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Colour my home: where to start


I’m introducing a new interiors series “COLOUR MY HOME” for those of you, who love colour but are not confident in using it in your home. I believe that if you let colours into your life, it can be a serious confidence-booster. I brought Mairi Helena on board,  a seriously bold pattern designer and photographer, who will be sharing her tips and experiences in designing a colourful home.

Over to you, Mairi… 

It’s a wonderful feeling to be faced with a blank canvas and paintbrush in my book…suddenly you have the tools to create an art piece in front of you and with it you can create anything you like! The same can apply to a new interior or a room renovation. You can create your own look – make your own stamp, experiment with your favourite tones…the colour world can be your oyster.

An exercise that can really help to pin down your interior style and favourite colours is creating your own moodboard. In my view, it’s an essential starting point to help you identify your paint colours, fabric choices and finishes. Whether you use Pinterest or prefer the process of getting stuck in with the glue and glossy interior mags, the art of creating some kind of a board which helps you to draw together ideas and styles, I think,  is a key starting block when approaching a room makeover of any kind. Pinning colours and laying them next to each other can be so beneficial when trying to visualise the overall look. I try not to stop at paint colours, fabrics and furniture, but instead look at textures that are inspiring, materials that sit well with each other, words that are meaningful and photographs of..well anything really. I find this not only helps to pull everything together but gives you more ideas when styling and decorating the room.

Adding colour into a room doesn’t always necessarily mean we have to paint the walls in bold colour tones. We can be clever and subtle with colour by introducing carefully selected hues to play alongside a neutral backdrop. Greys are a popular choice on the walls for many people, creating a very liveable, relaxing and sophisticated room interior. Greys and neutrals, in my mind, set up a perfect opportunity to introduce a very colourful array of soft furnishings and accessories, in which you can style the room.

While flicking through a spring edition of Homes and Gardens, I was struck immediately by an uplifting and very classy bedroom styled by Marisa Daly and photographed by Jan Baldwin. I just loved how the warm enriching yellow worked so well in combination with the more muted pastel palette. The greys work cleverly in the background, creating a relaxed but highly sophisticated statement wall with the intricately patterned wallpaper motif. The dark accent grey on the four poster bed creates impact. However, it’s the accents of yellow together with the pattern and textures that help draw everything together.

 A wonderful duo. Both work hand in hand. Use your moodboard to help explore different ways to add materials of different texture. One really fun way of adding pattern is to consider a wall stencil to create a clever statement wall! We did just that in our Moroccan bathroom using this stencil on our yellow walls.

The clever thing about colour is that by introducing a second accent colour into the mix, you can completely change the look of a room.  Never be afraid to experiment with colours, since the results can be so rewarding. Select two accent colours  to accessorise your space with, which work perfectly against a neutral background colour palette.  Featured here for inspiration are: 1/ Bute Fabrics 2/ Farrow & Ball: Sudbury Yellow and Dropcloth 3/ Mairi Helena Golden Blush Wallpaper and Fabric 4/ Zoffany (Water Iris) 5/ Casamance (Ailleurs) 6/ Camenguo (Espirit) 7/ Holland and Sherry 

 Don’t be afraid to be bold and be brave, and start painting your own picture!! 

So, always experiment with colour. Start by playing with colours that you’re drawn to. Often looking in your own wardrobe gives you an idea of the colours you tend to gravitate to. Place them on a board. Give yourself a neutral base and introduce one or two accent colours. Find textures, photographs, perhaps objects in your home that you’re inspired by. You’ll be surprised at how quickly a style comes together and fresh ideas for a new room interior are developed. 

Until next time..

Mairi xx

Credits: Text and photography by Mairi Helena. Please follow Mairi on Instagram.