Lessons from The Block NZ: which colours sell at auction

Article by Homes to Love

Homes to Love chatted to Davina Harper, a Dulux colour and design specialist, about which colour schemes sell at auctions and how The Block NZ: Villa Wars teams’ choices stack up


Davina, what paint colours did the teams choose and what is your assessment – did they nail colour combos overall?

Sarah and Minanne

Interiors Dulux ‘Remuera’, Dulux ‘Dannevirke’, Dulux ‘Spirits Bay Double’, Dulux ‘Southern Alps’
Exterior: Dulux ‘Pukaki’

Davina says:
The exterior colour that Sarah and Minanne used is absolutely stunning – Dulux ‘Pukaki’ (a soft blue grey) which works perfectly with the roof colour they had been given. This is our favourite exterior choice! It is subtle and appealing, but also provides a real point of difference.


Jamie and Hayden

Interior:  Dulux ‘Southern Alps’, Dulux ‘Castlecliff’, Dulux ‘Black’, Dulux’s Duramax Blackboard paint
Exterior Dulux ‘Southern Alps’ and Dulux ‘Natural White’

Davina says:
By using black and white throughout their house, Jamie and Hayden have created a bold statement that isn’t for the fainthearted! Black and white can sometimes work well together, but they must be used carefully. They used pure-black in their lounge which may be seen as too bold for a living area, and the judges criticised their “vampire-like” master bedroom. We think a softer shade of black, such as a very dark grey or charcoal – like Dulux ‘Castlecliff’ – would have been more effective.


Brooke & Mitch

Interior & exterior: Dulux ‘Manorburn Quarter’

Davina says:
Brooke and Mitch’s house is gorgeous, but a few more colours would have added interest and made the house seem less stark. Colour can be used to lighten up darker rooms, or make smaller rooms cosier. By using only one white without any variation or texture, Brooke and Mitch have missed an opportunity to add character.


Cat & Jeremy

Interior: Dulux ‘Lake Camp’, Dulux ‘Manorburn Quarter’, Dulux ‘Morrinsville’, Dulux ‘Aniwaniwa’
Exterior: Dulux ‘Marton’ and Dulux ‘Cardrona Quarter’

Davina says:
Cat and Jeremy have used a variety of colour to great effect. The colours they’ve used help create rooms that feel inviting, relaxed and easy to live in. They have also cleverly selected wall colours that complement some of the amazing artwork they have in the house. The lovely blue (Dulux ‘Lamp Camp’) they have used in the kid’s bedroom is a good example of using soft colour to create a lovely, relaxing space.


Cat & Jeremy's lounge.

Cat & Jeremy’s lounge.


Who played it safe and why?
Brooke and Mitch. By only using one colour throughout the house, they’ve missed an opportunity to add some interest. They could have used splashes of colour to add a sense of warmth and personality to some of the rooms. In saying that, their plain white colour choice could help them on auction day.

Who took more of a risk and why?
Jamie and Hayden with their dramatic use of black and white.  This monochrome look is quite polarising; you will either love or loathe their style!

Who’s going to do best at auction based on their colour choices? Which colour schemes sell well at auctions and why?
This is a difficult question to answer as each home is appealing in a different way.Generally homes that have whites and neutrals throughout are appealing to potential buyers as people might be put off if they don’t like your colour choices. Whites and neutrals create a ‘blank canvas’ for potential new owners to easily visualise how they would inject their own personality into the home.

However, there are exceptions! If you have used colour and design to create an amazing look, a potential buyer may fall in love with the home you’ve created, and you could end up with a buyer who’s willing to pay over the odds to get your style. So if a buyer turns up to the auction who adores black and white, Jamie and Hayden may even be the team to beat!

Sarah and Minanne's master bedroom.

Sarah and Minanne’s master bedroom.


What’s your colour advice to people choosing a colour scheme for their home, or for those who are selling?
Unless you are very confident with colour, keep it soft and neutral so that people can visualise themselves and their furniture in the home.

A good tip to remember is that colour can also be used to hide design flaws or highlight features of your house that you want people to notice such as a beautiful front door with character features.

Do you have any colour advice for those who have just bought a new home and want to freshen it up?
Try and live in your home for a few months without making any drastic changes. That way, you get a good feel for the house – which rooms you spend most of your time in, which rooms get the most amount of light, etc.

With digital tools now available, it’s getting easier to visualise paint colours in your home without having to pick up a paintbrush. The Dulux Colour App is fantastic to help you visualise how colour will look in your home. With the new ColourView tool, you can upload a picture of the room you want to paint – and virtually paint the wall with any colour you choose. Or go to Dulux’s website and order free large colour swatches which you can Blu-tac to the wall.

Unexpected colour combinations are emerging more in interiors.

Unexpected colour combinations are emerging more in interiors. Photo by Lisa Cohen. Styled by Bree Leech and Heather Nette King for Dulux.


What’s a colour trend you’re seeing that’s a bit out of left-field?
This season we’re seeing unexpected colour combinations – for example olive green with dusky pink – or tan brown with lilac.

Dulux 'Okarito'

Dulux ‘Okarito’ from Dulux Colours of New Zealand.


If you could choose one colour to sum up 2015 (in terms of popularity), what would it be?
Dulux ‘Okarito’! A crisp white that goes with almost anything. Shades of brown are also making a comeback – browner greys – especially used on exteriors – are definitely trending.

Photos courtesy of: TV3 The Block NZ. Interview by: Johanna Thornton.

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