Nicola Holden Designs – Contemporary Interior Designer, London.

Sustainability is another hot topic these days, and I think it’s probably fair to say that we are all choosing to be more sustainable in our day-to-day lives.  However, how do we extend that sustainable mind-set to an interior design project, where quite often we just want to get rid of the old, and bring in the new.    As designers, this is definitely something that we need to become more mindful of.  As Albert Einstein so rightly said, “The world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the situation.”

Rapture and Wright hand print their fabrics using traditional methods, and a pond system filters, treats and disperses waste water from the printing process.

But, where did it all start?

To answer this question, we need to go back in time to the industrial revolution – a period of massive and rapid change, but also one of great optimism and faith in the progress of humankind.  Prior to this, agriculture had been the main occupation for centuries, and industry only consisted of craftspeople working individually as a side venture to farming.  But, with the invention of the spinning jenny, patented in 1770, this was all to change as industrialists, engineers and designers worked to make products as efficiently as possible and to get the greatest volume of goods to the largest number of people.  The result was huge economic growth and a more equitable standard of living to both rich and poor.

Benchmark’s solid timber furniture is free of  harmful chemicals and meets the standards for WELL certified buildings.

However, for all its good, the industrial revolution has also resulted in billions of tonnes of toxic material being put into the air, water, and soil, requiring thousands of complex regulations to keep people from being poisoned too quickly, as well as eroding the diversity of species and cultural practices.  Early industries relied on a seemingly endless supply of natural resources. 

Earthborn Paints were awarded the first UK licence of the EU Ecolabel for Indoor Paints and Varnishes.

Many of the raw materials used in modern manufactured products are actually harmful to humans, and the off-gassing from these products (appliances, carpets, wallpaper adhesives, paints, building materials, etc) results in the average indoor air quality being more contaminated than outdoor air, leading to a general decline in health.

Artisanne baskets are are made using traditional Senegalese weaving techniques, sustainable ndiorokh grasses and long strips of repurposed plastic.

Today our understanding of the natural environment has changed dramatically, and many companies are starting to implement processes that look after the environment – from resource management to the products they make and the way they make them.  Sustainability also considers the way companies manage their workshops and surroundings as well as how they look after their employees.

Skinflint find, salvage and restore vintage lights.

Artisans are producing unique pieces made using natural and reclaimed materials.  Sustainable materials are being introduced.  Upcycled and vintage pieces, imbued with nostalgia and memory, are being specified.  And under-privileged communities around the world are being supported by these collaborations.  Design is becoming environmentally conscious as the world embraces taking responsibility for the environment.  And our homes are becoming safer places for us to live in!

A Rum Fellow work with Maya weaving cooperatives in Guatemala to create works of art on cloth, supporting the female weavers and promoting their incredible textile art. 

And as a designer I try to make it my business to know which companies are striving to produce sustainably, and to work with those companies.  But I also work with clients to see which of their existing possessions can be reused in a new scheme, whilst still giving them the interior of their dreams.

“Glance at the sun.
See the moon and the stars.
Gaze at the beauty of earth’s greenings.
Now, think.”

Hildegard von Bingen

Image credits from respective companies.

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When you think about your home, does it make you smile?  Does your home inspire you; fill you with energy and creativity?  And how can tangible things create an intangible feeling of joy anyway?

Research has shown that there are certain properties that define the way an object looks and feels that give rise to the feeling of joy.  These aesthetics speak directly to our unconscious minds, without us even being aware of it.  Here are some of the ways that you can start crafting more joy in your home:

Introduce Colour and Light

All over the world, bright vivid colours are associated with joyful occasions – from the Carnival in Brazil, to India’s Holi festival.  In Ingrid Fetell Lee’s book Joyful, she says “Colour is energy made visible.  … [It] is an indication of the richness of our surroundings.”  Lively colours seem to radiate optimism and sunshine, and help us to marshal the energy we need.

However, in order to see colour we need light.  “Light is colour’s power supply.”  Humans are intrinsically attracted to light, and naturally congregate where the brightest spots of light are.  Think of the joy that is sparked on seeing steaks of sunlight coming through the window.  But what is also important is to have lighting that is variable, rather than uniform.

Layer Texture and Pattern

I don’t know about you, but when I visit places such as Morocco, India, Barcelona, Turkey and Thailand, as a tourist taking in the architecture around me, it is the buildings that are the most gaudily decorated that grab my attention and make me want to pick up my camera and capture that feeling to bring home with me.

This layering of colour, texture and pattern provides a sensorial richness, and a sense of abundance that is not only pleasurable, but vital to healthy neural development.  An environment that is too minimalistic acts as an anaesthetic, numbing our senses and emotions.  Pattern also brings with it the structured repetition of elements.  It enables us to feel abundance without it feeling overwhelming.

Group Items Together to Create Symmetry and Harmony

Try to arrange similar objects in geometric configurations to bring a sense of order and feeling of ease to a space.  Order is the tangible manifestation of harmony through balance, rhythm and repetition.  Repeating colours, shapes or textures in different parts of a room helps us to view the room as a whole, and brings structure to the complexity. 

Having order allows energy to flow around a space, and creates good visual flow as well, and will allow your body to relax, rather than getting sub-consciously stressed by obstacles and clutter.  If your environment makes you feel stable, balanced and grounded you’re more likely to reflect these behaviours too.

Incorporate Curved Forms

Circles and spheres are implicitly associated with safety and positivity.  There are no sharp angles to risk injury.  Round shapes subconsciously open us up to our playful impulses.  Think pom-poms sewn along the edge of a cushion, round side tables, or the Ball chair.

A round dining table creates a much more social dining experience, allowing guests to come together in a single conversation, and interact in a much more personal way.  And a spiral staircase brings a powerful kind of dynamism into a space.

Create Negative Space

Negative space is the space around and between objects.  Having more space allows for a greater freedom of movement.  It also reduces the visual weight of a space, so objects with perforations will appear lighter than solid ones.  Think slender legs on furniture, translucent materials and lighter colours.

Draw the Eye Up

Drawing the eye up by highlighting the vertical dimensions of a room will create a space that feels uplifting.  Think of your ceiling as the fifth wall, and pay as much attention to its decoration as you would your walls.  Think of painted ceilings in churches and mosques.  Incorporate decorative light fittings.  And if you’re stuck with low ceilings, then opt for low-slung furniture instead.

The height of a room can also be accentuated by using tall plants / sculptures, built-in bookshelves, full-length curtains, and wallpaper with a vertical pattern.

Add Some Magic and Sense of Celebration

A mobile that sways gently on a breeze, prismatic glass that creates rainbow reflections, mirrors that  create the illusion of a larger space, and mirror balls and surfaces that shimmer and sparkle all add a sense of magic to a space.

Shapes that burst out from the centre, like fireworks, have long been a part of celebrations around the world.  Think tassels and juju hats, a starburst mirror, or a chandelier that captures the bursting quality of light in static form.

Flowers are also a great of capturing so many of the elements listed above.  Flowers come in different colours, and their shapes vary too – from cups to cones, stars to clusters.  Floral forms are found on fabrics and wallpapers.  As Fetell Lee says, “Flowers bring an element of nature’s dynamism into the more static context of the man-made world”. 

Ingrid Fetell Lee  sums it up so beautifully – “The problem is that without joy, we may be surviving, but we are not thriving.  If we rarely laugh or play, if we never have glimpses of magic … or bursts of celebration, then no matter how well fed and comfortable we are, we are not truly alive.”

As an interior designer, often when I first visit my client’s house, I find spaces completely devoid of personality.  Rooms full of furniture, but nothing that grounds the space to create a relaxing, cosy environment.  Things just feel a bit off key, lacking those final finishing touches.

Whether you’re a minimalist, a maximalist, or somewhere in between like me, our homes should be our personal sanctuaries – spaces that restore our equilibrium in this world and remind us of our journey through life.  They should be a reflection of your success and individual lifestyle, and represent your style and passions. So how do you ensure that your home tells your story?  Here are my top tips:

  1. Don’t Rush It

Think of your home as a giant cabinet of curiosities.  Allow your collection to evolve organically, so don’t rush out and just buy everything in one go.  Take your time to shop from different stores.  Pick up mementos from your travels.  Leave space to buy that item you’re going to fall in love with next month, or next year.

  1. Bring in Some Vintage

Balance newer items with some vintage pieces to ensure the space feels full of character but also fresh.  Vintage accessories and furniture seem to add a historic presence to a space that new objects cannot, giving your home warmth and complexity.  Vintage pieces also have the added advantage of being very sustainable, from an environmental perspective, and can be updated and painting if necessary. 

  1. Add Colour

Add some of your favourite colours to your rooms.  Don’t be scared to experiment – if you paint something and you don’t like the colour, you can always paint over it.  Or start small, with some colourful accessories.  However, be sure to keep everything within the same colour tonal family, otherwise the colours will jar, and the space won’t feel restful.  And think carefully about what colours you put in what room, depending on how you room to feel.

  1. Mix it up with Pattern

Pattern is a great way to add colours to a scheme, as it can be much more subtle than plain blocks of colour.  Try to mix in small scale, medium scale and large scale prints for the best effect.  If having a patterned sofa is too much for you, then have a plain sofa with patterned cushions, and a smaller patterned chair. 

  1. Layer in Texture

Layering in textures is an easy way to add a feel of luxury to your home.  Think a soft rug on a hard floor, glossy metallic accessories mixed with matt, a velvet sofa with silky cushions.  Adding in different textures to a space creates visual and tactile diversity.

  1. Create Interest at Different Levels

Think about how your eye will travel around your space.  You want it to move up and down and it moves around your room – from that beautiful rug on the floor, to the collection of cushions on your sofa, to the art above, to the statement decorative pendant, back down to that cute little chair in the corner, and so on. 

  1. Add your own Personal Touches

This is the final piece to the puzzle.  It’s time to add your art and family photographs, display your collections, and showcase your books and ornaments.  Group pieces in odd numbers and mix up materials and heights.  Display things symmetrically for a balanced feel, or play with scale and position to add an element of play and surprise.

Most importantly, remember that you are creating a home for you and your family to live in, not just a neutral space to resell at some point in the future.  Keep your choices personal to you, and use the language of design to tell your story!

“Serious is a word that must be entirely avoided when it comes to decoration.”
Kathryn Ireland

  • Posted in Interior Design | Comments Off on Seven Ways to Transform your House into your own Personal Sanctuary

Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, so I thought I would spend some time on today’s blog post looking at the affect that our homes can have on our mental health.  With humans increasingly spending up to 90% of their lives indoors, there is a growing body of scientific evidence showing that how we design our spaces has a direct impact on us psychologically and physically, and therefore on our overall health, happiness and well-being.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in awareness of how our well-being is inherently linked to many aspects of the world around us – what we eat, how much we exercise, how we factor relaxation into our daily routines, and how much sleep we get.  Yet, if you visit your GP / psychologist / therapist, how often do they talk to you about your home or work environment?

In my view, there are four main ways that we can change our homes to improve our state of wellbeing.

  1. Eliminate Clutter

Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up has climbed bestseller lists all over the world as people have embraced the awareness that clutter has a negative effect on our state of mind.  In fact, I have heard it said that being surrounded by clutter is as stressful to us as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder!  So, it goes without saying that the first thing we should do, when it comes to making improvements to our homes, is to de-clutter. 

One way to help achieve this is to have adequate storage for the possessions that we chose to hold on to.  Storage is the one thing that my clients consistently ask for as it is often distinctly lacking in homes, both new and old.  Storage ranges from having a stylish box on your coffee table to hide those ugly TV remotes, to a large bank of built-in cupboards, and everything in between!

  1. Introduce Elements of Nature

I have talked before about the importance of using biophilic design in our homes as a connection with nature has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, enhance creativity and clarity of thought, improve our well-being and speed up healing.

  1. Use Colour

Colour is an incredibly powerful tool to use in our homes.  As Karen Haller, author of The Little Book of Colour says, colour “… communicates feeling, creates a mood, affects our energy, our appetites, our sleep, and has a profound effect on our emotional wellbeing and on the behaviours of everyone we live with.”  

Colour has the power to positively support us emotionally, yet so often we chose to decorate with so called ‘neutral’ colours on behalf of the future buyer of our home, or because of what our friends and family will think if we don’t.  This results in us living in places we don’t really like, in the hope that others will.

However, it’s important to note that when choosing our colours, we need to be mindful to choose the right colour for how we want the space to feel, as well as picking the right shade for our own personalities. 

For example, red invokes a physical response – energy, excitement and passion.  Therefore you might want to use it (sparingly) in an adult’s bedroom, but not so much in a child’s bedroom or in a meditation space.  Yellow stimulates an emotional response – happiness, optimism and confidence, however too much yellow, or using the wrong tone, will lead to us feeling irritable and anxious.  Yellow should be avoided in bedrooms, but is great for hallways where it will inject a burst of sunshine and warmth.  And the so called neutral beige and grey that so many of us surround ourselves with – well, it can become heavy and draining, and make you feel stuck, non-committal and sluggish!

  1. Add Personality

This is the final item that really turns a house into a home.  Stamping our own mark on our space restores our equilibrium in this world, reminds us of our journey through life, and inspires us.

Bringing personality into our homes involves layering in pattern and texture, adding in sparkle with metallic objects, and displaying art, decorative items and collections.  It is about choosing furnishings that play with scale or proportion, and adding in items with quirky, offbeat designs.  It’s the little things that make you smile.

Your home should always tell your unique story.

With these four tips, you can transform you space into one that nurtures you psychologically and physically, contributing to your overall health, happiness and well-being.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
Maya Angelou

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Colour is a major element when it comes to designing our homes for well-being.  Colour imbues a space with energy, and the more energy we have, the more we are able to create, to be productive, and to engage with the world around us.  Think about the sort of things that make you smile.  That makes you pick up your camera and take a picture.  For me it is definitely brightly coloured objects – flowers, food, candy coloured houses and spectacular sunsets.  Colour literally pulls joy to the surface.

As Ingrid Lee Fettell says in her book Joyful, “Bright colour operates like a stimulant, a shot of caffeine for the eyes.  It stirs us out of complacency.”

According to Lee Fettell, in 1810 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote that “savage nations, uneducated people, and children have a great predilection for vivid colours,” but that “people of refinement … seem inclined to banish them altogether from their presence.”  This mind-set has led us to believe that colour is a bad thing!  How sad is that?  When all around us, we’re surrounded by the vivid colours that nature paints, and yet too afraid to bring it into our homes.

I have previously blogged about getting colour inspirations from nature, and so this week I was delighted to receive Farrow & Ball’s new colour card – a collection of 16 colours in collaboration with the Natural History Museum.

Image © Farrow & Ball

Around 200 years ago, in the days before photography existed, Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours was published.  This book recorded in painstaking detail the exact hues and corresponding parts of animals, vegetables and minerals from across the natural world.  It became a treasured resource for scientists and artists alike, and was an indispensable tool for Charles Darwin, as he recorded his findings from the 1831–36 voyage of HMS Beagle.

Emerald Green

Working with the Natural History Museum, where a copy of this rare book sits, Farrow & Ball have developed their 16 new colours.

Broccoli Brown

For example, Broccoli Brown is the head of a Black-headed Gull and the mineral Zircon.  Ultramarine Blue is the upper side of the wings of the small blue Heath butterfly, the plant Borrage and the mineral Lapis Lazuli.  Emerald green is the beauty spot on the wing of a Teal Drake and also the colour of the mineral Emerald.

Ultramarine Blue

And of course, being a lover of nature, it’s good to know that all Farrow & Ball’s paints are eco-friendly water based paints, which was also a paramount factor for the Natural History museum entering into this collaboration

You can see the full collection of colours here.  Let me know what your favourite colour is from the collection?

“Colour is a power which directly influences the soul.”
Wassily Kandinsky

Biophilic design is increasingly becoming the buzz word of the moment, but what exactly is it?  The term Biophilia refers to our innate biological connection with nature.  It helps explain why crackling fires and crashing waves captivate us; why a garden view can enhance our creativity; why shadows instil fascination and fear; and why animal companionship has restorative, healing effects.

But why is this important?  The answer to that question is because humans are now spending around 90% of our time indoors.  And as we become more urbanised and depend more on technology, we are becoming increasingly disconnected from nature.  We exist in highly controlled spaces, with even lighting, a constant temperature, and straight lines everywhere.  But if you think about it, this is not how nature operates.  In the natural world, the light levels change throughout the day.  Shadows move around.  There are breezes, and birdsong, and not a straight line in sight! 

Biophilic design has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, enhance creativity and clarity of thought, improve our well-being and speed up healing.  And it is essential for providing people with healthy places in which to live and work. 

So how can we bring nature into our spaces?  And is there more to biophilic design than simply adding pot plants to your home?

One of the strongest aspects of biophilic design is having a visual connection with nature.  And yes, pot plants or a green wall are a part of this, but so is a water feature / aquarium, artwork depicting nature scenes, and ensuring that your furniture is laid out so as not to impede visual access to nature through the window.

Two other important aspects of biophilic design are those of Prospect and Refuge.  Prospect ensures that we have an unimpeded view over a distance, for surveillance and planning, while Refuge gives us a place for withdrawal from the environmental conditions and offers us protection.  Think of a cave man standing at the entrance to his cave, or Refuge, and surveying the surrounding countryside, or Prospect.  Our homes should include open plan layouts, balconies and landings where we can stand and survey or using transparent materials so as not to close off our views.  But these should also be balanced with intimate refuge spaces – a snug, or a window seat – where we go to relax or meditate, to read or to think.

Other ways of bringing nature into our spaces include:

  • Air movements, nature sounds and scents;
  • A combination of highly textured, diffused and natural (leather, stone, bronze, wood, etc) materials;
  • Using lighting to create pools of light, shadows and dappled light all of which can be changed throughout the day;
  • Architectural, furniture and furnishings detailing with forms and patterns suggestive in shape of a living organism;
  • A combination of complexity and order to create spaces that are engaging and information-rich – a balance between boring and overwhelming;
  • Adding a sense of mystery that entices people into our spaces.

As our world becomes ever more urbanised, the need for our designs to reconnect people to an experience of nature becomes ever more important.  For our health and well-being, biophilic design is not a luxury, it is a necessity.  If we want to create homes that are inspirational, restorative and healthy, this needs to be considered during the planning stages of building or renovating our homes, not as an added after thought once everything is complete.

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Chromophobia n. an abnormal fear of colours

Last night I was honoured to attend the launch party for the latest gem to hit the bookstores – Karen Haller’s The Little Book of Colour – How to use the Psychology of Colour to Transform your Life.  It’s about time that we all started to learn more about colour, and the effect that it has on our lives.

© Karen Haller

There is nowhere that colour doesn’t exist.  We are constantly influenced by it, from the moment we open our eyes in the morning to when we go to bed at night.  Although we see colour with our eyes, each different wavelength of coloured light stimulates a distinct part of our physical being, evoking a specific physiological response, which in turn produces a psychological reaction.

On top of that, we don’t just respond to specific, individual colours, but to all the colours present in our field of vision.  That is why it is important to achieve balance of colour within a scheme – cool and warm, contraction and expansion, sedation and stimulus, yin and yang.  A home without balance can appear wonderful but, for some reason that you can’t put your finger on, it just doesn’t ‘feel’ right, and so does not support happiness and harmony.

But there is more to colour than merely hue (the attribute of colour which enables us to classify it as red, blue, etc).  Our colour personalities echo the patterns and natural order of the seasons, and so it is important to choose colours that match your own tonal family – spring, summer, autumn or winter.  Surrounding yourself with colours at odds with your own natural pattern is, in the long run, stressful.

I know that there has been a recent swing away from grey, and towards more colour in interiors, but often I find that clients don’t quite know what to do with colour.  They’re scared that they will get it wrong, chromophobia creeps in, and so they tend to avoid it all together and play it ‘safe’ with shades of grey or beige.

But these neutral colour schemes seldom bring us joy – that feeling of great pleasure and happiness!  And without joy, we may be surviving, but we are not thriving. If our surroundings lack energy and harmony, then no matter how beautiful our homes might be, they will not make us feel truly alive. The drive toward joy is synonymous with the drive for life.

It is vital that we understand our individual colour preferences to enable us to create homes with balance and harmony, and to design more happiness into our world.

  • Posted in Interior Design | Comments Off on Do You Suffer From Chromophobia?

A new year is often the start of new beginnings and so making small changes to your life that will improve your happiness are really important. I am not big on making new year’s resolutions, but I do have a few intentions for 2019.

2018 was a good year, but it did also have its fair share of challenges for me.  But, as with the Christmas decorations, it is time to put 2018 behind me, and to look forward to what 2019 has to offer.

I started new year’s day this year with a walk around my local common, and then had a look through my Pinterest board of inspiring words and quotes that I keep, and the one quote that jumped out at me to be my motto for this year is “Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, “Oh crap, she’s up!””  I think that sums up all of the other quotes about hard times and difficult roads, and being brave, and finding joy.

So, how do I see 2019 panning out in order to achieve this:

  1. To Finish Decorating my House

For the past few years I have slowly been working on my own house renovations, and I have been doing the majority of this work myself.  My wonderful husband is not at all DIY minded, so he keeps me fed and watered – which is a very important job!  But, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel of all of this hard work, and then I will get the house photographed so that you can all have a nose around.

  1. Nurture my Creativity

I plan to spend more time this year nurturing my creativity.  It is very easy, when I’m so busy with other things (ie. working on the house), to neglect this activity.  However, my holiday to India towards the end of last year reinforced just how rejuvenating I find surrounding myself with art and design. 

  1. Find More Joy

I have recently bought the book ‘Joyful’ by Ingrid Fetell Lee – having been inspired by watching a TED talk she did.  I plan to read this book, and to increase the joy aspect of my life and my home.  And then apply this to my client work too.  I’m sure most of could do with a little more happiness in our lives!

  1. Look After my Wellbeing

I am going to continue on the path that I started last year of improving my health through eating better, exercising more and maybe even learning how to relax!  Although that last word will be a lot easier to achieve once the first of these four intentions have been accomplished!!

  1. Reignite a Passion

Last year the work that I do as a trustee for Makomborero, a charity that supports Zimbabwean children through their A-levels and beyond, took a bit of a back seat as I struggled to juggle everything else happening in my life.  This year I would like to find renewed energy for the amazing work that this charity is doing in transforming lives and bringing hope to some of Zimbabwe’s poorest children.

I also plan to get back to being more active on this blog, so if there is anything you’d like advice or information on, please do let me know.  I am still working on the plans for this blog, so I will try to slot your requests in where I can.

So that’s me in a nutshell!  What resolutions / intentions do you have for 2019?  I’d love to hear from you.

“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”
Elon Musk

Before I talk about colour inspirations from nature, I just wanted to quickly inform you of the updates we’ve made to our data policy. On 25th May 25 2018 the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation went into effect, and we are taking this opportunity to inform you of how we use your data. If you are reading this blog as a newsletter, then this is something which you have signed up to. We do not share your contact information with any third parties. If you would like to continue receiving Nicola Holden Designs newsletter, you don’t need to do anything. You will continue to be subscribed to our newsletter, and we will store your email address on file. If you do not want to remain a subscriber, please click to unsubscribe below.

Now, onto the subject of this newsletter! I was recently interviewed by SW Resident magazine, and one question that the journalist asked me is ‘where do I get my inspiration from’? I happened to mention that I am an avid birdwatcher, and I love taking note of the colour combinations of birds’ feathers. So, I thought I’d share with you here some of those colour combinations from trips to Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica that I went on a few years ago. The colours seem particularly suitable in light of the tropical weather we’re currently having in London at the moment!

First up is this Blue-grey Tanager. At first sight this colour combination is fairly monochromatic, but on closer inspection there are accents of violet and a bright cyan blue that lift the otherwise cool, calming colours of this scheme.

Next up is this rather cool Keel-billed Toucan. Its body is predominately quite a severe black and yellow, but its bill is a rather colourful combination of lime green, petrol blue, burnt orange and a deep plum! It is these added colours that bring a playful element to this otherwise very stark colour scheme.

At first glance this Scarlet Macaw is a blend of four simple primary colours – red, yellow, blue and green. However, on closer inspection there are different hues of these colours in the feathers, adding depth to this colour combination.

And finally, this stunning little Rufous-tailed Jacamar! This is a pretty good example of a split-complimentary colour scheme, combining the harmonious effect of adjacent colours on the colour wheel (blues and greens) with the contrasting effect of the browny-orange colours situated on the opposite side. The white on the throat of the bird adds an unexpected punch into the mix!

Would you use any of these colour schemes in your home? And if yes, which room would you put it in? I love to hear your thoughts!

“There are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against another.”
Edouard Manet

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I know, I know, it is a VERY long time since my last blog post. Let’s just say that 2017 was not my best year ever, and leave it at that. Because 2018 is here, and even though we’re fast approaching half way through this year, it is proving to be a good year – especially now that the UK seems to have finally shaken off winter, and the days are warming.

I had such fun yesterday visiting the Affordable Art Fair in Hampstead. I was there with clients, but I always come away from art exhibitions feeling so inspired by all of the creativity I see at these shows! I dream of turning my home into an art gallery, and surrounding myself with beautiful pieces! Sadly, my budget doesn’t quite stretch to that currently!! So instead I satisfy myself with looking…

So without further ado, here are my fifteen favourite pieces from the day:

Did you visit the show? What was your favourite piece?

“Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.”
Claude Monet