Inspiring locals with my 'Colour in the Home' talk

Hi Everyone, I guess you are in the throws of starting to decorate your homes for Christmas and furiously buying presents. It's a lovely time of year; I love all that anticipation. 

Last week I gave a talk on 'Colour in the Home' at the local interiors shop where I work two days a week, Quirky Dovetail.   This is a lovely local interiors shop where I've been working (running the shop) part-time for the last three years.  We specialise in up-cycling old furniture and painting it in Farrow and Ball neutral paint colours as well as selling antique and vintage items and homewares.  The event at which I spoke was our annual Christmas shopping evening which is always well attended by regular clients, new clients and friends.  Given that I am an interior decorator and colour consultations are a crucial part of my services, and also I'm absolutely passionate about colour, I decided to give a half hour talk on how to use colour in the home.  The majority of our clients are afraid of colour so I wanted to show them how they could inject some colour into a neutral colour scheme.  Grey is definitely the trend currently and many people paint rooms grey, add grey flooring and furniture but then wonder why the room looks bland and insipid.  I hope I inspired them enough to introduce some colour; the feedback after my talk certainly gave that impression!

Given that Quirky Dovetail paint furniture in Farrow and Ball paint, I used the six Farrow and Ball neutral families as the basis for my talk.  There are so many colour brands and each paint chart has way too many colours but I like the fact that Farrow and Ball have created these six neutral families to make our lives easier when selecting a colour scheme. And Farrow and Ball paint is particularly lovely with such high levels of pigment and such depth of colour.

I know the word 'neutral' can sound really dully and boring, even a bit of a cop-out to some of you, however neutrals are easy to live with, elegant and un-demanding if they are used correctly.  It's all about how you put the neutral shades together as to whether the effect is sophisticated or insipid.

I prepared a board for each of the Farrow and Ball neutral families and I included some accent colours and also a couple of fabrics to create a sort of mood board so that the audience could imagine how these could work in a room.

For those of you are not familiar with the Farrow and Ball neutral families, they are:

Traditional Neutrals - Soft grey-green tones, sophisticated - Lime White, Old White, Slipper Satin, Off White. Suggested accents: Light Gray, Mouse's Back, Pigeon

Yellow-based Neutrals - Creamy undertones, prettiest group, country feel - White Tie, New White, String, Matchstick. Suggested accents: Cord, Cat's Paw, Tanner's Brown, Mouse's Back or for a country scheme try Cooking Apple Green, Cook's Blue and Rectory Red

Red-based Neutrals - Red undertones, warmest group - Pointing, Dimity, Joa's White, Oxford Stone. Suggested accents: London Stone, London Clay, Eating Room Red

Contemporary Neutrals - Lilac undertones, appear grey, add edge but retain warmth - Wimborne White, Strong White, Skimming Stone, Elephant's Breath. Suggested accents: Dovetail, Charleston Gray, Pelt

Easy Greys - Neither too warm nor too cool, delicate gauzy appearance - Wevet, Ammonite, Cornforth White, Purbeck Stone. Suggested accents: Mole's Breath, Railings, Stiffkey Blue

Architectural Cool - Cool with blue undertones, have architectural edge - Blackened, Dimpse, Pavilion Gray, Plummett Suggested accents: Down Pipe, Railings, Stiffkey Blue

Here are my boards of the six neutral families and accents:

I also created some separate colour schemes on smaller boards again with a complementing fabric and these were pinned to the reverse of the presentation board for viewing after my talk.

We had a full house for my talk and the evening was animated and sociable fuelled by plenty wine and food and lots of shopping!  Never the most flattering when you are being photographed talking animatedly and passionately and waving your arms around but here goes .......... !1

I would love to hear how you have introduced colour into your home and what paint brand and colours you have used. Or if you have any questions you would like to ask me, don't hesitate to get in contact.

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