Yesterday I watched David Attenborough’s Savannah with my son. As I watched majestic elephants cross the desert plains I realized why the downpipe in my bathroom and the white deer head worked so well. Why black and white is classic (zebra) and my main room subtle tones of taupe and fawn and chocolate brown against the oak wood floor seem effortless and soothing. I could just be at a waterhole lazing with the herd. It seems you can’t go wrong with colour if you follow nature.
There’s a fashion in interiors that pops of colour create visual intrigue in a room. Nordic interiors rarely do this and I’ve never managed to make strong colours work in my interiors apart from red and orange. I rely instead on copper, gold or silver to keep things glamorous, because experience has taught me anything else contrasting in the colour chart (turquoise, yellow, bright green or even purple) demands too much of my attention when all I want to do is focus on the task in hand or sit down and relax. I never wear these colours, much less have them in my wardrobe and so avoid them in my interiors. If you don’t know where to start with colour in your home, then let fashion be your guide.
If something that should work doesn’t admit defeat and try something else. Live with it awhile if you must but my experience is if you don’t instantly love subtle changes that you’ve made they may be jarring with your life identity.
Only buy the things you love. If you must have something now, make do or find a plain, second hand version from a junk shop or Ikea. Don’t source things from Interiors magazines or shop displays. Find a program, coffee shop interior, garden, film or other visual reference and decode the elements that draw you to it. Is it the colours, lighting, clean lines, large windows, glamourous finishing touches or simply the abundance of stuff that entice you? Or the simplicity, unfinished walls, shabby furniture or books? Interiors magazines can photograph anything to look enticing, but this is your home, not an advert or personal shop display of all your stuff, it’s where you live and entertain and quietly recharge your batteries before setting out again.
I don’t like new things and hate shopping. It’s why I love the internet because I can easily avoid both. In the real world I panic buy shoes, clothes, make up, food, alcohol, you name it – at one time or another I’ve panic bought it. Shopping from the comfort of my home, relaxes me. I feel I have forever to make my mind up and frequently abandon shopping carts never to return.
I like walking in the woods, swimming in the sea and lying on warm sand. It’s why I use a lot of green and blue and gold in my interiors. The absence of these colours is also why I don’t like walking into shops.