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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 http://www.wgsn.com


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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  www.gardenista.com). 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 www.dwell.com).

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 london.onerepresents.com 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 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…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 http://www.hay.dk for a list of local stockists.

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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…a bamboo hut.

DSC_0085This image makes me feel warm.

The rich honey glow from the herringbone woven panels, the quiet craft giving a gentle sketched feel, the worn paint work on the simple mint fan.

After a long day travelling to Laos the view of the ceiling from my bed, in my own bamboo hut, was just what I needed. Comforting and nourishing colours.

Rising from the bed however,  you are presented with primary red (and therefore energising) metal furniture:

DSC_0083Move from the furniture to the floor and you have a vivid cobalt blue vinyl.

Unbeknownst to the owner, these patterns, items and materials could have easily made an appearance at this year’s Milan Furniture fair but in this context were purely for function. Colour and design were given little consideration (this is a fact – I asked the owner) but somehow the very basic primary and natural colours echoed the primitive, basic shapes of the furniture and simplicity of the patterns giving the impression it had been carefully thought out.

What can we take from this to use in our homes? If you want to use many colours harmoniously in your home you should make sure each one has the same weight, i.e. if you use dark red and want a blue you should use a dark blue, a green with a pastel yellow should be a pastel green. Using colours in this way retains the flow through your home. The eye is naturally drawn to points of contrast, so limiting the contrast by sticking to the same level/weight of colour gives your home more balance and is therefore a more tranquil place to live.


One final message from the wonderful hospitable lady who made me a cup of rose hip tea from scratch…

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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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