• Stjohn Axbey

A Study In Blue

Updated: Jun 21

I’m not afraid to use colour. So, in our ever so slightly anodyne world of safe whites and beiges it’s a pleasure to occasionally wave the colour wand around a bit; this was certainly the case with a colour consultation that I recently worked on in the trendy Melbourne suburb of Seddon.


The renovator's renovator


I was approached by Phil Stubbs, who had recently completed a total renovation of his early 1900’s weather board home. When I first saw the house in 2016, I initially thought that it had seen a fire: there was no roof, no linings, no floors and all that remained of the walls was the front facade.


A laborious renovation ensued taking over two years to complete and the results do truly speak for themselves. The house is an elegant statement of design and is a testament to Phil's tenacity and determination, as renovators go he is the king in my opinion.


The completed house and gardens - a true testament to Phil's tenacity


My task was to focus on the front entrance room, originally the Front Parlour or Drawing Room, now a study. The brief from the client was, well brief and to the point - “I want luxe, glam and drama!”


Images of the study prior to waving the colour wand: a patchwork of test colours and tones surround the beautiful ornate fireplace.


Colour selection process


Colour consultations aren’t necessarily as straight forward as they first might appear. When considering the choice of colour it is important to first understand what the room's function will be and what mood you want to create.


Colour affects our mood. It has a psychological effect on all of us: oranges and reds lift physical comfort and encourages appetite, whereas green/blue tones will promote a sense of peace and harmony and will improve the feeling of calm and serenity. Yellow is the strongest colour psychologically and will lift the spirits and self-esteem, whilst unless used with pattern and texture, grey can be depressive and emotionless.


With the above in mind, it was logical that cooler more relaxing blue/greens were called for in this room and Luxe, glam and punch would be created using a darker tone.


The next point of consideration was the furniture in the room and how much of it was to be retained. The two blue velvet and brass chairs and the tan leather lounge were to stay, as was the amazing 5-armed brass light fitting from Custom Lighting of Armadale.


The stunning Custom Lighting 5-armed pendant light fitting is a significant feature of the room


I drew inspiration from the images below: ever more convinced that the dark colour worked so well with the blue velvet of the West Elm arm chairs, drinks trolley, light fitting and the leather of the lounge suite.


Web sourced images helped in the colour selection process.


Convincing the client


The hardest part was to convince the client that this was indeed the right colour choice, as he had set in his mind on Duck Egg Blue.


This is where the use of CGI helps to convey the message. Part of my service is to produce a series of images that allow the client to see varying colour schemes at different angles in the room. The CGI’s here took approximately 10-12 hours to generate in modelling time. When producing this room model, it was important to ensure that the room features and furniture were accurately reproduced; including the West Elm arm chairs, the Shots Emporium leather lounge, the glorious 5-armed light fitting and the main feature of the room: the ornate timber fireplace.


An array of renders were produced to give the client a clear idea of how the room would look. The renders were produced using an early morning sunlight position.


Various shades of blue were sent to the client, and it very quickly became obvious which colour worked the best. The image is rendered using Wattyl Indian Ocean, the deep rich blue complements the teal of the arm chairs and the blue glazed hearth tiles. The colour also sits perfectly with the brushed gold of the light fitting, the chair arms and the cocktail cabinet. The fireplace simply pops off the wall and becomes the dominating feature of the room.


The selected colour choice - Wattyl Indian Ocean


Phil openly admits that had he not seen the renders he would not have had the courage to pick such a bold colour. I’m so pleased that he did, as the room simply looks stunning; it is now a tranquil space that Phil looks forward to escaping to during the day be it for work or relaxation. Of an evening the room changes in mood and becomes a desirable gentleman’s retreat perfect for indulging in a Gin and Tonic or sipping on an aged malt whisky in front of the open fire.

It would appear that Mabel, Phil’s gorgeous Cavoodle also approves of the colour choice.


If your having trouble with selecting a colour for your room, please give me a call to assist you.


Thanks for reading

Cheers!! Sx

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