Let’s Talk Paint: The Colours of Swoon Worthy

If there is one question I get asked more than any other, it’s what paint colours I’ve used in certain rooms. There is something undeniably magical and empowering about picking out a tin of paint – call me dramatic but in that single tin, you hold more transformative powers than nearly any single thing you can bring in a room.  Not only that, in the grand scheme of things, it’s a relatively inexpensive option as well, considering it can give you a completely different look even when nothing else has changed.

So when Homebase contacted me recently asking if I would like to discuss Dulux paint colours with you, I just had to agree. Why? Because hand-on-heart, I buy all my paint at my local Homebase and nearly always use Dulux. I mean, that’s a pretty good reason to talk about it, no?

I created this little simple chart so you can see the scheme of the whole house.  A couple of these are no longer in the rooms (replaced with other Dulux colours shown) but they are all colours that I’ve used and loved myself.

Now, for ages, the image below was my most popular pin on Pinterest.  I know, right? With it’s crazy swirly artex on the ceiling and rather plain fixtures, it was most definitely the paint colour that caught people’s eye.

In fact, I still get a lot of Google traffic to this one post which is kind of funny because since then, we’ve been working on a bathroom remodel!  But Dulux Hawaiian Blue 3 completely transformed what was a very boring white bathroom into something that I was pretty happy to live with for a couple of years until we could start the bathroom remodel.  That’s what you might call the power of paint.  It is what I would consider a peacock blue or a very dark teal.  In some light, it looked more blue (as it does in the picture above), in another light, it would appear more green, but it was always a stunning hue. I admit, I was a little sorry to see it go!

My bedroom was probably one of the biggest changes in terms of transformations.  It was a pinky beige colour (ghastly, honestly) when we’d moved in and I decided that it needed to be rectified IMMEDIATELY if I was going to get any sleep in there.  So initially we painted it the same colour as the living room (Dulux Dusted Moss 2 seen further down in this post), but eventually, I got brave and painted the whole room in the darkest chalkiest slate grey I could find – Dulux Night Jewels 1.

It’s the best thing I could have done for this room – I love how absolutely everything pops against it.  And because it’s not a true black, it doesn’t look harsh – the flat paint has a softness to it that’s enveloping and cosy at night – perfect for a bedroom!

I remember going to Homebase with a sample of the wallpaper I planning to use in my dressing room.  The helpful gent at the Dulux counter zapped it with their magic eye thingie at the mixing counter that allows them to choose paint colours from objects and told me Japanese Maze 3 was the closest match to the palest green in the wallpaper.  Painting above the picture rail in a similar colour to the wallpaper helped to raise the ceilings that much higher in the room and finding me a great match was easy-peasy for the Homebase guys too.

The dining room was originally painted in Dulux Nightjewels 3 – it was a lovely sludge-y grey with warm purple-y undertones.  If you are considering going dark with your paint colours but feel nervous about taking the plunge, it’s a great shade to start with as it works with so many other colours and neutrals.  I had a lot of love for this paint colour – I think it has a similar effect to the Abigail Ahern favourite Farrow & Ball Downpipe but at a lower price point.  No compromising on quality though, the finish is just as gorgeous as a higher-end brand.

I loved it for the 2+ years we had it.  However, late last summer, I got an itch to make a change.  A large tin of Dulux Wild Water 1 paint from the Dulux paint-mixing guy at my local Homebase plus a weekend of painting (single-handedly I may add as Wayne was away!) and I got my deep blue dining room. The resulting change was dramatic.  I adore this colour and I have to hold myself back from painting my whole house in it!

My living room is probably the one room I get this question asked the most.  Dulux Dusted Moss 2 is probably what I would consider my “perfect” light grey – and this is because it’s a ‘true grey’ (without a lot of blue or red undertones) and somehow, it manages to lift a room that doesn’t a lot of natural sunlight.  It’s easy on the eye and works wonderfully with the original features in the space.  You might recall I also used it for the Purple Door Project in a similarly situated living room.

Finally, in my kitchen is the basic of all basics.  Dulux Pure Brilliant White.  It does exactly what it says on the tin.  Pretty much anywhere we’ve used white (ceilings, baseboards, trim), it’s been in Pure Brilliant White.  It goes on slightly opaque (which could seem scary at first, thinking you’ll need loads of coats) but it dries completely opaque with great coverage.  It’s neither a blue nor a creamy white so it works in nearly every application.

So it’s pretty safe to say that I would HIGHLY recommend Dulux as a paint choice in your own home.  As you can see, I’ve used it throughout my home and throughout my home’s journey.  I normally use the flat or matt paint colours because I live in a house that’s over 100 years old and the walls are far from perfectly smooth so small imperfections disappear with a flatter paint.

Yes, you can get pricier paints out there and you can definitely get cheaper paints out there.  But for a mid-range paint, the consistency and coverage is remarkable (I’ve never needed to do more than 2 coats, even in the darkest colours) and the sheer volume of colours available are mind-boggling – and they will custom mix for you even if you can’t find the exact shade you’re looking for.

So go on and visit your local Homebase and have them mix you up something special at the Dulux counter. You don’t even need to sweat too much about your decision – with Dulux “Let’s Colour” Guarantee, if you don’t like the paint, they will send you a voucher for a free tin (participating stores only, please read the T&Cs here).  So get mixing and have some fun, eh?

Have you used Dulux paints in your own home?  What colours are your favourites?


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This post is in association with Homebase but as always, all images, opinions, general rambling and sorry excuses for humour are all my very own.  Thank you for supporting the businesses that support Swoon Worthy!


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  • Elizabeth @ The Little Black DoorFebruary 19, 2014 - 2:46 pm

    You are an excellent paint picker outer. :)ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousFebruary 20, 2014 - 8:46 am

    Great colours. I'm guessing that your choice to paint the living room in dusted moss had the effect of brightening the room more than a white? Would be good to have your thoughts on that. Love your hallway- wondered what is underneath the wood floor do you have a lovely ceramic tiles or might you be tempted to add minton tiles? Love the blog, LizzieReplyCancel

    • Kimberly HughesFebruary 20, 2014 - 12:50 pm

      Definitely – the problem with using white in a room that doesn't get much light is that it appears a bit dingy. So using a soft grey makes the room look a bit brighter. Our wood floors in the hallway are actually original – strangely, no tile! Either that, or they were removed a very long time ago :) xxxReplyCancel

  • Fran BeatonFebruary 20, 2014 - 9:32 am

    I really like the dark colours you've used. I wouldn't have been brave enough to try that as I would have thought it would look a bit dreary but actually it's so striking and really works.ReplyCancel

    • Kimberly HughesFebruary 20, 2014 - 12:51 pm

      Thank you Fran! I think people are scared to use dark paint colours, but they are really beautiful and make anything you put against them pop :) xxxReplyCancel

  • AliceFebruary 22, 2014 - 11:50 am

    Fabulous colours. Dusted moss looks amazing, might have to try a sample of that in our north-facing living room. Dulux is a great range – I find the colours change beautifully in the light in the same way as more expensive brands do.ReplyCancel

  • Jena {Involving Color and Home}February 24, 2014 - 3:55 pm

    Kimberly, your home looks amazing and you have such great taste in paint colors! I totally agree that paint has such an impact on a room, and it is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to completely transform a space. I really like how you mixed up bolder colors with softer colors depending on the room too. I'd love to feature your master bedroom on my paint color blog, Involving Color. TheReplyCancel

  • Fuzzy Logic and FoodNovember 16, 2014 - 8:35 am

    Kimberley, what number is your Dusted Moss and is it true grey (not lilac or green)? Also, where did you get your kitchen lights?ReplyCancel

  • VirginiaJanuary 17, 2015 - 3:31 pm

    Hi Kimberly, stumbled across your blog by chance whilst researching ideas for re-doing our hallway which is approx 20ft long by 2ft wide and gloomy. Love the look of dusted moss 2 and thinking of lining walls with black and white family pics in selection of frames sprayed white and silver and poss dotting silver decal stars on walls. Also pondering large arty stretch canvas and sneaking fairy lights behind to make a feature. Any thoughts? Love your blog.ReplyCancel

    • Kimberly DuranJanuary 17, 2015 - 3:51 pm

      Hi Virgina, Dusted Moss is a lovely colour but I’m not sure how it would look in a narrow hallway without a lot of natural light – and that light really is key here. I would be tempted to go with something a little bolder or deeper to really embrace a cosy hallway. Your best bet, however, is to get a few sample pots and some white card stock. Paint the cards leaving around a 1″ border of white around it and then tack up a few in the hallways and see how the colour changes depending upon the time of day. HTH! xxxReplyCancel

  • Ursula LondonApril 3, 2015 - 10:28 pm

    Hi, love your house so much! I’m looking for two shades of grey (one pale, the other slightly darker) for above and below the dad rail in the south facing doting room of a victorian terrace I’m buying. Any suggestions? Love the Cornforth white but perhaps that would be too light?ReplyCancel

  • EdMarch 13, 2016 - 8:46 pm

    Where did you get the wallpaper inthe Japanese maze 3 picture? We bought our house 5 years ago and the previous owner had the same wallpaper as a feature wall in the kitchen and I’ve always wondered where they got it from.

    • Kimberly DuranMarch 14, 2016 - 8:14 am

      Hi Ed,

      Sure the wallpaper is Osborne & Little’s Grove Garden :) Hope that helps! xxReplyCancel

  • Sarah OwensOctober 1, 2016 - 7:32 pm

    Hi! I keep stumbling across your blog as I’m currently re-decorating and looking for ideas. I have been looking for a similar mirror as you have in your living room the circular white one and was wondering where this was from? Thank you Sarah xxReplyCancel

    • Kimberly DuranOctober 2, 2016 - 9:27 am

      Hi Sarah! Alas, I purchased that about 6 years ago (in fact, I recently sold it and moved the gold one into my living room!) but it was originally from An Angel at My Table. I don’t think they carry them anymore however. So sorry about that! xxxReplyCancel

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