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: