One of the reasons why I love my job so much is because I get to decorate with bold colours, and nothing seems more exciting than seeing a new hue rolled out onto the walls. By plumping for a new paint colour you can quickly and affordably transform the look of your home. Colour has the power to change the mood, set the theme, even the perceived size of your room by playing visual tricks.
Painting rooms 50 shades of off-white has never been my style as I love to exploit the transformational properties of colour and the good news is that current trends in interior design point very much to the bold spectrum. We’re seeing a move away from the washed out Scandi hues in favour of some zingy brights all the way up to neon, as well as deliciously dark and murky hues. Dulux have declared a deep Copper orange as their colour for 2015 and Pantone, the colour experts have said that deep sexy Masala is the colour they’re backing this year. Decorating in these deep tones does take some confidence but there are some ways to getting it right.
First up the trick to decorating with bold colour is to balance the look with contrasting neutrals. Whether that’s smart black and white for a crisp and upmarket look or soften the effect with the subtle natural tones of wood, creamy white or sultry grey. Next add some natural accents. This could be some green foliage (I love ferns) or a little natural wood to counter balance the strong colour. Natural hues also add warmth, which can be a welcoming touch when you’re using strong acid brights or dark moody hues. A wood floor, a leather armchair or an oak side table could be just enough to do the trick.
There is no rule that says you have to go for out and out colour on all four walls (although I’d urge you to every time!) A fabulous feature wallpaper or one wall painted in a punchy colour can look very effective. However if you go down this route you need to continue the colour story around the room in furnishings and accessories. Its not just about wall colour, bright jewel coloured chairs in a pale room looks wonderful or a bright and punchy headboard can create a dazzling focal point in a bedroom, or a really bold and graphic rug can completely transform a neutral scheme.
Now here’s for the science bit. It works well when you add an accent colour or two to your bold colour scheme (plus your neutrals). For example choose one colour as your dominant choice-this might be on the walls or sofa, then mix in around 30% neutrals and naturals, then add 5% high contrast accent. This could be a couple of cushions, vases, an artwork that will give your scheme some pep and edge.
And I urge you not to stop there. I love to see pattern added to a bold colour scheme- but bold prints work best as they can muscle up to the strong colours. Striking silhouettes, graphic geometrics and large scale florals work really well.
And if you’re still in doubt, in the words of Daniel Hopwood ‘It’s only paint!’. So get stuck in and experiment.
You can learn more about Sophie and Daniel and their masterclasses in Interior Design by visiting www.sophieanddaniel.com
Sophie Robinson and Dan Hopwood are interior designers from the BBC’s Great Interior Design Challenge. This blog post was written exclusively for Grand Designs Live, which takes place at London’s ExCeL from 2-10 May. You can see Sophie and Dan live on stage at the show, sharing their knowledge in the Grand Theatre. To book tickets to the show, with a 50% discount for ROCO readers, click here and quote ROCO241 when booking.