There was a time when grey was THE on-trend colour for home styling. Less jarring than white and in a multitude of shades (we didn’t need that silly book to count them), grey became the mid-tone we all aspired to. We slapped Earl Grey and Dusky Grey all over our walls; ‘Twilight’ scatter cushions around our ‘Charcoal’ living rooms (carefully adding a bit of lemon for vibrancy). And then we added even more grey.
But grey was never a real ‘colour’ in my book. OK, I do have a few grey things: my two favourite cashmere jumpers and a big, soft grey scarf to name a few. I’m not sure when I developed my passion for bright colours – perhaps it was just as we started our family when, with a houseful of gaudy toys, there was absolutely no point in having a restrained colour scheme. Judging by all the patterns I now love to create, I suspect I’ve always loved bright things.I love spreading the joy to family and friends with pink, dotty, zig-zag, spotty, red, green and animal print cushions all jostling for space on my sofas (but only in odd numbers, if you remember).
Also, I’m not alone in knowing that colours have essential therapeutic values, all the better to create the kind of mood and style that’s just right for you.
The rainbow rules
RED: Pillar box red is all about energy, excitement, passion. Use it in small doses to start, like with a red rug, a lampshade, or a set of my fun red chevron napkins.
YELLOW: This background accent is coming to the fore as a main player, not just a background tone. Splash a little sunshine to create instant cheer, then offset with accents in hot pink and cool turquoise. Recently added to my collection is the lovely Yellow Tulips cover that combines yellow with some cobalt accents, which is a great way to introduce some yellow into your home.
PINK: Feminine and fun, pink also has a calming, benevolent influence. Lipstick pinks make fun, strong impact statements; go for powder pink on walls and add deep rose accessories. It’s a really accessible way of adding a bit of colour to your home and you can have a look at some of my Pink Clover designs if you’re thinking about dipping your toe in.
GREEN: This living, breathing, spiritual tone is traditionally used in bedrooms and bathrooms but I’ve seen loads of living room palm prints lately, and not just in pubs. Jungle green is creeping up – we are literally bringing the garden indoors. As for office zen, mint green with a desk in the middle is positively sacred. My friend Martha Roberts, who wrote the wonderful book “Shelfie” has recently painted all her bookshelves mint green and they look amazing - go and see for yourself @the_colour_file on instagram.
PURPLE: I’ll admit, I wasn’t a fan of purple homewares until I saw a wooden chair my friend had reupholstered with a beautiful seat in a deep mulberry flavour (sorry, shade): totally gorgeous. There’s definitely a place for purple, especially as the colour signifies nobility, luxury and power (so that chair was pretty much a throne, then).
ORANGE: Misunderstood as a 1970s throwback, orange is actually the colour of encouragement, success and determination. It’s long been a popular choice for sunny accessories, and personally, I really want an orange leather handbag to brighten up my navy winter coat. Start small with a couple of those retro orange salt and pepper mills and see where it takes you… orange duvet cover? Orange sofa? You just never know!
BLUE: Said to be a calming, subdued hue, we can all afford to go bold and grown-up with this one: choose a strong dark tone and the blue will really sing out. Think indigo swags, cobalt carpets, inky blue statement walls: it’s basically a great base from which to set the tone for other homewares in equally strong colours. I’ve got lots of blues in my collection for you to browse through and it’s a really safe way to start experimenting with colour in your home.
So if you’re still feeling cautious about colour, let your inner Pantone doctor loose and spread a little joy about the house!
Lots of love,