lessons in colour
I am unashamedly a colourist. A lover of colour. But in saying this I do not mean that I live in a home that is a bright riot of colour. Actually I could think of few things worse. What I mean is that I love the effect of colour on a space. And I think that sometimes the most subtle nuances of colour are exactly the shades that can have the greatest effect.
Colour, you see, is not a one size fits all kind of thing. Colour is a mood, a feeling, an intuition, a sixth sense, and this is why, to master it, we need to be in tune with both ourselves and our surroundings.
We all have our own, particular, favourite colours and a colour that resonates with me for all the right reasons might be your worst nightmare. Colour should be used responsibly, and with love. And an open mind. And because you love it. Stay faithful to that feeling.
So for me personally, although I’m quite addicted to colour this actually translates to a lot of white. Really, I hear you say? Didn’t you just say you loved colour? Well yes. But in my own home I like to start with a quiet, fresh and uplifting, clean backdrop. And I love white, in all its soft lightness of being. For starters, white is never just white. Sometimes it is chalk, and other times milk. Sometimes it is ever so slightly foggy, and sometimes ever so slightly blush. One thing white never is, is a watered down version of itself. And, being the joyous party mixer that white is, I especially love how it makes my other favourite colours look and feel.
I honestly can’t say that I have any rules around how much white I would use to how much colour. Every room is different, and I’m not much of a fan for rules anyway. But I’m very clear on what I like and what works for me. This means I can have a room with four walls of white, and fill it with a reined in palette of blues and charcoals, highlighted with pink and chartreuse or whatever combination nature has served up in my garden that week. The colour enlivens my home’s almost all-white interior, and brings a softness to what would otherwise be a stark scheme.
Equally I can have a room with four walls of dark misty grey, and bring in beautiful white linen bedlinen, and layers of texture to keep everything sensual and interesting.
However, here are 5 guidelines to using colour in your own home –
- Rein in your palette to 3 main colour players max. This way you will achieve some colour harmony rather than have everything competing with each other and shouting for attention.
- Add layers of texture and tonal variation in your colours to keep your scheme and your space interesting and exciting to the senses.
- Colour-filled and colourful are two very different things. Remember a space can be colour-filled without having to be colourful!
- Stay true to yourself. Just because I love turquoise, this doesn’t mean you have to.
- If you’re nervous, take baby steps. Keep your walls white and add colour through your furnishings, accessories and flowers.
(photography and styling Amanda Holland for perfectly imperfect living)