Michèle, a reader who lives in Mauritius, recently wrote Your Decorating Hotline asking for help with a color scheme to tie together the interior and the exterior of her home. I was most happy to help her, of course, but before I could turn my attention to her questions I wanted to locate Mauritius as I’d never heard of it.
Where in The World is Mauritius?
Researching Mauritius was a lovely adventure. It is an island located in the Indian Ocean about 550 miles east of Madagascar and 1,250 miles off the nearest point of the African coast. It’s noted in red near the bottom center of this map.
Google Mauritius and discover for yourself the fabulous beauty of this island. I had to pull myself away from the photos of gorgeous beaches and blue water to come back mentally to this post!
Reader’s Color Request
I thank you in advance for your help and hope you excuse my English, am French-speaking.
My hubby and I are building near the beach (very hot climate with lots of sun). Concrete house because of cyclones with a lot of openings.
I show you a photo of our house ( front) to see our exterior paint colour (brown with white aluminium openings and white trims), stone flower box…..Our outdoor trims has pink undertones.
But we choose for our indoor walls a vanilla colour (white with yellow undertone) and with a “rusty copper” colour feature wall. As we have large openings I am afraid that our exterior don’t match our interior.
I have Indonesian teak furniture, want to have laminated floor, looking for outdoor ceramic tiles (terrace, porch….)???(any advice????) chocolate sofa……..Help me to find a colour scheme to tie interior and exterior.
Note: House is not finished, the feature wall (rusty copper) will be the wall of stairs. (entrance: see photo above)
Another photo: backyard garden.
Thank you, hope to have an answer. Michèle
Michèle, your home is lovely and I bet you are so excited to see it take shape!
I enlarged the photos you sent in order to examine the trim and stone color more closely. Unfortunately computers do not show true colors so it was difficult for me to see the pink undertones in the white trim.
Your first question was how to tie the exterior and the interior colors of your home together. Although tieing the interior and the esterior together colorwise is ideal it is not always a possibility or reality. In your case, considering the colors you’ve selected, the will pink undertones of the exterior paint and the yellow undertones of the interior colors mean the color foundation for these areas will be different. But based on your color selections I sincerely doubt these will be jarring, even with your large, wonderful windows.
Lighting will make a big difference in how the colors on and in your home are seen. Consider first that the outside of your home receives a lot of direct sun exposure that tends to “wash” the exterior colors, making them look less intense. The interior of your home is shaded from sun with big overhangs (great protection for your floors and furniture and good for keeping the interior cooler) and the reduced light will grey your colors some when viewed from outside of the house looking in through the windows. This means the interior won’t seem as golden when you’re seeing from the outside and looking in throught the windows as it will when you are inside the house looking directly at the color. At night incandescent lights will impact the color and shadow the interior walls but your exterior will also be shaded – so the undertones won’t stand out.
You won’t be able to make the outside and inside look the same without repainting – and I don’t think you need too. Simply keep the undertones consistent in exterior (pink) and keep them consistent in the interior (yellow). Then cross reference the color between the inside and the outside decorating using some of the tips below. If you do this most people won’t even notice the difference in the color undertone or find it troubling.
First tip: When looking for outdoor ceramic tiles for the front entry and the back porch draw your color inspiration from the stone you’ve used on the exterior of your house. For continuity use the same tile in both locations. In your photo it looks as though there may be a neutral grey in the stone – that would be a good transition between the exterior colors and the interior colors. You can also bridge the tile to the laminate flooring with an outdoor mat or in interior area rug at the entry.
Second tip: Depending on your plans for window coverings, you could also bridge the interior and exterior by selecting a window covering that works with the interior of the home but has a white lining or backing that is seen from the outside when closed – therefore tying into the white vinyl of the windows.
A final tip: Blend the inside and the outside color visuals. Your brown sofa already offers a nod to the brown exterior of your home. Another color blending idea is to bring live green plants into your home and use some of your interior colors in the outside landscaping by mixing some yellow, rust and coppery color flowering plants or plants with colorful leaves into your landscaping.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful as you continue building your wonderful new home. Feel free to let me know if you have other questions. And, please, send some photos of your home when it is finished. I would love to see your final decisions and would thoroughly enjoy the “before” and “after” comparisons.
Best wishes for your house building adventure in beautiful Mauritius!