Wednesday, 30 December 2015

The Colour Collaborative: December: Berry

So often when thinking about these posts I am reminded that the best colour combinations begin in the natural world. It could be in the big expanses of a winter sky, a sunset or sunrise, a forest or a sea view, or in the smaller things like a shell or pebble, a flower or a single fallen leaf. It all starts with nature and then we take it from there. So I can't really talk about berries at this time of year without including holly, that prickly stalwart of Christmas decorating. It gets everywhere; in wreaths hung on front doors, in boughs strung across mantels, aflame on top of the Christmas pudding, and it's image is replicated a million times on Christmas cards and rolls of wrapping paper.

It's the simplicity of the colours that work so well: red, green and white, instantly recognisable as festive colours. Bright garnet berries, deeply coloured, shining leaves and, hopefully, a glistening snowy backdrop to make those already vivid colours pop even more. And it seems I go to these colours year after year when I decorate our home for Christmas.

Those same colours appear in our food too, in the sweets we buy, the cakes we bake and the gifts we decorate.

I clearly like decorating with these colours in December, which is strange really as they're not ones I would choose at any other time of the year. Maybe next year I'll experiment with pinks and grey or silver and gold instead, but I doubt it. There is something about these colours that I want in our home in the middle of winter; the glowing red brings warmth and the freshness of the green reminds us that spring will come, so really these are perfect colours to lift and comfort in a dark midwinter.


Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below:

Annie at Annie Cholewa
Jennifer at Thistlebear
Claire at Above The River
Sarah at Mitenska

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 a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. 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.


  1. I agree, red and green just feels right in December. Happy new year to you!

  2. Lovely, they are the colours I decorate with at Christmas as well. Red, green and white with maybe a touch of gold, silver and crystal. CJ xx

  3. I agree that if you look to nature for colour combinations you cannot go wrong. I always especially enjoy your CC posts Gillian, your sense for colour is so strong and it shows beautifully in everything you do.

  4. Yes, very festive colours Gillian and what a lovely collage you've done. Have to work out how to do that one day. Happy New year to all, huggles and take care.

  5. Beautifull photos Gillian
    Happy New Year ,all the best for you and your lovely family

  6. My grandma always used to say if nature put the colours together then you can.

  7. I'm fascinated by the difference between the two collages, the way the strong reds in the top one really pack a contemporary punch and the desaturated hues in the bottom one feel quite retro and much gentler Seemingly even the message red, white and green conveys at Christmas changes with the times!

  8. I mostly stick to greenery with pops of colour – deep red is a festive stalwart. Lovely collages and photos, as always, Gillian. Happy New Year to you (if I haven't already wished you that!). Sam x

  9. I agree, I'd hesitate to put green and red together in any other circumstance, but they do look perfect at Christmastime. I have a lot of red in my kitchen but nowhere else in the house, really, so I like bringing in red with my Christmas decor. Ornaments, fake berries in a vase, chile pepper lights strung over the fireplace, etc. Happy New Year to all of you!

  10. The beauty of berry colours is a wonderful thing isn't it. Happy New Year! Here's to a good 2016! xx

  11. Your food collage has made me hungry! We've got vintage tarnished silver going on here for our first Christmas in the new house, but red's here too here and there. Holly and Dala horses and a folksy platter on display in the kitchen.
    Wishing you a fantastic 2016. Looking forward to reading the blog and catching up on your interiors adventures.
    Sarah x

  12. Red features heavily in our Christmas decorations and food but, like you, it's not a colour I normally use around my house at any other time of year. Lovely photos Gillian; wishing you a very Happy New Year xx

  13. Hi Gillian, happy new year to you! And my thanks for all your lovely posts in 2015, which have been a joy to me each time I read them.
    I'm also a great fan of the Colour Collaborative posts, which not only have taken me to blogs I didn't already know, but also are so interesting to see your different takes on the same theme.
    All the best for 2015, Deborah xxxx

  14. There is always something red in our house at christmas time, I do wonder if it's the red of santa's jacket that instigates that colour choice. Also the colour of gold features heavily here.
    Happy New Year!

  15. Red and green are just perfect for this season, so why change?

  16. I love red and green at christmas too, then start to crave lemons, lilacs, pale pink and white in the run up to spring and summer X

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