Colour – to some it’s seen as a must in any home and is brazenly used through means of velvet coloured sofas and accent walls. To others however, it stems thoughts of panic as they clutch their white based tub of paint, most likely some colour matched version of Cornforth White. It is a wildly interesting topic and something that can be quite controversial too. So when a few weeks ago we were invited to pop along to an event hosted by DFS called ‘The House of Colour’, we immediately revelled in the opportunity. The event was based around a really informative and thought provoking panel talk hosted by none other than Kate Watson Smyth (aka Mad About The House) & Sophie Robinson.
At the event interesting topics like ‘why is grey so popular‘ and ‘what colours are we afraid of using‘ were brought to light. These questions got us wanting to continue chatting about all things colour related thus naturally we thought speaking to these interior goddess would be quite apt. So today we’re speaking to Kate first as we embark on this 2-part-blog-journey where the talk is strictly colour…
1. There’s an obvious popularity for using grey in interiors – but do you think people should start erring away from it? If so / If not – why?
Grey has now moved from fashion to a classic colour and it will always look fresh and contemporary so no there’s no need to abandon it but it’s about what you mix it with. Grey goes with everything but it can be cold and there is a definite move towards a warmer, richer colour palette now. Try mixing it with green – both in soft furnishings and plants – as well as deep oranges and burgundies. Dark grey loves these shades and the paler greys will stand to one side to let them pop out. As a foil for other colours grey is perfect so don’t feel you have to abandon it.
My bedroom is mid-grey and while it has been shades of grey and white and quite monotone for the last five years, I have just got a new green velvet bed and have brought in more vintage wood and plants to warm it up. It’s now calming and relaxing and the slightly cold feel that it had before has gone.
2. What would you your advice for someone whose looking to subtly inject colour into the home without it being overbearing?
I think the clue’s in the question – if you feel a colour would be overbearing then it’s probably not the right one for you. Colour should make you feel happy and comfortable and, crucially, at home. If the one you have chosen for your wall doesn’t make you feel that way then you need to go back to the tester pots.
Having said that you might not want to slather all four walls in your favourite shade of pink so try painting just the ceiling, or painting the walls halfway up or buying just the sofa in the strong colour. Yes you can buy cushions but that’s the traditional way of injecting colour – be a little bit braver than that. Why not buy a sofa in a bold colour and take it down with monochrome cushions – an orange sofa with charcoal cushions immediately looks better and more interesting than a grey sofa with orange cushions.
“Yes you can buy cushions but that’s the traditional way of injecting colour – be a little bit braver than that. Why not buy a sofa in a bold colour”
Kate looking effortlessly cool in her set she styled for DFS
3. Do you think there’s anything wrong with following colour trends closely?
The problem with following trends is they might not be right for you so while we are all guided by trends – not least because that’s what we can find in the shops, you shouldn’t buy something just because it’s fashionable because it won’t fit in your house, you won’t feel comfortable with it and you will need to shop again. Try to pick and choose from the trends so you buy the ones that are right for you. I don’t love the current mania for flamingos so I have avoided that one, but I’m not averse to a retro pineapple ice bucket.
If you do follow trends you have to be prepared to shop often as they move fast and you don’t want to be left behind. Better to buy something that you really love that might float into fashion and out again but you will still love it either way. And if you really do want to follow the trends then I would keep it small. Slathering your walls in flamingo wallpaper is a lot more hassle to replace than a couple of cushions when you want to move on.
It was partly based around my own sitting room which I have just redecorated – painting out the dark grey for a rich dark chocolate colour – and I have a blush pink chaise longue. Now I find I’m drawn to those rich, warm colours and I wanted to reproduce that at the House of Colour. I also felt that while blush pink, millennial pink – call it what you will – has been around for a while we’ve been seeing it with grey and green for ages. I wanted to explore a different combination. Move over dark grey – the chocolate is coming….
Well you heard it here first – Chocolate is coming guys and we should be bolder with our sofa colour choices! If you liked Kate’s advice and her set for DFS, you should check out her new best selling book (click on the link to buy) and explore the sofa options available at DFS.
Keen to chat more about Colour? Tune in next week where we’ll be speaking to Sophie Robinson about her thoughts on neutral lovers and what her advice is for experimenting with colour.