EX­PERT AD­VICE

Fran Hick­man’s tips on con­fi­dently us­ing colour and ma­te­ri­als

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Decorating -

Stone This is one of the most ver­sa­tile ma­te­ri­als we use in our stu­dio – we em­ploy it for ev­ery­thing from floors, walls and ceil­ings to fur­ni­ture and light­ing. The char­ac­ter­is­tics of a par­tic­u­lar stone change dra­mat­i­cally de­pend­ing on how you fin­ish it. I al­most al­ways spec­ify it honed rather than pol­ished, be­cause it has more char­ac­ter – it ab­sorbs light, rather than re­flect­ing it, draw­ing you into the room.

Glass At the mo­ment, we are play­ing with the re­flec­tive ca­pa­bil­i­ties of glass to bring a sense of place to our projects. I re­cently dis­cov­ered a nick­elchromium al­loy called In­conel that we are us­ing as a metal­lic film on glass – it bright­ens and adds depth to an oth­er­wise clear, flat sur­face. This ap­proach can be used to cre­ate new lev­els of en­gage­ment in spa­ces that might oth­er­wise feel dull or ne­glected.

Colour This is one of my favourite tools – it has such trans­for­ma­tive power. We went to great lengths to find the per­fect shade of blush pink for the dress­ing rooms in Emilia Wick­stead’s bou­tique.she be­lieves that the colour has brought her good luck and sees it as in­te­gral to her brand. It’s a good shade for dress­ing rooms, too, as it flat­ters all skin tones. Con­versely, a favourite tech­nique of mine is to paint a room in a dark colour – this way your eyes lose the edges of the space and it ap­pears larger. The process of pick­ing a hue should be com­plex: you need to con­sider its sym­bol­ism in re­la­tion to your home in or­der to use it to full ef­fect. I couldn’t choose a favourite colour – it would be like pick­ing a favourite mu­si­cal note.

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