Pat Kenny Show: Sarah Jane Answers Decor Questions

As part of her interview on Newstalk, our colour consultant Sarah Jane answered some of Pat Kenny’s listeners decor questions. Let’s take a look below!


‘’I’ve been trying to come up with a colour scheme for my three bed family house. Even though I have the colours nailed down for the master bed and bath and the guest bedroom and bathroom. I’ve been going back and forth way too much – for my office room, my hallway, the open floor area etc. Should the colours be from the same palette? There’s only so much grey I can take. I’m afraid I’ll get sick of it really easily.’’ – Claire 

I understand the fear. In this country, we’re surrounded by grey. Just looking out the window – there’s a lot of grey. So again you would wonder why people bring it inside. But it can work really well, it’s a comforting colour. Choose warm greys – with brown undertones, lilac undertones, they can work really well. They can make your room feel very warm. It’s best to stick to a colour palette. Work with the same family of colours.

‘’I’ve just bought my first small home in Kildare and I was just going to paint everything white. Is that a mistake? Will I find it too boring?’’ – Niall

White can be a mistake. The biggest mistake we make is not realising that paint is the least expensive way to update your home. White can be quite clinical. Pure white has a blue hue from it. It’s not a huge mistake in the sense that you can always add colour later. White is not a bad place to start. I would always recommend a warm white, it will bring a bright, spacious feeling to the room. You can then introduce extra additions of colour.

“Are there some colours that give a house a more expensive feel?’’ – Harry

Good questions. Jewel tones, sapphire blues, ruby reds, onyx blacks are opulent colours. Not many houses hold them. But again you can introduce them. There’s metallic, silvers, golds, coppers, pewter, they’re all hugely popular at the moment and can give your home an expensive feel.

“Which shade of white should I choose for my high ceiling Victorian house? We want white, which of the many whites or tone should I go for?’’ – Mary

A warm white with a slightly red undertone will bring the ceiling down a bit. Yellow undertones will also work quite well at doing this. When you go to the shop, its one thing to look at the colours under their lighting – its different to look at that colour at home. Which is why I would recommend always bringing some testers home with you.

“I love really bold colours like mad blues and pinks but are there certain colours I should definitely avoid?’’ – Patricia 

Colour is very personal. I would avoid any colour that’s too strong. Make sure you take your light into account. If you want your room to be bright, again light plays a huge part in it. Avoid any dark colours.

‘’I want to spruce up my apartment with a lick of paint, possibly the smallest apartment you can imagine. What colour should I use to avoid making it feel even smaller?’’ – James

I see this all the time. I get a lot of customers coming in with small apartments and they just want to paint it white and bright – just to bring in light. It’s important to bring in hues of colour. Blues and greens tend to make walls recede a little bit. Any colours that are dominant in nature. Reds and yellows tend to jump at you a little bit.

“What’s the advice on using dark colours? I’m interested in painting one of my main walls in the living room black but a lot of people are suggesting to me that it’s a bad idea.’’ – Louise

Maybe an off black. You can have a blue black or maybe a brown black. True black can be quite harsh and dominant but colour is very personal. It also depends what you’re hanging on the wall. If you have a nice piece of modern art that’s very vivid, the black might enhance that. Or perhaps you could put a nice mirror up, it would be beautiful.

‘’I’m hoping to paint one wall in my bedroom a different colour. I was thinking a bright orange or yellow.’’ – Maggie

Again some people are afraid of colour, I would say why not. With bedrooms usually you would go with restful, calming colours. I would recommend using those colours behind the bed so when you’re lying in bed they’re not in your face. Soft greys can work really well with strong yellows and oranges. Particularly if you want a really modern and contemporary feel.

‘’I’m doing up a shared girls and boys room. They’re 5 and 6. The curtains are turquoise, what’s going not too girly for the boy and not too boyish for the girl? I know we’re in this age of gender equality and binary, but given that it’s an ordinary boy and ordinary girl, the bedroom needs to not too much of one or the other.’’ – Stephanie

Neutrals work great, you can introduce colour in your soft furnishings. So if you go with a warm taupe colour. Soft greys, again they can work really well with the turquoise. Add colour in the cushions and duvets to bring in the personality of the child.

Any information you’re looking for feel free to call me or contact us here for more details.