As a special treat, decorating with color guest post by Polly Vaughan
Distressed-effect shabby chic or high-gloss minimalism – whichever way your home décor inclines, it’d be easy to assume that the default-option colour is white. Flick through any glossy interiors mags, Pinterest boards, style blogs and catalogues, and you’re confronted with shades from swansdown to snowdrop, chalk to cotton wool; it’s a bit like the audience at fashion shows where everyone’s wearing black.
I’m beginning to find this a little boring – but can’t quite bring myself to break open a tin of coloured paint and redecorate.
I’m slowly daring to deviate from mindless monochrome by introducing small and inexpensive splashes of colour – graphic-print cushions, vases, a teapot, a small striped throw – and am debating whether to go a stage further and paint my wooden kitchen chairs in primary shades. Well, I can always slap on another coat of thick acrylic eggshell if it all goes wrong.
If you’re going to get colourful, then you might as well go as bright as you dare – there’s no point in playing around with mimsy pastels. And clear, strong hues are fashionable this summer, apparently; themes at the latest design fairs and interiors trade shows have included acid yellows, grass greens, scarlets and orange (“Tangerine Tango” is the Pantone Colour of the Year 2012.)
Even purple, if you’re brave enough, will really enhance a retro look. If you’re really keen to experiment, think about colour for key items of furniture; cupboard doors, perhaps, or bookshelves – IKEA’s famous best-selling Billy bookshelf is now available in yellow, for example, and made.com is stocking some wonderful upholstered armchairs in lime green, plum purple, poppy red and turquoise.
There’s another advantage, too, to bringing some colour into your home life; keeping an all-white house clean and shiny is a real chore, with every filthy finger mark, footprint or food splodge showing up to stark effect. Don’t even think about trying to keep a white sofa pristine if you’re more of a slummy mummy than a high-maintenance cleaning freak, and if you’re forever wiping up after messy kids, mucky men or muddy dogs, then why make your life difficult with white floorboards? Paint them and your life will instantly become less stressful – honestly.
When you’re overhauling your house, don’t forget the boring stuff. Once you’ve got that paint out from under your fingernails, remember to look through your paperwork and check that you have adequate home insurance.
images: pinterest board
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