Tag Archives: interiors

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… a contemporary dado.

I work with paint so every time I see something that has been or could be done with paint I immediately want to try it.

On this particular occasion I noticed how a cafe in Paris had used a striped fabric to create a contemporary dado rail. So upon my return I established which room in my house would be appropriate to experiment with. The dining room. I found a friend to loan me a laser level and got out the masking tape – see below.


As a brief aside; it’s funny how the human eye can be tricked so easily. By masking the line slightly lower than the average dado rail my ceiling now appears higher. The eye is drawn to points of contrast, e.g. where two different colours meet, using this piece of information and the fact you expect a dado to be higher means the eye is drawn to the contrast and then surprised by the amount of extra height because your mind is telling you the dado is higher than it is!


Once masked I filled in the colour, a pale red based grey so as not to battle with the strong navy in the kitchen.



After two coats I gentled peeled off the masking tape to reveal my contemporary dado rail that cost less than £30 and only took half a day to complete! It was SO easy and has transformed my normally messy dining room into a rather respectable destination  to eat!

Note: Images below were post masking tape removal but pre tidying up!DSC_0460DSC_0459

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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 http://www.wgsn.com


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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 fineartamerica.com

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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What colour to paint…my sister’s artwork.

photo 2I have 1 sister, Chloe.

She is two years my junior and infinitely more attractive than me.

This used to be okay because I could draw and make things.

Then one day, at the ripe age of 25, completely out of the blue, she presents me with a handmade birthday card. I was confused. I make the cards and fulfil any drawing needs my family have – what was she doing?

Turns out her lack of confidence, skill and training meant she hit that naive childlike drawing style on the head, except she wasn’t doing it to be ironic she was doing it because that’s the only way she can.

To my delight (and, in a way, disappointment) the card (above) she gave me was one of the best I’ve ever had. A simple portrait of us both.

I framed it immediately. I had to select a plain and dark frame to balance the black outline with the copper  (so very now!) edge emphasising the yellow and orange pencil.

Being the ultimate little sister, instead of boasting about her new found skill she began to treat me like a mentor; asking me what the best pen was or what it was she should draw next. I still don’t know whether she did this to protect my pride or whether she genuinely wanted to know but either way it has resulted in the most commented upon pieces of art in my house.

photo 1

Above is the frame everyone who visits wants to steal – I asked her to draw me some animals on yellow luggage tags and then mounted them on to positive petrol greeny blue card. I think it really demonstrates how colour can enhance and show-off your favourite things as well as allow me to feel I had a tiny involvement?!

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What colour to paint…wedding seating.

ombreweddingchair.jpg.image.W8N4E539S806w300.originalSource: As seen at www.confettidaydreams.com

Whilst researching something entirely unrelated today I stumbled upon a selection of ideas for wedding seating.

It was the colour that caught my eye but the ideas themselves are a really clever way of injecting life into an interior. The beauty being the temporary nature of it; with the ideas above and below you can use ribbon or fabric in whatever colour takes your fancy. When you’re bored you can easily remove and use to wrap all your Christmas presents!!

stylemepretty2.jpg.image.W0N200E400S600w300.originalSource: As seen at pinterest.com

martha.jpg.image.W0N88E360S448w300.originalSource: As seen at tiedbowblog.wordpress.com

I love rope so immediately loved this concept by association BUT I would definitely paint those chairs navy to maximize the nautical look – you could even paint the rope too!

This is a wedding in a stable. Yep a stable. The photography and styling are making me jealous of the horses. I like the simple use of the blues and oranges to add warmth and sparkle to an otherwise generally industrious environment.

wedding_chairs006.jpg.image.W0N0E513S770w300.originalSource: As seen at alixannlooslephotography.blogspot.co.uk

Think we all need to visit a haberdashery….

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What colour to paint… beach BBQs.

photo 2The sun.


Fresh food.

The sea.

As we approach the longest day of the year it is about time we got out and made the most of the long evenings! Yesterday was no exception and I was treated to a feast of fresh fish, caught by Mr James and a host of other delights prepared by my not so secret girl crush Sophie.photo 4photo 3Beautiful rich oranges, reds, greens and yellows adorned our mint blanket as we waited for delicious silvery fish to leap from the electric blue BBQ on to our plates. The sunset provided a soft, quiet and peaceful light and we giggled our way into a state of contentment…until we got really cold and had to go home for hot chocolate and treacle tart!

If I could recreate that early evening light in my home I would do so immediately. Then, just like our picnic blanket, I would add tiny amounts of jewel like colours to please my eyes.

Everything looks happy when it is bathed in the end of the day sunshine – a bit like us when we’re eating crisps and dips…

photo 5Get out and make the most of the sunshine!



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What colour to paint…stationery.

presentandcorrect1If you like design the chances are you’re obsessed with stationery, just like the graphic designers behind stationery company Present and Correct. I stumbled upon their website (www.presentandcorrect.com) by accident but now think it must have been destiny.


Their beautifully curated collection uses a mixture of retro ice cream tones, primaries and darks combined with natural wood and metal – swoon. Use their palettes to inspire your home office, or any room for that matter! oldlabels5c

I think I have probably spent rather too much time and money looking at this website but here’s one last tiny pic!
present and correct 3






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