West Hobart House


I began by showing the clients some paintings by British artist, Ben Nicholson. Each member of the family identified the colour/s in the paintings they most liked. Using these as a starting point, I took my paints on site, and mixed and played until a palette emerged. Working on site with the client over several days allowed for continual refining and improvising. Painted test swatches on walls became incorporated into the final result. Family members had colours named after them. Spots appeared on walls and doors. It was fun.

Stair riser colour swatches, Ben Nicholson June 11-49 Cornish Landscape (detail)

The house is in two distinct parts, upstairs and downstairs. The upstairs is a series of small quirky rooms built into the roof space, to be used exclusively by the children. The same neutral palette is used throughout the house, but upstairs became more colourful. For example, each door is a different colour and various elements (bookshelves and coat hooks for example) are picked out in the extended accent palette. The connecting staircase risers are multicoloured. Starting at the bottom, the risers are painted in the ‘adult’ colours, becoming more playful ‘childrens’ colours at the top.

Children's Rooms

My client wrote;

My house is an old weatherboard. Outwardly it resembles a shipwreck left half way up a hillside in Hobart. My wife and I didn’t wish to put our charming cottage through the ordeal of a renovation. Lymesmith spared us. Her lovely colours – the washed out duck egg blue on the doors, the China white walls, the soft blues and greens and pale pinks that climbed up the wooden staircase – introduced a lightness into the interiors, especially in the children’s’ world upstairs where greens and aquas and buttercup yellows now float freely over the walls. The base of a mirror was transformed into a palette. Her touch has more the playfulness of art than the earnestness of home improvement.

Colour Palettes 2

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