colour inspiration for a traditional home

I was asked to make some colour suggestions for a beautiful Victorian home that is in bad need of an update.  At the moment the living rooms are an unfortunate custard and maroon which detracts from the superb high ceilings and lovely period details.  The owners recently had lounge curtains made up in the lovely Morris trellis fabric (below).  This traditional print has a lovely fresh colour palette which ties in with other green touches in the home, a perfect starting point.

If you have the luxury of traditional high ceilings I love rooms painted in two colours.   A darker colour below the picture rail, and white above the rail, onto the ceiling and for skirting's and window frames.   This scheme is traditional without feeling old fashioned and shows the volume and period mouldings at their best.

Recommendation for lounge area paint colours:
- below picture rail porters paints herd
- above picture rail, ceiling and trim porters paints chalk nsw

Taking the fabric as a base, white and grey seems the perfect solution, a classic combination that mixes beautifully with different accent colours and won't date like the maroon and custard combo has.  The warm grey will really show off a collection of inherited bird prints, other pieces of art and furniture, and the gorgeous original fireplace complete with ornate mirror.

The kitchen is also getting an update to create more practical work areas and storage.  It is separate from the lounge but linked visually and has its own challenges: yellow stained pine cabinets (to be changed) and light pink terracotta tiles throughout (to stay).

Recommendation for kitchen update: 
- continue the white of the ceiling from the lounge area throughout this area
- paint base and tall pantry cabinets in a warm olive green (see inspiration board above)
- remove all above counter cabinets and replace with thick white shelves (same colour as wall paint) that return around the corners (see below)

The olive cabinets will tone in with the terracotta tiles and the grey in the living room, and set off the rustic wooden kitchen table and sideboard.
Open above counter shelves create lots of storage without enclosing the space, but they do need to be packed judiciously.  Lots of white crockery, stacks of glasses and collections by colour as in the examples above.  Coordinated rather than cluttered.

I can't wait to see the results.  Simple changes that will set this lovely home up for her next 100 years.

| Ralph Lauren Home | Paint details from Ellis House |  Unknown source  |  Detail of Josephine House  |  House & Home  |

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