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A Splash of Colour


I was thinking of all the buzzwords around the use of colour in our homes, and how they present us with perfect room for indecision.


Neutral, statement, signature, block, textured, plain, patterned. Primary, secondary, somewhere in-between - a whole school of colour and thought. Traditional, experimental, retrospective, progressive. The options expand into gloss, matt or eggshell. Some are in harmony with others, some...to be honest, are not!


I have always adored the sample paint charts that you can pick up for free. These colourful maps guide us through a confusion of decorating. They are a prop when our decisions are coloured by the comfort and safety of neutral. They are a prod for stepping out of our comfort zones with brave self-expression.


Those perfect little square stepping-stones of colour start with calm ‘Nesting Dove Grey’ and then have your eye hopping across the co-ordinated tones, to the dizzy heights of ‘Rock the Boat Red’. I have loved them for the paint names too, a colourful artform in themselves, like the free-reign names of racehorses or the taste-palette of names for unusual wines. My colour notebooks are full of indecision and inspiration in equal measure.


The no-no of red and orange as a combination is now a marriage made in interior (and clothes) design heaven. Well-timed case in point in the background as I write – Alex Jones on the One Show, in gorgeous, opulent and perfectly casual red and orange – with pink thrown in – on a lime green sofa!


Yellow used to be impossible, unless it was so muted that it was a fade-out. Now, the brighter the better. Amanda Gorman’s beautiful Inauguration poem and her bright yellow coat were equal celebrations of style and significance. She stole the show on both counts.



It doesn’t matter at all what decision you make when it comes to colours for your home or your wardrobe. A room is like a person trying on an outfit. You are the wardrobe mistress listening to a client. It’s an individual, trying out what might suit – and what might not!

So, whether your room wants to be Country House or Bauhaus, it’s all a matter of taste and what makes you feel at home. The best way to get it right is to have the confidence to try it out, and to get it wrong. In just the same way that you know at once if something you really thought you would look good in, really doesn’t suit you. It will feel uncomfortable until you forget about what is on trend or what is ‘this season’ and think about who ‘you’ are.


For sure check out the homes and interiors books and magazines for inspiration and aspiration. They are wonderful, visually rich with the colour of dreams, and filled with sources and stockists and wish lists. However, your own wish list is already written – in what you love, what you are drawn to, and what makes you happy without thinking too hard about it.

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