Now that Spring is officially sprung, I thought we could return to these colours which might have seemed a little outre back in January. Since I first posted them, I have advised one client to use setting plaster in her office, teamed with Railings on the shelves and she was really happy with how it looked.
I have also suggested to another that she paint the skirting boards to match her new grey walls and that looks great too. Look at the skirting boards in these images. There’s not a white one to be seen. Instead they are darker versions of the wall, which is a brilliant idea and one I can’t wait to try. These are the colours from the 2015 colour predictions by Farrow & Ball.
The light blue and cream combination below is beautiful and restful but look closely at that turquoise writing on the map, even that oh-so-artless placing of the matching string on the oar. Yes, there are your clues. Splash a little of that into your mix. And don’t forget those skirting boards – that’s an easy and not too overwhelming place to begin with.
Pale pink is wonderful as a modern neutral colour. After all, not every room can be grey (or navy,, yes it’s coming) and white does get a little boring – unless perhaps you paint the window frames black to mix it up a little.
It’s also about pushing your personal boundaries. I have no green in my house at all. Although close examination of my wardrobe reveals one pair of olive green boots, a green silk dress and at least one top. So clearly it is a colour I like.
And yet, I would never have thought of using it in house. Until now. This breakfast room green is a gorgeous restful colour and, given that this is the year of the house plant (oh didn’t you know, I just announced it) what better background for all that foliage than this?
A couple of years ago I wrote a piece for The Financial Times about the interior design style of Seattle. Now if there’s one thing we all know about Seattle (apart from the coffee) is that it rains a lot. One designer I spoke to told me how these muddy pastels so typical of Farrow and Ball, are perfect in the northern hemisphere because of the light. Indeed, the entire F&B palette has grey in it, which is what makes it so perfect for us here in the UK or the Nordic countries.
It is, she said to me, as if the original colours have been washed out by the rain and what is left are these gorgeous muted shades that are so restful and calming.
Under the harsh bright light of the south; LA or Sydney for example, bright, clean colours really pop and look amazing. Here, we need something a little softer. That’s why, when you come back from that Greek island resolving to paint your garden wall in that vibrant shade of blue it doesn’t ever look quite as good on a rainy Tuesday afternoon in Neasden as it did in Santorini after a glass or three of the local retsina.
So let’s embrace some colour this year. But why not start gently and think a little more about how to use it in more interesting ways?