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The Benefits of LED Lighting

Rod Kelloway - Friday, July 31, 2015

 

As your incandescent light globes burn out, it's a good time to consider switching to LED lighting instead. By now, you are probably aware that LEDs offer quite an impressive lifespan, making them extremely cost-effective. Their cost-effectiveness has been bolstered in recent years as their price has dropped significantly.


The bulbs themselves, and the technology contained within, have also undergone significant advances over the last few years, and are finally able to deliver the warm light that incandescents have boasted for years. More than ever, there are also an overwhelming number of LED varieties.

 

What is LED Lighting?

An energy efficient form of lighting, LEDs are different from more traditional forms of lighting, such as incandescent and compact fluorescent, in a number of ways. When designed well, LED lighting can be more efficient, durable, versatile and longer lasting.

LED lighting is basically a form of digital lighting. LEDs (or light–emitting diodes) are semiconductor devices. An electrical current passes through the semiconductor material, which then illuminates the tiny light sources known as LEDs. Switching to LED lighting not only benefits the environment, it also means a huge reduction in your energy costs, and a range of other benefits.

  • Energy efficient and cost effective: LED lights use 15% of the energy that standard halogen lighting uses. In fact, most of the energy that halogen lamps suck up is used to heat up the bulb, so you’re wasting money on heating, instead of light. If you apply that energy reduction to all the lights in your house, you can see just how much money you’re likely to save on energy costs. Whether you’re considering LED lighting for your home or a commercial space, it’s clear that you’ll easily make back the money of the installation in energy savings.
  • Durability and longevity: LED lights don’t have delicate filaments like traditional light globes, meaning they are much tougher. They also last longer, you can expect about 80,000 hours of use from an LED light which is about 8-10 times longer than what you can expect from a halogen bulb.
  • Compact and concentrated: LED lights can be as small as 2mm, making them perfect for small, hard to reach places. LED lights are also designed to concentrate the light, meaning they shine the light exactly where you want it, without it being dispersed to other areas. So, little nooks or features can be illuminated without the light falling outside of the desired area.
  • Instantaneous illumination: LED lights go straight to full brightness, unlike halogen lamps, which require a warming up period.
  • Environmentally friendly and safe: LED lights are more environmentally friendly and safer than traditional lighting not only because they require less energy, but also because they don’t emit harmful UV rays or contain mercury and other harmful gasses. A 13W LED light emits 68% less CO2 than a standard incandescent bulb during a ten-hour day. They are completely recyclable and can help you decrease your carbon footprint by a third. They are also low-voltage, making them the perfect lighting choice for a solar powered home.

 


Staircase Design: Function or Art?

Rod Kelloway - Thursday, June 04, 2015
Despite being a major traffic thoroughfare, and one of the most important features of any property, the staircase is, all to often, one of the most overlooked design features.

Often the first thing people see when they walk through your front door, if designed well, the visual impact of your staircase can set the tone for your entire property.
The thing is, the staircase can be one of the most challenging property features to design. If designed correctly, a staircase can solve issues and become entirely aesthetically pleasing, almost an architectural sculpture of sorts. Conversely, a poorly designed staircase can seem cluttered and messy, create wasted space, and interrupt airflow through a property.


The Function of Stairs
Obviously, everyone knows that the function of a staircase is to join two floors, allowing easy access from one floor to another. But, have you ever considered the other, less obvious functions of a staircase:

  • A staircase can be designed and built to either promote, or conversely, separate the acoustics and visuals between two floors in a property.
  • A staircase might be designed as a dramatic piece of artwork or sculpture, or it can be designed so as to blend in with the rest of property, acting as a functional part of a building only.
  • A staircase might be hidden between walls, creating cosy nooks and crannies, or it might be all out in the open, creating lofty, light, bright, open spaces.


Types of Staircases
It may seem like there are limitless possibilities with staircases. But when you break the staircase down into the essential components, there are really just a handful of variables to deal with. The following types of stairs exist:
• Solid Risers: as the name suggests, solid risers are stairs that are solid. There are both horizontal and vertical pieces to each step. You cannot see through the steps at all.
• Open Risers: in contrast, you can see right through open risers, and into the fresh air beyond.

Then, there are three features that every staircase may (or may not have):

  • Stringers: are the supports found either of a stair case (where there are no walls on one or both sides). The fourth, fifth, and sixth staircases in the diagram below, all have stringers on either side.
  • Spine: this is found only on open rise staircases, and is often included to ensure support and structural integrity. You can see the third staircase in the diagram below has a spine.
  • Walls: fairly self explanatory, a staircase may have walls on either both, one or no sides.

Once you have decided upon the type of staircase you wish to use, and the features that you wish to employ, the only decision left is the staircase design. Often, the staircase design will depend upon on the space that is available in the property. Sometimes, a steep, straight staircase is the only type that will fit in the area available. Other times, a grand staircase with a two quarter landing is the only staircase that will suit the grand layout of the property.

Regardless of what type of staircase you opt for in your property design, always be sure to consult an architect or a specialist company such as Whitcon. A new staircase must fits both proportionally and stylistically. And, above all, it must be completely structurally sound.

 

Architecture Design Trends for 2015

Whitcon Group - Tuesday, February 17, 2015

As 2015 starts to heat up, we thought we’d take the time to highlight some of the architecture and design trends for homes that we think might prove popular in the year ahead. From sustainable building materials to functional, outdoor living spaces, here are our top seven architecture design trends to keep an eye out for.

1. Sustainable Building Materials

While the use of sustainable building materials is not a new development, the sheer volume of options that have exploded onto the market is astounding. Architects, interior designers, and builders alike have more choice than ever when it comes to recycled, environmentally friendly products. And, best of all, these sustainable building materials are becoming more and more stylish, offering eco-friendly consumers modern, sleek lines and finishes for any type of property. For instance, there are all sorts of eco-friendly paints, carpets and rugs available in all shapes, sizes and colours. A few years ago, the market just didn’t have this variety. Sustainable building materials now also offer style and function, not just environmental protection.

2. Functional Style

This year will see an ever-increasing focus on incorporating functionality into stylish design, particularly when it comes to smaller spaces such as apartments. For instance, hidden nooks or tiny cupboards will hide ironing boards, smart storage spaces will be disguised under beds or window seats, and storage bins will get a makeover, becoming modern, sleek and polished. It will be all about functional style, rather than style for style’s sake.

3. Healthy Buildings

Just as the move towards eco-friendly building materials is on the rise, so are materials designed to improve human health. Generally, some of the most commonly used building materials (like paint, insulation, carpets, and other synthetics) contain toxic materials like VOCs, or materials known to cause health problems or hypoallergenic reactions. While there are already a number of healthy alternatives available, 2015 will see even more people will opt for safer, more natural building materials. This will, in turn, lead to a greater variety of products on the market.

4. Outdoor Living Spaces

More and more, we are seeing an increase in the popularity of outdoor living spaces, where the backyard becomes almost like an extra room of the house. These outdoor living spaces are all highly functional, housing additional seating and kitchen areas, and even high-tech paraphernalia like televisions and surround sound systems. These outdoor areas effectively increase the floor space of the family home, without requiring a full-blown extension. And, they mean that every home immediately becomes an entertainer’s delight.

5. Open Spaces

Open plan living has been around for a few years now. Every new home seems to be built with one huge room at the rear of the home to house living, kitchen and dining areas. So, while an open floor plan may feel like old hat, this year it will become a wish beyond the younger demographic, with this particular type of floor plan moving into apartment buildings and older, inner city dwelling. Plus, if you opt for an outdoor living space, then it looks ever so much more impressive if it’s attached to an open plan living area.

6. Flexible Spaces

This architecture trend is particularly important when it comes to the family home. With the traditional family demographic evolving (children tend not to leave home until much later in life), so must the design of the family home. One of the major trends that we are seeing is a move to flexible spaces; spaces that have a separate entrance, and be used for dual purposes like a bedroom, second living area or study.


7. Prints, Colours and Movement

In terms of design, this year will be all about contrasting styles, about mixing and matching geometric designs, angular patterns, and abstract prints. There’ll be more chevron patterns and zig-zags and geometry-inspired soft furnishings. These furnishing will be offset by contrasts – lights and darks combined together, wood and metal accenting each other nicely, and timeless and modern features blended comfortably. And, neutral colours look to be on the way out. While whites and greys might still be used for large pieces, when it comes to decorating it is all about combining contrasting splashes of colour to create your own completely unique look.

There you have it, our top seven architecture and design trends to keep your eye on this year. Keep in mind though, these are just trends. At the end of the day, you need to be happy to live your home for years to come. So don’t just blindly follow fads. Work out what your own individual building goals and objectives are, and then put a plan in place to make them a reality.

How to Revamp a Reception Area

Rod Kelloway - Sunday, November 09, 2014

When a client visits your office for the first time, their impression of your brand, your business, and your professionalism is set in stone from the moment they enter your reception area. A client’s first impression is hugely important, and depends greatly on the quality and professionalism of your reception fitout.

Your reception fitout should reflect the brand that you are aiming to project. If designed and implemented correctly, your reception area fitout can, and should, complement and enhance your business image.

Tips for a Professional Office Reception Fitout

1. Decide on a Colour Palette

A good place to begin any office reception fitout is colour palette. There are a number of ways to approach your colour palette. You might decide to use colours that are popular within your industry. For instance, if you provide environmental services, you might opt for greens and blues. If you are a civil engineering and earth moving business, earthy colours might be more appropriate. You might then decide to tie in these industry colours with the colours in your logo for a unique design.

If you are uncertain, then it is always best to opt for neutral colours such as greys, whites, and creams. Neutral colours also have the added benefit of creating the illusion of space, reflecting natural light more readily. A splash of colour on a feature wall can make neutral colours much more interesting and playful. Darker colours will have the opposite effect, often closing in a space.

Above all, keep in mind that your colour palette should be warm and inviting, both for your clients, and your employees.

2. Carefully Select Office Furniture

Furniture in an office reception area should be selected for both functionality and design. It should increase productivity, look modern and stylish, and enhance the comfort of your clients, visitors, and employees.

It is good idea to ensure that your office furniture and equipment are up-to-date.  This gives your office a more professional feel, and indicates to your clients that you use the most modern technology when delivering your products and services. It tells your clients that your company is progressive, innovative and forward thinking.

Essential considerations for reception furniture include:
• The reception desk: the most effective reception desks have curved counters, giving receptionists an unobstructed view. This makes meeting and greeting clients much easier. It also means that clients and couriers can easily place documents and items on the reception desk.

• Reception area seating: when it comes to seating, you should furnish your reception area with chairs that maximize both space and comfort. Clients and visitors should have plenty of space and be comfortable while waiting. So, chairs with cushioned seating and back support are always a great addition.

• Filing cabinets and storage: this is something that is often overlooked in reception areas, but is extremely important. Receptionists can never have enough storage. With appropriate storage solutions available, your employees will be able to de-clutter the reception area, making it much more welcoming for your clients. If your reception area is well organised, it gives the impression that your business is well organised.

3. Incorporate Your Brand

Incorporating elements of your brand, products and services into the design of your reception area can give it a personal, unique touch. Depending on what type of business you operate, there is any number of ways to do this. If you own creative agency, then you could frame and hang some of your most well-known or successful advert campaigns. If you run an architecture firm, then frame and hang concept drawings or create a display of building models. The options really are endless. Not only is this a unique way to decorate your reception area, it also gives you the opportunity to showcase your products and services.
 

4. Include Some Signage

It is always a good idea to include some signage in your reception area. The most popular position is often behind the reception desk itself. Signage has two benefits: it is an instant visual cue for new clients and visitors that they are, indeed, in the correct office; and, it is a fantastic branding opportunity. When it comes to signage, make sure that it is clear, and prominently displayed. As a general rule, the smallest letter in reception signage should be no smaller than 8cm high.

5. Get the Lighting Right

Lighting plays an important role in setting the mood of any room. Harsh fluorescent lighting can make clients and visitors feel like they are sitting in a clinical hospital environment, or waiting to be interrogated. Oftentimes, it is better to opt for a light that is warmer, with more yellow tones. A striking pendant light can provide a warm glow, as well as add some interest to an otherwise uninteresting space.

6. Choose Artwork Carefully

While artwork can be a welcome addition to most reception areas, it should be chosen carefully. Generally, tasteful, neutral artwork is a safe bet when it comes to reception areas. It will not polarise or offend your clients or visitors. It will simply brighten up an otherwise bland area.

How to Choose the Best, Most Durable Flooring for Your Property

Rod Kelloway - Sunday, November 09, 2014

Choosing the right flooring for a residential development, office or commercial venue can seem like a daunting decision. It is a process that must naturally combine both personal taste and practicality. After all, it is a surface that the property owner’s family, employees, or patrons will walk, stand and sit on, for years to come.

Asking a few key questions at the beginning of the decision-making process can help reduce your worry, make the choice much easier, and increase the eventual owner’s long-term satisfaction with their new floor.

Questions to Ask Before Choosing Flooring

•    What type of room are you flooring (is it a kitchen, a bathroom, a lounge)?
•    How much foot traffic is the floor likely to receive?
•    Will the floor be exposed to moisture, particularly on a regular basis?
•    How often will the floor need cleaning?
•    How long do you expect and want your floor to last?

Tips for Choosing Flooring

When it comes to choosing flooring, the type of room in which the floor will be laid is usually the most important consideration. As such, we’ll take a look at the best, most durable flooring for each type of room.

Kitchens

When it comes to kitchen flooring, durability and ease of cleaning are usually the top criteria. As such, there are three main options:
• Linoleum: this is an inexpensive flooring material, is easy-to-clean, and is available in countless designs. However, it does not provide the most polished or high-end finish, and can date very quickly. Most modern residential developments, and commercial and office fitouts refrain from the use of linoleum.

• Tiles: tiles are a much better alternative to linoleum, particularly in commercial fitouts and office fitouts. Much like linoleum, they are very easy to clean, and come in a huge variety of colours and patterns. However, they offer superior durability, resisting most dents and scratches. There are a couple of things to bear in mind about tiles. One is that if they are installed over a floor with structural movement, then they are prone to crack. Also, tiles can be quite slippery, particularly when wet. This can be dangerous for small children and the elderly.

• Hardwood or floorboards: floorboards can be an excellent choice for kitchens in residential developments (although, not quite as appropriate for commercial or office kitchens). Wooden floors in kitchens give the room a homey feeling, and are able to easily cope with the high traffic associated with a kitchen. If you opt for a wooden kitchen floor, just remember to apply a comprehensive protective finish (like polyurethane) to protect against the moisture that is naturally found in a kitchen.

Bathrooms

Even more so than kitchens, bathrooms are subject to high amounts of moisture, particularly residual moisture created by steam. This impacts greatly on the types of flooring that is suitable for bathrooms. Flooring options for bathrooms include:

• Linoleum: as mentioned above, lino is cheap and easy to maintain. Unfortunately, the finish isn’t usually amazing, and, in bathrooms, the moisture can gradually eat away at the glue holding the linoleum to your floor. Again, residential developments, commercial fitouts and office fitouts are not likely to use this particular flooring.

• Tiles: tiles are a great choice when it comes to bathroom flooring. They are easy to clean and come in a variety of colours and patterns. In bathrooms, they can become quite slippery, given all the moisture in the room. So, if children or elderly people are likely to be using your bathroom regularly, a textured floor tile might be just the ticket.

• Limestone: limestone provides quite a high-end, unique finish. A natural stone, no two limestone floors will ever be the same. It is a very easy material to maintain, with spills easily wiped up. It is worth noting that softer limestones can scratch, chip and stain. Usually, a sealant will help prevent some of these issues.

• Marble: a very high-end product, marble floors provide a fantastic, sleek finish. However, marble is quite expensive, and can be quite difficult to work with.  

Lounge or Living Areas

Last, but by no means least, we come to lounge and living areas. The range of flooring products available for living areas is quite broad; there is no need to take moisture into consideration when choosing flooring. So, apart from all the types of flooring mentioned above, additional flooring options for living areas include:

• Carpeting: the popularity of wall-to-wall carpeting in living areas has declined over the last few years. While carpet can be cheaper than hardwood or floorboards, it is also prone to soaking up liquids and odours, and, in high traffic areas, can become stained. If you do opt for carpet, it is worth considering what type: plush, pile, sisal, or something entirely different, each of which has its own long list of pros and cons.

• Polished concrete: with the rising popularity of minimalism and industrial-chic, the use of polished concrete in living areas has rapidly grown. Concrete can be transformed quickly, and quite cost effectively, through painting or polishing. Plus, concrete floors can withstand just about anything: spills, odours, and liquids. As such, there is also not much that can withstand them – if you drop something, it is highly likely to break, and falls can be quite painful. Concrete also reflects sound, so in a commercial venue, it can be noisy.

Services Whitcon Group Provides

Rod Kelloway - Friday, October 24, 2014

Whitcon Group provided a range of services across including:

Pre-construction
We work closely with all our clients to ensure that the design meets the requirements of the client. Focused on providing client satisfaction and peace of mind, we will examine the project and custom tailor the design to suit the client’s needs, as well as their budget. Whitcon Group offers flexibility in all our designs. Better yet, our professional staff are always up to date with the ever changing rules, regulations and strict building codes.

Construction
Leveraging our skill, dedication and experience, Whitcon Group guarantees high quality construction outcomes, at a cost effective price. We offer a broad range of capabilities across a wide variety of projects, including residential, apartment complexes, commercial, hospitality, civil and industrial. Our extensive experience means that we can suggest more cost-effective and efficient construction methods.

Post-construction
Whitcon Group is in it for the long-term. We never build and run. We make sure our clients are fully satisfied long after the project has finished. We provide new apartment owners with a comprehensive information kit during the handover process and operation and maintenance manuals for our commercial clients.

Moama RSL Club – Outdoor Gaming & Offices

Rod Kelloway - Thursday, October 23, 2014

Established in 1990, the Moama RSL Club has built a reputation as one of the best venues in town. In order to better serve its customers, and the entire town of Moama, the RSL has embarked upon an extensive renovation program, with the help of the Whitcon Group.

The renovation has involved a wide range of alterations to the venue, as well as the addition of a new outdoor gaming terrace, and a staff amenities and office block. The project is due for completion prior to Christmas.

Sustainability in Commercial Building: It Needn’t Cost the Earth

Rod Kelloway - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sustainability is so much more than a construction industry buzz word. It is part of an enduring global agenda that has witnessed numerous organisations and private companies working together toaddressissues such as climate change and global warming.

With commercial buildings responsible for approximately half of all energy and greenhouse gas emissions, and Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions (per capita) among the highest in the world, commercial building projects are an important target area for any sustainability initiative.

While newly constructed commercial buildings often address sustainability considerations in their design, incorporating green technology and considerations during the refurbishment or fit-out of older commercial buildings often presents a range of financial, technical, and practical challenges. But, with experts like the Whitcon Group on-board to assist, all of these challenges can be easily overcome.

Key Sustainability Considerations

Here at the Whitcon Group, we recognise that investors and property owners alike are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of investing in environmentally, socially responsible projects. With this in mind, here are eight key sustainability considerations to keep in mind; improvementsin these areas can quickly improve a commercial building‘s environmental footprint.

Energy

Targeting an overall reduction in energy consumption is one of the biggest ways to improve the environmental sustainability of a commercial building. Energy consumption, and its resultant greenhouse gas emissions, can be reduced in a number of ways:

  • Installing energy-saver light globes (rather than fluorescent globes)
  • Installing motion-sensors on all lights
  • Installing energy management system technology to control lighting systems automatically
  • Installing timers or programmable thermostats to ensure efficient use of air conditioning and heating systems
  • Installing reflective window film, shades, or awnings, particularly on west-facing windows
  • Installing insulation to regulate temperature more effectively
  • Installing solar panels to supplement some or all energy supply
  • Purchasing energy star rated electrical appliances (such as air conditioners, heaters, hot water heaters, printers, and fridges)
  • Performing regular maintenance on air conditioning and heating units, checking pipes, ducts, and insulation, and cleaning condenser coils and filters

Obviously, the other major benefit of reducing energy consumption is that significant cost savings can be reaped over the lifecycle of yourcommercial building project. And, with energy costs rapidly increasing, energy bill savings now, and into the future, can be significant.

Materials

Another way to weave environmental considerations into any commercial building project is to use sustainable building materials in both the construction and the fit-out. By re-using and recycling existing materials, and using sustainably sourced new building products, you can significantly reduce the volume of natural resources consumed.

There are any number of sustainable building materials on the market, including things like strawbale, timbercrete, rapidwall, and rammed earth. However, for some commercial building projects, these materials may not be suitable.

However, a number of common building materials are actually quite environmental friendly. For instance:

  • Concrete is excellent for creating a thermal mass in a passive solar designed building, helping to keep the building warm in winter and cool in summer.
  • Bricks are also excellent at creating a thermal mass, and can be used to store or absorb heat and keep temperatures stable.
  • Timber is strong, flexible, readily available, and if sourced properly, is considered a renewable energy source.

Indoor Environment Quality

During a commercial building project, the wellbeing of the occupants should also be taken into consideration. Elements such as the heating, ventilation and cooling systems of the building, lighting, and indoor air pollutants all contribute to a good indoor environmental quality. Other common factors that should be taken into consideration include noise levels, climate control, and health issues like eradicating asbestos, formaldehyde, and mould.

Water

With increasing demands on potable water supply, it is important that water consumption is considered in the design and fit-out of any commercial building. Water consumption can be dramatically improved by focusing on the collection, purification, and re-use of water that is consumed onsite. In order to facilitate water re-use, a dual plumbing system (that recycles water used when flushing toilets) can be installed, with greywater used to irrigate lawns and gardens. The installation of rainwater tanks to capture excess water run-off can also go a long way towards reducing water consumption. In addition, installing items such as low-flush toilets, and low-flow showerheads can reduce wastewater.

Land Use and Ecology

Initiatives that improve or reduce the impact of commercial building projects on the surrounding ecological systems and biodiversity can also be introduced. Activities that can assist in increasing levels of biodiversity include:

  • Protection and restoration of indigenous flora, often achieved through extensive replanting and revegetation programs once construction is complete.
  • Protection and restoration of fauna, often through re-homing or protection of the natural habitat.

Site Management

The way in which the design and construction of a commercial building project is managed can have a large impact on its environmental sustainability.

Considerations in sustainable site management include:

  • Recycling and re-use of demolition and construction waste.
  • Managing construction activities so that pollution is minimised and soil and air quality protection is maximised.
  • Training programs for facility managers, once the project is complete, to maximise the use of environmental initiatives employed in the building.

Whitcon Group’sSustainability Services

As a responsible construction management firm, the Whitcon Group employs sustainable business practices and construction methods wherever possible. Our experience and knowledge in sustainability provides valuable assistance to our clients and design teams, helping them to make informed decisions.

The Whitcon Group can provide a range ofsustainability services, including:

  • Integration of sustainability design solutions into construction documentation
  • Independent design review of environmental sustainability
  • Cost estimates for all sustainable design options
  • Experience in the Green Star, ABGR and NABERS schemes
  • Ecologically sustainable site management
  • Training of building and facility managers

For more information about green building design, visit:

How to Choose the Right Interior Paint Colour for Your Home

Rod Kelloway - Monday, October 20, 2014

When it comes to decorating a property, whether it’s a spacious five-bedroom family home, or a complex of high-end luxury apartments, colour plays an incredibly important role. The paint colour can set the mood for an entire room. And, with so many choices on the market, finding that perfect interior paint colour can be a real challenge, particularly if you’re not an experienced construction professional.

So, to help eradicate some of these challenges, we’ve put together a few handy tips and tricks for choosing the right interior paint colour for your home.

Be Patient

First and foremost, be patient. It’s always a great idea to collect paint samples along the way. But, sometimes, leaving the paint colour choice until the end of your decorating process can deliver the best results. You may opt to confirm curtains, carpets, rugs and other fabrics before finalising your paint colour. After all, paint is available in just about in shade you can image, and is often the most versatile part of any room décor.

Consider Your Home as a Whole

Whether your home is a spacious mansion or a small apartment, you should consider it as a whole. Transitioning colour from one room to another, and into the next, can be quite a tricky process. It is not easy to achieve a smooth, seamless paint colour integration, particularly if you attempt to transition from bright orange in the lounge room, to fuchsia in the dining room. Think of your home as a harmonious whole, inside which the paint colour needs to create an overall feeling of warmth, and homeliness, rather than a jarring war of colour. We tend to opt for one or two colours throughout a property, and then mix in other accent colours if needs be. This gives a property continuity, but also ensures that each room has a slightly different personality.

Beware of Bold Colours

Keep in mind that the majority of people tire of bold colours very quickly. So, it’s usually a good idea to incorporate a strong, bold colour as an accent, rather than for an entire wall or room. Bold colours are often attractive because they are the colour of the moment. As such, they can very quickly date the look and feel, not only of a room, but also of your entire property. Oftentimes, using on-trend colours in design elements like light shades, cushions, and throw rugs can be more cost effective in the long-run.

Don’t be Afraid of Colour

While we have cautioned against bold colours, that is not to say that you should be afraid of colour. Ultimately, follow your heart: if you love a colour, test it out. If you’re not sure where to begin, maybe start out small; try a brighter colour in bathroom or a powder room, or just on one accent wall. That way, if you still love it once you’ve finished a smaller area, then you won’t be afraid to use it on a whole room.

Ponder the Emotional Effect of Colour

It is a well-known fact that certain colours elicit certain emotions. Cooler colours, like blues and greens, are very calming and serene. Oranges and yellows, from the warmer end of the spectrum, are much more energetic and prone to inciting excitement. And, while red can be quite warm, it can also generate feelings of aggression. So, be sure of the emotional reaction that you want your paint colour to affect. Opting for blood red throughout your bedroom might not have the calming effect that you really want.

Remember that White Isn’t Always White

When it comes to paint colours, there is no one shade of white. There is vivid white, natural white, berkshire white, abbey white, lexicon, white on white, and the list goes on. So, if you have decided to opt for white walls, it is still a good idea to compare paint samples to your curtain fabrics and flooring. You might find that you need a shade of white with a yellow tone, or even a cooler, blue tone.

Shed Some Light on the Situation

Colours look different in different types of light. So, it is always a good idea to paint a sample area (or even areas) of wall in the room being decorated. Then, make sure that you are happy with the paint colour during the day, when it is bathed in natural sunlight, and at night, when it is lit by either incandescent or fluorescent light. You’ll be surprised just how much the paint colour can change: natural daylight shows the truest colour; incandescent light emphasises warm tones like yellows and oranges; and fluorescent light casts quite a sharp, blue tone.

Give it Time

Finally, if you’ve opted for a new paint scheme in your home (or moved into a new property with a completely different paint scheme to what you’re used to), give it time to grow on you. A new paint colour can take some getting used to, particularly if you’ve opted for some bright, bold accents.

And, if all of our handy tips and tricks just aren’t enough, then it might be time to call in the professionals. Local paint and hardware stores can provide a wealth of information when it comes to choosing paint colours, and are even able to provide a custom colour matching service. Some of the major paint brands, like Dulux (www.dulux.com.au), have extensive advice on their websites as well.



The Launch of the Whitcon Group

Whitcon Group - Monday, September 22, 2014

We are excited to announce the official launch of the Whitcon Group. The launch of the Whitcon Group will see the two highly successful arms of our business, Whitcon and Whitcon Residential, come together, so that we can better service the needs of our clients.

As a value client, you can rest assured that this re-badging and reorganising of our brand will not alter your relationship with us. As always, we will strive to continuously exceed your expectations, always upholding our core values of integrity, ethical behaviour, and communication.

Our team is still exactly the same. Whitcon’s heritage is built on the 50 years worth of experience of our two directors: Rob Whitworth and Gavin Fraser. Their vast experience within Australia's construction industry drives the Whitcon Group’s expertise, commitment, and integrity. Both of our directors will continue to lead the Whitcon Group from strength to strength, personally overseeing each and every one of our projects.

Above all, our commitment to superior customer service is still our number one priority.

The only difference is that the Whitcon Group is now your one stop shop for construction success, regardless of what type of construction project you are undertaking. We now have the breadth and depth of capability and experience to deliver any type of construction project, from commercial and hospitality projects to industrial and residential developments.

When it comes to residential projects, Whitcon Residential always stood out from the crowd for all the right reasons, guaranteeing excellence in building standards and customer satisfaction. Our reputation for the construction of exceptional high-rise residential properties, combined with our exceptional after-sales service, is the cornerstone of our business, and it will remain as such at the Whitcon Group.

Whitcon specialised in commercial and industrial construction, fit-out, and refurbishments. The industrial and commercial arm of our business always strove to continuously exceed client expectations, and uphold with our core values: integrity, ethical behaviour, and communication. It will be no different, now that Whitcon has come under the banner of the Whitcon Group.

Whitcon has evolved into an award-winning construction company, delivering everything from hospitality and heritage projects, office and shop fit-outs, to aged care facilities, and civil and industrial developments.

Regardless of whether it’s a residential or a commercial construction project, with the Whitcon Group in your corner, you can be confident that you will be treated with respect and dedication, and that your project will be delivered within budget, on time, every time.