Category Archives: Inspiration

What colour to paint…a wall in a bar.


IMG_4579Through one person you meet another and through them you get a free membership to a members only bar in Tottenham Court Road.

You pop in to check it out, get chatting to the owner and suggest a few things he could do to liven the decor.

Next thing you know you have 6 rolls of masking tape round your wrist and a cheap tape measure from the corner shop in your hand.

‘Cool. Do what you want’ he says and goes to a meeting.

You wonder whether he actually meant it whilst thinking I’ll be late for dinner with Jess if I don’t get started…so you get started. Thanks to Mr Pythagoras, a few calculations later you’re up and running masking equilateral triangles (ok, as close as you can get to equilateral triangles) all over the place.


Et voila….. a piece of wall art.

Each section is to be painted but I’d have never made dinner if I’d got involved with that so I’m awaiting an image of the final painted piece sans masking tape…will keep you posted!

The American Banksy equivalent did downstairs so I hope to God it looks hot because if not it will look super bad in comparison!!



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What colour to paint…a stylist’s house – 5 ways to use paint in the home.

I was shooting exteriors this week and one of the locations was the home of a stylist.

I love visiting the homes of stylists because there are (usually) things to look at everywhere and the things to look at are always really interesting. This house was no exception and was full to the brim with the weird and wonderful, displayed with the confident nonchalance only stylists possess.

In just one room I witnessed over five ways to use paint and colour. Check some out below:

IMG_45671. Painting upholstery

This is literally a silk/eggshell finish paint straight onto leather, the cracking and patchy coverage adding to the effect.

IMG_45662. Half painting or ‘Dipping’

Painting (sprayed or brush) just part of the object with a different colour – can work straight on to a natural material or on to another colour as per the image. For stand out the colours need to be very different but for something a little more grown up subtle neutral tones on top of one another look great.
IMG_45713. Weathered and worn

Although the first thing you notice is the hot pink shelf the cupboard has a worn look – this can be achieved quickly through painting the piece in several layers of varying colour paint and then sanding back to reveal the different layers. Alternatively you can leave it for a few decades and this might happen naturally!
IMG_45564. Colour feature wall

Painted in a very crisp but homely white, this room (particularly when bathed in sunlight) makes you believe you are near the sea rather than in north London. Adding pops of colour like this bright turquoise takes the edge off slightly whilst adding lots of personality.

IMG_45725. Painting a feature

Using colour to pick out features – could be a period feature, a fireplace or something as simple as a door frame – as above!

Here are a few other examples of the painted furniture in the house, the colours are fresh and bright and add to the light airy feel the white creates, the owner’s sense of fun comes through clearly and you feel like you should be laughing and relaxing with friends when you’re in this space.






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What colour to paint…an African doll.

African Doll

I could do with a hat like that.

Unfortunately I have no idea where this doll came from, I chanced upon it on a location shoot this week. The shape of it pleases me as does its expression and proportions.

The thing I enjoy most though, is that green. The green combined with the natural rich earthy browns. The green against that solid strong blue background. The clarity the pop of off white brings to it.

Green of this sort doesn’t actually sell that well, given it is associated with new growth and life – both positive things, I find that strange. I find it strange but I probably wouldn’t paint a wall in it. I have, however, just installed a 4ft by 8ft graphic of banana leaves (an amazing find – an original 50’s wallpaper panel from a Miami hotel) in a mixture of vivid greens. It’s the first thing I see when I wake up which is good because the scale of it calms me and the colour of it gives me energy.

Enjoy your weekend!

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What colour to paint…wires.

DSC_0512I took this picture in India.

I like the lines in the knot.

I also like the primary colours of the three wires. The blue is warm and positive, the yellow, soft yet clean, the red has faded to a pink that is not dissimilar to parts of the bonnet of my ‘used to be bright red’ Fiesta.

I imagine these are colours Kate Moross might use in an illustration. I am going to try and use them somewhere tomorrow.


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What colour to paint…Red.


I paid my first visit to Shepton Mallet Flea today.

In hindsight, it may not have been the best idea to visit an outdoor flea market on a day as hot as this. I was there to buy a large quantity of interesting objects for work and for some reason the most interesting objects (like the anchor and 30cm solid iron set of keys) were also the heaviest.

Being fair skinned I topped up on the factor 50  (my red face was purely down to endurance weight lifting in the heat rather than sun burn) but was continually surprised by the number of people who clearly hadn’t applied any suncream, which brings me on to the colour RED.

I picked out the burnt faces far more than any others. Red is a colour to get you noticed.

Red is associated with a wider variety of emotions than any other colour, it covers both positive and negative from courage and excitement to anger and defiance. It has the longest wavelength and plays a trick on the eye to appear nearer than it is, perhaps explaining why it attracts our attention first.

Often used to make a statement, red is not a colour to be used lightly as it is full of energy and is recognised as a stimulant so putting a bright shade in your home can put your room on high alert. Alternatively, using deeper or terracota tones can surround guests with a warm and cozy glow.  If you find a whole room a little daunting, several thoughtfully selected red accessories can give a similar energising effect.

Red is opposite green on the colour wheel so if you want even more vibrancy put them together – you’ll notice companies trying to sell red items often use a green prop somewhere in their photography to make the red pop even more!

Here are a few red things to inspire…


Chair as seen at the Tom Dixon ‘Most’ exhibit in Milan

Found this in Lambrate in Milan.

Red is always heavily linked with blood which reminded me of this picture I took at the Tokyo fish market.

Beautiful flags from a trip to Japan.

These doors are something else. Not sure why I only took a photo of half of them though…


Japanese Acer (again from a trip to Japan).



This is back at the fish market – what an intriguing tentacle!


In summary, if you want to make an impact you should definitely get caught red handed!

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What colour to paint…a tired foot stool.

IMG_3719I admit it. I’m a messy painter. I’m also impatient and really don’t want to put down dust sheets or wear overalls.

At 9.37pm yesterday I decided it was time to repaint my kitchen, so I grabbed my favourite brush and got going. No one apart from me would know I repainted it because it is nearly the same colour as it was before. I know and that’s all that matters.

The thing is, because I’m a messy painter, I dripped a bit on the floor. When I noticed I wiped it up with my finger but by that point I’d already trodden in it and left several other spots around the room. I sighed and put my hand on my forehead leaving another spot, wiped that off with the other hand…you can see where this is going.

The silver lining to my unintentionally decorated floor and face is that I was reminded of a foot stool I saw in Milan, covered in what appears to be finger prints of a similar colour to my kitchen.

What an easy way to update something plain you have grown bored with!

It is almost impossible to go wrong with a pattern like this as it is completely random and each finger print a different shape so there is no pressure or tiresome measuring to be done!

Bring out your inner child and get finger painting!

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What colour to paint…Berlin graffiti.

I’ve never been to Berlin. People always say I should go and I agree, I just haven’t gotten round to organising it.

Today I chanced upon this amazing selection of graffiti images, all located in and around Berlin which has given me a much needed reminder I need to get on and book some flights.

The colours and graphics featured are unexpected, witty and brilliant – take a minute and digest a few….DSC05042.JPG.image.W276N0E3345S4608w300.original







IMG_4217.JPG.image.W0N0E1933S2592w300.originalAll images from


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what colour to paint…copper.


I’m not bothered by shiny things.

The few bits of jewellery I wear are antiqued to avoid it. I have nothing shiny in my house.

So can someone please explain why I am being drawn to copper?

Metallics, have been popular for the last 5 years and show no sign of tailing off, in fact, they seem to be gaining momentum with the addition of colour.

Colour trends are usually connected with social, demographic and economic factors and copper is no exception. Shiny things in particular are associated with wealth and excess and in times of economic difficulty we turn to colour to help us forget things are tough, hence the increase in metals. Gold and Silver have been used extensively and this will continue but they’ve been battling the economic crisis head on for too long so we find ourselves looking for something softer, warmer and friendlier and we find all those attributes in copper.

Copper is the first of these ‘coloured’ metallics to make the big time, shown above with wood it demonstrates how the underlying warmth of the metallic orange is the perfect partner for this natural material (image from Below gives a great example of how to incorporate in to your home through the use of several sheets giving a layered effect (image from

Blue and orange are opposite each other on the colour wheel and therefore make striking partners when featured together: this photo by Jake Curtis as seen at with polished copper and dark navy is a great example.


One of my favourite things about copper is its natural green patina when left unpolished which is one of the reasons Architects and designers have coveted it for so long. Not only is the green beautiful it is also incredibly resistant to atmospheric corrosion, protecting the metal underneath it, perfect! Here’s an example from a recent trip to Copenhagen.


I guess the sudden surge in copper products was the catalyst for me to buy the copper pencil skirt… have I worn it?…

Of course I have! In time I am hoping it will turn green and become completely waterproof!

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What colour to paint…pure cane sugar.

DSC_0496Given the glorious weather it seemed wrong to discuss anything but hot colours.

I took this photo because I liked the style of the fish illustration but also because originally I thought it was a box of half cubes of fish – who’d have thought it, fish in a cube!

On closer inspection I discovered it was sugar and was a tad disappointed.

You can feel the heat radiating from these colours, white, red and yellow, the colours of fire – making them a some what strange choice for an everyday item such as sugar.

Yellow, often associated with cleaning products, or comedy when paired with blue (look at some comedy film posters if you’re in doubt) gives this small packet stand out. The red, usually a symbol of danger and warning is bold and strong, screaming to be looked at. White, in this case calming, tones down a complete riot of bright and draws the eye to key information like the words; ‘fish’ and ‘half cubes’. Perhaps they should have put ‘sugar’ in white too!

Enjoy the sun!

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What colour to paint…tribal graphics.

Tribal graphics are patterns to watch out for.

A complex hybrid of mythical magic, futuristic lines and a variety of cultural influences they can be both scientific and spiritual. Colour plays a huge part in the overall feel of any design, classic monochrome giving a serious edge, whilst technicolour tribal radiating warmth and playfulness.

If you’re into these patterns and want to be the first to have them get in quick, they’ll be going main stream late next year.

tribal 2Love how using just silver and black here suddenly make this aztec print look like the innards of a computer! The example demonstrates how, with a little courage, this can work in a home. Source: Architectural digest march 2013.

tribal3This wouldn’t look out of place in Gaudi’s Parc Güelll in Barcelona but on closer inspection really reminds me of the 80s! Primary and earthy colours give a primitive feel to a largely graphic piece.Source: As seen at

tribal4Earth coffee’s and deep browns give this an aboriginal feel. Source: Textiles: The Art of Mankind by Mary Schoeser (ISBN: 9780500516454)


tribal 1
Highly complex on its own, the addition of hot pink and bright yellow give this pattern a sense of fun.  Source: Textiles: The Art of Mankind by Mary Schoeser (ISBN: 9780500516454)

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