Colour To Soothe The Soul
By Debbie Blott. Originally written for Time & Leisure Magazine.
2020 will be remembered as the year we choose colour not just to adorn our bodies and decorate our homes but to soothe our souls and improve our wellbeing. Tired of harsh, urban shades, we are drawn to warmer, more natural tones that enhance our mood and bring joy to the spaces we live in. Heartening news on a dull and dreary February day. Better still, the forecast is that colour is here to stay.
There is a growing understanding of the powerful link between surrounding ourselves with colours we love and feeling fantastic. “The key is to choose colours that reflect your authentic personality, inspired by the way you want to feel rather than a passing phase” says Karen Haller, colour psychologist and author of The Little Book of Colour. With so much political array and concern for the damage we are doing to our environment this has led to 2020 becoming the year, and quite possibly the decade, of going green, in every way.
The desire to connect with nature is the strongest and most powerful trend we have seen for many years, led by our individual demand for a kinder world to live in, and now embraced by all the major brands in the world of interiors. As Marianne Shillingford Creative Director of Dulux UK says, “A new decade heralds a new dawn and the hazy green tones of the Dulux colour of the year, Tranquil Dawn, are calming and comforting just when we need it most in our lives.”
“As we become increasingly environmentally aware, we crave a connection with the colours of nature” says Joa Studholme, Colour Curator at Farrow & Ball, “but we still want to create spaces that are warm and welcoming for our friends and family, colours that make us feel proud of our homes.” Strong and subdued Duck Green is a softer, more contemporary alternative to charcoal, perfect for spaces you want to relax and curl up at the end of the day.
Green is ideal for entrance hallways and modern extensions, bringing the outside in and blurring the lines between home and garden. If you prefer a soft and subtle scheme, choose deep, rich hues of olive, jade, mint or forest greens for upholstery and more muted shades for walls and soft furnishings. Pair with neutrals pastels or bright botanical colours to create a livelier look and feel.
Green is just the beginning. Creating colours that reflect your individual personality could never be about just one shade. It is about finding the perfect palette that suits you and that you respond to emotionally. Manufacturers are reacting to our collective colour needs by creating gorgeous new ranges from across the rainbow. Lavenders and lilacs are being introduced to sit alongside the dusky and peachy pinks of 2019. Earthy tones of red clay, with hints of saffron and turmeric, apricot and cinnamon are capturing the nostalgic natural vibe of the 70’s.
In kitchens deep midnight blues, rich plums and sage greens look stunning on cabinetry. Neutrals remain but there is a shift from grey to beige. Choose natural stones and marbles infused with rich patterns and warmer veins to work with the softer coloured metals on taps and accessories as the move away from chrome continues.
Our colour confidence is spreading to bathrooms also, most noticeable in the use of patterned wallpaper, tiles and flooring. Combine beautiful bright botanical wallpapers with houseplants, reminiscent of a luxurious, tropical spa ideal for relaxing. There are even signs of a revival in coloured sanitaryware.
Carefully sourced sustainable materials, crafted furniture and artisanal accessories will further enhance your natural scheme bringing together more soothing aspects of nature. Add layers of warmth in bedrooms and living spaces with a curated collection of natural fabrics – pure organic cottons, textured linens, hand-woven wool and sheepskin.
Brown is a natural partner to green and the dark brown furniture of the Victorian and Edwardian periods is making a comeback. Be bold with your colours and soft with your fabrics, introducing beautiful lighting and perhaps a touch of metallic to keep the look cool and contemporary rather than heavy and old fashioned. Introduce a mix of different timbers from natural wood flooring to tables, chairs and storage. An eclectic collection of vintage furniture adds interest, connecting to previous generations.
Colour is just one aspect in part of the bigger trend to making more mindful choices. Gone are the days when we threw everything out and started again. New colours can be introduced gradually. A colourful new rug or cushion can make all the difference. Re-painting walls or cabinetry, re-upholstering furniture or replacing tiles can be dramatic. The key is to choose quality pieces in colours that you love and will bring you joy for more than just one season.
Wall Colour: Wuthering Heights by Paint The Town Green
Woodwork Colour: Treron by Farrow & Ball