Mov­ing be­yond neu­trals and paint­ing with colour can be daunt­ing. But not when James Tre­ble is around!

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Move be­yond neu­trals to fea­ture walls and us­ing brights and pas­tel hues.

I LOVE WORK­ING WITH COLOUR – it can have a huge im­pact on how we feel, eas­ily trans­forms a space and adds per­son­al­ity. But af­ter more than 20 years in this busi­ness, I still find it in­ter­est­ing that peo­ple are scared of us­ing it in their homes. Of course there are sim­ple rules to con­sider but my best ad­vice is to just give it a go. Start with one area of your home and, us­ing one item as in­spi­ra­tion – like a cush­ion cover, art­work or ac­ces­sory – look at what colours ex­ist in that piece as a place to start. Be­gin with sim­ple, in­ex­pen­sive projects so you can build your con­fi­dence to­wards tak­ing on a more dra­matic look. CREAT­ING A FEA­TURE WALL

A fea­ture wall is an easy, quick and in­ex­pen­sive way to add colour to your home. It’s also a great place for any begin­ner to start, be­cause if you don’t like it, or the colour is wrong, you can sim­ply paint over it. To choose a colour, look at your ex­ist­ing fur­ni­ture, home­wares and ac­ces­sories – the colour should be picked up some­where else in the room, but only in small doses. You’ll look at this wall ev­ery day so think how the colour makes you and the rest of your fam­ily feel.

CON­FI­DENT COLOUR This re­lax­ing blue/green fea­ture wall cre­ates a trop­i­cal vibe, evok­ing the hues of the sea. Most blue-green tones are re­lax­ing, fresh and calm­ing to live with, bring­ing the colours of out­side and na­ture into our homes.

WHY IT WORKS The rest of the room fea­tures washed grey tones in both the floor and the fea­ture tim­ber-look wall­pa­per, with crisp white skirt­ing and din­ing table, and nat­u­ral tim­ber tones in the cof­fee table, bench seats and wo­ven bas­kets. The golden tones in the wo­ven light fit­ting and nat­u­ral tim­ber work well with the brass wall mir­ror, so the room feels co­he­sive and well thought out.

DIY LIKE A PRO See the small ce­ramic con­tainer on the cof­fee table, the li­nen nap­kins and coloured bowl on the din­ing table? The trick to mak­ing a fea­ture wall work is to pick up your cho­sen colour on the other sides of the room to cre­ate har­mony and bal­ance.


Bold colour brings per­son­al­ity to any space and can add cheer­ful en­ergy to any sized room. But strong colours can com­pete with each other, creat­ing a con­fused and busy scheme – and if you com­bine this with lots of pat­tern, you may end up with an over­whelm­ing ex­plo­sion of colour. In­stead, use one bright colour as the main fo­cus and then add ei­ther one ad­di­tional bright colour in an even amount or ad­di­tional bold colours in lesser amounts.

CON­FI­DENT COLOUR This bright and bold liv­ing room sure packs a punch, but it still re­mains invit­ing and live­able. It fol­lows one very im­por­tant rule: com­bine bright colours with a neu­tral. A white front wall al­lows the vi­brant blue to de­mand at­ten­tion with­out over­whelm­ing the space. White­washed tim­ber floor­boards and a comfy over­sized sofa add tex­tu­ral soft­ness and warmth to what is an other­wise cool scheme.

WHY IT WORKS To bal­ance the blue fea­ture wall is a deep indigo vel­vet cush­ion and cooler round art­work. And don’t miss the very sub­tle blue spine on the cof­fee table book – this is a well­con­sid­ered ad­di­tion to this room. Fresher blues with slightly green tones, in the ot­toman as well as the cush­ion on the arm­chair, work well as they don’t com­pete with the brighter blue and pre­vent the space from be­ing vis­ually “too busy”. To add warmth, there’s a pot plant and one ac­cent cush­ion in a fresh citrus yel­low. The in­clu­sion of black in the arm­chair and striped rug ground the space.

DIY LIKE A PRO Select one bold colour, then add an­other that will work with the first, to en­sure a co­he­sive re­sult. The third colour should be neu­tral to al­low some calm in the space and some­where to rest the eye. This neu­tral could be a nat­u­ral fin­ish, like tim­ber floor­ing or fur­ni­ture, or it may be paint in white, black, grey or an earthy tone.


Muted means some­thing is re­strained or sub­dued. In the world of colour, muted tones re­fer to ones that have a lesser vis­ual im­pact than their base colours. This is achieved by mix­ing the orig­i­nal colour with white, grey or black to achieve a softer ver­sion. The best ex­am­ple of this is the world of pas­tels; they are calm­ing and re­lax­ing and al­low you to add colour to any space in a sub­tle and non-ob­tru­sive way.

CON­FI­DENT COLOUR This muted tonal pal­ette is per­fect for a bed­room, creat­ing a calm­ing and re­lax­ing space in which to rest and rein­vig­o­rate. The soft blush rear wall (a muted ver­sion of pink) pro­vides con­trast against the mid-tone grey of the con­crete-look fea­ture wall. Although con­crete is a hard and harsh ma­te­rial, its colour adds in­ter­est and bal­ances the space, the neu­tral grey soften­ing the look.

WHY IT WORKS There’s a wide range of tex­tures in this room, in vary­ing shades of muted colour, pro­vid­ing bal­ance and calm. The rock­melon quilted throw picks up the blush pink wall, but the slight hint of or­ange works well with the tim­ber in the pic­ture frame and the drawer base. The lilac bed­ding works well with the con­cretelook fea­ture wall, and the mid-tone grey is again picked up in the washed tim­ber floor­boards and Euro­pean cush­ion. Soft white draw­ers, sen­su­ous side table, el­e­gant lamp and art­work bor­der help to ground the whole look.

DIY LIKE A PRO Con­trast, in­ter­est and bal­ance will pre­vent the room from feel­ing washed out and bland, but this can be achieved sub­tly, as muted tones al­low a wider range of colours to sit com­fort­ably to­gether with­out jar­ring or de­mand­ing at­ten­tion. Place dif­fer­ent tex­tures and fin­ishes of each colour through­out the space – as the colours are muted you can de­vi­ate from the rule of keep­ing the main colours to three. The con­trast is far less, al­low­ing each muted colour to flow com­fort­ably into the next, creat­ing a space that feels co­he­sive and well thought out.

Porter’s Paints “Hail­storm” Taub­mans “Mid­night Hour”

Du­lux “For­est Fruit”

Wat­tyl “Firefly”

Taub­mans “High Dive” Du­lux “Com­plex Blue” Porter’s Paints “West­port Blue” Taub­mans “Straw­berry Splash” Strik­ing style Pair vi­brant colours with white walls and bold mono­chrome fur­ni­ture pieces.

Sub­tle shades These tones al­low you to mix to­gether many dif­fer­ent shades and tex­tures, which pre­vents the room from look­ing bland. Du­lux “An­gel’s Face” Porter’s Paints “Pe­ony” Taub­mans “Pink Sea Shell” Haymes Paints “Face Pow­der”

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