Mini make-overs all round !!!
You’ve had a great Christmas, you’ve survived the seemingly endless January drudgery, but those heady spring days with all their promise of new life and freshness still seem so far away. Not only that but the pot is still looking a little empty, so undertaking a major design project is to say the least unrealistic.
Well worry not. A cat’s lick and a promise, as my old mum used to say God rest her, really can go a long way. Whether it’s a tired looking living room, a long neglected dining room, or a hall that has lost it’s oomph, a coat of paint can work wonders. If your walls are already painted you’d be amazed at how much fresher the room will look if you just give them another coat or two – even if it’s the same colour. But while you’re at it why not change the colour? It could either be a dramatic alteration, giving the room a complete change of direction, or an enhancement of your current colour, making the room feel warmer and cosier.
When it comes to paint colours, these days you truly are spoilt for choice. In recent years Little Greene have established themselves as a real brand leader. Using up to 40% more pigment than competitors, their colours have a magnificent depth to them, and are actually better priced than some of the so-called premium brands. It’s funny, but I’ve never come across a decorator who doesn’t rave about Little Greene, or a decorator who does rave about other manufacturers beginning with an F and a B. (last time I mentioned that, said manufacturer got all huffy and closed our account).
Little Greene began many years ago with their Colours of England range, developed in collaboration with English Heritage, and went on to produce Colour Scales, taking 12 of their best colours and expanding them into 4 hues of each colour. In 2013 they launched the Grey colour card. This was an instant hit, a proven palette of graduated greys, formulated on 4 naturally occurring pigments; Verdigris, Umber, Ochre and Red Oxide.
This was followed in 2015 by their Blue range. Comprising 21 shades, 17 of which were previously unpublished by Little Greene, this really is the colour blue at its very best. As you would expect, the palette encompasses a wide spectrum of tones, from confident indigo to calm linen hues. These are truly beautiful colours, which, when teamed up with Little Greene’s standards such as Joanna, Hammock and Rolling Fog defy anyone to utter the word cold.
Their latest offering, launched last October to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is the Pink collection. Comprising 8 pinks and a limited edition wallpaper, the collection combines historical muted pinks with much bolder shades such as Cape Red and Carmine – a significant 1960s colour as identified by English Heritage research.
If you feel like taking things a little further why not consider a wallpaper? Wallcovering manufacturers have definitely caught on that not everyone wants a feature wall, and that not every room can take a large pattern. There are a whole host of fabulous textures on offer, as well as some delightfully subtle prints. Mind you, if you do like to make a statement there are still some truly mouth-watering papers to choose from.
There are of course many other ways to refresh your home without spending a fortune. The humble cushion is often overlooked, but can become a little hero when it comes to adding pizzazz. You may have found a fabulous fabric that you’d love to have as curtains but can’t stretch to right now. It only needs a couple of metres to make four scatter cushions to throw on the sofa or bed. Failing that, you can liven up your living room by adding scatter cushions in a vibrant plain or textured fabric, and teaming them up with co-ordinating accessories such as lamps or vases. Generally speaking the smaller the item, the more intense the colour can be without upsetting the balance of a room.
New bed linen can often do the trick in a bedroom, as can a change of bedside lamps (there really are some stunning lamps to be had at the moment !!!), or even just lampshades. A tired carpet or a bare wood floor will almost certainly be enhanced by a rug, or possibly two. Here again, the world’s your lobster. Choose from a myriad of tightly woven textures and patterns, or deep, sumptuous shaggy rugs you could easily loose a small child in.
So there you are. Hopefully that’s whetted your appetite, and kick-started your creative juices, and made you feel a whole lot better !!!
John Biddell, John Charles Interiors
Live 24 7 magazine editorial - February 2017