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Figuring Out Your Colour Palette

How do you work out a colour palette for your pad? It’s tough especially if you are considering converting to the dark side as it feels scary and you get on those internal’ what if it goes wrong’ questions.  All I would say is don’t be scared, bottom line it’s a can of paint and paint is the cheapest and most transformative thing you can do to any room. If you hate it you can easy paint it back in very little time.

I am I should tell you obsessed with paint; other girls might be obsessed with shoes for me its paint. When I was developing my paint range it literally kept me awake at night. I see things in my head like completed rooms or in this case paint colours – visual images pop up continually in my mind, and it took months and months of tweaking to get the colours to match those I saw in my head!

Where to start?

I would say if you literally don’t know where to start begin by pulling images out of mags, or grabbing images on-screen that instantly appeal and then see if a common theme arises. Is there one colour or group of colours that you’re drawn to over others?  Does one particular hue dominate? Next step figure out what vibe you’re trying to achieve – bright and cheery, pale and restful, both scenarios?

Personally I don’t want cheery or bright, I want glam, I want sophisticated I want inky bottom of the lake type hues. When I came up with my palette I was inspired by my time spent living in the States more specifically Manhattan and its hub of Kafkaesque hangouts, unsanctioned street art and its hipster counter-culture. All those tobaccos, full on noirs, inky blues; earthy reds coupled with shots of bold intense teals and jungle greens were right up my street so that is pretty much what inspired my palette. I also wanted paints that could be used not merely as a backdrop but a statement in their own right.

The thing about colour is it’s so personal so what works for you might not necessary work for me and vice versa!   The only advice I can give is to think outside of the box when figuring out your palette. No jaws will hit floors if you stay neutral because neutral hues don’t tantalise the senses.

Gather inspiration from everywhere

Look around you at the vegetation, landscapes, seascapes, the city, walks in the park, local flower market, some graffiti on a bridge you’ll be amazed at the options when you open your eyes – that’s how I came up with my palette.

Shop your home

I know this sounds odd but look at the things you have in your home already from clothes in your wardrobe to a large piece of art or rug. You obviously already love those hues so think about reflecting them more.

To make a statement you don’t have to over do it with colour

In order to make room’s look and feel drool worthy you don’t have to go crazy with colour choices. I say this a lot but I totally rein mine in to just a few, If you want a space that feels relaxing and calming if everything is a different hue it will feel like a hot mess so reign it in. I generally go inky and swampy on the wall floors and ceilings and then I’ll incorporate the odd dash of colour in the accessories – easy!

Don’t lock in a hue before swatching it out

Please please please don’t lock the colour in  (especially if you’re going dark) before you’ve painted the largest area you can first. The swatch card is not a good enough reference point you need to take the plunge and paint a wall or at least half a wall.

Don’t tell anyone!

This is my most important point. If you’re thinking of going dark don’t tell a soul I’m talking no one. No friends, neighbours, (husbands possibly) you’ll get a barrage of ‘that won’t work, that will feel depressing, small, etc. Don’t even tell the decorators until they open the tin (I don’t) you’re get the exact same response. Then when it’s done just watch how surprised  all those naysayers will be. Funny that!


Comments (2)

  • Vita Parvin on October 17, 2019

    Hi Abigail.
    In a few days I am going to transform my newly bought 200 year old cottage into, as you say, the inky depths of the sea.
    But I made the mistake of telling people and got that barrage of ‘advice’ telling me it won’t work.
    But I want those jaws to drop when they enter my home. So I ignored them all.
    I can’t wait!
    Thank you for all of your wonderful advice and for your maximalist view on life which I embrace wholeheartedly.
    One day I will make it your shop in London.
    Which I very much look forward to.
    Very warm wishes,

  • FRancie bRierley on April 16, 2019

    Love you Abigail! I started painting my 1890 villa white, then discovered you…and now it’s deep blue green in my hallway…dark grey in my lounge and deep browny grey in my boudoir! Thank you for your inspiration, and confidence to…just do it…

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