Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Colour Me Badd

This week's hot topic has been colour! I have been advising two people on the same issue, what colour to paint a naturally dark space - one a hallway/ living space in Bristol, the other a kids playroom in Lewes.

My gut response, predictably, go dark, go downpipe! (I'm not entirely obsessed, I do like some other colours - black, dark dark green, sludgy browny grey, but mostly downpipe), have included a few lovely images to try and indoctrinate you ( once again see the amazing @AbigailAhern.).
I am aware that not everyone is as in touch with their dark side as me (in equal measure paint and life!) hence my advise is thus:

Don't fight it: If the room is dark, no amount of painting it a light colour will change that fact. The brightest white will only be bright if it has sun to bounce of it.

Think Warm: If pale colours are your thing, then aim for a warm tone, whether it be grey or green or white choose a shade that has a pinkish hue in certain lights.

Don't get the blues: Blue shades or hints of blue... alert, alert, alert. We are talking cold.

Be Bold: To my mind bold is good, as much as I love dark, I also love bright white (in the right space) the only time I have been disappointed is when i have gone for the middle ground - a pale insipid grey, a white that came out cream. Whatever your direction take yourself that one step further than you might be inclined to go. Go on... dare you!

Think Accents: If you like dark (kind of, a bit, maybe..) but don't want to go the whole hog, what about a feature - paint the in-built furniture a dark gloss, the inside of the bookshelves, a chimney breast. Accessories can be key, all colours have their opposite which enhance their natural beauty for green, orange works really well, for grey, try yellow or pink. Now you might not want an orange wall, but a lamp? (in playroom case) some storage boxes, a piece of art? Possibly stating the obvious but if you prefer a neutral wall then some bold coloured accessories can work wonders to make the space alive and interesting, easily interchangeable and will not take over.

Try It: Face the fear folks, at the end of the day, it is only paint! As per previous post, most of you know what you like so, find some images, mood board it up, sample, sample, sample (make sure you try it on every wall, different lights will produce very different shades).

Take A Risk: If it all goes wrong, you paint over it, no biggie! (#blackglossgate).

Ignore All Of The Above: We all know what they say about rules. Best thing to do, just do it whatever the hell you like. Your personal taste is a natural filter, if you like it, it will work for you.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

How Will I Know?

I was out for dinner last night with my lovely friend Mylene and conversation turned, as it often does, to interiors. Now Mylene has never invited me to her house (bloody cheek) but she is one of the most stylish, creative and generally fantastic women I know (she reads this blog... she bought me dinner!), so I can only assume that her home is every bit as stylish as her appearance.

She, however, feels differently, in her own words she is 'paralysed by indecision' and just doesn't know what direction she wants to take. This is something hear ALOT, along with, "I honestly don't know what I like", "I have no clue where to start on paint colours", " I don't know if I want contemporary or traditional.... minimal or eclectic, light grey or stone...".

Well my simple response to that is yes you do and no-one does. Contrary to what Mylene and others believe, when I started project squat I didn't just KNOW. Yes I had some ideas, nuggets of styles or items I wanted to include, a tile here, a paint colour there (after 5 years of painstakingly post-it noting Elle Decoration it would be tragic if I didn't). But I had no idea how it might all fit together. Until, that is, I embarked on a mood board.

See photo of my very first mood board -for the kitchen. A load of haphazardly cobbled together photos from mags, no consideration paid to how I laid them out, no more discrimination applied other than the natural filter that I liked them. A small amount of editing later and there it was a very clear theme and style which bares striking resemblance to my real life kitchen.

As I learn more about design I realise that the same process applies, albeit in a slightly more structured way.. we start with a concept (see concept for a friend's house in Lewes). Nothing here is to be taken literally but it inspires colours, textures, a mood and from there the rest flows.

So for anyone paralysed with fear, hear this. I hazard a guess that not even the most creative designer in the world 'Just knows' (well maybe Lee Broom does?!), put down that fear, pick up those magazines and get ripping.

Or employ me and I'll do it for you?