Colour is as vital in our lives as sound, touch, taste. It is all around us, part of our lives.

Colour is divisive and opens up conversations – we don’t all like the same colours, thank goodness.
Colours affect our moods, some can make us happy and cheerful, others sad and depressed.

Different colours can change perspective – opening up a space or making it surround and enclose us.
Colours can be cool or warm, hot or cold.
The appearance of colour is affected by the light. Every room in a house can be painted the same colour, for example white, but each room will probably appear to be a different colour and even the walls in
the same room can vary. To choose the right colour, the direction a room faces, or from where the light comes, must be taken into account. North facing rooms will not be lightened or warmed up by using lighter colours. Better to accept that it will not get direct sunlight and so warm it up with cheery, rich reds and golds and accept that a table lamp lit in a corner will help to create a cosy atmosphere.

Another misconception is that blue is a cold colour. Indeed, some blues are cold but others can give a warm effect.

You can have fun with colour, you can experiment and find out what you like and don’t, what works and what doesn’t.

Annually, we elect a colour to be ‘colour of the year’. The choice would appear to be quite random – last year it was purple, this year by complete contrast it is coral! This is such a generous colour. It’s warm and happy, hard to dislike. These coral tones have also been adopted by the fashion world.

There is often a synergy between colours for fashion and interior decorating, particularly so when fashion designers decide to turn their hands to fashion for the home. Very often the influences are clear.

Recently we have slipped into quite a colourless world, both in fashion and in interior decoration. Neutrals, beiges, taupes, champagnes are synonymous with elegance, sophistication, luxury. These colours associate with cashmere, mohair, luxurious leathers and suedes. This palette is also timeless. It is always in fashion, unlike ‘colours of the year’ (obviously). And, to be frank, this is a pretty safe bet and therefore, commercial. It provides longevity so ‘good value for money’. But, the danger is that we lose confidence in using colour, both in the way we dress and decorate.

So we must be excited and grateful to interior designers who are introducing colour to their decoration schemes. Those magazines are starting to fizz with ideas of new colour combinations for us to try. I am really enjoying the introduction of warm burnt umbers.

And I rather like the way that the colour coral is such a flattering colour to wear. Give it a go!

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