Morning, yesterday Maud, Mungo and I quickly ran to the florist as my foliage had all died in the house and we needed something fabulous to put in various vessels, its the retail class today and a full packed house (hence the dash to the florist). There was a guy in there picking out a bunch, and a queue of us ladies waiting for him to make a decision so we could get on with our day. No exaggeration he spent over 30 minutes getting the florist to team this with this all of which was the worst combo ever. Internally I wanted to say put this with this with this wham bam your done – don’t partner a ranunculus with a tulip and then a bit of autumnal foliage thrown in that is beyond criminal. Never mind the terrible combo the colours were all over the place, white, harsh red a bit of golden leaf bizarre beyond belief. It was so criminal I thought I was going to have an anxiety attack watching it and kept thinking can’t the florist advice that this is a disaster if I was the receiver of such a bouquet sorry, really sorry no matter how much love is involved that is not going in a vase in my house its beyond a catastrophe

The woman next to me muttered ‘boys with colour disaster’, and as for the two M’s Maud laid on the floor and munched thru their  foliage and Mung’s decided to pee up everything roses, hydrangea I was so absorbed in the bouquet scenario that I didn’t notice what those two were up to.

Which got me thinking you either get colour or you don’t, for some of us its intuitive for some its not. I often say push boundaries with colour but you’ve got to restrict it a bit, you can’t like this bouquet have every single flower a different hue otherwise its seems nuts never mind the combo of tulips with the other stuff. Colour is the most transformative thing you can do to a room EVER, its one of the cheapest things especially if we’re talking paint and I would advise anyone to come out of their comfort zone slightly but and its a big but restrict the amount of colours you have going on in a room otherwise it will seem crazy. Also look at the intensity levels if you’re using a strong colour like I do alot, grey for instance have odd punches of similar strong colours going on yellow, lime it will make the room feel more balanced.

A good website for colour, inspiration and lots of  ideas   is Design Seeds, here you will see what colours work with what, its a great resource and takes all the hard graft out. Image below from said website, when colour is used properly it uplifts, tantalises and inspires.

Have a lovely weekend

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16 thoughts on “Colour

    • In the retail class today I’m teaching the group that one should never respond to negative comments just ignore them. However I’m ditching that rule to respond to you however because I am a little mad, you can call me many things but sexist is not one of them. I relayed a passing comment and it wasn’t meant about all boys, it was this guy in particular, not meant to be taken personally and embraced in the way that you’ve done. If political correctness has gone this far then I give up!

      • Wow….it’s a funny old world. How can you read today’s blog about putting together colours as men can’t pick flowers . Nearly as amusing as Mung peeing up the roses !!!

  1. It’s about over-thinking perhaps. Everyone – man or woman – must have been in the position where you think and think and re-work to get the decision perfect only to end up with something that doesn’t work. Nice reminder to go with gut. Thanks

  2. Hi Abigail, on the topic of colour, after attending your design master class last month, I was inspired to “paint out” my study in a dark inky color that I loved – paint and paper library’s squid ink, described as a inky blue hue, and I went for it – walls, bookshelves, ceiling and all! My color distaster is, the paint looked a dark inky blue when I painted a tester pot on the wall (next to about 8 different other shades of sludgey greys, browns and blues), and during the day it does look a dark inky blue, but at night it looks more of a greeny grey (which i don’t like very much). Not only this, but yellow (which I was going to buy a tonne of to offset/accent the room) looks terrible against the green hue. Have you had any experience with matching colours with squid ink, or do you have any advice as to color scheme?

    • I haven’t used squid ink before and looking at the small swatch online is not that easy but I’m wondering with your accents if you play upon the green aspect a little unless of course you dislike green. Can see shots of zingy lime or leaf working with this colour – also (don’t freak) but strong pink would look fabulous, teal could also work. I had a very similar problem with the colour in my bedroom it wasn’t until I started introuducing lots of neutrals with the restricted punch of colour that it worked so anything neutral will look lovely, stones, moss, taupe hues. Its misleading because the swatch certainly looks more inky blue than greeny grey but maybe playing up the green will help tie it all together

  3. Thanks Abigail, that was a fabulous recommendation! I have been looking around for a collaboration of colour palette ideas for ages, not only for my home, but also for my wedding; the Design Seeds website provided inspiration for both. Plus, looking at the stunning array of accompanying photos whilst having my breakfast, made for a very enjoyable start to the day. Thanks again for your really useful recommendation, and I hope you have a great weekend.

  4. Whatever about the receiver of the ill fated colour combination bouquet……. I certainly would not like to be the receiver of the peed on roses and hydrangea courtesy of M!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Just wanted to say I think your blog is amazing! You inspire me,I too have always had a love for dark with a quirky twist,I have had all the negative comments of it will make the room smaller and what’s that doing in here it should be in the garden ( a large rusted urn) the negative comments make me push the boundaries more,I would rather someone comment and think about it then say nothing at all and think oh “that’s nice ” nice is such a none word.
    I was suppose to come on your retail masterclass today but sadly for me my Husband was rushed in hospital the other day with appendicitis I am gutted I cannot be there but will definitely be coming to one of your master classes early next year :)
    My Husband also reads your blog as we have both got a real love for interiors so just wanted to say blessed with your blog love that you keep it real with love Katrina xxxxx

  6. So funny, after reading your colour blog today, I bumped into Margaret Merton, a tapestry designer and artist who lives in Ashby de la Zouch. She was telling me about an artist friend of hers who many years ago bought a house and was disappointed that it had a dusky pink bathroom suite. Instead of changing it, she painted the walls dark grey, bought orange towels and painted a large silver circle on the wall. Margaret said it looked amazing and worked! Your flower selecting analogy explained it so well. Thank you x

  7. Speaking of color, after attending your AMAZING masterclasses in NYC this summer I went over to the dark side with paint for my living room. It came out so brilliant, a dark navy blue, and makes everything in the room stand out in a more modern and tactile way. I also took in account your layering advice–got some rugs, a very tall lamp (because that advice, adding height adds interest, changed the way I view a room), sentimental knick knacks for tabletops, and taking books out of the bookshelves, totally MADE the space. So I thank you for your knowledge and helping me ‘see’ a room in a way I never have.

    If you have a chance take a look:

    • Totally and utterly beautiful what an amazing job you have done thank you so much for showing me to get feed back and to see the fab job you have done has made my weekend

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