Sunday, 15 January 2012

happy 2012!

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you all had a good festive break and have been keeping up with your resolutions? I have more than a few myself this year, one of which involves keeping up with my blogs, especially this one which has suffered a little as I've been so busy with my photography recently. So, I'm going to make more time to devote to all the things I love, and try my utmost to post at least one nothin' but the rent blog a week. I've had so many lovely comments from people about how much they've enjoyed the site and it's been a real encouragement to have such positive reactions.

So, where better to start 2012 than with some colour trends? Industry trends for this year have been announced recently and I'm pulling together a few key ones with some ideas of how to incorporate them into your home. It goes without saying though that one should never slavishly follow fashion, especially in your home, so go with what you love. As you all know by now, I'm a monochrome minimalist at heart and some of the trend colours are a bit too colourful for me, but then it all depends on how you use them and how much colour you incorporate.

First up, Pantone announced its colour of the year back in December, and it's the very, very dramatic 'Tangerine Tango':

Image source: Pantone

Reds and oranges are a great warm choice for the largely gloomy British climate, but can also be difficult to work into a scheme without being either overpowering or clashing with existing accessories, so choose and use carefully! Apartment Therapy have come up with some great ideas, my favourite being to use it in accessories. Perfect for renters with existing neutral schemes, it really works next to natural linen colours and beiges. Tolix chairs are similar to the one in the picture belowand available in a zety orange. Even I am thinking a set of six of these would look striking around my black dining table, places laid out with my natural linen napkins.

Image source: Apartment Therapy

Speaking of kitchens, some storage jars or tea towels in this colour would also work. Or how about something from the timeless classic range of Le Cruset cookware? Their 'Volcanic' colour way is a close match. Try the eCookshop here. For more orange inspiration visit the Apartment Therapy gallery here.

Lastly, if you love the colour but really don't think you can live with it, how about a simple vase of seasonal parrot tulips in the middle of the dining table? Not only beautiful and easy to live with, but very reasonably priced.

Image sources: The Plant Expert & Sophie Dahy Designs

Farrow & Ball are my absolute favourite paint manufacturers and any news from them gets my inner interiors geek all excited. I'm so obsessed I'm on their mailing list, so when their 2012 predictions dropped in to my inbox a week or two ago I decided there and then to write this post. F&B have picked four colours from their current range as key trends for 2012, they are all muted in typical F&B style but all of them are a great way to introduce a bit of colour to your home. Clockwise from top left: Railings, Pigeon, Babouche and Brassica (the purple colour not the blue one)

Image source: Farrow & Ball

'Railings' has long been one of my favourite Farrow & Ball colours, I love the drama that black can introduce to a room and there are so many accessories available in black you can shop to your hearts content, or how about updating a piece of furniture with a new glossy black coat? This colour would also look great painted in an alcove (be prepared for at least four coats of a good quality paint to cover it when the time comes though) but it works with a huge range of other colours so it may be worthwhile if you plan on staying for a while.

Pigeon is quite close to their 'French Gray' if a little greener. Its a very soothing colour that looks fantastic next to crisp white and changes colour depending on the time of day, in some lights in can look like a warm green, in others, a cooler grey. A colour like this would work well in a bedroom or study, or how about accessorising with something like this gorgeous lamp in a similar shade?

'Pharmacy Lamp' from Graham & Green

Babouche is a great yellow, it's not too zesty or neon, making it easier on the eye. If you're lucky enough to have a chimney breast, this would make a real feature of it, or how about painting some old frames and filling with black & white pictures, or grouping on a wall like this:

Image source: Apartment Therapy via The Tiny Abode

Bright colours are often best used sparingly, an entirely yellow room may be too overpowering, but a small wall or accessories can add a real wow factor, the addition of coordinating cushions here makes the look complete and well balanced.

Purple hues are cropping up in a few trend reports for 2012, but Brassica is easily the best. It's more subtle than other choices, used in a sunny room it will appear like a pastel, but in a darker room, it will be much more dramatic. Consider buying three square plain canvasses and painting them in Brassica and fixing on the wall with Command fixtures. It's a great way to get the exact colour of paint you want on the walls, without actually painting the wall. If you fancy another colour next year, just paint over them. 

Image source: The Style Handler

Again, accessorizing will help to make the room look more complete but try not to go overboard, a throw and cushions is enough to hold it all together but the curtains and the bed and the wall and the sheets is a bit too much. 
My final pick comes from Crown, who present four, bright and upbeat trends. From left to right: Summer Jewels (a nod to Art Deco colouring) Surreal Botanical, New Direction & Modern Nostalgia (because we can never get enough retro styling it seems).

Image source: Homes & Bargains

The one that is perhaps most interesting is 'New Direction' which mixes neutrals with pastels and neon brights. It's a fresh and surprising approach and a great example of what happens when you throw the decorating rulebook out of the window. The combination of zesty green contrasted with pastel pinks and off set with a stormy grey is perfect. This look works particularly well when you start to mix it with traditional shapes, patterns and styling as it's so unexpected, a neon pink baroque mirror for example, or a traditional lamp base with a neon blue shade, or how about this fantastic 'Air Vase' from the V&A Shop? By introducing neon in soft furnishings and accessories, renters can get the look without having to re-decorate. The photo bottom right shows neon furniture in a neutral room to great effect.

Top Semi Domesticated Left This Is Love Forever  Right Apartment Therapy

For more colour inspiration, download the Akzo Nobel Colour Futures brochure here. Whatever your style and taste, whatever your budget and however you introduce it, 2012 is clearly the year to inject a bit of colour into your home. Have a happy, bright new year!


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