4BC interview – Room colour

Principal Designer John Croft was recently interviewed on 4BC’s Newstalk program about room colour. Click on the ‘play’ button below to listen to the interview.

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Interview transcript:

Kevin: Designing a room in your home can be quite daunting and it’s a very difficult task and you don’t really know where to start. You might have an idea but you don’t know how to bring it into being.   Maybe you know how you want a particular room to feel but don’t know quite how to achieve that.

When designing a room, one decision can change the whole mood of a room. Some of the main mood changes in an interior design would include lighting space and colours and we have discussed these in previous weeks and the man I am going to introduce you to now – John Croft.

John is a qualified Interior Designer and winner of numerous design awards from John Croft Design in Brisbane.  Thanks for talking to us again.

I want to talk about colour today because this can actually change the whole mood of a room just even one little splash of colour.

John: Yes, it does Kevin. Look Keven, the simplest thing to do in a room and the most economical really is to paint a wall or paint a room – the whole room. It’s simple and it’s economical so if you really want to make a change that is the way you do it. Whether you just did a feature wall in a brighter colour, it’s simple to do it that way.

Kevin: There is a photograph that I am looking at right now which is on your website, (and that’s very unfair because you don’t know which one it is) but it is the colour in a blog article called “Room Mood Changes” and it’s a fabulous photograph – everything in the whole house is like a cream or white but then there is a splash of colour in the rug, a wrap over the lounge but the thing that intrigued me was the different colours of the chairs around the dining room, there is pink and green and blue – it’s just something that I wouldn’t even think to do.

John: When you start designing, which we have discussed before, you have got to work out a direction where you are going and because we are designing usually for a family, a couple or a single person and you are trying to bring their personality out, you try to always come up with a different way so that it looks like them and it is exciting for that family or person, so with those ones – it’s just fun really. It would have been a room that we wanted to be interesting. Exactly what you said, something you wouldn’t have thought of, and just to make it a fun area and by doing that it actually creates joy in that room, because that’s the overall feeling.

In the introduction you used the word feeling, and I think we have said this before as well, that interior design is an emotion, it is a feeling. So what are you trying to do? You’re trying to make the room fun, or joyful, are you trying to make it sophisticated and quiet?   So you have just got to get the idea, start there and just keep on working towards it.

Kevin: It’s interesting, we talk about moods in a room and how that can be influenced by lighting and colour but it can also be influenced by space – I think I can remember reading somewhere on your website that even a lower ceiling in a bedroom can create a sense of intimacy. So these are good things to bear in mind if you are either building a home or even renovating a home – is that you may even want to alter the height of a room.

John: Well, you try not to do it, but sometimes you are stuck with it. You usually try to get as high a ceiling as you possibly can, but then sometimes you have got quite a low ceiling, which might be 2400 or 2200 so then you have to work out ways of making that feel more spacious. Or that’s not what you are trying to do, you are trying to create a really dark shell so that therefore you are painting all the walls and the ceiling and you are trying to lower it and bring it right in and then add strong colours or excitement within that space. You always treat the walls and ceilings and floors as a shell. So you create a shell and then you put whatever you want in it, colour, etc.

Kevin: That’s interesting too, because once you have got the shell you put the stuff in there, but if you are not careful you can actually over-clutter. I am looking at this photograph once again, there are a lot of things happening in this photo, but it doesn’t look cluttered at all – everything in there works.

John: That could also come back to a lot of scale as well. It’s like anything, it’s planning, everything revolves around planning and if you’ve got a house and you are going out to buy furniture and do whatever, draw the room up with a plan and put all the doors and windows. Quite often, when we start a project, we draw the plan first and then we put furniture in, and at that stage, you are obviously thinking about it, but you don’t really worry about whether you’ve got a square arm, a round arm couch, or whatever. It doesn’t matter because it comes back to what can fit there. So you’ve got your lamp table, coffee table, and then you have got traffic going across the room (and sometimes you can have a large room) but in the end what is useable is very tight. So you put all your furnishings in, so it is all to do with scale. The room you are probably looking at, we have probably chosen the right size couches and the right size dining table and chairs, so you haven’t gone into a shop, let’s say, and bought this table because it was fabulous, but it is 2.4 metres long, and you can really only get an 1800 mm table in your room so now you are stuck with it and it is crowding the rest of the space.

Kevin: It’s interesting, let’s go back to colour again. Colour is also fascinating because you can get the colour red, as an example, which can be full of energy, passion, stimulation, and yet a deeper red, which I read in your blog also, if you put that into a bedroom it can also create a very intimate mood.

John: Absolutely. Because reds have hues – if you look into different reds, variations. some of them start to go into a sort of cerise colours, and mulberry, there are all variations of reds so once again what are you wanting, are you wanting an intimacy from that bedroom or are you wanting it to be open and light and fresh? So if you are wanting a deep seductive feeling in the room you go down that road of choosing these really… I wouldn’t do a bright red in an adult bedroom, maybe in a child’s bedroom you might because once again you are creating a different mood.

Kevin: Would you go for more of a deeper red.

John: Yes, a deeper red. But even red, in our climate, just be very careful, because it’s hot. We did a room for a client of ours a few year’s ago, she had a dining room which was a separate room to the rest of the house so you could easily isolate it, which we have discussed before, and she really wanted this to be very moody, and we painted that a very deep red which had a lot of blue coming underneath it, so we had this gorgeous colouring but it was very deep and it is the most stunning room to walk into, but in the middle of summer, during the day, it’s not a room that you would want to be in. But it was designed for a particular use, it was meant for night for more sophisticated dinner parties let’s say.

Kevin: As we talk more and more, I am beginning to understand that it all comes back to the mood you want to create and understanding what you want to use the room for.

John: Absolutely. Once again, it’s really planning. You have got to really think it through – what do you want from this room, from this house. Not only how you want to feel, but how do you want other people to feel when they come into it. Some people like it all to be very, very neutral and quiet and have that neutrality, which is stunning, but you still need contrast. You need dark woods to give you some sort of excitement, it’s all about excitement.

Kevin: Very exciting stuff. And I love talking to you John but we are now out of time unfortunately. Time flies when we are having fun doesn’t it?

We have been speaking with John Croft from John Croft Design – thank you so much John for joining us. You can catch John on his website johncroftdesign.com.au

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