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.



PD Thursday | Exploring the colour trends of 2020

PD Thursday | Exploring the colour trends 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 will be sharing her thoughts on the colours we can expect to see making their way into Australian interiors in 2020.

About Andrea Lucena-Orr

Andrea Lucena-Orr has been working with colour for over two decades at DuluxGroup, delivering colour training, researching trends and colour forecasting, and presenting her findings to trade, retail and media. Her recommendations play an integral part in Dulux marketing strategies, and ultimately factor into many of the colours we specify for our clients on a day-to-day basis.

Andrea is a member of the international Colour Marketing Group (CMG) and International Color Association (AIC), and a truly passionate advocate for all things colour.

Related articles:

Watch the recording

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Designing kitchens with colour

Designing kitchens with colour

We all love to layer with whites or add drama with darks, but designing with bursts of colour can add a whole new level of joy (and some moments of trepidation) to our working weeks. In this feature, we’re sharing how some our 2019 finalists added hues to the homes of their clients with great success.

Michelle Burton CKD Au
Port Macquarie designer, Michelle Burton, gave this beachside home a cool coastal vibe with a striking splash of colour. The aptly-named Dulux colour, Noosa Heads RB74, adds a burst of beach-inspired energy to this space, while the natural tones of stone and timber add a sense of calm and tranquillity.

Sally Hart & Impala Kitchens
The client wanted a pretty pastel in her new kitchen, and this gorgeous pale blue (Dulux Salt Spray Quarter Strength) was the perfect pick for this beachy Balmain abode. Designer Sally Hart collaborated with Impala Kitchens to create this dreamy space, earning the creative team a high commendation in the 2019 KBDi Designer Awards program.

Anne Ellard
The client’s much-loved ornament inspired this gorgeous green colouring of this traditionally-styled kitchen. Brisbane designer, Anne Ellard (Kitchens by Kathie) had the two-pack paint colour matched to ensure the hue was on-point for the homeowner.

We’re looking forward to seeing more colourful kitchens and bathrooms in this year’s KBDi Designer Awards program. If you’ve got some colour-filled projects in your portfolio, why not consider entering them in this year’s Awards? Winners AND Finalists get plenty of exposure (you’ll see just a few of our media features here), so your entry fees could be money well spent. Learn more about the program and download your entry pack here.

Making an impact with block colour

Making an impact with block colour

A message from our Diamond Sponsor, Laminex

In a new kitchen design for Laminex, interior designer and trend forecaster Bree Leech showcases the potential of designing with blocks of colour.

As we’ve noted here before, rich colour is making a welcome return to Australian interior design. “Designers are being adventurous and bold,” says designer and trends forecaster Bree Leech, “and that’s filtering through to our clients, who are also becoming increasingly colour confident.” One way this is manifesting is in the use of block colour, particularly in kitchens and bathrooms. Where we might previously have seen varied materials palettes of stone, timber veneers, laminates and other textures, designers are choosing to use one colour across multiple surfaces, making that colour a feature and creating a strong sense of cohesion.

Wall panel in Laminex Possum, light fitting in Laminex Brushed Brass, cabinetry and surface in Laminex Green Slate.

Drawing influence from the 1980s

The eighties revival appears to be one factor influencing the renewed interest in colour, and Leech points to the work of 1980s design movement Memphis, founded by Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass, as a key reference. The exuberant pieces produced during that time, with their bright blocks of colour, playful patterns and eccentric forms, marked a radical departure from the dominant styles of the seventies. And now a similar approach is being translated into contemporary interior design, albeit with a little more nuance.

Leech approaches colour blocking in a range of ways, sometimes choosing one colour and using it for everything, other times working to create graphic impact with contrasting colours in geometric shapes. Her new kitchen design for Laminex, featured here, follows a third strategy, with two complementary decors combined in an elegant tonal scheme.

Wall panel in Laminex Possum, light fitting in Laminex Brushed Brass, cabinetry and surface in Laminex Green Slate.

Making colour the hero

“We wanted to keep the form quite simple to emphasise the graphic lines, so the details are subtle,” she says. There’s a rectilinear bank of cabinetry, with doors in Reverse Bevelled profile for a handless design, curved wall panelling and curved open shelving. And colour is definitely the hero. By selecting Laminex Green Slate – “such a great, greyed-off green” – for the cabinetry, benchtops and shelving, and Possum for the wall panelling, Leech has distilled her colour palette down to two shades of green, accented only by a wall light cleverly crafted with Laminex Brushed Brass. It’s a celebration of the two organic green decors, and it makes an emphatic design statement that shows how powerful block colour can be.

It also shows how easy it is to match colours across different Laminex products, with high-pressure laminate and decorated board specified for different elements in the kitchen. For Leech, who is used to designing with a diverse mix of materials, working exclusively with laminates was a refreshing, and valuable, challenge. “This is the first time I’ve worked with laminate for all the material in a kitchen, and I learnt things I hadn’t thought of before,” she says. “Laminex is perfect for colour blocking because there’s such a great colour range.”

Explore the Laminex Colour Collection and download the brochure, which contains all the decors you need to create beautiful block-colour spaces.  

Photographer: Derek Swalwell 

The Right White

The Right White

‘I want to keep it simple.  I just want white.’

As designers, we’ve all heard this before – many, many times.  White is a popular colour (or reflection of light, to be technical) –it’s a safe option for the cautious and wary, a perfect partner for outstanding architecture, and a must-have for avid art collectors. But the selection of the ‘right white’ is rarely straightforward. In this feature, we’ll explore a range of whites and see some pearler examples. 

A pure white can be used to emphasise stunning architectural features with great effect, as demonstrated in the examples below. In both cases, the designers have used the ever-popular Dulux Vivid White on both cabinetry and walls.

In the wrong application, however, pure whites can have some drawbacks in interior applications. With its light-reflective properties, a pure white can be overwhelmingly bright, and a genuine need for sunglasses could compromise your best design intentions! A pure white can also lead to pricey painting touch-ups: when all trades have finished their fit offs and inevitably marked your crisp white walls, your painter will be working hard to get seamless coverage with a virtually un-tinted paint.

A tinted or ‘off-white’ tone, on the other hand, will help you avoid these dilemmas without losing the ‘all-white-vibe’. Following are a few tips for finding the right white for your client.

Determine the Undertone

All colours comprise a ‘mass tone’ and an ‘undertone’.  A mass tone is the colour that you see right away, while an undertone is the characteristic of a hue that is often concealed when the colour is viewed in isolation.  A true blue, for example, will have a mass colour of blue and an undertone very similar in hue.  A turquoise, on the other hand, will have a mass colour of blue and an undertone of green.  The same theory applies to off-whites – while the mass tone is white, the undertone could be red, orange, yellow or brown (warm), green (cool/warm), blue (cool) or black/grey (neutral).  When looking at a colour swatch on its own, it may certainly appear to be white.  Put the same colour alongside another, however, and the effect could be vastly different.  If the undertone of the white clashes with the undertones of hues around it, a ‘safe’ colour scheme can turn bad very quickly!  The easiest way to determine the undertone is to place the selected colour alongside a ‘real’ white (try your brightest copy paper).  You’ll immediately see a faint yellow, pink, blue or other colour, and you’ll have identified your undertone.

When you’ve established the undertone, you can work out which of the following categories the proposed selection fits into, and which will best suit your client’s overall scheme.

Warm Whites

Red, orange, yellow and brown-based whites are best for rooms that need ‘warming up’ (with a southern orientation, for example).  Warm whites sit well with earthy, natural hues, and as they are more inclined to ‘come forward’ in a room (remember warm colours come forward, cool colours recede), they help to create a cozy feel.

Perth designer, Maggie Milligan, nestled White Satin cabinetry amidst Dulux Antique White USA walls in this warm and homely kitchen.

Melbourne designer, Olivia Cirocca, combined the warmth of Dulux Dieskau cabinetry with Dulux Natural White walls in this classy kitchen.

Cool Whites

Blue undertones will make a white appear icy and cool – perfect for west or north-facing rooms that need ‘cooling down’.  They are generally described as ‘crisp and clean’, and suit contemporary styling and minimalistic schemes.

Dulux Lexicon Quarter was applied to the walls and cabinetry in this ultra-cool kitchen by Melbourne designer, Kia Howat.

Dulux Lexicon Quarter cabinetry is crisp and clean in this smart space, designed by Brisbane’s Estelle Cameron.

Neutral Whites

Grey-based whites are popular for their cool, architectural qualities.  When the undertone sits between grey and beige, a warmer effect is created.

Brisbane designer, Ashley Maddison, used Resene Alabaster in this award-winning beauty.

Warm/Cool – Chameleons

Green-based whites will often ‘morph’ with their surroundings.  The green undertone is made up of blue (cool) and yellow (warm), and the colours will change depending on light quality and/or surrounding furnishings.  Of course, a very yellow-green undertone will appear warmer, and a bluish-green undertone will appear cooler, but somewhere in the middle will prove popular for many.

Bonlex Classic White cabinetry sits sweetly alongside Dulux Snowy Mountain half walls in this stunning kitchen by Perth designer, Glenda Roff.

Do you have a favourite go-to white? Have you got a hot tip for finding the right white? Feel free to share your comments below.