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We haven't finished painting the new house yet (although we are well on the way), but we have now made all our decisions about colour. I'm not sure this is of much interest to anyone else, but I wanted to note it down for future reference, so I'll post it here just in case anyone wants to read it. We haven't spent as much on paint as you might expect, as although we have bought lots from B&Q which is conveniently a short walk away, a surprising amount has come at almost no cost from Orinoco.

As there were so many bright primary colours in the house to start with, we are starting by toning things down with fairly light colours and we may add our own stronger ones in a year or so once we've got more of the feel of the house. The colours we have chosen for downstairs are quite muted and are influenced by the existing carpets and curtains, which are good quality and inoffensive, so we are cleaning and keeping them for now. The upstairs carpets and curtains were mostly past saving, so for the spare bedroom and media room we have ordered neutral carpets and given ourselves a freer range on the walls. We still need to choose curtains for these rooms and a carpet for the stairs and landing.

Ceilings are all painted in brilliant white matt emulsion.
Doors, window frames and skirting boards are mostly natural wood and are remaining so for now. Some badly stained doors may be painted later.
Beams: unattractive functional ones (e.g. RSJ) in matt white emulsion and attractive painted beams on ground floor to be highlighted in white gloss. Lovely wooden beams in attic left unpainted and made the main feature of the room.

Colour palette:
Brilliant white used on ceilings, some kitchen walls and sloping upper parts of rear extension.
Pink toned whites used in interior room with existing dusky pink wool carpet, to provide a soft backdrop for lots of bookshelves. Walls in Almond White (Dulux); wood panelling and radiator in Pointing (Farrow and Ball).
Natural Hessian (Dulux) used as a neutral surround for large timber-framed rear windows with garden views.
Yellows - the sunny living room has been painted in Buttermilk, which will also be used on the cloakroom walls and on the brickwork in the attic. Painted wood in these areas, including the window seat, is being done in Jasmine White gloss (Dulux) where we want it to be highlighted and in Buttermilk satinwood where we want it to blend into the background. The main bedroom is already a stronger yellow (with a darkish green carpet) and we are going to keep these for a while and neutralise the horrible orange radiator by painting it Buttermilk. The curtains in this room are cream coloured and rather lovely, so we'll keep those too.
Blues - the kitchen started out a mid-blue with darker blue tiles. The well-lit extension part has been left blue, but the interior part painted mostly white. The wall framing an archway into the central room (the warm-toned one which will be filled with books) has been painted in a very pale blue (First Frost by Dulux) to provide a gentle contrast. The media room, which will be filled with computers, speakers and a large TV, has been painted a slightly stronger blue (Moonlight Bay by Crown) and the panelling and radiator in a similar shade (Borrowed Light by Farrow and Ball). Borrowed Light will also be used on the shelving and shoe rack in the rear porch.
Greens - the entrance hall, which has little natural light but a lovely view right through the house to the back garden, will be painted Apple White (Dulux), as will the stairwell and landing. The spare room, which is also the first room you come to upstairs, will be largely in Soft Apple, a slightly stronger tone of the same colour, although the archway will be highlighted in Apple White and the walls facing the back garden will be Natural Hessian.

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January 2013

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