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Pragmatic or dull - Natural Calico Tough Dulux paint throughout?

(33 Posts)
FishfingersAreOK Fri 10-Aug-12 21:58:02

We are renovating an entire house and at some point over the next few weeks I am going to be asked for paint choices -eeeek. Please help with either alternatives or reassurances, I am struggling because
1) I have zero sense of colour/interior design 'flair'.
2) We have never lived in the house (too dodgy - electrics/ceiling tiles etc) so not been able to truly work out light etc - also have knocked through walls etc so everything changing
3) I have fairly simple taste. Interior magazines etc I love the white/light wall, wooden furniture look. Don't like fuss. Our old house (modern box) I just did in Natural Calico. I loved the colour - in that I did not notice it, everything went with it, wasn't too yellowy or pinky. Very Livable. Each room had it's interior feel added by art, soft furnishings etc etc. (These were not as dull - bright splashes of colour)
4) We are having to make Soooo many decisions kitchen/flooring/plumbing/doors etc etc I am feeling overwhelmed
5) I am wary of doing anything too "on trend" at the moment as we are not frequent decorators - want it too not look dated in 2 years time!
6) I do not know the final look of everything else yet - eg we will be getting a new sofa at some point but cannot afford to do for at least another 6months/a year - we want to live with the old one for a bit before changing to see what chair/sofa mix will suit the space best. Ditto curtains in some rooms - we will replace some but will have to wait. I would prefer to choose the sofa I want rather than be restricted by a strong wall colour

So - I am veering towards doing exactly the same for our new house. Natural Calico throughout Would this just be too dull. Or is it just totally OK to do it?

Am I just justifying it above - help. Please.

For details on a house- a large 1930s semi. Red brick front, white rendered elsewhere, terracotta tiled roof. Amazing garden. Has been totally gutted (actually sod all roof at the moment)rewired/replumbed kitchen/dining/family room opened up to L-shaped area.
Smoked Oak floor (quarry tiles in utility and porch). So everything 'new' but we are trying to keep some original features - found the original doors/spindles under 1960's veneer.
Kitchen is going to be off white shaker (Howdens Tewkesbury White) with black granite and black Esse Range.
Planning white satin woodwork

I would totally do it. It won't clash with anything and you can add interest with everything else. Plus if you want to change it you can just paint over it!

I hate the paint colours in my house, not least because DH was sent off with a list of agreed shades then came home with whatever was reduced in Wickes. Hence a matt finish wine colour dining room and a primrose yellow satin sitting room hmm I swear he is colourblind not to mention the very pale mint on the hall and stairs that is minging

ogredownstairs Fri 10-Aug-12 22:13:45

Sounds lovely. I always do houses in white or similar - neutral backdrops are great imo and never date. You can ring the changes if you want to with soft furnishings and rugs. And if you loved it before then you know it'll work for you.

FishfingersAreOK Fri 10-Aug-12 22:18:17

I think I am worried it may look dated/90s/early noughties and that would be gutting as we are spending an absolutely fucking fortune quite a bit of money to make it habitable. And I know it doesn't really matter what anyone visiting thinks but I don't want people to think I have the taste of someone my mothers age.

Oh and the Dulux tough thing is a must - well I think - as have a dog/4yo and 6yo....needs to be wipable! Farrow & Ball colours are gorgeous but not convinced by durability.

myron Fri 10-Aug-12 22:29:22

We have just finished a major entire house renovation & 2 storey extension. I got stressed out due to decision making overload by the time it came to 2nd fix and was sorely tempted to use Dulux Trade White all over the house. I didn't and I am so glad that I made the effort and chose some colours. Make the most of having professional decorators in who will provide a much better finish than you ever will. I've used F&B colours (colourmatched) - Blue Gray, Borrowed Light, Elephant's Breath, Skimmimg Stone & quite a lot of Slipper Satin. O.K - hardly adventurous shades but better than the monotonal shade of newbuild beige imo. After all that decsion making, you will regret painting your entire house in the same shade imho.

myron Fri 10-Aug-12 22:34:25

F&B colourmatched with Johnstones' paint for economy as well as practicality. No - it won't be chalky but you can defintely touch up withput repainting the entire room. I have primary aged DC and a cat so I need to be able to touch up scuff marks and grubby fingerprints!

FishfingersAreOK Fri 10-Aug-12 22:40:20

Myron - that is part of the problem - the fear of 'monotonal newbuild beige' and I agree - having everything done and seems a shame not to use the expertise at hand - but how, how how did you decide which colour to put where? Is each room the same on each wall? Feature walls?

Our last house I did not really like/settle properly into (we realised was not forever house fairly soon so was difficult to give to much of a hoot about it). This house is forever house and I love it - even in it's ceiling/roof/plaster - less state. I want to treat it properly and to it's full potential (I know that sounds soppy) but am scared of even starting to think about picking colours.

myron Fri 10-Aug-12 23:32:58

I agonised over the colour for my 45ft x 20ft open plan kitchen/dining/family room for ages and chose one colour throughout - Elephant's Breath. I do have multiple large windows including a set of bifold doors so it's actually flooded with light. Once, I had decided not to do zoning colours or feature walls, it was easier. Hall, landing & stairs in Skimming Stone. Borrowed Light in Master Bedroom/dressing room & bathroom because DH wanted a blue bedroom and so I obliged and it's beautiful! Blue Gray in the sitting room was adventurous for me - it's more of a period sage green and that's fabulous too. I hesitated about just doing one statement wall and then decided to be brave and did the whole room in Blue Gray - I have no regrets. The rest of the house is in Slipper Satin or White trade matt.

FishfingersAreOK Sat 11-Aug-12 11:53:14 maybe I should wave the colour charts about a bit. My sister is very good at colours but trouble is her taste is much more colourful than mine. And is MY house not hers grin no sibling rivalry hang ups there then so am wary of asking her. Best to wait til we have ceilings and plaster...and roof.

PigletJohn Sat 11-Aug-12 11:58:44

if you put the effort into preparing the walls to a good flat and smooth surface now, it will be very easy to repaint in the future should you change your mind.

A good tip is to do the mist coat and first coat in matt white (pref Dulux Trade Supermatt). This will highlight to your eye any remaining blemishes that you can deal with them and re-mist.

This will equalise the suction and colour, so you need less of your more expensive final coat.

PigletJohn Sat 11-Aug-12 12:00:43


if you are anxious about monotony, you can do a whole house in two or three mild colours, and adjacent rooms can be different.

ggirl Sat 11-Aug-12 12:05:26

We did our entire house except the bedrooms in natural calico when we did a major renovation 7 yrs ago.Complete open plan downstairs so all one colour def easier.
it desperately needs repainting and I am bored bored bored of natural bloody calico!
I would love to have the guts to have a vibrant duck egg blue or similar but can't afford to change the furnishings to match.
So if it was me I would choose a colour you love.

FishfingersAreOK Sat 11-Aug-12 12:08:38

That is a good idea...our hall (although will have a door to the kitchen) will almost be part of the open plan kitchen/dining/family maybe ring the changes more in the separate sitting room.

So any tips/suggestions please for south east facing sitting room with big bay? Smoked oak floors. Dark wood furniture. Sofa...err....well will be what ever we choose but current one either blue or cream covers. Please....

MrsJREwing Sat 11-Aug-12 12:18:59

Morning and midday sun, I would go duckegg or grey in a bright room like that.

PigletJohn Sat 11-Aug-12 13:03:29

naaah, dark beige, or pale tea.

kensingtonkat Sat 11-Aug-12 13:50:48

You have never lived in the house so you have no idea how you will furnish or use certain rooms and this has more of an impact on wall colour than the light, I think.

Our sitting room (we're in rented) is painted in a neutral beige with a slightly pink undertone. In theory, this is the perfect colour for a north facing room in theory - but in practice, it looks godawful with our paintings, which are all in primary colours.

Who wants to pick and choose their favourite things to complement the wall colour when this is the one thing that's really easy to change?

I'd go with Natural Calico or builder's white, and then repaint in a year when you've had a chance to work out where you're going to hang your art, put your books, chosen curtains and so on.

ogredownstairs Sun 12-Aug-12 09:16:27

Think Kat is right - they always say paint white first and live with it for a while so you get to know the rooms. All the prep will be done so relatively easy to add colour when you know what you want.

PigletJohn Sun 12-Aug-12 10:45:41

I think pure white looks a bit dead. A pale neutral is more restful.

FishfingersAreOK Sun 12-Aug-12 13:56:13

Ohhh now I am confused....

Was at a friend's house last night. Her kitchen/diner was pure white with white kitchen. Looked amazing. But I think it did feel a bit "hard" and kind of spiky iyswim. And not sure would mix as well with the off white kitchen we are getting.

reluctanttownie Mon 13-Aug-12 12:25:55

I'm a massive fan of light, neutral walls and also a massive fan of every room being the same colour. I always find that unless the colours (not to mention furniture, fabrics, ornaments etc) are really well chosen, different colours can make a house look bitty and lacking on continuity. I totally agree with your logic about not wanting to have to match furniture to a wall colour. And after all, you can always add some colour in a few years.

I had exactly the same thought processes and I think Natural Calico was one of the 3 million Dulux tester colours we looked at. I was also very tempted by Trade White but got talked out of it by a decorator. I love the clinical look of it, and the way it's so seamless with no colour change from wall to ceiling, and still kind of regret it, but equally it has its problems - woodwork paint gets yellow in comparison (unless we redid whole house with waterbased first), and I also think it wouldn't work with off white kitchens. In the end we went with Jasmine White which I love. It has no pink/mushroom/whatever undertones and is the lightest subtlest off-white cream. It's nice and easy without getting into newbuild-beige terrirory, and I would recommend it if you want a slight change.

FishfingersAreOK Mon 13-Aug-12 12:49:06

Reluctanttownie - I think you may have found the answer - the same colour throughout but maybe just a slightly different shade to Natural Calico - more for a change than anything else.

Now got to find all the colour charts...somewhere in here....(in a static caravan on the front lawn at the moment - classy) and will check out some of the F&B and Jasmine White colour. Just don't, don't want even a hint of "magnolia"!

BrianButterfield Mon 13-Aug-12 13:03:19

We've just redone our dining room/second reception in a similar style house and went for F&B James White. It's east facing so gets morning sun and in the sunshine it's a lovely pale green with no yellow/pink at all (also wanted to avoid the magnolia effect!). Just fresh and clean and looks modern without being trendy IYSWIM. We have a dark blue sofa, dark floor and grey accessories in there as well.

reluctanttownie Mon 13-Aug-12 13:08:45

Have fun! I went absolutely insane for several weeks and starting seeing little squares of off white whenever I closed my eyes. DH was being packed off to B&Q at 7am every morning for more and more samples.

1 tip we were told that really works...Paint the colour on a patch of wall AND on a piece of card/thick paper and hold the card up to the wall so the two reflect off each other. The colour you see then will be much closer to what the painted room will look like than the isolated patch on the wall.

If I remember later I'll dig out some pics and put them on my profile.

BerylStreep Mon 13-Aug-12 17:28:17

I haven't read all the other responses, but I used natural calico in a house a few years ago, and I thought it was a bit insipid. Sort of magnolia. I'm not that keen on Jasmine White either.

Will have a think.

PigletJohn Mon 13-Aug-12 20:35:41

I used Natural Hessian in the kitchen, which has walnut units. It's quite pale and neutral, with a bias towards very weak milky tea.

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