With no limits to the colours and styles we can use in our homes, Susan Robertson looks at the key colour trends for the upcoming season, and how we can be brave with colour in our homes.
Gone are the days of the rules about colour. ‘Red and green should never be seen’ but it’s one of my favourite colour combinations. Different schools of thought on how you choose hues for above and below a traditional picture rail, and whether you paint or strip your woodwork have been challenged and changed over the years as the trends alter and we become more empowered to do our own thing.
I remember when the ‘feature wall’ seemed really ground-breaking, that ability to splash colour or pattern in a way never done before seemed really bold at the time, but everything moves on and the feature wall is another distant memory. We’re much bolder than that now.
The ‘safe’ magnolias and creams have given way to warm greys, lilacs and blacks as neutral palettes.
And the types of paints we have available not only open up the options of limitless colours, but also additional textures. You can have a soft chalky matt look, or a silky sheen, or even a suedette wall! These all add extra depth and distinction to any colour.
The key palette of the season just now incorporates deep, dark hues, and rich bold colours. Mix it up a bit. Go really dark on the walls and contrast with pale floors. Deep dark navy looks great on the walls and accent this with vibrant colourful velvet cushions, or statement furniture in more bright colours. Super-dark navy, or deep rich purple look great this way. Think of mysterious stormy nights, and luxurious purple chocolate wrappers.
Don’t be afraid to put more than one vibrant colour in the room either, it’s surprising how good things can look if you’re just a bit fearless about it.
Then enters my absolute favourite colours of the moment – the vibrant bright green and the luscious creamy mustards we’re starting to see gracing the magazine covers and pinterest pages. We first saw these colours coming in through statement furniture – delicious velvet chairs and sofas in the boldest of colours were previously unseen before the last few years.
I remember the challenge I had when trying to source a brightly coloured sofa only a few years ago and couldn’t get beyond beiges and greys, or the odd tartan. Places like IKEA used to have more fabric options but there were very few standout colourful pieces on the high street.
That’s far from the case now – the colours are striding in and the vibrant velvet tub chairs that the West End introduced to us, in fuchsia, turquoise and yellows, have already featured in these very pages. And as we get braver with the furniture, the walls are stepping up to the challenge too and complementing the statement by receding into a strong darkness or standing side-by-side in a bright vibrancy.
My absolute favourite colour this season is the green. It’s really fresh and grassy, not in any way insipid, really in-your-face shouty green like a can of Heineken and it looks just fantastic against a deep, dark backdrop. Then hues of that layer up well too, taking you into teal and turquoise tones. Stick that next to a chunky mustard lamp or accessory and you’d think it wouldn’t work but it does.
Don’t restrict yourself though, just go with what works for your room and your sensibilities. Remember how different colours make you feel, how much ‘clash’ can you handle or do you prefer a more traditional, harmonious palette – just make sure that you pick what works for you. Personally – deep, dark navy walls and a bright green velvet sofa would make me feel happy, add a huge red lamp and I might even chuckle.
This is the season to think theatrically about colour. It’s like setting the scene for an exciting mystery, full of intense atmosphere, with surprising twists and plenty of drama.