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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

outtolunchagain Sun 18-Nov-12 19:13:32

It sounds fantastic, DH isn't so keen on the white but is happy with calico so might go with that in the hall as well.We have a lot of woodwork in the hall so just need to think about that.

Might try a colour in our bedroom ; shock horrorgrin

FishfingersAreOK Sun 18-Nov-12 17:49:59

I went with Trade White. Not Pure Brilliant just "regular" white. Looks amazing. Got smoked oak floors which are amazingly warm and am looking forward to going to town with cream and neutrals in the sitting room (with the odd flash of pale turquoise and denim). Main open plan/kitchen area is off white cabinets with black granite. I have spotted some lime green and plum curtains and have got a lime green kettle and mugs.

I did natural calico in the children's bedrooms - they are north facing (ish) and they have white furniture so I thought white there would be too much.

Am really pleased - no, really, really pleased with it. Not quite moved in yet - so is still just white - not yet got the "softening" touches of textiles, rugs, pictures.

TBH looking at the Natural Calico in the bedrooms - it is right for in there but I am glad I went for what I really wanted - which was white.

outtolunchagain Sun 18-Nov-12 17:33:23

OP did you go with Callico in the end ,i am toying with it for our sitting room which is a bit dark ,we have a fig carpet (greeny gold) and dark wine coloured sofa adn i have gone with a Laura AShley large bold print for curtains .

What colour did you paint the ceiling and woodwork ?Isort of feel that brilliant white might be a bit stark and i prefer a softer look.

I am a bit of a neutrals obsessive actually but think the kitchen is going to be welsh flint

FishfingersAreOK Mon 13-Aug-12 21:41:51

They are all really a bit of a combination of these then? White-y/biscuit-y?

PigletJohn Mon 13-Aug-12 20:50:38

I think that would be great

Haven't got one sad

BerylStreep Mon 13-Aug-12 20:44:09

Or this one? grin

BerylStreep Mon 13-Aug-12 20:42:45

Piglet john, has anyone ever bought you these mugs?

animaltales Mon 13-Aug-12 20:40:58

Egyptian Cotton, Dulux is nice, a bit grey-ish and def not pinky/magnolia. Looks good with white woodwork.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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"!

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 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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

naaah, dark beige, or pale tea.

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

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

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....

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.

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.

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.

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.

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