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Colour Trends

Simon Stevenson

When I was a kid, way back in the 70’s, every other house was painted in Mission Brown. Not just the exterior walls but decks, doors, trim, fascia, the whole lot. The colour was very popular at the time because it was comforting and familiar. Inside our homes there were rooms full of warm, earthy tones of green, yellow and brown... very dreary in comparison to the vivid, vibrant colours of the sixties but again creating a sense of calm.

That’s the beauty of colour. It can affect mood, create atmosphere even motivate and inspire you.  This can make choosing the right colour scheme for a home both exciting and challenging. The fact that there are literally hundreds of colours to choose from can make it totally overwhelming.

So where do you begin? Checking out the latest colour trends is a great place to start. You can head down to your local paint store, visit an interior designer or jump online to research what’s hot and what’s not in the world of colour.

What can we expect in colour trends for this year?

We’ll be seeing earthy, rustic colours but with an exciting twist. Combine those natural colours with a bright, bold colour like cobalt blue or a shimmering metal like bronze for a dramatic effect. Think of it as old meeting new.

There will be a lot of blue in the coming year, everything from pastel to navy. Whites will also be very popular.

In my opinion the most exciting neutral colour is grey. It can be used successfully in any room as a wall colour or as an accent. Yes, grey has been around for quite a while and there’s a very good reason for that, it’s both edgy and classic. Also, it can have an added undertone of almost any other colour like red, yellow or blue and remain grey.

According to PPG, one colour we’re going to see a lot of in 2016 is Paradise Found, recently named as their 2016 Colour of the Year. It’s described as “an organic, aloe green with an undertone of blue that offers at once a subtle, but serious sense of ease and rejuvenation.”  I like the sound of that!

Here are a few of my insider tips! Feature walls are out. More people are opting for a pop of colour with artwork, furnishings or rugs. If you’ve got your heart set on using paint, try a stripe or stencil as a border in that colour you love.

Before buying 25 litres of that really great yellow you liked on a colour chart, do yourself a favour and get a sample pot first. Any colour on a large area will look nothing like it does on a little swatch. Paint your samples on big pieces of cardboard and not directly on the walls, a very common mistake.  That way you can move them around the room next to plants, paintings and furniture.

Lighting will make a difference also with natural light giving you the most accurate colour.  The look of a colour can change greatly depending on what it’s next to. I tell my clients to sort out their big ticket items like flooring and furnishings before deciding on paint colours. Think about what mood you’d like to create.  Soft blues and pastels can bring feelings of calm and serenity, perfect for a bedroom. Bright, bold colours like red or orange create a sense of fun and excitement so they’re great in a games room. At the end of the day the choice is yours and the possibilities are endless. 

Simon Stevenson hosts the very popular Simon’s House Home Improvement Show on 2UE 954am every Saturday from 1.00pm.  His handy home improvement tips can be heard on stations all across Australia.  For more information please visit or you can send an email to 

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