At the start of the year, just before visiting Maison et Object, we were asked to look at a house in central London, which the client had been unhappy with since the Interior Designer had finished it. Well, what can I say but Grey, Cold , boring and lifeless, a bit like the three days walking around Maison Object in Paris.
That is until we walked into Hall 7, Wow, now this is more like it, Colour and lots of it. Suddenly we had Companies like Rock and Bone with their majestic Deep purple Ammonite Island, their metallic blue curve sideboard and of course their mesmerising emerald green mirror. Next stand to salute was Boca Del Lobo, with their vibrant, reds, yellows, blues and fantastically designed Soho and Limited Edition ranges. Suddenly we were feeling lighter and happier.
This is what we need in days of doom and gloom and triple dip recessions, colour and lets make it bright. After twenty years of pastel colours, we are about to warm up with stronger colours.
A bit like when I was a teenager, I would get my haircut and my mother would nearly cry when she saw my Grade II Buzz cut, it was always my father the voice of reason, 'Don't worry it will grow back' - This is how I see paint, go for it, choose that amazing colour you love, if it does not work, well just paint over it!
The time is right now to bring back good strong colour and perhaps the use of paint finishes, rich lacquers in dark red and blue greens. Colour can dictate a mood, a style; it evokes emotion and can energise or calm.
A modern taken on colour is almost like combining colours that sing vibrantly together, a deep green dining room, with modern panelling and rich lacquered walls with a strong contrast of modern futuristic chairs in vibrant canary yellow, accents of lipstick red glassware or trimmings and you have a primary colour take on the traditional dining room. It can spin round stuffy conventional styles and turn them into wow rooms that glow and amaze. A place of great inspiration for us is beautiful Claydon House in Buckinghamshire, which has stunning examples of fine Rococo and chinoiserie decoration and in its extroidinary Chinese room with beautiful deep blue walls, extravaganza of woodcarvings by Luke Lightfoot in 1760 it has a stunning silk satin yellow sofa in an ornately carved chinoiserie style alcove. Another great house that adores colour is Longleat you will walk around in awe at the beautiful colours that adorn the rooms, no holds barred use of colour on the ceilings and walls and it excites and evokes emotions, if painted in hues of white it would lose all its magic and that is what colour is, its magic.
The beauty of colour is you don't need to much to have a powerful affect, in contrast to the strong powerful colours, it can make all the difference to a cool white room by adding a wonderful old vase of fresh green and pink flowers, bringing brightness and life and break up the starkness of white. It brings warmth and energy. Natures wonder of colour in all flora and fauna and living creatures has inspired designers and architects throughout the ages. We developed a Crane wallpaper for an art deco house and with its soft hues of golds and aquas the cranes were softly painted on to golden silk, the colours were gentle and easy on the eye and were the inspiration for the rest of the room. The rooms primary feature was the beautiful vistre out through the large bay window, onto a long and meandering garden, full of roses and soft summer flowers. The room could not over power this view and had to embrace it and respect it. The accessories in the room, silk cushions of pale mauves and aqua's where complimented with pretty vases of in stronger hues, because of the glass the colour could be more intense due to its opaque quality. The beautiful flowers of fresh green and pinks vibrated with colour against the soft pretty back drop. This was a room to be calm but it also celebrated the colour in its gentle natural form.
Colour is like chicken soup, it gets into your veins and once you start looking outside colours considered boundaries you can experiment and enjoy its wonderful intoxicating effects. There are no rules, as long as it evokes energy and emotion and brightens up our rather dull beige lives lets vote for more colour and don't be afraid to use it!