Colour Your Home with Sophie Robinson
This is my post on how to colour your home with Sophie Robinson. If you can’t see the video please click here.
The Great Interior Design Challenge
I’m a big fan of BBC2’s The Great Interior Design Challenge so I was very excited to attend Sophie Robinson’s colour workshop recently.
As a regular judge, and on the most recent series a finalist guest judge, Sophie makes no bones about the fact she is massively into colour.
Shades of grey
For me colour has been a bit of a taboo in recent years. When I was styling people’s rooms at university I had a crazy young thing palette. The interiors I’ve been designing in recent years have been with the purpose of selling and it’s well known that pale, and lets face it safe colours appeal to more people.
Colour is very subjective so it’s safer to go with what people are more likely to like than go for the wow but also marmite factor.
Sophie even mentioned that she feels like it’s a job well done if she overhears some people saying “ooh I don’t like that, it’s too much”!
I’ll be honest though and say that I really do like grey and off-white as I find it calming. Even I’m finding it a bit boring now though.
Seeing as I’m likely to stay put for a little while in my latest renovation I was keen to experiment a little. I was ready to go out of my colour comfort zone.
The day was brilliant. Sophie is as warm, passionate and likeable in the flesh as she is on TV. Her enthusiasm is so infectious – as is her addiction to colour!
We all felt really at ease experimenting with different colour schemes, but it was also interesting to learn about the rules of colour. Although Sophie went to great pains to point out that rules are there to be broken – my kind of girl!
We looked at the colour wheel and how this can be used to come up with different colour schemes which sparked off a few ideas for me.
Not so moody board
Another thing I learned was not to be too exacting when doing a mood board.
I think I exasperated Sophie a little by wanting pictures with the exact colours, patterns and furniture I was after to put on my board.
She kept flinging bits of bronze ribbon at me saying “go on live a little”. True enough once I let my hair down and filled in some of the gaps it was not only liberating but made for a much more inspiring board.
If you are even contemplating on going on one of her workshops I can highly recommend it.
Sophie’s top tips
I grabbed Sophie for a quick interview at the end to get her top tips. You can watch the video of course, but here is what she said:
Me: “You’re famous for colour aren’t you?”
Sophie: “Anyone in the creative industry knows it’s such a wonderful tool to have in your toolkit.
But I do appreciate people struggle when it comes to their home. They might wear colour or buy colourful artwork but when it comes to their home they get stuck.
Most people are worried about making expensive mistakes. That’s why we see so many beige and grey interiors I’m afraid.”
Me: “So what are your top tips?”
Sophie: “Feel the fear and do it anyway.
At the moment we are seeing lots of the dark and inky hues, lots of blue black colours, charcoal greys, and navys, very cosseting, I love the drama they create.
So we are moving away from the pale and scandi interiors.
My rule with darks is you do have to do it on all four walls. Otherwise it looks disjointed and doesn’t flow.”
Me: “What do people get wrong when using colour?”
Sophie: “The main thing people get wrong with colour is they don’t do enough of it. For me wrong is very bland interiors with no personality, no mood, no vibe.
People need to think about using colour in different proportions, colour scheming isn’t a science it’s definitely an art. But as a rule I think of using one hero colour in 60-70% of the scheme, and then a secondary colour which will be in about 30%.
Then you have your accent colour, which is so important, that you pop in at the end. 5-10% like a bright pink, a deep turquoise or primrose yellow that lifts the whole scheme and punctuates it.”
The new colourful me!
Since I went on that course I’ve been like an exploding colour bomb.
Pink has invaded my grey bedroom, the lounge is an exotic mix of turquoise, teal and orange, my duck egg dining room now has pops of fuschia and my grey kitchen has come alive with yellow everything I could get my hands on!
I will do future posts on each room coming together of course.
I’m still on the look out for the exact teal/emerald chaise longue I’m after, so if anyone knows anyone….
If you are looking to add some colour to your home and don’t know where to start, check out my post on Yvonne Coomber’s artwork as it will give an instant life to the dullest of interiors.
*By the way, thank you to The Danish Collection, Sevenoaks for letting me film their beautiful display.