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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Spring painting anyone?


In our culture, we are accustomed to painting our homes at least once a year. Bathroom and kitchen, naturally, have to be done twice. Or else... or else don't you dare calling yourself "house-proud"!
I remember my grandma staring at the sky, waiting for the "spring-feel" to come to her face. She did that every winter, every single morning. And as soon as she got it, it was brush-in-her-hand time.
First thing first: getting the bathroom; then the kitchen. They both (as we lived, and still do, in practically ancient home) tend to attract moist from the air and pull it into the walls - wall being made out of clay do that, they "breathe" that way.

Allow me to introduce you to a line of "popular" colours of the era long gone.

Kitchen colour circa 1929.

This kitchen might be called French Country now, but was considered a folk style back in the day. We have matched the colours using the Historic Colour Collection by Miller Paint.
The following colours are used (top to bottom, left to right):
Venetian green; Shaker red
Pale organza; Clementine
Black; white

1924, Armstrong linoleum

Key concepts in kitchen design circa 1924 included efficiency, healthfulness, and of course, aesthetics. Cabinetry was often painted with a durable, barely off white enamel that was easy to clean, making the "sanitary" kitchen a reality for the modern homemaker. Linoleum flooring, like the gray and blue checkerboard pattern by Armstrong, was considered attractive, durable, and easy to clean. Bright sunflower yellow curtains are complemented by attractive multi-colour panels of green, blue, yellow, and bright pink.
The colour used here (top left, to bottom right):
Sunflower yellow; Ivory
Mediterranean blue; Teal
White; Stone grey

Most resembling ours back in time - from 1928

If the heart of the home is the kitchen, making it an attractive place to work and gather has always been a top priority for homemakers. This kitchen was shown in American Home magazine in October 1928 as one of several rooms illustrating good decorating. We like it because it's so darned pretty.
It shows a small woodstove instead of one of the new electrics, the drainboard sink, icebox, and fashionable linoleum floor.
The colours used to get this look:
Ivory; Powder blue
Corn silk; Jadite
Black; Rose red
Dark sage; Mocha

From 1929.

With the ivory and its yellow undertones, this could be almost be considered a primary triadic scheme. The blues, white, and punch of red looks clean and charming. We've matched the colors using the Historic Colour Collection by Miller Paint except for the dark navy. It appears that the designer used a two-color linoleum for the counters and wall below the chair rail.
Colours in this scheme:
Andover cream; Dark navy
Fluid blue; Stagecoach 
Capri blue; White

Crane house advertisement from 1930's "House & garden"

The Corwith sink is navy blue as is the enameled range. Trim color is ivory but the window sashes are green. The floor is medium and charcoal gray and textiles are blue and green striped. There is just a little bit of red sprinkled in the curtains, tile, and floral design on the cabinets.
The following colours are used:
Ivory; Chilly
Butter yellow; Summer leaf
White; Navy
Medium grey; Charcoal

Elaborate colours from 1945.

Red, black, and white — or in this case, ivory — is one the the boldest color schemes possible. When done well, it's great. This kitchen might be too dark for some, but it's a mid-century classic. In the Armstrong pamphlet, "Album of Room Ideas" by Hazel Dell Brown, the only colour named is Chinese Red.
It was created by the use of just these few colours:
Green; Ivory
Red; Black

Going retro in 1947.

Crane advertised their Dial-ese faucet and sink in American Home magazine in March 1947 with this modern kitchen. The windows are especially cool and Dwellish. And who doesn't love a retro pink and grey colour scheme?
Achieving it requires these:
Grass green; Pale grey
Petal pink; Medium grey
Dove grey; Garnet red
Off white; Black

I hope that these wonderfully coloufull kitchens have given you some inspiration, so that once you decide it "that" spring smell in the air, you can get your tools and brush away.

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