CLASH OF THE TI­TANS

HOME STYLE With Chris Read ... that’s or­ange and pink to you and me O CHRIS’ TOP BUYS

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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?

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