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What colour to paint…dip dye – my top 5.

During 2011 the cool kids started dip dying their hair.

Bring on 2013 and everyone is dip dying something. I prefer to do something that not everyone is doing but I’ve been doing the paint equivalent of dip dying for the last 18 months. Give me something in natural wood and I’ll half spray it before you’ve blinked.

Dip dying, also referred to as ‘ombre’, is a colour gradient fading from dark to light and now graces anything from walls to nails, furniture to clothes. So what is it about this effect? and why now?

It’s new, easy, quick and looks great (most of the time) and after a few harsh years economically speaking, we’re looking for things that are soft, things that have an easy and gradual transition, things that are simple but provide interest and lets not forget the Do It Yourself/ Maker trend that is so popular right now.

The results of this effect can be wildly different depending on the colour used and the speed of the transition between light and dark. It’s a great way for injecting a brighter colour into a space/item and although this is a statement in itself, you’re gently led in or out with a slow fade of colour making it much easier to stomach than a solid hit. Small accessories; cushions, ceramics and ornaments look fantastic with this simple treatment and are a quick and non-permanent way to get involved with the trend.

Lounge 4

I’ve just been working on the VIP lounge area for New York fashion week and have combined a classic nautical navy and white with a bright yellow ombre effect. Much to the contractors surprise I insisted they ombre the natural jute rugs I’d specified with the same yellow paint.Lounge 16

So we can look back and remember why it was we did this in ten years time I have compiled my top 5 dip dyes below. Enjoy!



This Ercol seat was one of the first examples to hit the market and has remained a firm favourite ever since!


As seen in House and Garden June 13 edition (UK) an amazing example of how to stretch the trend to include pattern.


Love, love, love! this simple cutlery that popped up during Milan Design Festival 2013.


Taken from this is a great example of the effect you can achieve on a wall.

table clothimagesAnd finally…fabric, love the colour used on this table cloth ( and I couldn’t do a report without including at least one cushion (


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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…Charlotte Mei.

I love a ceramic and I think Charlotte Mei is with me!

I spotted her work in Oh Comely magazine and have been a fan ever since. An illustrator that uses ceramics as one of her canvases, Charlotte’s work is both tender and naive. Colours are watery washes with definite but soft black to ground and emphasise. I have pulled 3 of my favourite pieces from her website the white tiger ring from her jewellery range – classic blue and white with a playful shape, a commissioned illustration with a great colour palette (and outfit!), and finally a plate with two ladies on bikes, simple and effective with another aquarelle scheme. There are plenty more on her site including a smiling piece of toast, comforting and happy, which I might have to add to my kitchen wall…




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What colour to paint…Copenhagen

I’ve wanted to visit Scandinavia forever so was particularly pleased when work shipped me off to Copenhagen, Denmark.

My visit was short, merely a day and half, but it didn’t disappoint. I managed to take a great number of photos through the rain and will share them with you below:

I was drawn to the gate and the graffiti but the lady who photo-bombed me kind of makes the shot. I like the grey with mauve undertones paired with the washed out aged blue of the gate and the soft, fluid orange and blue lines of the graffiti.



Typical Scandinavian architecture, great to draw if you’re that way inclined and even better better to colour in!!



This was a metal office on a bridge, what an amazing green. It reminds me of that beautiful colour you sometimes get in the sea on a particularly sunny day in the tropics. I love the aged and weathered affect like it’s been through a photocopier and an x-ray machine.

Back to Hay again, beautifully made storage boxes in a perfectly Danish colour palette.



Thought this was a nice way to display a colour scheme! Seen in the design department store Illums Bolighus;



Coral ombre money box, what better way to spend the money you’ve been saving.



Looks like the person on the TV was as delighted as I was to discover the art on my hotel room wall, an unusual mix of colours and lines that just worked. Each one of Hotel Fox’s 61 rooms has been decorated by a different artist so you never know what to expect!



I have no idea what this says but I love black and hot pink.




This is the Stella McCartney store painted in a strong, opulent, green based navy – beautiful.

Hope you enjoyed my Copenhagen best bits, they’ll be plenty more once I’ve visited again!

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What colour to paint…Hay Denmark.

I have just returned from a trip to the home country of Hay. I was quite in love with the brand before I went but I can confirm I am now well and truly seduced to the point of no return.

Hay opened its doors in Denmark in 2002 and using a plethora of international designers, provides us with the simplest, most useful, effortlessly beautiful everyday items. Every piece, from furniture to stationary is synonymous with the Danish design ethic and colour palette, a combination of which gives a very soothing and peaceful living space. Sticking to soft neutrals, watery pastels, natural materials and the odd pop of neon it really is difficult to argue with. So I didn’t. I came back with everything I could fit in my hand luggage!



‘Lup’ candle stick holder in cooper, the metallic of the moment, a present for a friend’s 30th.



‘Gym Hook’ a stylish and useful present for my kitchen.



‘Plisse’ archive folder, a fashionable present for my desk.


If you get the chance check out for a list of local stockists.

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What colour to paint…Palazzo Peckham

If you are experiencing warm but overcast and dull weather as I am, I think we can be forgiven for craving a bit of colour, it is summer (?) after all!

Whilst researching for a project I couldn’t help but notice Palazzo Peckham, a creative hub for artists and designers to relax and rejuvenate during the recent Venice Biennale.

Created in an old boat workshop, like minded creatives are encouraged to hang out and co-create. The space was designed and decorated by a number of artists and comprised of a grand hall, reading room, bar-lounge courtyard and jetty. The images below (all sourced from give a very colourful take on camouflage, with the vibrant patterns covering everything from walls to ceilings and furniture to flowers!









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What colour to paint…a dear.

Image…The people of Laos would say pink!

I don’t consider pink very often, it’s not that I hate it, I just don’t love it. When I saw this fine beast however, I took a picture immediately so I think I must be on the turn.

Pink , amongst other strong brights, have been dominant at many of the recent interiors trade shows, so I’m expecting to see more and more of it. Just look at it with those lush rich green leaves – match made in heaven! I’m even warming to the gold/yellow and pink combination

Have a look at some pink today!

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What colour to paint…folk!


folkloric bagsBy folk, I am of course, referring to the folkloric design on these brightly coloured bags rather than some folk I met at the weekend.

Due to the recent revival of the home spun, designs like these have seen a surge in popularity. Using solid primary hues they make a colourful addition to any situation, although the heavily patterned style is not for everyone. Small squares/mats of this style look great in both antique and clean minimal frames – a safe place to start if you’re not quite convinced yet!


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