As I may have mentioned once or twice before at the start of the summer I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to have a go on the world’s fastest Zip Wire. All that needs to be said here is that I have done it. I have no need to do it again. However, why was I even in the vicinity of said wire? Well that is because it formed part of a press trip to the North Wales Factory of the Little Greene Paint Company who were perhaps afraid that a simple factory tour wasn’t exciting enough to draw a bunch of jaded hacks on a three hour train ride to Bangor.
Not so me. I love a factory tour and I was even more excited to discover it was in honour of a new collection of colours collectively known as Sweet Treats with names such as affogato, bombolone, muscovado, chocolate and ganache. Yes as you might have guessed from the names it’s a set of nine colours ranging from chocolatey browns to soft pinks and pale yellows and it’s as delicious as it sounds.
Now some of us have been talking about these colours for a while and I painted my office in a Little Greene colour called Middle Buff which is a sort of caramel shade. Had I known that Muscovado was in the offing I might have waited for that.
At first glance, and all together the colours might seem overwhelming but they work with a range of other shades. Indeed, I have a client meeting tomorrow where we are looking to create a scheme around lots of different shades of marble – many of these browns and soft yellows are found in natural stone – and they work perfectly as the base shades which you can mix with soft ocean blues and greens.
Now it might seem a bold choice to create a colour card round shades of, well, brown (and there’s a lesson on the importance of names right there) but Little Greene led the way on this with the grey card, their pink, green and blue cards and, most recently, the stone collection.
It also shows you that you don’t have to worry about this being a short-lived trend as interiors trends move quite slowly and if a company is going to the expense of creating a set of new shades complete with colour cards, styling and photography, you can be certain that they are pretty sure they are colours that are going to be around for a while. So relax and lean in.
Let’s not forget that Dulux has skirted round shades of brown with its colour of the year in the last couple of years as well. And, while we’re on the subject. I painted my last kitchen chocolate brown about six years ago and to be honest it was a bit of a lead balloon moment. Now, as we recently discussed on the podcast, Sophie Robinson, Queen of all things cobalt blue and yellow, has colour drenched her sitting room in Cordoba, a sort of plum chocolate, so you can rest assured that if you like these colours, you won’t have cause to regret them in six months.
So how do you approach using these colours. Well I have seen the soft pink of Mochi used with a soft sage green on woodwork and it looks stunning.
The pale straw yellow of Madeleine is perfect for kitchen cabinets, while chocolate colour (the only one that isn’t actually new) loves all shades of pink and cream. But if you want to mix things up a little try Muscovado or Ganache with some blue green ocean shades.
Often you look at colours like these and panic that they are hard work with but they often turn out to be surprisingly versatile once you start to look at them. Reference a piece of tweed, for example which looks brown on first glance and often turns out to be full of yellows, blues and pinks. So take these sweet treats as a starting point and see what else you can mix in.
There is only one colour that is banned from playing with them and that’s brilliant bright white. Look instead for soft creams, linens and shades of ecru if you want to lighten the scheme.
Otherwise you’re all set. I’ll have a slice of chocolate colour, with madeleine on the side and possibly a dash of mochi. What sweet treats will you choose?
The Sweet Treats Collection by Little Greene is available from 18 September. This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Little Greene.