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green feature wall in bedroom with green bedding from haymes paint

Why are we so Afraid to Paint our Walls with Colour?

We get excited over bright rooms in the mags we read and blogs we visit, but one question still remains. When it comes to our own home, are we all so afraid to splash our walls with colour?

My inbox is flooded every season with press releases and imagery from paint brands, both local and overseas. I often cover a lot of it on the blog (like these awesome paint effects), encouraging you to give bright or moody tones on your wall a go. But I never see or know of anyone who’s gone to the paint store and taken the plunge.

I scroll through my Instagram feed past oodles of homes; all decked out with white walls. Ok, sometimes they’re grey. And once in a while, black. But there’s never any colour to be seen – especially here in Australia. But why are we afraid to use colour on out walls when it looks so damn good?



So why no walls with colour locally?

I’m really intrigued by why we don’t paint our walls in bright colours Down Under. I refuse to believe that we don’t like colour as much as our overseas friends and family do.

I don’t think we’re afraid to use colour altogether, because the homewares stores are packed to the rafters with brightly coloured decor (and we gobble it all up). But for some reason we do seem hesitant to use it in large doses on our walls. There has to be a reason, though. So what gives?

Below I’m going to share some theories as to why we don’t use colour enough. But what you’ll also get is a tonne of inspiration on walls with colour from my friends at Haymes!


Is open plan living to blame?

I see brightly painted walls far more in homes overseas, especially in Europe. But never here.

I’m going to go with the theory that because the homes over there are traditionally less open plan, colour experimentation is more prominent. The weather is gloomier too, in places like England, so the concept of brightening your outlook with a splash of yellow paint, for example, seems quite appealing.

The added bonus of the rooms being closed off from one another, is that you can easily shut the colour off from one space to another.

Here, with open plan homes, I’m guessing that people get worried about where the bright or bold colour should end. Do you apply paint to one wall, a few walls, all walls? It’s a fair question to ponder, and probably why we avoid it altogether (which truly breaks my heart).








Are you confused about colour combos?

Maybe it has something to do with fear about matching colours and making the overall scheme work with bright tones. Over my years in the biz – and working with my own design clients – people do seem to grasp making neutrals work far more easily than colour. It feels less imposing, less daunting, and easier to play with and interchange.

But what’s so sad about that is (as you can see in the above imagery) that colour can create such an amazing mood in a space; far more than beige, white or soft grey can. And yet we seem to steer clear of it.

Does it seem too expensive for you?

People tend to think that painting a wall is a huge expense, and I reckon they fear that the gamble won’t pay off. Compared to tiles or wallpaper though, paint is so easy to splash on and splash over.

It won’t take more than a day to complete and the expense really isn’t very much. Though I think it still falls into the ‘too hard basket’ for most people. And there’s worry over getting the exact shade right, too.


Do you have walls with colour?

I’d love to know if you’ve considered painting your walls with colour but didn’t go ahead with it – and what the reason was. Perhaps you bit the bullet and went through with a brightly coloured wall. I’d love to know how you went with the experience and if you love the colour.

Drop me a comment below and share your thoughts on why we don’t paint walls with colour more at home!

The images in this post are newbies from the awesome Haymes colour library. To find out more click here.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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7 Responses

  1. We’ve just wrapped our whole bedroom in Haymes, Raw Canvas; skirting boards, doors and architraves. It’s blurred the edges and created a calming affect. A great suggestion from Kate Watson-Smyth, Made about the House.

  2. So I have a north facing snug with a bright orange Ligne Roset (toga) sofa. I’d love to paint it a similar colour to the one in your feed (orange sofa) but my husband fears it will make the room dark and a light colour will brighten it. Liz

    1. Hey Liz, given the room is North facing I’m guessing it is pretty bright and sunny? It should be able to handle a dark colour. Depends on the mood you’re after, but go bright or bold, take a risk!

  3. I took the plunge. I had my living room painted Marigold Petal (bright orange) and not just an accent wall, THE WHOLE THING with dark brown trim. I freaking love it so much. I’ve had it that way for over a year. Every time I walk in there it feels cheerful and warm.

    1. This pleases me to no end Lance. I love hearing that people are being bold with colour. It can’t be white walls all the time now can it? Would love to see a photo. Are you on Instagram? I’m @tlcinteriors – perhaps you can send me a snap there?

  4. Hi Chris, well after spending yesterday pondering the sample colours I’d put on my dining room walls, is it too dark, is it too much etc etc, I’ve read your blog this morning and I’m going for it! The room always felt dark to me, Brown & cream wooden furniture, browny/goldy carpet, heavy old fashioned brown framed mirror. The room simply felt dark and heavy. I picked up a cream rug of lovely texture yesterday and placing this under the dining table has already ‘lifted’ the room. I bought samples home of British Paints Green Silhouette & White Gable. All yesterday I thought no, too dark. But now I’m thinking moody, different, interesting, lovely! So I’m going to take the plunge! Thanks for the inspiration, I’ll post a pic on completion!
    Kind regards, Kerrith Richardson

    1. Oh Kerrith I am so glad I got you over the line! You gotta give it a go right? So glad you’re taking the plunge. If you find you don’t like it, at least you tried and learnt something about colour and what works along the way. I have every confidence it’ll look amazing though. You should come join my Facebook group so you can post the pic in there and show other members: https://www.facebook.com/groups/tlcdecoratingjunkies/

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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