Starting this week at the top, literally, with some picture of fabulous ceilings – aka the fifth wall. Not to be forgotten. Not to be swathed in white just because that’s what one always does. So I hope these will give you inspiration and ideas and maybe tease out a little bit of bold. For, as someone said, a strong colour on the walls might be too much, but putting your favourite colour on the ceiling and inhaling a burst of energy every time you look up can only be a good thing. And this pink delight below belongs to Emma Jane Palin, an interior stylist, art consultant and blogger and, crucially, an expert on all things rental decor.
So for those of you who rent, or who have children who rent or, even those first time buyers who might not have the budget to change big things, do follow Emma either on instagram or her blog for advice and ideas on what you can do. In this room above, the landlord gave permission for the changes and she will paint the pink back to something more neutral when she leaves. Have a look also at her bedroom makeover and the fireplace in the sitting room too for ideas.
And this delicious pink, by the way, is called Delilah from Earthborn Paints, which are water-based, eco-friendly and breathable. Not for nothing is the company included my Do Less Harm Directory and they were also awarded the first UK licence of the EU Ecolabel for Indoor Paints and Varnishes. The walls, by the way, are Donkey Ride, also by Earthborn.
Staying with ceilings and this kitchen above harnesses the power of green with a greyish version on the cupboards (Pompeian Ash by Little Greene) and a a bolder version on the ceiling – same principle as above. You don’t always look up but when you do make it wow. The designers have chosen to link the two greens with pieces in brighter toning shades on the shelves but this would also be a great moment for a disrupter colour. Pink, for example or orange.
Below, while a publicity shot for the Mandarin Stone tiles (and yes you can mix shape and size and colour) this shows you the job of colour blocking. Again, this is something that is talked about a lot in fashion when it comes to clothes (Michelle Obama was a fan) but we don’t tend to reference it as much in interiors. Here the green floor tiles tie into the green painted shutters, while the back wall and towle are in a soft greenish grey. The soft gold ceiling links to the just seen (possibly ply) bench in the corner while the bath brings it all together in a contrast.
If this it too much for you it’s easy to swap out one of the colours or change the proportions. Paint the back wall a paler version of the bath (or tile it) or bring the ceiling colour down over the wall. Take the idea and play with it until you find something that would work for you.
And you can see that below where the ceiling is a soft yellow, the walls are pale pink and the coving is emerald green. Yes, this will outline the shape of the room but when the colours are this pretty together why not? The colours are deepened in the brass light fittings and artwork and this is a perfect example of why a slash of black and white stripes works anywhere and cuts through any pastel sweetness. Once again, you might want to play with the colour proportions; imagine dark blue walls, a mid blue cornice and a pale blue or soft orange ceiling. Or shades of green. It’s all up to you, all I am aiming to do here is show you possibilities and get you to think a little more deeply about what works for you. And if the answer really is that white works for you all over and in every room then at least you will know that you thought about it and reached an opinion rather than just reaching for a comfortable tradition.
les deux gares hotel in paris designed by luke edward hall image by benoit lineroFinishing (almost) not with paint but with texture. These are copper tiles. Many of you will know that I have tin tiles on my kitchen ceiling which we left the natural tin colour but they were originally designed to be painted to look like expensive plasterwork. The metallic sheen will bounce the light around and make the room feel more luxurious. If you don’t want to add tiles or are nervous about a strong colour on the ceiling consider, at the least, using an eggshell or gloss paint which will have the same effect and bounce the light around.
Finally, no I know it’s not a ceiling but I couldn’t resist, and it’s also a great way with colour, this stool. You can see that the walls and all the woodwork (including the door) have been painted in the same soft pale pink and the stool, rather than being a disrupter colour, is the wall shade taken to extreme and it has the same effect as a disrupter colour but instead of constrasting or clashing it remains within the same palette. If you’re frightened of high contrast this is a great way to go. And a stool is small too so it’s easy to change. Tip: If you’re painting a chair or stool (or even a small table) bang nails halfway into the feet so you can paint all the way down to the bottom without sticking it to the newspaper or floor. Once dry you can remove the nails.
So there you have it. I hope you have enjoyed today’s stroll through some beautiful rooms and will feel inspired for your own spaces.