6 elegant ways to work with colour

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  • How to do colour with class

    Sun-drenched shades bring more than a touch of southern California to this London townhouse. Be inspired to throw out greys and taupes and create a fun, colourful interior. Here’s how to pull off brights like a pro.

    1. Let entrance set the tone

    The owner’s dynamic vision for this Grade II-listed townhouse kicks off in the entrance hall, where a harlequin-like wallpaper with vivid bolts of magenta, turquoise and yellow offsets peachy chairs. ‘I wanted an element of surprise as you walk in’ she says. One-off chairs bought at a sample sale and a vintage side table create a space that’s not only impactful but functional, too.

    2. Ease in with textiles

    ‘Colour can be tricky to work into a scheme without it feeling shouty – that’s why some people shy away from it’ says the owner.
    ‘But the easiest ways to ease into it are with throws, cushions or rugs.’ Rather than a block of colour, dilute the impact of bold primary hues by incorporating pattern. Here, layers of textiles go a long way against the neutral background, adding interest while keeping the look easy on the eye.

    3. Work that focal point

    ‘This Fifties chair is such a great shape and colour – it makes me happy whenever I catch sight of it’. For an eclectic contrast, a renaissance-stlye picture adds traditional poise to the space. Mixing old with new and brights with neutrals creates a scheme that’s both classic and fresh.

    4. Layer delightful touches

    The owners enjoy entertaining and it’s easy to see why guests linger with those comfy chairs and plenty of eye candy.
    ‘I like colours and configurations that jangle just enough to wake you up and make you think’ says the owner. Antique Staffordshire pottery mingle confidently with edgy artwork, while the bespoke blue lacquered shelving acts as another décor wake-up call.

    5. Master the art of the grown-up en suite

    ‘We love having so much space in here – it’s a bathroom, dressing room and sitting room all in one’. They managed to create a multifunctional space that employs a modern mix of textures to a great effect. Grey stone tiles, natural wooden floors and pale blue walls combine to create a chic, restful retreat.

    6. Make materials work for you

    ‘This is where we end up hanging out most evenings’
    say the owners. With a steady flow of visitors, it makes a lot of sense to use durable materials that are beautiful to look at, too.
    Incorporating varied finishes takes this space up a notch while easy tones of blue and grey ensure the kitchen remains playful yet elegant.


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