Tag: vanilla slate designs

Where do Paint Names come from?

Why do you think paint names allow you to conjure up images of calm green forest retreats, a melting strawberry sorbet on a blistering Summer’s day or the stillness of a cool aqua ocean?  While perusing paint samples, would you feel inspired in the same way if samples were called slimy gum blue, disguised yellow, paper packaging beige, fax ink black, or begrimed pink?

Paint companies are very clever and know that paint names are powerful… they have the ability to evoke images and moods in customers and they would even ruthlessly go straight for the taste buds!

Although naming paint to inspire a mood seems like a simple process, it can be painstakingly slow.  Usually, the paint colour is developed first and the name is picked from a large database.  Of course, they have to be extra careful that the name they choose has never been used by a competitor, as this could create confusion with the consumer.  On top of that, once a particular colour has been named, it can only be associated with that unique shade.  Even after it’s been discontinued, the “recipe” and name needs to be reserved, just in case a historical house painted in that colour burns down and needs to be reapplied.

paint colour name vintage fashion
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Paint namers draw inspiration from global events, the media (what’s Kim Kardashian wearing these days?!) science or fashion influences, before entering paint names into the database.  Some paint companies choose names that would fit a particular nation, like Australia.  They would refer to the colour of the landscape (“Red Earth”), street names, famous landmarks, textures (“Hog Bristle”) or botanicals (“Green Bark”) of that country.  The same is to be said of paint companies based in England – paint names could be influenced by the weather, having more referrals to the fading light, the misty landscapes and drizzle.

paint colour misty landscape
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Paint names can be funny, dramatic or intriguing, so it could easily stick in a client’s mind (I’m not sure what Dulux thought when they named a colour “Remote Control”, as it only evokes verbal fights and tantrums in my house..)  In most cases, the paint name has the most influence on the popularity of the colour.  Farrow & Ball wins the quirky name battle with names such as Dead Salmon, Elephant Breath and Arsenic, being amongst the most outrageous.

Care needs to be taken before trying out names that would go for the tastebuds.  The colour of Broccoli might make an awesome feature wall this season, but putting the name to the colour, could be quite off putting for most customers.  “Jungle Book Green” or connotations to velvet would fare much better and avoid bringing back memories of being force fed.  Being a bit of a pushover, getting me to buy a paint colour would be as easy as putting the word chocolate, marguerita or sorbet into the name 🙂

To test your paint name knowledge, I’ve put together a quiz to see who’s done their homework in the paint isle.

Put the number next to the matching paint name:

paint colour quiz

Hindsight, Shepherds Warning, Birthday King, Self Destruct, Crazy and Fun and Games

The answers will be in our weekly newsletter this Friday.  Click here to subscribe.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Coffee in Baroque Barn Style – Ouland Royale

Last year I was lucky enough to spend a wonderful 2 weeks in South Africa to share a very special occasion with my family; my sister’s 40th birthday!  We were spoiled for choice dining at wine bars in picturesque settings, snacking at divine coffee shops and brunching at locations extremely diverse in character and style.

timber & glass antique front door


One such location still sticks in my mind, as the setting and atmosphere was like nothing I’ve come across in my hometown of Sydney.   In a city with coffee shops and restaurants decorated in the ever popular rustic industrial style, this particular restaurant hit me like a breath of fresh air on a cold winter’s day.

Floral accents & painted timber

Claw feet bath and rustic wall

Ouland Royale is a huge Barogue Barn built by Wilja Reitz and her team on her family farm just outside of Plettenberg Bay in South Africa.  Wilja is an interior artist and created a unique venue, filled with spectacular French Baroque furniture pieces which she had collected and restored herself.


Baroque style love seat

French Baroque mirrors fill the walls and the luxurious upholstered chairs lend luxury and old world charm fit for Kings.  The hearty, double sided fireplace warms the interior and create an euphoric ambience, letting guests relax into the glamour of yesteryear.

Fireplace with floral cushions


Double sided fireplace and leather armchairs

Fascinators, made by the owner, are placed on the antique pieces dotted along the walls and add a surprising theatrical element.

Fascinators and french styling

The vintage style tables, leather suitcases, crockery and dining chairs, combined with the luxury of baroque furniture, give the interior a more cosy and approachable atmosphere, in step with the hospitality of this country environment.

Antique bicycle, love seat

Baroque style hall table, antique mirror

For those of you who would like to replicate this ornate and extravagantly theatrical look in your home, look for gilded, framed mirrors, dark ornately carved furniture, luxurious textiles rich in colour with large patterns, sparkly chandeliers and generous servings of gold accents.


sleepy cat, piano stool

To complete the look, don’t forget to add a sleepy cat on a piano stool.

Good luck!

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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Move over Chrome, Black is having a Moment…

Black taps are here to stay and give a design edge to contemporary interiors such as modern, rustic and industrial.  Using black tapware is a great way to incorporate black in a subtle way while making a more demure design statement than black cabinetry. Black can be masculine, but also subtle and sophisticated if mixed with the right materials.  It marries equally well with chrome, white, as well as timber and copper.

While there aren’t many rules when choosing the finish of your tapware in your kitchen, we still want to end up with a cohesive and harmonious look.  To get the most out of your black tap, here are a few tips to put your mind at ease:

black tap black grout
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There’s no need to match your black tap to your sink, so using a stainless steel sink is fine, especially if it’s under mounted.  It’s more important to have a contrasting backdrop behind the black tap, as this will create the “wow” factor,  Try white subway tiles with dark grout, as this will be an eye catching statement, without being over powering.

black taps marble background
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If you crave a classic, but show-stopping combination, try black taps with a neutral backdrop, such as marble or highly glossed white tiles.  This can effortlessly become a very sophisticated centre piece without trying too hard.

black taps black handles
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Pairing black and white is a contemporary, classic look that will never go out of style.  If you’re afraid of going too dark with cabinetry, match your black taps to black cabinet handles instead.  This way the accent of black flows throughout the kitchen, without overpowering the space.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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How do I find my Decorating Direction?

I’m in a bit of a dilemma… we’re doing a renovation and our home will be undergoing some major surgery!  Our peeling, laminated kitchen cabinets will be gone, the laminated black benchtop will be replaced with stone.  The modular lounge suite with large bite marks, (thanks to our ridgeback that has since found another home) will be reupholstered.  Our existing tile floor will be replaced with solid timber and a new bar area will keep everyone sane.  So you will probably ask, where is the dilemma?  Well, as you know by now, I have a tendency to pick up furniture off the street and shop at the scrapyard, so how will my council pick up furniture, tie in with the look of our more modern, newly renovated home?  How do I find my new style and keep the house from looking like it’s going through an “identity crisis?”  To assist in getting the new style streamlined, I’ll be asking myself the following questions:


design style green and blue
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Before you take desperate measures and get rid of everything, ask yourself if there are colours, or items you’ve loved since childhood.  I’ve always been a farm girl at heart, so in my case, I’ve always loved the look of weathered timber or finding a spot in the house for a dead branch (to my husband’s dismay).  I also love the ocean and find Royal blue and deep greens deeply soothing.  I also tend to combine crisp white ornaments with items that look quirky or banged up and old.


design style cosy living room
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After a day’s work spending time on public transport or on the road, we want to feel like home is a relaxing port of call, a place of rest.   A “place of rest” can be different for each person.  For some it may be clean lines, a few ornaments, no clutter, shiny white floor tiles and strong lines.  For others it may very well be lots of cushions, an abundance of patterns, a lick in the face by the family dog and a stack of books on a vintage hall table.  All of these items convey a mood in one’s home and should be considered carefully before purchasing an array of new items that wouldn’t fit the mood that you really want.


design style, coastal shelf display
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We all collect items through our lifetime, whether it’s something you fall in love with at a flea market, an item you purchased in Paris on your honeymoon or a mask you picked up during your travels through Africa.  When you take a photo of all the items you don’t want to part with, you’ll be left will everything you love.  You’ll see that a particular theme will start to develop and this will most likely be the right direction for you design style.


We tend to hold on to furniture items because it’s practical, or your mum gave it to you because she had no room for it, maybe it was a gift, or if it can stand just fine on only 3 legs, we’ll fix it over the weekend.  Use your imagination and think of what you would buy if there was no limit to what you could spend.  Think about the style of furniture for that perfect room and how you would complete the look with cushions and ornaments.  If your imagination takes you to upholstered accent chairs with cabriole legs, a white armoire and glass chandelier, your style will probably lean towards French Provincial.


design style bright feature wall
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In the same way that we should determine what we love, we should also be very sure about what we don’t like.   I know that I don’t like shiny, black surfaces, bright accent wall colours, or synthetic looking leather.  When you know these things, it will very quickly steer you in the right direction and help you discard the styles you don’t feel comfortable with.

Once you’ve documented your likes and dislikes and made a list of items you already have, collected some images from magazines and started a Pinterest board, you’ll be more confident in the knowledge of which style you’re heading for.  Of course, if you’re still in the dark, we’re happy to help!

While quizzes are fun, they probably won’t identify your true decorating style and may leave you more confused.  According to the one below, my style is “Coastal”, but my true style has a bit of Modern Country thrown in.  Style is a bit more complicated than a quick questionnaire, but if you want to have a bit of fun, follow the link below… it could be completely off the mark!

Houzz Quizz

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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How’s your Dining Table Shaping Up?

Dinner time is usually a frenzy in our house, with kids on their way or arriving back from sport (sometimes half a team). Weekends are either spent with a small group of friends, just family, or large get togethers involving dancing around a table to the sound of Geronimo, kitted out in fancy dress.  Either way, I’m a firm believer of having a comfortable dining table suiting my family and guest’s needs.


blog dining table rectangle
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Square tables can be a bit tricky.  Although they can seat a fair number of guests, the table takes up more room than you think.  It also leaves a big empty space in the centre which makes conversation and passing food across the table rather difficult.  To soften the hard lines of the edges, consider adding upholstered chairs.  A lazy Susan in the centre, as well as a large centre piece to soften the look when the table is not in use, will benefit the overall look of the room.


blog dining table oval
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The perfect shape for smaller spaces that has to double as thoroughfares.  The curved edges will help the general flow of traffic as no one needs to carefully walk around it to avoid sharp edges.  Because of the elongated shape, the oval table takes up less space than a square, seats more people comfortably and encourages a more intimate atmosphere.


blog dining table round
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This shape offers more flexible seating, as a six seater can usually accommodate 8 people – of course, the larger the diameter, the more people can be seated.  A more amiable atmosphere is created when all guests can see each other and dishes can comfortably be passed around. It is also great when you have younger kids and you need to park their prams or assist them, without bumping into the guest next to you with your elbows.


blog dining table long
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Rectangular tables can be squeezed into small spaces without dominating the room.  Even a very narrow table will be fine to use, as there will still be enough space in the centre for sharing dishes.  Remember to allow at least a metre of space around the table to move comfortably.  If you only need seating for a small family, consider the option of having an extendable table for when the masses come over.  Otherwise you’ll be left with a lot of empty seats, making it feel more like a boardroom than a dinner table.

If you’d like to know how to utilise a table as a kitchen bench, read our previous blog here.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

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