The great painter Picasso said:
“Colours, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.”
And for me Colours are emotion. SO I Iove the fact that after almost thirty years of neutral shades dominating the design landscape, there is a renewed interest in colour and we can see that clearly in the official 2020 colour of the years selections. Pantone. Nippon, Benjamin More P&G have all gone for bold hues, Dulux and Sherwin Williams picks are softer but definitely not neutral. There is not a grey or beige to be found!
In September, I had the great privileged of being invited by Akzonobel, the makers of Dulux paints to be on the panel to choose the colour of the year for 2021 ( yes that is how far in advance these colours are selected. We chose the 2021 in September 2019! It was a wonderful opportunity to witness the rigorous process that goes into choosing a colour of the year. It was a multidisciplinary panel. Of course, there were designers and architects but there were also experts from other industries, including, media, robotics, healthcare, auto and representatives from all across the globe. The discussions at the 3 day round table, centred not on colour but on the state of the world. The object of the exercise was to feel the pulse of the people , their fears, their hopes, their aspirations, their concerns. What Akzonobel wanted us to decipher was- what was the mood of the people.
We discussed, politics, climate change, A.I. what movies were popular, which games people were playing… and from there, on the last afternoon, of the very last day, we chose a colour that reflected the mood we had uncovered. If the colour of the year is a call on the mood of the world’s population, then it is not surprising that different paint companies come up with very similar colour choices.
People are often afraid to use strong colours on walls , but they can be a wonderful backdrop to allow other design elements to pop. Just as the deep coloured lining of a jewellery box, shows off its contents to best effect, so to a strong coloured wall can be a fabulous backdrop for art.
People often worry that strong colours will be too stimulatory, but deep moody shades can evoke their own serenity.
If you are not ready to embrace the bold colour movement just yet, perhaps take it slow and try a statement piece of furniture like a feature sofa against a neutral back ground.
One of my personal favourites is to bright and fun kitchen cabinetry.
For the bold and the brave, combining colour and pattern has to be the way to go add new depth and dimension to your design scheme.
I love to be adventurous on ceilings, who said ceilings have to be white? A lovely soft blue , is so much more interesting and can draw in exterior sky views.
And I will often use a dark hue on a low ceiling, to give height. That might sound perverse, but dark colours recede and if you paint a ceiling alcove a darker shade, it can give some depth to the room, and so the illusion of height.