Monday has received some very bad press this past week. It is perceived as one of the most depressing days of the year due to the post-Christmas blues. We are given to believe that credit card debt, festive weight gain, and the long wait to the next pay day adds up to “Blue Monday”.
Personally I would rather not dwell on the negative aspects of the new year but embrace what it has to throw at us.
Pantone has announced this year’s colour as Classic Blue and, as such, my mailbox has been full of positive spins on this timeless tone.
Pantone’s 2020 colour of the year is Classic Blue.
Pantone announced that its 2020 Color of the Year is Classic Blue, a shade reminiscent of the sky at dusk. “It’s a color that anticipates what’s going to happen next,” said Laurie Pressman, the vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, which selects the Color of the Year.
The Selection Process
The Pantone Color of the Year selection process requires thoughtful consideration and trend analysis. To arrive at the selection each year, Pantone’s color experts at the Pantone Color Institute comb the world looking for new color influences.
This can include the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections and new artists, fashion, all areas of design, popular travel destinations, as well as new lifestyles, playstyles, and socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from new technologies, materials, textures, and effects that impact color, relevant social media platforms and even upcoming sporting events that capture worldwide attention.
Houseology have described Classic Blue as
A timeless and enduring hue, Classic Blue is elegant in its simplicity, from dusky skies to indigo oceans, Classic Blue evokes a sense of stylish serenity. Cool, calm and confident, Pantone’s Classic Blue hue is a universal favourite, a shade sure to make an impact on fashion, interior design and textiles alike…
Pantone’s 2020 Colour of the Year is Classic Blue. A calming, confident hue used to create a foundation to build from in this new decade. Whether you’re ready to go bold or prefer a muted outlook, we have a blue for you.
Here’s how Garden Trading suggest you use blue hues in your home:
Extend to exteriors; blue works just as well outdoors to add a welcoming brightness to your home Colour pop; just a hint can bring colour to any room Tactile textures; ease into adding blue without the commitment Go bold; choose a feature wall and dive right in Mix it up; pair with warm neutrals and soft woods for a more muted look
Discover our best-loved blues
Stone Blue No.86 Dix Blue No.82
Today’s bright blue skies go a long way to bringing cheer to this otherwise bleak time of year giving a whole new meaning to The Blues!
My decorative theme this year is very much about bringing the outside in…
Ornamental birds, stags, polar bears, and hares adorn the surfaces, whilst leaves, twigs, and flowers are found on the curtains, tablecloths, and cushions.
The colours of the golden beech tree’s leaves are replicated in the porch with the installation of these Neptune pillar candles. Alongside an oil based Huxley Reed Diffusor emits a subtle blend of landscape scent from a gorgeous matte brown glass bottle. The simple handmade willow wreath was my first attempt at this particular craft.
This natural theme extends into the entrance hall. Here I have used this stunning brown/cream Indigo & Rose throw and cushion to dress my John Sankey slipper chair. The orange rug from Ikea and lampshade from RHS Wisley add a cheerful glow to this otherwise subdued scheme.
On the window cill in the background an Ikea glass vase is filled to the brim with a combination of green, yellow, and orange painted baubles and a wooden star wreath. A choir of angels play their version of “Santa Clause Is Coming To Town” when the music box on which they stand is wound up.
Leading from the hall are the lounge and the dining room. The colours in each are quite different although both rooms are south facing so both enjoy the benefit of the low winter sunshine when it chooses to appear.
In the lounge I have chosen a frosty white colour scheme with highlights of forest green and gold. The handmade paper pinwheels, interspersed with a ski-holiday themed paper chain, set the scene. Fastened to the beams above the fireplace their shapes reflect in the two above-mantle mirrors.
The dining room is dressed with red patterned fabrics in the form of a table cloth, runner, and curtains. The Christmas tree is covered with a mix of gold decorations, white berries, and fir cones (both real and faux).
Red Amaryllis bulbs planted in glass storm lanterns are beginning to shoot out and will hopefully be in flower over the next week or so.
Gold, white, and silver painted fir cones add decoration to glass domes and dishes placed on shelves in the dining room.
Faux stems of Eucalyptus and silver painted berries sit happily side-by-side in this lovely storm lantern. These, and the wintry characters on skis, add a hint of the season to the upstairs landing.
With skiing in mind I have converted my home studio to a “cosy mountain lodge” for the duration of the holiday.
My voluntary work with my local Wildlife Trust enabled me to cut my own pine trees to put in pots outside the window. A toboggan and penguin sit outside the door to evoke a sense of a winter wonderland.
Inside the “lodge” sheepskin rugs and large scatter cushions provide a warm welcome. An ornamental antelope’s head on the wall, and a frosty white tree decorated with glass icicles, are both in keeping with the mid-winter story that is being created here.
I hope you are enjoying the loveliness of the season too and wish you much happiness into the new year and beyond.
Everywhere I look I see images of interiors decorated in daringly dark colours, mostly to great effect.
It takes a huge leap of faith to paint a wall, ceiling, or even a whole room in a deep tone so it is perhaps worth considering a more restrained approach.
Inky blues and charcoal greys have proved very popular, particularly in Scandi and mid-century schemes. I have, however, enjoyed the more recent emergence of charred-wood browns and forest greens.
In my own home I’ve not had the courage to paint whole walls in dramatic colours as I think it would make it feel too depressing with its low ceilings and small windows.
I fully support the Farrow & Ball philosophy that sometimes painting a small, poorly lit room, in a deep dark colour can have the effect of creating a cosy, cocoon-like space. In some instances this is indeed far more successful than trying to make it into something that it is not ie. bright and airy.
For a mere mortal like myself I have settled for splashing the dark shades around in a more refrained manner.
A favourite example of this is my lovely old clock which sits beside a pretty little wardrobe in my hallway. Both are finished in Neptune’s Walnut eggshell whilst the walls against which they are set are painted in Fired Earth’s While Mulberry matt emulsion.
Leading off from the hallway is my dining room which I only recently restyled. I invested in these OKA Stafford dining chairs in Charcoal velvet to compliment my John Sankey slipper chair. The overall effect is that of a more cohesive scheme.
Once again the walls are finished in White Mulberry to ensure that the dark colours do not overpower the room.
Green is considered to be a restful colour which makes it ideal for a bedroom. I’m not sure that this theory applies to the current fashion for Forest green which is a dark hue commonly found in nature. The almost black background of this bedding below adds an air of intrigue to this otherwise calm scheme.
Taking this a step further the en-suite bathroom very much embraces shades of black. Whilst the flooring is a checker board of black and white vinyl the Clawfoot bath is painted in Farrow & Ball’s lead grey Down Pipe.
I’m really happy with my choices but realise there is certainly scope for being a bit more adventurous. That said, at least I can see the spiders against the light coloured back drop!
Sitting on the floor in my studio, surrounded by magazines from over ten years ago, I decided it was time for a serious clear out.
With the recycling bin to the ready I started to thumb through Country Living magazines circa 2002!
I was neither diligent, nor meticulous, but as an article snagged my attention I removed it from the journal and put it to one side.
Very soon I had numerous piles covering my favourite topics; interiors (of course), gardening, recipes, and travel.
“Exuberant” was a 2002 description that caught my eye, as the current trend for pared back style couldn’t be more different.
Warm, rich colour schemes, championing florals, nature, and cosy blankets, were at the heart of the featured homes.
I was immediately inspired to add some seasonal charm to our cottage. Putting on one side the pale greys and pinks of the summer I quickly uncovered a red, nature inspired, tablecloth with matching napkins.
Add to this heavy, interlined, Andrew Martin curtains, and suddenly the room felt warm and cosy and ready for the shorter days ahead.
My nod to current trends was the addition of my recently acquired cushion from ALSO Home. With its slogan, “LOVED At First Sight” I thought it added a little 21st century pizazz to the room.
Looking at photographs of prairie planting schemes with ornamental grasses interspersed with the fading colours of autumn perennials are an inspiration for next year’s planting scheme.
Currently I am allowing our garden to die back so that the seed heads will provide additional food for the visiting birds.
I also like to collect pine cones so that I can paint them with subtle metallic colours and display them in glass vessels with fairy lights and faux candles. Oh so seasonal!
A lot of the recipes that caught my eye were based on seasonal garden produce, such as pumpkins, carrots, onions, pears, and apples.
It reminded me that there were pumpkins in the allotment ready to harvest with which I could make a delicious, heart warming soup.
It is also time to collect seeds from the runner beans and pumpkins to dry and store for planting next spring.
I will leave the orange and purple carrots in the ground as a means of storage and harvest as required.
Not everyone wants to escape the UK for a dose of winter sunshine. People like me who enjoy the changing seasons will wish to stay firmly in this country and enjoy what it has to offer at this time of year.
Harsh frosts temporarily change the garden landscape into winter wonderlands whilst recent strong winds have removed many of the remaining leaves from trees to reveal skeletal formations.
I love to embrace this time of year.
The excitement of the winter celebrations that start in October and run through to the New Year are reason enough to stay here, at home, and enjoy them while they last.
Sometimes it’s the little things that make a huge difference and I was thrilled when I succeeded at dying a very tired candlewick bedspread.
Sadly I did not take a “before” shot so I can only describe to you the state of this item prior to its revival. It was a lacklustre shade of peach which, I suspect in reality, was a very washed out orange.
The reason I chose to regenerate it was because it was the ideal fit for the double bed in the attic room above the garage. I had bought a new cover from Ikea but it was not as voluminous as the candlewick “hand-me-down” and therefore never quite lived up to expectation.
Acting on the spur of the moment I headed to our local hardware store and rummaged through their rather untidy selection of DYLON products. I decided to buy two “pods” to ensure a dense and even coverage. I chose Navy Blue, confident that it would reform the counterpane.
Before embarking on the process of dying I machine-washed the item to ensure that it was free of dust and dirt.
The DYLON instructions read:
Put damp fabric into the drum. Remove sleeve, peel off lid and put the DYLON colour pod on top of the fabric.
Run full cycle (30° or 40°C).
Run another cycle (30° or 40°C) – with detergent.
What could be more simple! At the end of the process I had a beautiful navy blue throw that looked brand new.
It now acts as a protective cover to my exotic Joules bed linen, as well as adding an extra layer of warmth if required.
I am loving this season’s trend for dark moody greens.
Farrow & Ball introduced nine new colours to their range of paints and Banca featured heavily in their launch.
Described as a “protective olive green” and named after Japanese tea leaves “its sober tone creates rooms that feel calm and serene”.
Nine new colours from F&B
Marks & Spencer have embraced this mood with their range of Meghan floral print bedding which “is perfect for traditionally-designed bedrooms or adding a burst of colour to plain décor”.
Meghan Floral Print bedding
I chose this quilt cover and pillowcase set to add some drama to my own bedroom. It ties in beautifully with the two atmospheric Loch Fyne prints that are above the bed. It also forms a close connection with the monochrome en-suite bathroom.
Bath painted with F&B Railings
This black and white floor has been a favourite of mine ever since it was laid more than 10 years ago but it was only this year that I took a leap of faith and painted the bath in F&B’s Railings eggshell.
Taking a lead from the colours of the flowers on this bed-set I teamed it with these scatter cushions. The cream and blue ones were from Laura Ashley and the acid green velvet cushions were from Cox & Cox.
Autumn Winter trend 2018
Clothing trends have also embraced these seasonal greens with names such as bottle, pine, and evergreen.
Again M&S were right on trend with this ankle skimming skirt, whilst Zara followed suit with these printed tops, and Hush this figure hugging dress.
I also discovered some gorgeous Christmas decorations and costume jewellery in this fabulous shade.
I trust you are now green with envy and will head straight to your High Street to indulge yourself in this AW 2018 trend.
Design inspiration can come from the most mundane and unusual sources.
Whilst sitting at my desk this week my attention was drawn to this yellow door which I could see from my office window. The reason my interest was piqued was due to the fact that it was being painted. Once the renovation was complete the sunshine yellow suddenly jumped out from the red brick building.
Having recently completed the redecoration of my kitchen I had been pondering the problem of table settings; in particular “place mats”. The ones that I had been using, although infinitely practical, no longer looked the part.
Funnily enough, as a temporary measure, I had replaced them with some black rubber mats which looked far more contemporary, and were actually commented on by a friend.
Contemporary place setting.
Unfortunately, they did not make the grade due to the nature of their construction, which, I soon realised, allowed crumbs to seep through onto the wooden surface beneath.
By now I’m sure you’re wondering why I am talking about place mats in the same breath as a door!
The answer is that I have some “sunshine” yellow place mats which I thought might be the answer to my dilemma. Not only will they add a splash of colour to the décor but they will also compliment the Emma Bridgewater tea set that I use on a daily basis. As an added bonus I found some matching napkins.
To celebrate my lovely new kitchen, which, by the way had been enhanced even further with the installation of these stunning reclaimed pendant lamps, I unwrapped my Bettys Tea Shop birthday gift and enjoyed a splendid cream tea.
Bettys Cream Tea
Note to self:
Keep eyes open at all times, as inspiration is all around, and can be found in the most weird and wonderful places, often when least expected.