My recent backpacking trip round the world was a revelation in many ways.
But none more so than a confirmation of the infinite beauty and subtlety of colour, both natural and manmade. Colour has always been very important to me. I love to see it and to use it in my interior inspiration. But I have noticed over the years that colour proves very challenging for people, almost as if they are afraid of being judged by the colour they use (so better to stay magnolia then). For me however, colour is a powerful means of communication.
I remember vividly as a teenager, my mother telling me all about a new craze called ‘having your colours done’. It sounded a bit kooky. But when the ‘colour expert’ brought out her chart of colours, explaining that we all fall into the categories of either Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, and when she held the colours against people’s skin and I could see just how different colours reacted against different shades of skin, then I began to understand what she was talking about. I was Winter, which ironically meant being able to wear quite vibrant colours. It was like being given a Monopoly Get Out Of Jail card, to escape the sentence of black (which as we all know, isn’t even technically a colour).
I was transfixed, and have been ever since. Colour can inspire, uplift, depress, make a political statement, reinforce superstition, discriminate, liberate, comfort, induce fear, welcome and above all else, delight. It’s the paint box of life, and we are all artists.
As we made our way round the globe, we saw colour in all its glory and I was reminded just how versatile it is. From the peeling paint of a Japanese temple, to the feathered splendour of an exotic parrot, colour is all around us and immensely potent. For that reason, it will always have a place in my home. No taupe for me.