I am the world’s worst at making decorating decisions in my own home. Also, at a time when I should be making plans for Christmas, or at the very least making lists, I’m making plans to re-decorate the living room with all the upheaval that brings. I know that some people take this sort of project in their stride, but for me, I lose sleep for weeks at a time just trying to decide on the smallest details. Or the big ones. Do I paint all four walls? Or do I paint the two that I’m most unhappy with? Do I make decisions based on the sofa that I hate? Or do I ignore the sofa for now and go with my heart. Compromises on the whole do not, a happy designer make. And then there’s the decisions about whether introducing a new colour will throw a spanner in the works. Will it go with other colours in other rooms? Yes, that should be a consideration. You see, even these ramblings are not in any particular order. Welcome to my world.
And then, even if I have some idea on colors, there’s the decision on where to buy it. Each manufacturer introduces new colours on a regular basis. It’s a nightmare. This is just a few on the shortlist from firm favourite Farrow and Ball.
What F&B say – Not to be seen as overtly pink, but rather a muted rose with enormous warmth, its powdery feel makes it incredibly soft and easy to use with complementary tones. Sulking Room Pink is evocative of the colours so often used in boudoirs, a room named after the French “bouder” – to sulk.
Pink has been a contender for about, oh two weeks. It will flow quite nice from the hallway – the wallpaper there has pink flowers and I’m always thinking of the borrowed view. It looks great with white architraves and ceiling – which we have. And F&B actually recommend it with Downpipe which is basically what we have on the two walls I’m planning on leaving the same (it’s not Downpipe but good as). Seems like a done deal. Until I keep looking….
What F&B say – This earthy colour sits somewhere between the more traditional Oxford Stone and greyer Elephant’s Breath. Though muted, it is incredibly uplifting and reminds us of lazy days by the sea – hence sharing its name with the bus that whisks New Yorkers out of the hot city to the similarly coloured sandy beaches of the Hamptons.
A lovely neutral always seems like a sensible choice. It will coordinate with the Downpipe-but-not-Downpipe walls as you can see by the way it looks against the dark skirting boards. And it will do the job of warming up our current starkly white walls. And it doesn’t look too bad with a grey sofa either – which I have. But is it too sensible I ask myself?
What F&B say – This is the lightest colour in the group including Shadow White, Shaded White and Drop Cloth – each created to look like white when used in deep shade. Pared back, timeless and familiar without the cool undertones of the more contemporary neutral groups, this soft off white is reminiscent of the colour used in old school houses.
Now it may seem daft to replace white with white, but this is so soft and warm. I wouldn’t have to worry about it going with anything at all. Or the borrowed view. Or the grey sofa. But is it too safe when you consider the chances I have taken in other rooms?
What F&B say – This quietly elegant blue feels wonderfully down to earth, so could be used on anything from a kitchen island to an airy drawing room. The exact shade is rooted in a regency palette but is inspired by the cloth of everyday workwear made in the French city Nîmes. Like denim, its blue hue is ultimately fashionable and yet always feels grounded.
This shade is just too close to the Downpipe-but-not-Downpipe on the other walls to use as a coordinating shade. I’d have to re-paint all four walls. But it’s lovely. Much bluer in real life than it looks above. And I do have teal in the hall. But what would it look like with a grey sofa?
What F&B say – This mid-century modern green is a darker version of the much loved archive colour, Olive. Perfect for those who want to embrace stronger colour in the home, its sober tone creates rooms that feel calm and serene – especially when combined with soft pinks and browns. Named after Japanese tea leaves, Bancha, like a cup of green tea, provides a feeling of security.
So, I could always revert to green. Again. Would look lovely looking through to the palm printed wallpaper in the kitchen. But am I over-doing the green now? Does it matter if I love it?
Do you see now, why I’m losing sleep? I mean, I don’t have these problems when I’m
telling advising others what colour to use!