Thursday, 27 June 2013

The Colour Collaborative: June - Home


For me, any thoughts on colour begin with the question: what is my favourite colour? I feel that by now, aged thirty five and with two kids and two homes under my belt, I really should know something as basic and fundamental as this. But it's a question which leaves me stumped. I don't really know. It changes all the time depending on my mood and the seasons. My children are very certain of their choices, in that simple way that small people are of everything in their world; Angus, at four, chooses orange (probably because it's the colour of most emergency vehicles) and six year old Bella loves turquoise. 

I am frequently drawn to yellow. I love it, particularly that perfect, sunny, buttercup shade which always makes me feel happy. I've even devoted a whole Pinterest board to it. But I wouldn't chose yellow clothes (although I happily carry my yellow satchel around with me everywhere I go). My clothes fall into a palate of blues, whites, creams and greys, with the odd splash of pink or red. And I am very careful about how I use yellow in our home. (Except in my bathroom, then I do like a nice yellow wall.) It pops up here and there in radios, jugs, pictures, chairs.  

See, that's the thing about colour - it's never straightforward. What works somewhere, or on someone, doesn't necessarily work somewhere else.


I would have said our home was quite colourful. But when I look at these pictures, I see that perhaps there isn't as much colour as I thought. We've painted our walls in very neutral shades - cream, grey, pale green, white. Tones that are easy to live with, easy on the eye, which don't clash with everything else. Our house was built in 1948 and we've tended to choose furniture, patterns and colour with a slightly mid-century, retro feel, in sympathy with the house. 

So the areas of interest seem to come from the accessories, rather like in the way I dress. Colour pops up in the form of lampshades...


...soft furnishings...


... books...


...and crockery, pictures, flowers, family photos, plants, toys... the endless piles of wooden and plastic toys that clutter the place up, or fill it with the joyful evidence of happy children playing, depending on my mood.

What about you? How do you use colour in your home? Are you a fan or neutral walls or bold, strong colours? How do you use pattern and print? Do you like things to match or do you have a more relaxed approach to things? Please tell- I am very nosy and love to imagine what everyone's home looks like!

What is The Colour Collaborative? All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when they work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. Starting small, with just five members for now, we'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways. We're excited by where this might take us, click on the logos below to find out!

43 comments:

  1. I love colour in the home and my favourite colour combination is terracotta and creams/yellows (but not buttercup or egg yolk yellow, but some of the acid/lime yellows in which Farrow & Ball seem to specialize such as Hound Lemon and Pale Hound and, until it was discontinued, Gervase Yellow ... although I understand you can have any colour made up if it's not on the current colour chart.)
    I also love wallpaper and the sitting room is the only room in our house which doesn't have wallpaper - not any old wallpaper, but good quality paper, as with most things, you do get what you pay for. Our hall was papered with Colefax & Fowler paper 12 years ago and still looks good. If I have a decorating style, then it's English country house, which is timeless, although this style is just as contrived as any other, having been devised by John Fowler and Nancy Lancaster in the 1950s, but it bears little resemblance to 1950s Retro look which is so popular today. What wouldn't I be without? Fresh flowers, even a posy of wild flowers, or when there aren't any in the garden or any in the supermarket that I like (hate those bunches of mixed blooms in lurid colours!) then leaves and berries from the garden. But with loads of pictures and books and ornaments and rugs, even if all our walls were magnolia (perish the thought!) they would still be colourful!
    Margaret P

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  2. Funnily enough I was wandering around my house today wondering if we are too bold with colour but planning more of it - rich golden yellow for the hall and coral pink (if i get my way) for the lounge. I know my choices would be overwhelming for many but we don't plan to sell anytime soon so we decorate for us. I did notice I have used a palette of blue and orange in 3 different rooms totally without realising - bright turquoise and orange in J's room, pale aqua and coral in my study and deep teal and amber/ burnt orange in the bathroom. Clearly I only have 1 idea yet they all look so different.

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  3. You really do have a lovely home. I think it is quite colourful, but the colours have been given space to breath. And it looks loved, and yes, happy.

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  4. This is a really interesting project you're involved in. Color is important to me but I am still at the stage of figuring out the right moods for each room in my house. We are only just now beginning to feel that we have room to be choosy about things we buy, whereas before, we took whatever we could salvage or find cheaply. Your home is beautiful and very inspiring.

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  5. I found you and your lovely home through the Colour Collaborative - lovely idea! I adore colour, in fact I live, breathe and eat colour. I have always painted all the walls in my (many) homes white and keep colour to the things I can easily change. I change colours according to the seasons, my mood, a whim....favourites change over time I find. Currently I am loving grey with yellow. Colour is pure joy for me.

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  6. Well my home is similar to yours -neutral walls with shots of colour here and there, but you have nicer stuff and more radios.

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  7. Just fallen in love with your house!! It's so lovely and cosy. I love your Orla Kiely lampshade, the bookshelf full of books, the embroidery hoops, all your radios (how many have you got!?) and your crocheted things of course! I'd move straight in ;)!

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  8. I really like things that are multi-coloured! lots of different colours but not too madly, maybe with some neutrals. I think your colours seem quite similar. In my wardrobe at one time I probably had about 10 shades of soft green t-shirts though so I think I like to wear green! I certainly don't dress in multi-colours! and I seem to like quite earthy tones with the odd bright. What a wonderful lot of books you have! Heather x

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  9. This is the way in which I plan to decorate when I buy my first house, you essentially have a blank canvas of neutral tones to play about with as often or as little as you choose. Im like you in the fact that I don't have one favourite colour and my mind changes depending on mood, season and the like. You have the ability to change your surroundings along with, I think that's fantastic! :)

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  10. I LOVE this idea! I'll check out the other links later. Your home is very calming to look at, I love the splashes of colour, as you know I love my colour! I do however paint most walls a neutral white colour, having one wall with colour. I do then however go bonkers on the accessories!!! :) x

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  11. Your house is beautiful and I love neutral walls and colour in the things we add. This is a great project - am really looking forward to more colourful posts x

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  12. Your home is so gorgeous! I think your home is colourful and in a really chic way, like Annie says, the colour has room to breathe and it works so well that way. I think our homes must have been built at very similar times, mine was built straight after the war too and we have exactly the same doors as you. I love the style you've created, it's just the sort of thing that I admire, but can't pull off!

    S x

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  13. Your home is beautiful! I love colour but need more in the home! Turquoise is my favourite and all our rooms seem to be a different shade of it!

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  14. Wonderful photos and I like being a sticky beak too. My colour palette is what someone called gentle old fashioned, but because I craft and love old things, it's a bit of a mish mash. We've also been together for nearly 40years, so we do tend to get too much stuff, I think. Keep your lovely pics coming as I see ideas from you that I sometimes put into practice. (ie: your painted pots for plants.)

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  15. Your home is just beautiful Gillian ... I adore colour but blue is definitely my favourite ... our home has pale coloured walls in general ... because they were the easiest choice when we were rushing to move in three years ago ... however slowly but surely colour and pattern are being added and I love to see the changes ... lots more to do but we will get there eventually ;) ... Bee xx

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  16. Your home is lovely, the photo of your bed with the shelf and garland just made me smile, it's beautiful. I see a lot of radios... colour with music perhaps :) xx

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  17. Such pretty pictures of your home Gillian. We are very much into mid-century and 70's due to my husbands adoration of all beautifully made, especially Danish furnishings which tend to be wood and glass, so I am the collector of all other decorative bits and bobs which creates a very colourful and quite eclectic colourful home. If I had my way we would have even more stuff, but Andy likes it quite minimal and homely too. I always think people must be confused when they come into our Victorian terraced home and see such a menagerie of pattern and colour.
    I have always liked blues and grey, however, mustard and darker more muted yellows have crept into my heart over the past couple of years and I love the combination of mustard, teal and grey, yummy xox Penny

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  18. Your home is beautiful - when can I move in? I tend towards the slightly safe when it comes to interiors. Plenty of neutrals. Much as I love colour, I don't find being surrounded by it all the time to be particularly restful. And home seems to need all the tranquility I can manage!

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  19. We have mostly bold colours on our walls. My kitchen walls are red a deep red but there is not a huge amount of wall that is actually painted! The dining room is a paler colour, not sure what it is, with a terracotta colour on the chimney breast, the living room is painted a colour called setting plaster a pale pink with a deeper rich pick, think it is called porphyry pink on the chimney breast. Upstairs the bigger bedrooms are bright yelliow and terracotta. The smallest bedroom is a rich cream colour. We have used farrow and ball and the little Greene paint company paints. We have yet to decorate the bathroom or the hall which has a hideous flocked wallpaper which needs removing first!

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  20. I'm really a white walls girl with lots of other colour coming from the art and cushions and bits and bobs around the house. I tend to go for the murkier colours mixed with some pure reds. My fave colour would have to be mint green and there will be a bit in my kitchen, woohoo. I love the snippets from your home, it looks both calm and colourful. mel x

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  21. I love all the snapshots of your beautiful home! Your bedroom is so inviting and relaxing... love the white walls! And your dining room is so cosy with the bookshelves. And your kitchen corner filled with the open shelves and cookbooks is lovely. I really like neutral walls - white, grey, taupe. My favorite color is definitely green. I am also really liking pink, too.

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  22. What a fun topic! My home is similar in that we tend to have neutral backgrounds with shots of colour, plus a Great Wall of Books! (I blogged about my sitting room recently, everyone loves a good snoop round someone's house, so fun!) I look forward to further posts about colour - I thought I simply loved soft neutrals and pastels, but when I actually look at how we've decorated, I do enjoy a shot of colour or a dramatic contrast...Chrissie x

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  23. So, so, so beautiful! House tours are my total fave blog posts. I love everything about your home x

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  24. What a lovely home you have. All our rooms have very pale neutral walls with one bold statement wall or chimney breast, it's a small house so to much colour would make it seem smaller but I have to have a splash somewhere. ~ Sarah x

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  25. so pretty and charming ...
    thank you for sharing!

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  26. We rent our home, so it's all neutral walls and spaces but then it's all our furniture so we get to choose colourful pieces and add pops of colours here and there to help with the bland. Your home looks warm and inviting and cosy Gillian. It looks very colourful to me :) Hazel x

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  27. I love your home and would love a walk round it. I am getting more and more drawn to colour as I get older. We are working our way through our home painting all the walls white and using accessories to colour the rooms. Mats, cushions and lampshades. Yellow is my favorite colour.

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  28. Your post has given me food for thought. I have gone from colour to white with splashes to heading back toward colour again. I love the colour orange at the moment, and am trying to get hold of a very old Cath Kidston orange spot that she did a few years ago. No such luck at the mo. I had a big thing about red for a few years, but all that's left are a pair of red lamps that my Mum bought me for Xmas one year.

    BUT I absolutely loved having a legitimate nosey parker at your home. It's really lovely Gillian. I love that there is a radio in every room!

    Leanne xx

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  29. You have amazing taste and your house is lovely. Where is your bed from? It is exactly what I need to be able to wrap fairlights around!!! xx

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    1. Hello, and thank you! It was from M&S about five years ago. I've just looked online and they don't do it anymore. It was mainly purchased as it was cheap. (I really wanted a sleigh bed but they cost a bomb and would look ridiculous in our house.) x

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  30. It was great to see bits of your home. I like very much how the calm colours of the walls work as background for colour splashes.
    My favourite colour is green. Though if I had an opportunity, I would have painted the inside of the flat in white. I prefer (in my wishes) simple scandinavian-like interiors.

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  31. that cushion on your bed is just gorgeous!!!

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  32. Hi there. I just recently found your blog and have been enjoying it immensely. My home is similar to yours. Same age, same use of white walls with the colour coming from other things (especially books). But because my home is in Canada, it still manages to look quite different. I find it very interesting that, even in this day of globalization and blogs, international differences are still there, though subtle. (But since I've just started following your Pinterest board and you've just started following mine, maybe our styles will become even more similar.)

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  33. What a lovely post Gillian. Loving your house! I so enjoy seeing lots of pics of other people's homes and I so enjoyed seeing you very stylishly decorated home. I love all the books, we are big fans of books around the house here too. I also love the fact that you have radio's everywhere, another passion of mine too (its the obsession with radio 4), speaking of which where did you get the radio in your kitchen as I am currently looking for one for my sewing room?! I love the Alice Melvin Avairy poster, I am a fan of here work. I also love this idea of joining in with colour and it is a tricky one for me as my colour pallet does change with seasons and also with mood, but my most used colour in our house is grey, shades of green & blue & pink. I love yellow though, but tend to wear it more than have it in the house, but I have to say you have just inspired me! Loving this link up and off to have a good nosy at other people's. Enjoy your weekend lovely Gillian and thank you for your very lovely comments over at mine xoxo

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    1. Thank you so much. It was from Robert's Radio and it's a retro-style DAB. It was a birthday present from my husband but sadly I don't think they make that exact style anymore. x

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    2. Thanks Gillian. It's lush, one very lucky lady xo

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  34. Hi Gillian
    your house is GORGEOUS, makes mine look like a bomb site. I like colour and lots of it preferably clashing. I like to upcycle wherever I can, consequently my house is taking forever to complete. My kitchen has a concrete window sill which I have painted six different colours, I am making a patchwork curtain to finish it off, I don't know if it will work but I do tend to experiment. I love the cushion on your bed. I must get around to learning how to crochet, I love the colourfullness of granny squares.

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  35. Gillian you have such a lovely home, I love all of your books and the polka dot tea pot and mugs I love... I'm now following you on pinterest. I have never thought of yellow as a color from the home, but when I went to the board on pinterest I was really intrigued!
    Your home looks spotless as well, I have to hand it to you, because my kids are seriously and super messy! I can't seem to keep my house clean! I do try though... but some days I just want to lay down and go... "Eh.. forget it!!"... :)
    I have decorated my kitchen in reds and English phone boxes, and I've decided to decorate my bedroom in Navy blue toile and English rose patterns... I'm buying it bit by bit, all the pieces.
    Okay I'm really waffling on right now ... I enjoy your blog and I love seeing your lovely home!
    Tammy

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  36. I am really frightened of yellow, it actually makes me a bit anxious but others say it is really happy and sunny. Love your home with accents of colour. Jo x

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  37. Such a gorgeous home Gillian. I'm in love with your massive wall of shelving in your dining room and I really like your current white bedroom look too. Lovely! Thanks for showing us a peek into your home, I'm a bit nosy too :-). I'm probably more of a white walls girl with neutral furnishings with the odd splashes of colour coming in from accessories/art/the enormous pile of colourful lego all over the floor! I've made an exception for my daughter's room which is the boldest colour of turquoise imaginable. Mel x

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  38. Your house is beautiful, I like the pale background with colour and interest coming from items that can be moved and changed easily. The lamp beside your bed on the left is fab, every time I see it I love it! Thanks for sharing your home, it is brave of you to do so,katie xx

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  39. I have custard yellow walls in my living room. I like yellow. And I have a reddish carpet, so no neutral interiors here, thank you very much. But I love colour. I love a riot of red, blue and green that just about match. I was never and probably never will be coordinated.

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  40. Your home is gorgeous! I'm also loving yellow these days. And salmon for some strange reason. x

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Hello there! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I read them all avidly and I always try to answer questions.