Colour Schemes for Old North Australian Houses, Types and Colours

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Colour Schemes for Old North Australian Houses, Types and Colours

If you’re lucky enough to own a beautiful period or heritage home in Brisbane North, the surrounding areas or indeed in any province in Australia, one of your first priorities as a custodian of a wonderful older home with a history is to keep both the interior and exterior looking fresh, cherished and painted by experts with many years of experience.

When moving into one of these lovely older homes that tell a story, it can sometimes be difficult to identify the exact period your property belongs to in order to get the exact colour palettes to match the period, alongside many other questions you might have surrounding which shade of paint to choose. Does the light in the room make a difference? And how do the paints from history differ from the hues and shades available in our modern world?

Let’s find out. But first, let’s take a look at the short answer as to what colour schemes you should choose for old Australian houses.

What colour scheme should I choose for an old Australian House? Choosing a colour scheme for an old Australian house is simply a matter of choice. Whether you decide to go for the traditional creams, blues and reds for Queenslander weatherboards and verandas, or whether you decide to go with a more contemporary neutral colour pallet, the choice is yours.

Now we’ve looked at the short answer as to choosing the right shades, colours and paint finish for your period home in Australia and the Brisbane North area, in order to understand a little more about paint finished on older historic properties, let’s take a look at where it all started.

Historic and period paint

We can find out about paint in the past from the wealth of illustrations, accounts and old paint layers. There has been much research into the development of historic colours and there is a wealth of advice now available to recreate period schemes.

Until around the early part of the 20th Century, these colours were all made with natural, earth and mineral pigments. However, with the discovery of crude oil, petrochemicals and colourants were developed. Modern paints today beautifully recreate the colour schemes of the past however, the appearance of the original paint coverings remains lost in a different age.

“Modern paints today beautifully recreate the colour schemes of the past”

Light and shade

So if you are looking to bring the beauty of the past back to your vintage or heritage home where do you start? Although keeping the colour pallets of older age, it’s still important to remember that light or indeed lack of it, can be a really important consideration when deciding which colour schemes to use in your heritage house.

Many of the colours which are developed for older Australian houses can sit on the darker or more muted spectrum of shades, which is why making sure you use an expert paint contractor in the Brisbane North or surrounding areas will mean you won’t make costly mistakes.

When it comes to decorating your heritage or period home, paint colour is probably one, if not the, most important decision you can make. It has the potential to lighten a dark room, and it can soften glare in a very sunny space.

It can warm a chilly north-facing room, or bring the room to life in the softer evening light.

If you are feeling slightly daunted by the prospect of choosing paint for your traditional home, a skilled decorator in Australia will be able to help you.

One of the first things to consider is the starting point. Are you looking to enhance vintage or heritage architectural features? Maybe showcase a collection of antiques or older pieces?  Let’s read on.

Find the focal point

While some homeowners like to create an interior scheme from scratch, architectural features and prized collections are a great starting point for owners of period homes in the Brisbane North area, and indeed right across Australia.

Neutral shades

Going for a very bold colour can bring a sense of drama to an older property, especially ones with a higher ceiling, but sometimes it can be a little overwhelming and could result in a space which feels ‘‘heavy’ or in worse cases, oppressive, especially if there is a lack of natural light.

Instead, to bring a lightness and freshness to your period Australian home, creating a softer pallet with more tonal and neutral shades such as:

  • White
  • Cream
  • Grey
  • Taupe

These softer shades create a wonderful backdrop to allow any architectural features, collections and displays to really stand out.

There are no rules!

There are no set rules, and whichever pallet you choose can be used on ceilings, floors, furniture and architectural features to inject originality.

The soft tones of neutral colours can be used to create the illusion of more space. Choose white for ceilings, but an off-white on walls to make smaller period homes feel a little larger.

“The soft tones  of neutral colours can be used to create the illusion of more space”

Show off your prized collections

Warmer grey-whites are good for showing off favourite pieces of art, while creamy whites create a feeling of intimacy, along with the impression of lower walls which work well in properties with higher  ceilings

For a traditional look, paint cornice work two shades lighter than the wall colour

Go for an authentic look

When choosing colours for a period home, think about the look that you wish to achieve. For an authentic scheme, research the style of the time.


Alternatively, bring the look “up to date” by mixing authentic period colours with contemporary furniture and accessories,’ says Stephen Percy-Robb, managing director of Craig & Rose.

So let’s take a look below at one of the most common Australian heritage properties you may be considering renovating in the Brisbane North and surrounding areas, Queenslander homes.

“For an authentic scheme, research the style of the time”

Queenslander homes

Federation-style houses in the Queenslander style and others began being built in Australia in the late 19th century and remained popular well into the early 20th century. The ornate detailing and features truly showed the prosperity of the owners at the time.

These beautifully built Queenslander heritage homes are as sought after now as they ever were for their sense of history, character and charm.

What paintwork is important to consider on a Queenslander home?

Queenslander homes are increasingly popular for many reasons. The classic and timeless asymmetrical designs and character-rich original features are just some of the reasons why they retain their popularity.

Keeping these beautiful historic houses in good shape means keeping the exterior and interior paintwork fresh, clean and in perfect condition.

Exterior work requirements can include:

  • Window frames
  • Timber fretwork on gables
  • Verandas
  • Weatherboard

You may be wondering whether you should decide to go with the true heritage colours and really respect the home’s past and history, or whether to try a more content colour pallet.

“Keeping these beautiful historic houses in good shape means keeping the

exterior and interior paintwork fresh, clean and in perfect condition.”

Which colours should I choose?

The more traditional colours for these period homes are generally:

  • Deep cream
  • Red
  • Green

These heritage colours work with both brick and weatherboard dwellings, but if you are looking to bring your Queenslander house up to date with a more contemporary feel, more modern hues and shades work best with a weatherboard style home.

The reds, creams and greens tie in beautifully with red-tiled roofs and brickwork. We also recommend painting the downpipe in a harmonising colour which blends with the overall pallet so it blends in, rather than it becoming a stand out feature.

This traditional colour scheme is always on trend for the elegant Queenslander style home so going for this traditional colour scheme, you will guarantee to not only remain sympathetic to its history, but it’s also a style that will never date.

“if you are looking to bring your Queenslander house up to date with a more contemporary feel, more modern hues and shades work best with a weatherboard style home.”

And finally…

If you are looking for skilled and expert residential interior and exterior painters in Brisbane City, Gold and Sunshine Coast, get in touch with one of our friendly team for a quote to give your period home the care and attention required to give an outstanding painted finish to the inside and outside of your much-loved property.

We specialize in Queenslander houses and can guarantee a professional and affordable service. Our skilled master painters are proud not only of the quality of our work from years of experience but also our efficiency and professional approach.

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