The colours I’m bringing into my new home aren’t accidental. It’s not even an aesthetic decision that led me to choose all of the colours on the mood board that I published last week. For me, my journey with colour started very early and has been developing for as long as I can remember.
I spoke a little bit about my relationship with the colour pink when I painted my door of my home office at our last apartment a bright, girly pink. When I was little I would tell everyone who asked that my favourite colour was “bubblegum pink”. Even at a young age, I had a favourite shade of pink.
These days, my love of pink has matured slightly. I’m still painting my office and bedroom pink in this house but I’ve chosen a muddy neutral shade to invoke a sense of calm and peacefulness in those rooms.
From pale pinks to moody forest green tones, this house is inspired by so many different styles and places. As I’m writing this I see how present these colours already are in my life. From where I’m sitting, I see a forest green blanket, mint green lumbar pillow, a vintage pink depression glass jug filled with water and a mustard yellow scrunchie — and I’m just sitting in our messy sunroom… as in, the room that we haven’t even started decorating! I’m also looking at cabinet drawers from the kitchen that need to be sanded, a messy corner of tools and a bag of charcoal for the BBQ if you want to know just how not done this space is.
The reason I highlight the (embarrassing) mess around me is that these colours show up so unintentionally in my life that I have to make sure they show up purposefully when I’m designing this house.
While Pinterest great for finding your design style, I can’t stress enough how important it is to just look around at your environment. Take a look in your wardrobe, your favourite books and tiny everyday details that bring you joy.
For example, my favourite tea towels are mustard yellow and my favourite spatula is mint green. I use our pink water glasses from IKEA more than our plain glass ones. I’ve somehow collected a bunch of mismatched vintage books with forest green covers without realizing it because I’m so drawn to the colour. To me, this is the secret to finding your colour palette.
It’s also not lost on me how my travels have influenced me as well. I wrote a blog post last year about how deeply my visit to Lisbon, Portugal inspired me. I’ve told a few people that if they want to picture my imagination and the world inside my head they just need to take a walk down a cobbled street in Lisbon. I felt so relaxed and at home among the plaster pink and light yellow buildings; the dark shiny green doors and turquoise tiles; the terracotta roofs and black and white cobbled streets.
England feels like home to me because of the soft, rustic character of their buildings. The greenery of the country lanes and forests. The crumbling plaster of the pub down the street from my cousins’ house. The slate floor of an old cottage and crooked houses of a medieval street in the Cotswolds. The playful pastel bunting strung over the tiny lanes in Brighton.
In Greece, I fell in love with white stucco walls and layering white, cream and linen tones. How the colour of the sky and the sea can determine the colour palette of an entire town or island.
When I think back to these countries and landscapes I’ve fallen in love with, my thoughts go directly to the colours I associate with them. Portugal is pale pink, England is shades of green and Greece is a deep blue and crisp white.
More than ever colour feels like home for me. We will still have white walls in some rooms but they will be met with art and accents in bold colours that have naturally found their way into my life. From bright painted cabinets and cozy green walls, we’ve found a balance that works for us without even trying very hard.
I’m no expert on colour psychology and I really want to learn more about it. But to me, the way colour shows up in my life is undeniable. Now that I’ve trained myself to listen to these cues, I know that the way I decorate my home will be so much more authentic.
Just something to think about when you’re looking around your own home.
I hope you’re staying well and staying safe.