CLASH OF THE TITANS
HOME STYLE With Chris Read ... that’s orange and pink to you and me O CHRIS’ TOP BUYS
ne of the interiors stories over the last year has been colours that clash to make a big statement – it’s been borrowed, as so often happens, from fashion trends.
This seems at first glance to be counter intuitive – why on earth would you do something that doesn’t work, and do it deliberately?
Well, like with all these things, there is a set of rules that you need to know about in order to do this successfully.
Which means of course, that they don’t really clash at all!
The main rules of colour scheming are centred around opposing, tonal and triad. Opposing colour schemes use opposites on the colour wheel such as red and green, blue and orange. These provide lively schemes, with strong outlines.
Tonal schemes take one colour and use different tones. Technically, this means adding grey to the pure base colour, but in reality it can be by adding white ( a tint), black ( a shade) or grey. These are easy on the eye, calming and restful.
Triad schemes are more complex using three colours at approximately equidistant points on the wheel, providing some of the liveliness of opposing schemes, but greater depth.
There are a number of other options, but rarely do you see colours that sit next to each other in formal colour scheme information, yet this is exactly what colour clashing schemes rely on.
The most popular colour clash recently has been orange and pink.
There are a number of things to consider when using clashes: the first one is balancing the intensity or saturation of the colour.
So, if you take a baby pink and put it next to a strong clear mandarin orange, it won’t work – the baby pink is too weak to hold up next to the strength of the orange and will appear rather sickly in tone.
For me, colour clashes work best when the saturation is strong – most of the things shown here are saturated.
This is because there needs to be sufficient difference between the colours so that they don’t visually ‘ bleed’ one into the other and just create a mish mash ( technical term!) to the eye.
Finally, the more intense the pattern, the easier on the eye the clash is. This is because the colour is broken up and doesn’t grab the attention as much as a wide expanse of one colour would.
The Balmain and Balmain cube shown here is a case in point – highly patterned, you hardly notice that the colours clash.
In the round cushion by Boutique Camping, the colours are almost neon in their intensity, but work because of the heavy patterning, so the neon merely becomes pleasingly cheerful.
It’s more obvious in the Sofas and Stuff Chesterfield, where the colours sit in stripes – admittedly softened by the unclear edges and also by adding a large element of deep colours, which grounds the whole piece. The clearest clash is in the curtain fabric, again by Balmain and Balmain, where a strong tangerine clean- edged stripe sits close to a wonderful lipstick pink.
If all this makes you want to lie down in a darkened room – preferably decorated in soothing off whites – then please be my guest. But won’t you just consider maybe a small throw or a tiny tray or even a pop of a clash from a thermos jug in bee- yoo- ti- ful pink and orange?