Colour me softly

I’m finding myself increasingly drawn to colour. Not harsh, bright colours but soft watercolour shades that are friendly , relaxed and not too ‘in your face’.

I was sent a sample of this wallpaper today (designed by Stina Eldsten, it was one of four winners in this this year’s CAMAC Student Wallpaper competition), and was tempted to frame it and stick it on the wall by my computer so I could look at it all day:

I love how the stylist has combined this with an otherwise minimalist style

A Cabinet of Curiosities wallpaper £27/square metre, Mr Perswall

I think what I like about it is the texture and the lightness that comes from the different saturations of each hue:

You'll be surprised how many unusual colour combinations actually work really well

You’ll be surprised how many unusual colour combinations actually work really well

This set of cereal bowls achieves a similar effect by using the ombre technique, which fades the colours through decreasing saturations to white:

Set of four ombre cereal bowls £47, Jasmine Way

Set of four ombre cereal bowls £47, Jasmine Way

Varying the saturation introduces light into colours that could otherwise be heavy. In this collection of glasses, the combination of the frosted detail and the translucency of the glass has the same effect:

Set of six peony glasses £69, Graham & Green

Set of six peony glasses £69, Graham & Green

It’s all about softness, creating texture visually rather than through anything physical, as this cushion does so well:

Watercolour cushion £70, bluebellgray

Watercolour cushion £70, bluebellgray

And if you’re feeling very brave, you could go wild with this incredible digital mural from Photowall:

Colour drips wall mural  from £26/square meter, Photowall

Colour drips wall mural from £26/square meter, Photowall

So, what do you think – are you a colourful decorator, or do prefer to a more limited palette?

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Pretty Dandy

I love discovering new interiors shops, whether physical or online. I especially love independents, because they often stock unusual brands you can’t find on the high street, and products that may not sell in their hundreds but which will be just perfect for a handful of shoppers.

Pretty Dandy is my latest find, and one of the first products I fell in love with on their website was this quirky cupboard designed to look like a Dutch town house and available in aqua, mint and coral. At 76cm tall it can be stood on a surface or hung on the wall, and it has two removable shelves inside:

Dutch town house cupboard £130, Pretty Dandy

The site sells a great range of art prints too, like this colourful A3 chevron number from Mrs Eliot Books (that cannot be a real name!):

Chevron contemporary art print £24.50, Pretty Dandy

Anyone who knows me, knows I love knitting, so how could I resist these yarny floor cushions? I love the colours and because they’re filled with tiny styrofoam balls, they won’t lose shape over time. Only the mustard one seems to be in stock at the moment, but you can always contact the store to see when the others will be available:

Medium mustard cushion £139, Pretty Dandy

My flat wouldn’t carry off this bold monochrome wallpaper, but it’s really striking, don’t you think? It’s printed on WallSmart paper, which means you put the paste directly onto the wall, making the hanging process much easier:

Monochrome stripe wallpaper £84.50 (10m roll), Pretty Dandy

Finally, these simple chopping boards caught my eye because they’re the perfect example of my favourite quote from William Morris: “Do not have anything in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” I like products that are functional and aesthetic, just like these boards:

Skyline chopping boards from £29.95, Pretty Dandy

What’s your favourite independent interiors shop?

Wallpaper

I’m a big fan of wallpaper, properly used. I’ve never used much of it myself though, mainly because I’ve never learned how to hang it. But when I redo my study I’m seriously considering having a bit of a feature wall.

I seem to get an awful lot of press releases featuring new ranges, so I guess as a whole we’re still enjoying patterns over paint, and I must say that there are some truly adventurous designs around.

Here are a few of my favourites for the autumn winter season…

1) I love Pictus, the debut collection from St Vitus, which includes this gorgeous Cygnus design – not something I’d necessarily be brave enough to have in my own home, but I’d admire anyone who did:

Cygnus wallpaper (10m roll) £79, St Vitus

2) There are plenty of leaf print wallpapers around at the moment, but this one by Sandberg has that school textbook look that I love, and uses colour cleverly to create a real sense of calm:

Ria wallpaper (10.9m roll) £56.50, Sandberg

Ria wallpaper (10.9m roll) £56.50, Sandberg

3) Oh to be a kid again! This magical, fairytale wall paper is amazing and it kind of makes me want to have children just so I can decorate their rooms (is that a bad thing?):

Lilleby children’s wallpaper by Boråstapeter (10.05m roll) £55, available at Wallpaper Direct

4) This design is kind of mid-century retro, but with a 21st century twist. I think it’s the cartoon like quality that appeals to me; it looks like a hand drawn illustration:

Eco Revival no. 5651 wallpaper by Eco (10.05m roll) £37, available at Tangletree Interiors

5) Yes, this last one is a bit mental, but life’s too short to be boring. And really, who could resist a smile when faced with a room bustling with these little fellas?

Chirpy wallpaper (10.05m roll) by Blendworth £35.50, available at Wallpaper Direct

So, how daring are you when it comes to your walls? What are your favourite brands?