really like the slate fireplace column with the furnishings you’ve picked out on that board, but the medium-gray would work well too.

  3. I do love that magnificent slate grey / or moody blue wall but it needs the plush furnishings. Light bouncing off your pool and the canal will play beautifully on your walls too. I think you need to find that gorgeous silver grey couch. Your Nan might sell you the officers chairs.
    My other LOVE is the potted tree. Now wouldn’t that look magnificent growing up I to the void.

  4. trixee says:

    I’m liking both Feather Dawn and Soft Apparition, and as a combo too I think they complement each other nicely.

    You could use Soft Apparition as the feature wall, perhaps. I do agree that the black will be too stark, looking at your other mood boards. I also note that those dark feature walls have massive paintings on them, obscuring half the wall, which is perhaps why they don’t “shout” so much!

    • I agree with you about the colours.
      Although we have no shortage of paintings! My M.I.L. has given her art to us as gifts for 20 years! (I’ve used my favourite in the mood boards above.) What I’d really love is one giant Australian indigenous painting, but not for above the fireplace…

  5. The grey tones are really nice. I’ve painted my entire house in Mountain Peak which is a really faint light grey and it makes the place so light and crisp. For the bedrooms I had Mountain Peak tinted in double strength to add a bit more depth. I love the idea of a feature colour on your fireplace, the darker the better, go black! Hubby will love it he just doesnt know it yet 🙂

  6. I agree jarrahjungle! Go for at least ‘slate’ on your fireplace wall, if not darker: sometimes a subtle feature wall doesn’t really have enough impact. x

  7. I love the photo with the gray fireplace and the off white hearth looks beautiful with the gray. And both those dark feature walls, beautiful. I love Soft apparition, on my screen it doesn’t look too dark. I am tho with AD on the name scribbly gum, that would be hard to resist. Your color choices are all very soothing. Love the way they are going.

  8. Miranda says:

    Those are some beautiful colours. I love the Feather Dawn, though I’d be interested to see how Soft Apparition looks in half strength as well.
    I really like the slate feature for the fireplace, or maybe the blue. I think they go really well with that painting, and a feature there will emphasise the height of your living room, without making the whole room dark.
    And you’ll have Anne to help you, which is invaluable.
    Will you be in Australia by the time you have to make these decisions? Or will you come to visit at about this time?

  9. Kelly says:

    Am I the only struggling to find the right white colour for doors and trims. Our builder uses solver paints too, interested to know what you choose..

    • I think our doors and frames are in WA white? It’s standard. There was some concern that it would yellow. Ours hasn’t. I think I chose a semi-gloss rather than full. Our painter was a great source of advice at the time, but I didn’t write it down and already my memory is hazy.

  10. KD says:

    Love these colours and would love to know what you ended up choosing. We painted our old house with Scribbly Gum throughout in 2013 and absolutely loved it. Our new build has just completed and we asked the painter for the same. The house has even more natural light than the last and the Scribbly Gum has turned out very beige. You would swear it wasn’t the same colour but after going back to our old house (lovely new owners let us in) we saw areas around the large windows had the same hint of beige. So disappointed now and have to go back to finding the right grey again for the painter to go over with.

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