COLOUR LIME

Get a dose of vi­ta­min C – this zesty shade is mak­ing its way back into our homes

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Decorating -

PANTONE 376 C

In 1753, a trea­tise was pub­lished that, by the end of the 19th cen­tury, re­sulted in a nick­name, first for Bri­tish sailors, and then for the Bri­tish in gen­eral. It was a study into scurvy, a dis­ease that was dec­i­mat­ing the Royal Navy faster than any en­emy ac­tion. Take a 1740s ex­pe­di­tion in the Pa­cific Ocean, for ex­am­ple; 1,300 men out of a to­tal of 2,000 were lost to the dis­ease. Scurvy, we now know, is the re­sult of a lack of vi­ta­min C – but at the time, the cause was a mys­tery and treat­ments a com­bi­na­tion of guess­work and su­per­sti­tion. James Lind, a Scot­tish physi­cian and the au­thor of the 1753 trea­tise, was the first per­son to test the ef­fi­cacy of cit­rus fruits in pre­vent­ing and treat­ing scurvy and, by 1800, all Bri­tish sailors were given doses of lime in their daily ra­tions – this nu­tri­tional quirk earn­ing them the moniker of ‘ limeys’.

Just like peo­ple, colours can suf­fer from im­age prob­lems, and lime green is a case in point. Many scoff at the very idea that this shade is wor­thy of ad­mi­ra­tion. For most, it re­calls un­la­mented styles of the late 1980s and 90s, rather than its fruity name­sake. And yet, surely the idea of a lime re­vival isn’t so far-fetched. Greens of all kinds have been in vogue for some time – char­treuse, lime punch and leaf have all been name-checked by Pantone and trend fore­cast­ers as shades to watch – and lime it­self is a colour that seems to tie into many wider cul­tural moods. On one hand, it is nat­u­ral, re­mind­ing us of the out­doors – es­pe­cially the on­go­ing ob­ses­sion with all things trop­i­cal. On the other, its brighter, neon in­car­na­tions are any­thing but or­ganic. The spring/ sum­mer 2018 fash­ion cat­walks were full of an acidic, al­most toxic shade that has fu­tur­is­tic, sci-fi un­der­tones.

Used in the home, lime is a strong, vi­brant colour – one that De­sign­ers Guild cur­rently has an affin­ity for. The brand’s paint range in­cludes two takes on the pop­u­lar shade – ‘Lime Tree’ and ‘ Varese Leaf’ ( both £44 for 2.5 litres; de­sign­ers­guild.com). The first is softer, the sec­ond packs a zesty punch. For those who don’t want to com­mit to an en­tire wall of bold lime, there are plenty of bright ac­ces­sories, par­tic­u­larly for kitchens and bath­rooms, where the hue’s fresh­ness and en­ergy work. For ex­am­ple, try Habi­tat’s ‘Sin­tra’ table­ware range (from £8 for a bowl; habi­tat.co.uk) or Jonathan Adler’s ‘Mykonos’ can­is­ter dec­o­rated with gold de­tail­ing (£98; uk.jonathanadler.com). Sure, the con­cept of a lime trend in home­ware may take some get­ting used to, but some­times a lit­tle dose of the un­ex­pected can be good for you.

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