PD Tuesday | A colour conversation – what to do when your client has a colour block

PD Tuesday | A colour conversation – what to do when your client has a colour block

Tuesday | 16 March 2021 | 4pm ADST

Karen Haller is a leading global expert in the field of Behavioural Colour and Design Psychology, and the author of the UK Sunday Times Top 10 Design Book, ‘The Little Book of Colour’. In this not-to-be-missed session, Karen will explore some of the myths associated with colour, and offer strategies for getting past those dreaded client colour blocks. We’ll open up the floor for a Q and A session, too – submit your biggest colour question when registering, and if you’re live and camera-ready (and wearing your favourite colour), we’ll do our best to get you an answer.

Watch the recording

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All about green

All about green

Applying any kind of colour requires bravery and commitment – from both the client and the designer. For the latter, a keen eye for colour combined with some theoretical knowledge can ensure decisions are made with confidence. And knowing a little bit of history can make the colour selection process more interesting for all.

About the colour green…

Green falls right in the middle of the light spectrum, meaning our eyes need minimal adjustment to see it.

The human eye can differentiate more shades of green than any other colour, and this is evidenced by the long list of adjectives often applied to the hue. Yellow-green and blue-green are apparent, but the following list includes some (but not all) of the more complex shades:

  • Apple green
  • Avocado green
  • Chartreuse green
  • Emerald green
  • Forest green
  • Grass green
  • Jade
  • Khaki
  • Leek green
  • Lime green
  • Mint green
  • Olive
  • Pistachio green
  • Sage
  • Teal
  • Viridian


The history of green…

Put simplistically, green is made up of yellow and blue. No, it’s not rocket science, but it wasn’t always so clear! The ancient Greek mathematician, Plato, stubbornly maintained that prasinon (leek) was made by mixing purron (flame) and melas (black). The father of atomic theory – Democritus – believed pale green was a product of red and white. Like the colour red, green was deemed one of the middle colours sitting between black and white. The medieval Latin word sinople could refer to either red or green, and – not surprisingly – the two were often confused.

Green was further complicated when it came to creating dyes. Historically, there was a deep aversion to mixing different substances, and there was a long-standing taboo associated with mixing blue and yellow pigments. Anyone caught dyeing cloth green by dipping it in woad (indigo) then weld (a yellow dye) could face severe repercussions in some countries.

Artists struggled with the colour green, too. The taboo against mixing began to fade in the early Renaissance, but artists were challenged by the varying reactions with combined pigments.

These craftsmen and artists’ struggles could explain green’s symbolic link with capriciousness, evil and poison. Of course, the more scientific link between poison and green potentially had more influence: the popularity of copper arsenite pigments in the nineteenth century was responsible for many deaths. As consumers papered their homes, clothed their children and wrapped their baking in the exciting new shade of emerald green, lethal doses of arsenic proved fatal.

Today, however, the hue is much more associated with peace, serenity and the natural environment. After a year of lockdowns and home confinement, many homeowners have a new appreciation for the need to connect with nature. There’s no easier way to meet this need than with the application of a dash – or splash – of green.

Following are four gorgeously green interiors that demonstrate how the various shades of green can evoke a range of feelings in your clients’ homes.

Sydney duo, Kate St James and Catherine Whitting (St James Whitting) bathed this beautiful bathroom in forest greens. Jade and emerald mosaic tiles shimmer and shine, invoking the magic of a deep, dark forest.

A sweet sage green adds a sense of calm to this light and bright kitchen. Perth’s Jalpa Karia (RJ Design Studio) balanced the Vivid White cabinetry with Dulux’s Sage Monica and Blackbutt-toned floors, creating a harmonious and homely space.

Silver fish swim in a sea of teal in the powder room wallpaper specified by New South Wales designer, Cate Liedtke (Catherine de Meur Interiors). The striking design and stunning colour palette make for a tranquil space.

Perth designer, Kerrie Richardson CBD Au (Lux Interiors), brought warmth and earthiness to this kitchen with a clever combination of colour and texture. The muted green-brown tones of Laminex Possum sit peacefully alongside the textured Planked Oak, echoing the sense of serenity found in the Australian bush.

Do you have a favourite shade of green? What does green mean to you and your clients? We’d love to hear your thoughts – comment below and feel free to send us images of your best green applications.

Achromatic masterpieces

Achromatic masterpieces

The adjective ‘achromatic’ is taken directly from the French word ‘achromatique’, which in turn comes from the Greeks’ ‘a-‘ (without) and ‘khrōmatikos’ (deriving from ‘khrōma’, meaning colour). Put simply, achromatic means ‘without colour’.

And while a coloured scheme can cause all kind of headaches, a colour-free interior isn’t always black and white (haha). Pulling off a successful achromatic space takes talent and restraint, and we’ve found five fantastic examples where designers have nailed the greys.

A gorgeous Tundra Grey marble takes centre stage in this kitchen designed by Kia Howat (GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens). The Melbourne designer paired the stunning stone with Dulux Terrace White 2 pack cabinetry, and added contrast with a feature tower in Empire Oak Woodmatt. Sitting on French Oak floors, the kitchen is an excellent example of achromatic style.

New South Wales designer, Catherine Young, teamed with The Renovation Broker to create this clever kitchen space. Abundant natural light allowed the designer to play with a deeply toned achromatic palette: the flat matt Nero porcelain benchtops make a striking statement and work well with the charcoal cabinetry. Nordic Oak Woodmatt panels add warmth and contrast, while small hex mosaics inject texture and a bit of bling.

Backlit New York Marble is the highlight of this dynamic kitchen by Sydney’s Matt Michel (Matt Michel Design). Alpine Matte benchtops and a dark and moody Hamilton Plains veneer allow the heavily patterned stone to sing, and make the kitchen both balanced and beautiful.

Melbourne’s Alicia Jeffries (Mint Kitchen Group) made a major statement with this natural granite (Super White) island. The island top and waterfall ends wrap around Dulux Domino panels, creating a well-balanced feature in a remarkable space.

Essastone Luna Concrete is the centrepiece of this elegant kitchen designed by Tasmania’s Lydia Maskiell (Lydia Maskiell Interiors). Prime Oak Woodmatt detailing injects warmth and texture into the achromatic space, and white satin cabinets and panels reflect the glorious natural light spilling into the kitchen.

Have a favourite out of the five kitchens above? Share your feedback below.

Introducing the new colours of Staron Solid Surfaces 2020

Introducing the new colours of Staron Solid Surfaces 2020

A message from our Corporate Plus Partner, Austaron.

With over 80 colours in the existing Staron colour offering, 3 new colours have been released for 2020.

Sanded Iceblue: Capturing the light blue hues of frozen treetops and the essence of an arctic winter. Featuring a semi translucent nature, and a soft blue background with fine white particulates. Sanded Iceblue creates a gentle colour to any project, or with backlighting can create illumination for design impact.

Sanded Mint: A soft pastel mint green inspired by lush nature found around natural waterfalls. With semi translucent nature and an element of green with fine frosty white particulates. Sanded Mint offers a placid colour to any application with the option of backlighting for illumination.  

Terrazzo Como: Inspired by the tones found in nature and the architecture of Como, Italy. With a lustrous grey background hue and larger white and clear particulates, this colour redefines the desirable terrazzo effect. 

Staron® is comprised of a natural and pure mineral derived from bauxite and blended with an advanced pure acrylic resin, resulting in a premium solid surface material. With a non-porous nature, inconspicuous joining capabilities and the ability to renew the surface – Staron® offers a surface solution that is beautiful in aesthetics and easy to clean and maintain.

Staron® can be used to create monolithic flowing benchtops, splashbacks, wall cladding, bathroom vanities, shower walls, commercial counters, table tops and endless other applications.

Staron® is silica free, non-toxic and Greenguard and Greenguard Gold certified contributing to safe project environments.

Staron® is an affordable quality solid surface backed by a 10 Year Warranty for peace of mind. For enquiries, contact www.staron.com.au or 02 9822 7055.

Favourite Fandecks of Australia’s kitchen and bathroom designers

Favourite Fandecks of Australia’s kitchen and bathroom designers

Those of you who’ve been paying attention will know that we’ve covered a whole range of topics in our ‘One Question Wednesday’ surveys. From favourite cooktops to recommended rangehoods, from dishwashers to kitchen sinks, baths to tiles and a whole lot more, we’re loving finding out the preferences and peeves of Australia’s finest designers. To date, the results have only been released to those who play the game. But in this feature, we’re sharing the outcome of a recent survey about your favourite fandecks.

Here’s the question we put to our Members:

The pressure is on to make colour selections, and you’re meeting your ultra-indecisive clients in fifteen minutes. Which fandeck will you take into this consultation?

And the results were as follows:

Not surprisingly, the Dulux World of Colour fandeck took the biggest chunk of the pie, winning 45% of votes. It’s always-reliable cousin – the Dulux Whites & Neutrals fandeck – took second place with 25% of votes. And the Resene Whites & Neutrals fandeck came in at third with 14% of votes.

Now, in a ‘real-life’ selection, a designer would likely take in more than one fandeck, but we didn’t let our survey respondents have that option (mean, I know – but we wanted their FAVOURITE!). We did, however, give Members a hint that their simulated client was ‘ultra indecisive’, and a few members made some interesting points about this:

  • Some Members indicated that by the time they’re at the colour selection stage, they know their client well enough to narrow the options down significantly, and will often take A4 drawdowns or brush outs instead.

Presenting your clients with a larger sample of their selected colour is always a good idea. Colours tend to ‘lighten up’ when presented in bigger formats, and it may be worthwhile to demonstrate this. Show your client how a colour looks in a fandeck swatch compared with an A4 sample. Then ask them to consider how a larger span of cabinetry or wall may appear.

  • A few Members said they liked the range of colour strength (from full strength to 1/7th) in a Haymes fandeck, meaning the client can focus on the tint as much as the hue.

Playing with tints can add a whole new dimension to interiors and joinery (and is a trend we need to look out for as we learned in our recent Dulux Colour Forecast videoconference). A single colour can naturally take on a range of ‘depths’ depending on its exposure to light. Intentionally adjusting the tint between adjoining or perpendicular surfaces can add even more drama.

  • The concise colour descriptions on the back of Resene colour swatches are helpful to some, and keep the (sometimes colourblind clients) in check.

Describing colours can get both designers and clients off track. When you have a good understanding of the undertones or bases of colours, life gets a little easier. The Resene fandeck is a useful tool in this instance, with descriptions like ‘Resene Triple Sea Fog is a versatile white with a hint of grey, best used with muted rather than bright colours’. And if you’re keen to learn which way a white is leaning (whether it’s warm, cool or neutral), don’t be afraid to ask your painter or paint store what tints they’re adding to the base. They’ll tell you if it’s a black, blue or brown/umber tint, for example, and your ‘undertone’ will be revealed. (Learn more about whites in this feature.)

If you’re a KBDi Member and you’d like to get information like this in your inbox every week, make sure you look out for our ‘One Question Wednesday’ emails.

If you’re not a KBDi Member but you’re keen to learn more, complete the form below and we’ll be in touch.

A tour of the Dulux Colour Forecast 2020

A tour of the Dulux Colour Forecast 2020

Guests at this week’s PD Thursday videoconference enjoyed a guided tour of the Dulux Colour Forecast of 2020.

As the Colour and Communications Manager for DuluxGroup, Andrea Lucena-Orr researches colour trends across the globe and presents her findings to media, trade and retail markets. In this professional development session, proudly supported by Lincoln Sentry, Andrea shared the four trends designers should be keeping their eyes on in the year ahead.

The ‘Essence’ forecast has been grouped into four colour movements:

  • Grounded – a simple neutral palette filled with plenty of warmth

Selina’s top takeaway: be ready for more brown-based whites and neutrals, and make sure your highlight whites (for trim, details etc.) are more neutral than cool.

  • Comeback – colours to blend contemporary design with vintage style

Selina’s top takeaway: introduce vintage or Persian rugs to your interiors, and play with the colours within the textiles.

  • Cultivate – a tonal green palette to nurture and regenerate

Selina’s top takeaway: play with ‘tone on tone’ – pick your favourite hue and watch the colour change in various lights and tones.

  • Indulge – cocoon yourself in this immersive and opulent palette

Selina’s top takeaway: encourage your clients to add nostalgia or romance to their bedrooms or nooks with some luscious colours. 

View the entire forecast here and add your own top takeaway to the comments below.

Huge thanks to Andrea Lucena-Orr for her incredible insights, and to our friends at Lincoln Sentry for making it happen.