Colour play

It’s time to brighten up the home with a sum­mery vibe, to match the one-day heat waves we hope we’ll get pe­ri­od­i­cally over the next few months, writes Carol O’cal­laghan

Irish Examiner - Property & Interiors - - Interiors -

No ques­tion, the weather is as fickle as fash­ion trends, but one theme which is prov­ing less vari­able than the norm this year is colour. It soaks up bril­liant white walls and ban­ishes the drear of the de­fault set­ting for a con­ser­va­tive dec­o­ra­tor who wants some­thing warmer than white but can’t com­mit be­yond mag­no­lia.

A paint job is the first con­sid­er­a­tion when in­tro­duc­ing colour and, be­ing a big com­mit­ment, will change the en­tire look of a room, pos­si­bly even al­ter­ing your per­cep­tion of up­hol­stery and the qual­ity of light in the space.

Ad­mit­tedly, it’s cheap to change if you can’t live with the re­sults, but there are eas­ier ways of in­tro­duc­ing colour that won’t com­mit you to it be­yond a sea­son, and in a less labour-in­ten­sive way, while chan­nel­ing your in­ner stylist.

So, for now, leave the paint in the shed and con­cen­trate on smaller ac­cents by adding colour with sim­ple tex­tiles and ob­jects. Later on, when you’re more con­fi­dent and know what works for you in a space, there’s the op­tion of in­vest­ing in the fash­ion­able state­ment fur­ni­ture piece in a favourite colour, should you fancy it.

When it comes to choos­ing ac­cents ini­tially, keep it sim­ple. Lau­ren Har­ris, de­signer at fur­ni­ture re­tailer DFS, says:

“I change my cush­ions with the sea­sons. For now, I have green as it’s a per­sonal favourite and it’s also the colour of the year.”

Known for its calm­ing, re­lax­ing qual­ity, green will also help to ex­tend gar­den lush­ness into the house, es­pe­cially if you in­tro­duce it with an­other trend for sum­mer, leaf mo­tifs on cush­ions and rugs.

Typ­i­cally trend­ing, too, is blue and its as­so­ci­a­tions with the beach, but there’s a sur­prise on the colour charts - one we nor­mally as­so­ciate with au­tumn.

“Last year pinks and dusky pur­ples were big,” says Lau­ren. “But this year we’re see­ing burnt orange in so­fas, with cush­ions hav­ing eth­nic pat­terns with Moroc­can and Mar­rakech vibes. To start, let the sofa, or any ma­jor piece of fur­ni­ture and its colour

“this year we’re see­ing burnt orange in so­fas, with cush­ions hav­ing eth­nic pat­terns with Moroc­can and Mar­rakech vibes

do the talk­ing and take cen­tre stage.”

But for a gen­eral ap­proach to a room, with­out in­vest­ing in new fur­ni­ture, Lau­ren likes to mix var­i­ous hues of her cho­sen colour and to add in other trends for a more tex- tured, lay­ered fin­ish.

“Don’t just stick to one shade of a colour in the room,” she ad­vises. “Use dif­fer­ent shades to add depth. For ex­am­ple, lime, for­est green and emer­ald all work well to­gether.

“Bring in pat­tern through soft fur­nish­ings; flo­rals al­ways work well and are time­less. Don’t be afraid of a pat­tern clash – it makes ev­ery­thing more in­ter­est­ing.”

Now there’s a thought. As a die-hard for white bed linen, I was tempted into un­found ter­ri­tory re­cently by a new du­vet cover with a fleshy hue that has since seen me adding it in throws across the ends of oth­er­wise neu­tral beds. Not ex­actly an all out con­ver­sion to colour, but a step in the right di­rec­tion.

“Think about metallics as a colour too,” says Lau­ren. “Warmer cop­per is like a ver­sion of orange in ac­ces­sories. It’s also be­ing used as a ma­te­rial in side ta­bles which gives an el­e­gant fin­ish as a change from the more rus­tic look of wood.”

If you do noth­ing else this week­end, just

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