New colour sensations: Part 1

Guide to the latest colour trends, from mustard to blue

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From mustard to moody blue, be inspired by this guide to the wonderful shades that will transform your home this season.

Blues are big news

‘With an edge of drama, deep blue tones are effortlessly sophisticated and casual,’ says Emma Mann, head of home design at Sainsbury’s. From deep indigo, inky midnight blue to bold regal cobalt, these colours will feature prominently this season, creating a beautifully rich look. ‘Blues are naturally restful shades,’ adds Paula Taylor, colour and trend specialist at Graham & Brown, ‘but be careful with cool blues in the British blue light, as you don’t want to create a cold, wintry space.’

Blue living room and bathroom

Luxury bathroom

f you’ve rescued a spare bedroom back from the kids, or extended upstairs and turned it into a boutique hotel-style bathroom, you can afford to push the boundaries. Wall-to-wall-to-ceiling wallpaper in a striking design creates an air of rest and relaxation – tie in the colours with Delft-wash white woodwork. Avoid fussy frills or contrasting patterns, and use white window shutters or floaty voiles to bring it all together.

Above left: Stag Toile wallpaper in Juniper, £60.50 per roll, from the Révolution collection; bath painted in Hicks Blue intelligent eggshell, £51 for 2.5 litres, both Little Greene

Living room retreat

‘Moody blues create the ultimate atmospheric den,’ says Laura Baldry, founder of independent design retailer The Tab Collective. ‘Be brave and cover the whole room, maybe with a coloured ceiling to create a “wow” statement.’ This look works well in both contemporary and period living rooms, or would be amazing in a bedroom. Keep accessories minimal and use the same colour palette for soft furnishings so as not to dilute the look’s richness.

Above right: Verona sofa in Marine, (H)85x (W)190x(D)96cm, £499 By Sainsbury’s

Modern green

‘There is a growing trend for using colours inspired by nature,’ says Edward Bulmer, director of Pots of Paint. ‘Strong green shades have a rich intensity – ideal for adding drama. Perhaps because it’s a colour that comes so directly from nature, green makes a perfect background for displaying pictures and textiles. People are often scared of using colour, as is evidenced by the British love affair with magnolia, but it can add so much to an interior. If you want to paint walls in a strong colour, but are not sure about the effect, paint one or two walls in your chosen shade, leaving the other areas in harmonising neutral tones.’

Green living room and bedroom

Stylish hallway

‘As more people use their houses for entertaining, we’ve seen a shift from inoffensive neutral décor to homes with personality and attitude,’ says Graham & Brown’s Paula Taylor. This recently renovated hallway decorated with on-trend geometrics would look impressive in a period or contemporary home. ‘For a retro style, most things go, but I’d always include a neutral shade in the mix to offset any crazy clashes,’ says Rishi Subeathar, founder of Eicó Paints. Warm whites, soft greys and co-ordinating colours such as chartreuse and lime green will bring the look together.

Above left: Axis wallpaper in 110832, £45 per roll; cushion (top) in Pucci cotton fabric in 120284; cushion (bottom) in Diva cotton fabric in 120279, both £27 per m from the Soul collection, all Scion

Boho bedroom

Seventies-style patterns such as peacock feathers and paisley are seeing a revival and have been given a revamp this season. If you’re searching for a unique look, this impactful patterned wallpaper could be just the design. ‘Autumn/Winter 2014 sees a mix of bright colours combined with bold shapes and modern materials,’ says Dominic Myland, managing director of paint manufacturer Mylands. ‘Think playful, fun and vibrant – almost anything goes.’ With strong wallpaper there are a couple of options for decorating that work well: use on all walls for a dramatic (but calming) look in a large bedroom, such as a loft extension, which has plenty of natural light. Alternatively, limit it to just one wall, either opposite the head of the bed, or behind it – although this year the trend experts are predicting that ‘feature’ walls will become a thing of the past as we become increasingly confident in our decorating choices.

Above right: Harlequin Jardin Bohème wallpaper in 110656, £59 per roll, Wallpaper Direct

Return of rich red

‘Red is by no means a subtle choice when decorating your home,’ says Adam Robertson, managing director of Urbane Living, ‘but when used correctly, it can be warm and inviting. Deeper shades will instantly add a sense of history, especially teamed with period furniture. One of Farrow & Ball’s best-selling colours is Eating Room Red – popular as red is meant to enhance appetite. More modern shades of plum look good in contemporary rooms, especially large, well-lit ones, but use on only one or two walls.’

Red living rooms

Cosy snug

Trends for Autumn/ Winter 2014 see bold colours coming to the fore, with warm Burgundy reds. ‘These shades are excellent for lending warmth and cosiness to a room, so are ideal for an update before winter,’ says Cathryn Helsby, paint expert at Earthborn Paints. Innovative and rich, maroon, fig and claret work with stone and country greens to create a refined but homely feel, say the designers at Next Home. Rich reds work well in period homes, too, and provide the perfect backdrop to traditional furnishings and art.

Above left: Walls painted in Pale Cranberry matt emulsion, £30 for 2.5 litres; Lynden two-seater sofa in Loxley Check fabric in Cranberry, (H)90x(W)171x(D)106cm, £1,750; Lynden footstool in Dawson fabric in Cranberry, (H)52x(W)99x(D)70cm, from £525, all Laura Ashley

Statement windows

’Red isn’t for the faint-hearted with its great depth of colour, which is both stimulating and dramatic,’ says Homebase’s head of trends Joanna Bolt. ‘Rather than by painting or wallpapering, an easier way to introduce it is with curtains and furnishings.’ Edward Bulmer of Pots of Paint adds: ‘A bright colour can be used as an accent or feature, or exclusively in a small room such as a cloakroom.’ Don’t just go for blocks of colour; use a mix of textures – linen, velvet, cottons – with subtle patterns to create a warm, relaxed scheme.

Above right: Bark wallpaper in 110870, £34 per roll; curtains made from Fuse viscose mix fabric in 131147, £30 per m; chair covered in Plains Six cotton mix fabric in 131207, £33 per m; Navajo wool rug in 26402, (W)170x(L)240cm, £480, all Scion

Magic of mustard

Mustard is the mature yellow option. The palette ranges from soft ochre to brownish yellow – just think of the varying colours of jars of mustards in a store cupboard. ‘For a colour with real bite, you simply can’t beat it,’ says Dulux creative director Marianne Shillingford. ‘Like painting on sunshine, it adds delicious warmth and character to a room but lacks the sweetness of buttery yellows, which can often be too rich and cloying. Mustard works perfectly with cool neutrals, greys and charcoal, all of which are hugely popular colours at the moment, and the combination works so well because it has an edgy, modern look to it.’

Mustard living room left, mustard hallway right

Spacious living room

If you’ve recently extended or renovated, make the most of your new space with a graphic wallpaper to add character without compromising on the airy feel. Simple, painterly and abstract patterns, especially landscape and horizontal stripes, are key trends. Another designers’ trick is to mix up wall coverings – choose two similar but co-ordinating styles and hang alternately, or cover one wall in one design, and another wall in the other.

Above left: Plateau wallpaper in 110510, £44 per roll, from the Landscapes collection; cushion in Serene fabric in 120165, £54 per m, from the Impasto collection; striped cushion in Cable fabric in 130733, £40 per m, from the Momentum 4 collection, all Harlequin

Welcoming hallway

Dulux design experts say that yellows lighten and welcome as they help to expand any space – a perfect solution for dark hallways and small rooms. For a livelier feel, experiment with stronger, mustard yellows and cool greys to create a really dynamic room. For a grown-up scheme that works in traditional properties, team with white woodwork and painted floorboards. Avoid mixing with rich reds or russet oranges, or the scheme will start to look rather rustic and old-style autumnal.

Above right: Walls painted in Honey Mustard paint mixing endurance+ matt, £29.99 for 2.5 litres, Dulux