I hope you’re in the pink, chums. You’ve caught me red-handed trying to tickle the amused buds of your grey matter with some purple prose.
Interior design. For many, it’s a black-and-white issue. Pick a colour you find peachy and, without getting in the red, you’ve got the green light to slap it all over.
I’ll be honest, it happens once in a blue moon here. I’m the black sheep of home décor – in fact, I’m so bad at it, thinking about it makes me beet red. Whatever the opposite of green with envy is what people feel when they see my efforts. It’d be a white lie to even say I was adequate at it, let alone tickled pink with my DIY.
That’s probably why every single wall in my house is white. I could claim that it’s a statement – the semi-detached Scottish version of a New York apartment. Though it isn’t. When the decorator asked me what I wanted to do with the extension walls my answer was, more or less: “Anything for an easy life.”
The idea was that white would be easy, bright and clean and would only take a splash or two of fresh emulsion to restore to its pristine, new-fallen snow glory. The big lesson has been exactly how many shades of white you end up with – splashed white, slightly grotty white, is that soil? white, coffee spill white, what’s that footprint doing there? white and, gloriously, squashed fly white. Alongside that is the discovery that it takes almost as many coats of new paint to restore nasty white walls to nice white walls as it would to paint over ‘feature’ wallpaper. Ho hum.
It’s not that I don’t like a jolly hue. In fact, when I was expecting Boy Two I craved colour. The dull, sludgy shades of maternity clothes designed to be bearable for a whole gestation, made me feel even sicker. I needed pillar-box red and high-viz yellow to feel calm.
My wardrobe is reasonably riotous with a reasonable number of pinks, purples, blues, greens and those non-colours called neutral. Taupe, sludge and mole? But I’ve never been able to translate this volume to my living space. The one flirtation with Caribbean shades was an unmitigated disaster and looked infantile and miserable under the dull northern light.
Better decorators than me can get away with colour in their houses and use that colour to their advantage. Thomas Sanderson has created a psychology of colour guide to choosing the best colours for your home.