Monday, 15 September 2014

Of colour and light, and colour, and light

Choosing colours has never really been an issue with me. I am happy to experiment and whatever I have been working on, whether made from yarn or fabric, have been rather small, you know, when looking at the big picture. Choosing colours for a house is a totally different story, particularly when you consider size and permanency - and the opinions of other people involved.

Our new house will have Accoya cladding. Accoya is an engineered type of wood which is quite new here. When first suggested by the architect, husband was drawn to its 50-years-maitenance-free qualities, and the main part of the house would be natural (untreated) wood. I absolutely hated the bright yellow colour of the natural wood, and even more the dirty grey that it would change to after a few years. I was very relieved when husband agreed after taking a closer look at samples and pictures and a couple of local houses. Colour is important, right?
(Orange to brown colour samples. Do they all read brown to you?)

After an interesting visit to the local supplier, we agreed on something between orange and brown. The interesting part was discussing colour and light with two colour novices; both of them could have benefited from a few quilting classes I'd say. Most warm browns would be ok with me really, but I had of course a couple of favourites on the orange-ish side, like the cherry wood. However, no matter how much I would love an orange house, the light is an issue.

The staining process involves 4 layers of stain and varnish on an already saturated wood, making the surface reflect light in unexpected ways. The beautiful red-orange cherry wood could for instance look pink from an angle or over time, and we would not know until the house was finished. A bright pink house? Surpriiise.
(Teak in the middle, cherry wood to the right - pink in one light, orange in the other..)

Anyway, today we had a meeting with the architects, and we could all agree on the colours. Yeeeey. Would you believe that the middle sample in the picture below is the same as the middle sample in the picture above? It is indeed all a matter of light.

Lots of modern houses here have 2-3 different colours, and so will ours.

(I have been sketching funky face blocks inspired by this drawing. It would make quite a different house quilt, wouldn't it)

We have rich mahogany (the darkest sample), teak (the medium brown sample) and cherry wood (the orange sample). The windows frames and window panels will be black (remote control.). It may sound a little patchwork-y, but I think it will be really cool.
Even in the dim indoor-evening-halogen-light, the colours look warm and fabulous.

This has been one of The biggest issues house-wise, the rest will be easy, well, maybe not the kitchen, and the bathrooms, and the floor in the upstairs living room, although it looks like we have found a common ground there as well...


  1. I understand your dilemma. I had to pick colors for my kitchen.... hated that. It's easy to mix up the colors for a quilt, but to pick them for a room that everybody will like! I'm glad I'm moving, and the new owner will pick her own colors, she's taking out the wall between the kitchen and the livingroom to have a great room. Stupid idea to see the kitchen mess from the livingroom... not to mention the greasy that will travel to your couch. Glad I won't be seeing that.

  2. Nice choices there. We are using a product called hardiplank which is fiber cementious and has lots of recycled content. 15 years with no painting, which made us happy and impervious to almost everything. We are going with a very dark gray green with off white trim the color of a sailcloth. I think it will make future garden flowers pop against that dark color. I will use my orange inside and in the landscape. xox