Dulux Exterior Colour Palette
This was a very gratifying project for me because I had the opportunity to really use colour to its fullest. The picture below is a testament to the fantastic range of exterior colours that are available from the Dulux paint palette.
The co-op consists of 24 townhouses and a four storey apartment building. When I arrived for my first site visit I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were already living with a lot of colour. However I could also see many areas where colour could be used to make vast improvements over what was currently there.
Here's an example of how things looked before we started.
When I arrive for a consultation there is almost always something that screams out for change. In this case it was the overwhelming amount of down pipes that had been installed, not only running straight down but also across.
Here's another example.
Not only do the down pipes run in all directions, there is also flashing around every possible opening and horizontally dissecting both the townhouses and the apartment building. The eye is drawn to the lightest thing, so what happened when you looked at these buildings was that your eye moved erratically from one white line to the next, never really knowing where to settle.
The first thing I needed and is always very helpful for a project of this scale, is to have a diagram that gives me a bird's eye view. From a drawing sent to me I created this schematic that gave me the layout of the current paint colours.
The idea I came up with for the new placement of colours was that orange would go over yellow. Purple/blue would go over blue and a new blue would go over green. A couple of adjustments were made, for instance in the above schematic you can see that there were two townhouses back to back that had been painted yellow. Here's the schematic of the new colour placement.
My goal was to get rid of the visual clutter and attempt to highlight the inherent architecture of both the townhouses and the apartment building.
The apartment building has a feature that we referred to as "the pyramids". With the old colours the pyramids were the same colour as the rest of the building. Due to its southern exposure and openness the apartment gets direct sunlight. I wanted to use two colours but had to make sure they were both light enough so as not to absorb a lot of heat. I didn't want to turn people's balconies into a sweat box! I used a combination of Dulux Shy Blossom with Beryl Green for the pyramids.
Here you see a section of the apartment building and one of the pyramids along with one of the townhouses. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I was that the members embraced orange, hooray for bold choices.
The key to getting rid of the visual clutter was to have the down pipes and flashing painted the same as the body colour. Or, incorporated as a trim colour around windows and doors. Additionally, a strip of white board used to attach balcony brackets was also painted in the corresponding body colour. An inherent architectural feature of the townhouses that I wanted to draw attention to was the gables. Therefore the gable colour would always be different from the body colour.
Several painters bid on the project but the members decided on Lindel Painters. This made me happy because I had worked with them in the past and knew I'd have a good team helping to turn my vision into a reality. Peter Walter, the owner of Lindel, is an excellent project manager which is invaluable for a job of this scale. He agreed to take me up in the crane one day to get some overhead photos. Here's a couple of fellows going to great lengths to do some painting, they were three stories up.
It goes without saying that any time I do a consultation I have to make sure that all the colours work well together. This project was very interesting to me because I couldn't simply chose colours for each building in isolation. I had to consider all the other colour combinations being used on all the other buildings. The trim would be the unifying colour used throughout. This meant I had to pick a trim colour that would work with five different body colours, three for townhouses and two for the apartment.
An important decision I made very early on in the process was that I wanted the members to be able to have a variety of colours to chose from for their front door. A strata or co-op is very different from a single family home. By necessity the owners don't have the same amount of involvement. I wanted to work out a way to give them some autonomy and have the fun of making their own choice.
They had a total of 6 colours to chose from, including the yellow used for the trim. It may be difficult to tell in these photographs but the blue of the townhouses and the blue/green of the pyramids are very different from each other.
I suggested gable and body colour pairings, however this was another area where if a member wanted to use a different colour, they could do so and still have a harmonious look.
The solution to ensuring that all colours would work together was through repetition of colour. The body colour of any one building could also be used as the accent gable colour and as a door colour.
I have said it elsewhere on this site and it bears repeating. Colour can conceal or reveal. This project is a perfect example of that. Through the use of colour unappealing elements were diminished and the true architecture of these buildings was enhanced.
Here's what the members had to say.
"From the outset of her involvement at our housing co-operative, Kora was a great match. She understood that our architecturally unique co-op called out for a unique approach to our new exterior colours. She presented a selection of integrated colour schemes to the membership, going above and beyond to tweak selections based on member feedback. Attended member meetings to explain her process and selections, and was accessible and hands-on throughout the process. She also took into account warranty, durability, and maintenance issues connected to our colours. We would heartily recommend Kora Sevier to help sort through the multitude of colours in the world to find the right palette for any project".