Tag Archives: colour

High summer colour trends: pink and other brights

With May underway, the garden is finally filled with colour and  I’m discovering what has been planted here by previous, green-fingered owners; right now, the space is filled with pink-toned flowers: some are blowsy, dramatic and exotic – not the colours typically associated with a cottage garden – as huge rhododendron bushes are produce dramatic, fuschia-coloured spears; whilst the apple trees are covered with blossom in more delicate tones:
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And, online and in the shops, nature’s brights are in vogue once again to brighten up our homes in time for summer sunshine. I’ve been inspired by this heavenly Designers Guild living room: Savine, the tie dye linen shown here as curtains, is my current favourite fabric:  it comes in several shades including blues, orange and green as well as this stunning fuschia pink:

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[image, Designers Guild

Another company well known for its clever use of bright tones is Denmark’s Rice: their High Summer 2013 range has just launched and with it these covetable pieces of tableware:

rice summer tableware

Rice collage of tableware

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[All images, Rice

There are jugs; coloured glassware; ceramic and melamine plates; bowls in intricate patterns and bold plains, and all the wonderful patterns and colourways just invite you to mix and match, so creating your own unique collection of summery pieces for dining and picnic tables.

Rice is stocked online and in shops throughout the UK, click here to find the store nearest to you.

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PaperBoy: paper and patterns for children’s rooms

I’ve been keeping my eye out for wallpaper, fabric and bedlinen patterns that will get the all important parent/child double seal of approval, and one such independent designer/maker is PaperBoy.

Created by Victoria Cramsie, the mother of boys herself, PaperBoy has been all about great patterns suitable for children’s rooms since its launch. As you’d guess from the name, there are plenty of designs for boys to choose from but also many that would appeal to girls and look great in games / play rooms.

My current favourite is this ever-so-slightly edgy Stripes design, with its graffiti-style spray paint effect:

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It’s a Puzzle, below, also has a graphic look:

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For the pictorial papers, such as The Final Frontier, below, the artwork is detailed: there’s lots to look at, yet the clever colour choices help the papers avoid that headache-inducing busy-ness of so many kids’ interior products:

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These dashing Spitfires are given a modern splash in warm scarlet:

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 [All images, PaperBoy

The designs come as wallpapers, and now as fabrics by the metre too, with each one available in a choice of colourways. Click here on PaperBoy for more information.

On trend for summer 2013: coloured weaves

Just posting these pictures puts a spring in my step, as this summer’s emerging trend for colourful weaves gathers pace. First up are the wonderful baskets by Swaziland’s Gone Rural; set up by Philippa Thorne over 20 years ago, Gone Rural now supplies grass and textile woven products created by women in Swaziland to many hundreds of retailers all over the world. With many shapes and sizes to choose from, each basket will bring welcome pattern and colour:

Gone Rural - Bonakele block weave - lifestyle - Portrait Gone Rural - Block weave open baskets - lifestyle - Portrait Gone Rural - Bonakele lifeline baskets - lifestyle - Portrait (2)

Click Gone Rural to read more; to shop for their products try Shake The Dust, a new ethical design brand (shipping currently within the UK only).

On the high street, John Lewis‘s blue toned Navajo armchair and footstool (or side table) are perfect for a sunny afternoon:

John Lewis Spring Summer 2013

And Habitat‘s spring/summer range includes more than a nod to this trend.  If you’re quick you can still catch their Interwoven exhibition which celebrates the art of weaving for interiors, including vessels and baskets by Gone Rural alongside work by recent graduates from Central St Martins College of Art & Design. (Interwoven runs until 28 April at Habitat’s King’s Road showroom, London SW3). And in addition, Habitat’s Summer 2013 collection includes their own designs of woven furniture, baskets and vases:

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Shades of a rag rug: I love the multi-coloured woven surface of this day bed…

Whilst the Ormond hurricane lanterns and tea light holders are decorated with lacquered metal ribbons, woven and wrapped around glass.

And there are plenty of baskets in shades of fuschia, cherry and lime green for a splash of bright colour….

At Laura Ashley, the colours stay neutral, but these simple seagrass storage baskets with their fashionable dip dye look are perfect for muted, country schemes:

laura ashley baskets

Here’s to summer!

Let the sun shine: Spring 2013 trends at Marimekko

Happy post-Easter week to you all, and on this, another, grey grey Friday I’ve decided to go hunting for Spring, as it looks as though it won’t find me this year. For sunny, cheerful fabrics that make you and your rooms smile, Marimekko is hard to beat, and so if you’re as fed up with grey skies as I am then dive into their new Spring 2013 collection.

With a global fanbase that’s been increasing since the 1960s, Finland’s iconic Marimekko has done it again this year; their new fabric and home decor collection zings with colour and bold pattern. I’ve taken a shine to their cheerful fruit-filled Kompotti fabric; you also find elements of this design on a new tableware collection:

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And everyone’s favourite floral, Unikko (originally designed in 1964 and still one of their best-selling fabrics for both homewares and accessories), is now available in this welcome mix of blues, soft sage green and white:

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Other fabrics in the new collection feature painterly techniques that create vibrant patterns for this summer:

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When it comes to clothes, their fashion is not for the colour-shy, but will any sneaker-lover be able to resist Marimekko’s new collection for Converse?

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Converse’s classic high top and a new, more feminine platform sneaker get the Marimekko treatment, with designs in several of their classic patterns available through Converse and at some Marimekko stores from this spring,

Shop for Marimekko fabrics and home decor at their standalone shops or concessions: check their website for suppliers close to you (currently there are no online sales through their website).

Let’s hope the sun shines soon, and happy weekends to you all.

Decorating a cottage hallway; some of the best patterned fabrics

Back to the house, I’m determined to bring in colour: and so transform the walls here from their current dull, battered, beige/magnolia existence:

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Susie Watson‘s deep, rich Ramsbury Red colours the walls of the adjacent room (I’ve mentioned it before here)  and with it in place, the hall colour had to follow. The random mix above includes some icy blues / stone-grey shades both from Susie’s paint chart (the column of neutrals on the left of the picture above) and Fired Earth, with the walls finally painted in Teresa’s Green from Farrow & BallAs the wonderful Ben Pentreath mused the other day, it’s become fashionable in some circles to diss Farrow & Ball paints for their coverage, but their colours continue to be interesting, adaptable and versatile in both dimly lit and bright spaces…

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Next task: choosing curtain fabric to hang in front of the draughty stable-style back door and to bring some pattern and softness to the room (the black and white floor tiles, here and in the room beyond, were inherited with the house). With London Design Week in full swing (now open to the public; catch it till this Friday 22 March, at Chelsea Harbour) it’s a great time to celebrate the best in fabric design from both British and International designers. I’m searching for an eclectic pattern in lively shades:

Interior designer Penny Morrison‘s luxurious fabrics include fabulous patterns and interesting colour mixes for a relaxed, country-living vibe; the designs start life in her studio on the Welsh borders:

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penny%20morrison%20kenil%20pin%20484 Pasha%20484 Sukriti%20BlueRed%20484 Karlstad%20Blue%20Red%20484 pennymorrison_arabella_repeat%20484 Ashok%20natural%20orange%20484 penny%20morrison%20luma%20gre_pet%20484 pennymorrison_mander

All swatch shots above: Penny Morrison

Another favourite is Rapture & Wright: Based in Gloucestershire, their motifs are contemporary and occasionally geometric in nature, and successfully designed to suit all sorts of interiors:

cocoa doves-husk sarafan-skye-8-linen charlbury-cloud-linen aurora-red-linen clouds-red mandalay-indigo cocoa-beach-butternut

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All images: Rapture & Wright 

All the fabrics shown above come in many other colourways, and of course there are other patterns too; take a look and let me know what you think.

Sit in colour: the best kitchen chairs

All-white (walls, storage, work surfaces, and sometimes even floors too) as the backdrop to our kitchens currently appeals to many of us right now. Perhaps it’s because we crave calm and peace at home once we close the doors on the world outside? Or maybe it’s because white is simply a great canvas on which we can build up layers of colour, creating a unique space.

The trend for accenting kitchens with coloured chairs is gaining pace: whether the chairs are covetable originals (vintage Tolix or Eames are the most-desired)…

skona hem image, credited on findthedetails.com

sot sur via jan pinterest

Or, more easily obtained, and with their own charm, are traditional kitchen chairs, painted in shades either to coordinate or contrast, with the room’s decor:

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[Images Skona Hem, Livs Lyst, Pinterest] 

My dining chairs are simple, folding white wood and metal bistro chairs from Habitat: I started off with a pair for my first flat (they doubled up as garden seating) and I’ve never replaced them: just added to the collection as the numbers of people needing regular seats in my house has increased. As you know from previous posts, my current kitchen is a long way away from being entirely white…but here they are in my previous kitchen (aka playroom; office; dining room…):

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Now I rather hanker after French company Fermob’s bistro chairs: these all-metal equivalents cone in a rainbow of zingy shades:

Fermob bistro chairs via findthedetails.com

Whilst Ikea’s folding dining chair comes in this season’s must-have ’80s shades of grey, coral and a minty-green:
ikea chairs

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Tolix’s Model A chair is also from France, and a design classic: created in 1934, this metal chair is hugely popular right now. If you can’t source vintage ones like the lucky owners in the top image, then Graham & Green sell new models in a choice of colourways:

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Chairs with traditional shapes but in fashionable cool colourways also appeal: new for Spring Summer 2013 are the Talia wooden chairs from Habitat, in red or yellow:

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BHS Brighton chair -ú80, Hove coffee table -ú129, Reno pendant -ú35

… and let’s not forget the stylish Brighton chair by BHS, also new for spring/summer 2013 (mentioned before here, but deserving of another peek!).

Which designs would you buy? Let me know…

Adding colour to ice: stunning ice sculptures in Harbin, China

If you’ve always thought of ice as colour-free then think again: these mind-blowing ice sculptures in China, part of the annual winter festival in Harbin, are made from huge blocks of ice, lit up with coloured LED lights.

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All images courtesy of flickr. See more pictures here:

If you’re quick, you could take a trip and see it in the flesh: the exhibition opened on 5 January, and lasts until the end of February….