Colour Trends

Australian colour trends naturally

While the vast majority of Australians live in urban clusters around the coast, the iconic imagery of the outback’s Red Centre increasingly has a major influence on the colours we choose for our home exteriors.

The bland creams and greens of the past have been consigned to the dustbin of time as we now use more natural and interesting colours to decorate our homes.

Deep reds and oranges, sunflower and mustard yellows, and yellowed neutrals reflect the look of the sunburnt country we inhabit.

Australia’s range of other climates is reflected in colours that are popular today including greys, steel blues, teal and peacock mixed with caramel and honey colours, natural timbers, all stone coloured neutrals, textured blacks, stark but dimensional whites, softer greens, olive greys and rust.

Some of the most popular trends in Australia’s wide palette of choice include:

Backyard to the future

Australian backyards are changing. The old notion of a Hills Hoist placed in the middle of a rectangular patch of grass edged by an equally geometric garden and timber fence is fast becoming something to reminisce about in family photos.

The fence may still the same shape but it has a new purpose. It could be a coloured backdrop to the garden, a deep orange feature behind a Bali pavilion, a steel blue backrest for perimeter seating or a charcoal boundary adding depth to gardens.

We are now creating smaller spaces in the backyard for a range of purposes.  Areas for a barbeque, growing vegetables and herbs, a hammock or day bed, dining or sports are smaller room-like zones that help create the indoor/outdoor lifestyle we all love.

Screens can be used for dividing spaces and for adding interest and detail.  Moroccan, Asian and Islamic patterns bring decoration to the outdoor space and if placed with consideration can cast wonderful shadows on surrounding coloured walls. 

Sustainably Mellow Yellow

One of the strongest growing trends in Australian housing is the quest for sustainable living. 

We are eco conscious and seek the harmonious integration of landscape and people to provide food, energy and shelter in a sustainable way.

Increasingly, manufacturers are creating building products that are recyclable, renewable and responsible. In the paint industry, low VOC paints lead the way in products that support the environment.

The colour of sustainability is yellow. the colour of sunshine, of pure life giving energy and innocence. 

The various shades of yellow - earthy mustards, sunflower yellows, barely there yellows, and yellowed greens, greys and neutrals - reflect a desire to be true to our environment.

All shades of organic greens through to olive browns compliment this trend.

Outside in

The modern Australian house has large, open and flexible living areas that merge with outside dining and entertaining zones.

Gardens and landscaping are structurally and visually linked to the house and create a sense of depth and unity.

Stone feature walls (stack stone, slate, sandstone), rendered planter boxes, ledges, elongated window shapes, integrated garage doors (timber or painted to match the render), monotone bricks in beige or black, and sometimes a feature coloured front door are all new trends in modern housing. 

The finishes used are repeated inside, outside and in the garden for continuity of texture and colour. Roofs are darker and flatter with charcoal and black roof tiles and corrugated steel being the largest selling colours.

The colour palette is predominantly stone inspired neutrals including browns and taupes, warm and cool greys, and black and charcoals.  This is highlighted with features of either texture (mainly stones and cedar coloured timbers) or deep colours of personal choice ? maybe green, purple, red, pink or orange –usually just one feature colour is enough.

Life’s a beach

From a resort style pavilion with silky limestone and cedar finishes to a weathered weatherboard shack, the beach house is an Australian institution. 

The colour cues are simply from the beach…the white caps of the waves, the blues, teals and greens of the water, the perfect sky blue, all mixed with the golden tones of the sand and accent colours taken from the local surroundings ?sun bleached bush colours, saturated tropical colours, barren rocky windswept colours. 

The very nature of a beach house is somewhere to relax, unwind and find balance and inspiration.  The colours that surround us are highly personal but generally, many beach houses are painted in lighter airier colours while city houses are getting darker.

Rusty roofs

Australians have grown up with the notion of rusty old tin roofs so it isn’t all that surprising that one of the most popular finishes at the moment is rust!  Either from real metal or, increasingly, from paint products, the rusted roof is a hit. 

Black rust, white rust, true rusty oranges with copper green patina stains all fit within the rust colour palette and these textured features are blended with timber, stone and glass to create exciting layers of weathered colour and texture. 

In fact, all metallic surfaces are in demand ?from zinc to copper and from stainless steel to industrial blue steel ?and paint is the easiest way to achieve this look.