Tag Archives: paint

What colour to paint….a 3D sketch.

_DSF4812You can be forgiven for thinking this is a flat, two-dimensional sketch because that is exactly what it looks like.

When I followed a small sign through a plain looking door off Greek Street I wasn’t really sure where I was going or for what reason.

I’d stumbled upon a modest gallery with an interesting collection of exhibits, one of which played havoc with my eyes for a good few minutes. See above.

The piece is actually a sketch that was printed on a 3D printer and each ‘line’ is hung with a series of invisible threads from the ceiling. Even when the threads catch the light and logic dictates that what you are seeing is 3D you still have trouble trusting it. The sensation is a bit like one of those pictures that is both an old and a young lady, once you see one you suddenly can’t see the other. For that reason I took a few extra pictures to try and prove the additional dimension but it’s still a push for the brain – especially on a Sunday!





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What colour to paint…hüttenpalast.

Two, maybe three, years ago I read about this hostel in a report about innovative use of space. The owners had taken on an old vacuum cleaner factory in Berlin and filled it with old style caravans and ‘cabins’.  I wanted to stay there.

Two, maybe three, years later  I had booked flights to Berlin and suddenly remembered all but the name of the hostel. Doh. Then I remembered it’s the 21st century and we have Google. Search: ‘cool hostel with caravans in Berlin‘ et voila! HüTTENPALAST (www.huettenpalast.de).

From the styling alone you can tell Hüttenpalast is located in the young and creative district of Neukölln. An eclectic mix of modern, mid century and damn right old furniture and bits and pieces gives this unique retreat a warm, homely feel- despite the industrial shell. The owners have cleverly positioned everything so whilst you feel you have your own space you are also subtly encouraged to socialise, should you wish.  The palette is mainly whites, greys and natural pale wood with injections of spirit through traditional ceramics and books combined with colourful patterned Ikea fabrics.

Take a peek for yourself…

Ingenious use of an old door - definitely trying this one out!

Ingenious use of an old door – definitely trying this one out!

Cosy corner by our cabin.

Cosy corner by our cabin.

This cabin can sleep two people inside and two people on top.

This cabin can sleep two people inside and two people on top.

A great space for preparing for the day ahead or reading if it's tipping it down outside!

A great space for preparing for the day ahead or reading if it’s tipping it down outside!

The cobalt blue of this shelf really gives this cow some standout.

The cobalt blue of this shelf really gives this cow some standout.


These silver birch trees help with the outside inside experience!


The classic mirror shot…

Wake up to morning coffee and mini crossiants, served under a tree central to the factory.

Wake up to morning coffee and mini crossiants, served under a tree central to the factory.

If my enthusiasm for this place still hasn’t sold indoor camping to you they also have private hotel rooms so you have no excuse not to visit!

HÜTTENPALAST is also a cafe and a garden space, if you happen to pop in for breakfast I would definitely recommend the granola with fresh fruit and yoghurt – it was bigger than my face and totally delicious! The staff were welcoming and incredibly helpful, recommending places to visit that were outside the usual list, one such recommendation led to a very interesting sauna experience…but that’s another story  ; )




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What colour to paint…geometric update!

Not sure if anyone remembers but a while ago a masked a pattern on the wall of a bar…IMG_4580

This week I popped back to take a pic so as promised you can now have a look at the finished piece below! I used a series of cool greys neutrals in order to keep it clean and sophisticated, the varying tones creating a slightly 3D effect…

I’m off to Berlin this weekend – Yipee! – so will have plenty of beautiful images to share on my return!

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What colour to paint…super cool doll’s houses.

As a child I was never drawn to the doll’s house.

Give me some materials (Lego, egg boxes, ice cream tubs, shoe boxes etc)  and I would make the doll’s house but didn’t really see the playing potential once built, unless it was to build another and another until I’d created a whole estate.

These doll’s houses are different. They were first exhibited at London design festival but I only found out about them by chance when a very good friend took the time to alert me of their existence.

They are not only different but off the miniature design scale.

The master minds behind this project are the Cathedral Group who instructed 20 contemporary architects and designers, in collaboration with artists and other creatives, to design and build a contemporary dolls’ house. The dolls houses are being auctioned to raise money for the children’s charity KIDS (http://www.kids.org.uk/) so each creation includes at least one feature that makes life easier for a child with a disability.

You have until 11th November to make a bid with all funds going to an incredibly worthy cause. If you can’t afford your own house let alone one for a doll you should still take a peek – find a few to tempt you below…

all 20 can be viewed at http://interactivefundraising.co.uk/adollshouse/

domasAMODELS – Creative architectural model makers

make architectsMAKE ARCHITECTS-Award-winning international architectural practice


2b-large-600x450ALLFORD HALL MONAGHAN MORRIS -RIBA Award winning architects.




duggan_morrisDUGGAN MORRIS ARCHITECTS – In collaboration with Unit 22 Modelmakers


zaha hadidZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS – Internationally renowned, award-winning architects


All images from: http://interactivefundraising.co.uk/adollshouse/

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What colour to paint…Latvia.


I wanted to pop to Russia for a weekend but the visa required pushed it a little out of my budget…. Hmmm. Where to go instead?…….

Latvia? suggested my colourblind friend, Dan. We booked some tickets.

I could already feel the grey before we left the airport – What can you expect from a country still bearing deep scars from Soviet rule?

Every colour I encountered was the faded version. I mentioned this to Dan. Turns out Dan’s whole world looks like Latvia because he’s colourblind. I started to feel guilty for the times we’d made him colour in the sea green in year 8 geography.

Faded terracotta, orangey yellow brick and pale green the colour of the soap in your grandma’s house were at every corner so I went out in search of something BOLD.

I found this:


And this:


And this:DSC_0966

And this:


Despite its drab appearance, I found, if you look, there are pockets of colour all over Latvia and many colourful characters whose faces tell the stories the language barrier prohibited.

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What colour to paint…setting plaster pink.

There’s been no hiding from ice cream pastel tones this summer, and it’s not that I don’t like them, I just find them a bit too sickly sweet en masse.

I love aqua tones for their calming and soothing properties and I’m currently favouring a pink, not that sugared almond pink but one the colour of setting plaster, a pink with the very slightest addition of yellow.

It therefore pleased me to see the below palette in this month’s Elle Decoration.

They’ve added grey to the mix  that not only balances and grounds the lighter shades but also knocks a bit of the ‘girlyness’ out of it. My instinct would be to add one or a mix of concrete, brushed steel and naturally weathered wood, all incredibly warm materials when paired with these hues. This is Elle Dec’s interpretation of the palette in an interior:

IMG_4590And….a tad less professional, this is mine…IMG_4588It’s my nearly updated spare room and given it’s size and my somewhat lacking photography skills it is difficult to make it look as nice as it feels to be in but I can assure you there is a wall clad entirely in grey weathered wood and an ombre effect painted 1940’s wardrobe just behind me!

If you are like me and want to avoid girly princess at all costs but like the gentle qualities of these tones, adding small copper accessories will instantly give your room a contemporary feel. Using a range of sheen levels from chalky matt to full gloss will also add interest.


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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… 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…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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