Bringing the carnival of colour at the World Cup to your home
PUBLISHED: 09:44 07 July 2014
With the World Cup in Brazil this month, interior designer Charlotte Starling takes inspiration from the streets of Rio and shows you how to use vibrant colour in your home
Nothing changes the personality of a space like colour. It adds energy and surprise to a space, and often a much-needed playfulness, which can save a room from feeling too prim and proper.
The key is not to be afraid of it and to experiment with mixing colours up to create an impact. Start small – layering cushions and throws on beds and sofas is a great way to decorate a space, particularly if the walls are plain and neutral. Mix textures with patterns. Try to combine complementary colours, for example fuschia pink with green, to create a lively palette that is bright and welcoming. Look for colour combinations that you respond to. As long as you choose shades you love, you are guaranteed to be happy with the end result.
Adding splashes of colour around will give your home a real lift. Little touches will add humour and personality. You can still achieve a sense of timeless elegance if you use a neutral back drop and then add a couple of ‘pops’ of colour, say a hot pink lampshades in a dove grey drawing room. Adding colour in small bits and bobs such as lamps and accessories creates a nice rhythm. Everywhere you look then becomes a place for the eye to rest - a cushion, a vase or a bright-hued throw. Using colour in this way keeps a room visually stimulating without being too overwhelming.
Colours traditionally have strong associations and say different things. If you use orange, it shouts “I’m happy and I love life!” Turquoise is the colour of holidays by the sea and goes with almost anything. Spring green communicates a love of nature. Bright shades like these need ‘anchor’ colours, the palette of neutral background shades to sit against. My favourite is chocolate brown, divine with blues in particular, but very in vogue are greys and taupes. Grey harmonises perfectly with strong colours.
In my book there are no colour no-no’s except for mauve - I just can’t get on with it. And red and black is very dicey territory. Try red with mink brown instead.
Don’t be scared to use a bright colour in a small space. Guest bathrooms or inside cupboards are a great place to start. They are tucked away, somewhere you don’t have to look at all the time – but it should be there. Your home should always be full of surprises!