What colour to choose? Picking a paint scheme can be overwhelming. Even if you have a sense of the colour combinations you’d like to work with, choosing from the many shades and tones, brands and finishes can feel like too big a task. And the options continue to grow. To shortlist some of the best, we decided to go through our notebooks and each pull out a paint shade that we see being a big part of our 2021 schemes.
My pick of the new year’s shades is mellow yellow. A little out there maybe? I disagree. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of yellow featuring in interiors TV, from The Crown to The Queens Gambit, it is definitely having a moment. My favourite of the yellow shades is Persian from Edward Bulmer. It’s warm but can hold it’s own against eye-catching furnishing. Then there is Babouche from Farrow & Ball, with a beautifully cheerful brightness that will intensify when used in large areas. It manages to be dignified and never garish. Both shades pair perfectly with greens, pinks and inky blues, what’s not to like?
I’ll be integrating yellow shades into rooms that lack in natural light where the shade will make the space bright and uplifting. If committing to yellow paint seems too bold for you, why not considering including it in an existing scheme through upholstery, cushions and trim?
Despite my love of colour, I still like to use a neutral off-white in certain spaces. Spanish White is a bright shade with the slight yellow ochre tone of natural chalk. It reminds me of the whitewashed houses of the mediterranean coast.
I love integrating it as a back drop for artwork and framed fabrics, the items that for me bring the room to life and add interest without the paint colour taking over. I also find Spanish White is beautiful used in drawing rooms, in dining rooms and also in a calming, restful bedroom scheme. It is possible to work with more than one white shade, Edward Bulmer’s Plain White is lovely for ceilings and White Lead works beautifully for woodwork.
Dead Salmon might not be new but it’s certainly one of my enduring favourites – don’t be put off by the name! I live in a 1930’s house which had original mahogany timber panelling throughout the hallway when I moved in.
I painted the walls in Dead Salmon and paired it with Wimbourne White on the panelling, it worked out beautifully. I love that it’s a shade that moves depending on the season and time of day. On sunny days, it’s a warm and welcoming buff. On a winters evening, it shifts to a serene and cosy shade of strong mushroom. So versatile, I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it!
I’ve recently become obsessed with 5 particular shades of neutral from the Little Greene Grey shade card. My favourites range from the very light, off-white ‘Tusk’, to a heavenly rich shade of Cocoa called ‘Chocolate Colour’, all of which I intend to make full use of next year.
I have my sights set on painting a kitchen using ‘Tusk’ for units and walls . I’ll set this against a deep chocolate shade for the island and compliment with Calcatta Gold Marble running through it. All rounded off with bronze handles. Beautiful!
We’re also currently working on a pantry and a sophisticated library space both using ‘Furrow’. I love it’s versatility.
For me 2021 will be about designing for longevity and I see deep browns being part of that. I’ll use them to balance dark and light and contrast against fresh whites and deep bronze for a fresh contemporary feel. Neutral enough to work with everything but more uplifting than the usual muted shades. Bye bye grey!
This blue is the perfect paint companion. Forget the idea of blue being a cold tone, this balanced shade actually warms up a room. While it’s a lovely, deep neutral shade, it doesn’t need to take centre stage.
If you are looking for a rich colour on your wall that’s not overpowering, Double La Seine is it. It balances beautifully with popular paint shades of white and navy and also manages to tone well against subtle shades of peach and pink. We’ve been incorporating Double La Seine into bedroom and living room schemes and I’m looking forward to using it in a kitchen scheme soon.
I’m seeing a lot of green in my plans for 2021. It’s long been a favourite of mine and there are some beautiful shades and hues to work with this season. I’m particularly drawn to ‘Card Room Green’ from Farrow & Ball which sits comfortably in both a modern and traditional setting.
It pairs beautifully with tactile, natural materials as well as funky, smooth patterns. Green always brings a sense of calm to an interior. In natural light, it shows as fresh and clean and in dusk or evening light, it shifts into a more cosy, warm shade. I love this versatility which means it can be integrated into any space or room. Use as a beautiful base layer or integrate in smaller ways to add depth.