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Colour in Nature

By Nia Magoulianiti-McGregor

, |

Blur the lines between the great outdoors and your interior spaces by replicating nature’s colours on your walls. Here’s how.

Marie Kondo’s Netflix fans can stop uncluttering for an instant. There’s a new way to ‘spark joy’ in your home. It’s called: ‘Bring the outside in.’ The idea is to replicate nature in our interior spaces by using paint colours that inspire a calming effect, or act as a mood-booster.

‘Humans through history have always found peace in nature, and these days we are increasingly seeking it for our homes. An easy way to find this type of Zen effect is to create it by blurring the lines between the indoor and outdoor worlds through colour and design,’ says Plascon Head of Decorative Marketing, Katlego Kondlo.

It’s a trend open to all. ‘It doesn’t matter whether your space is big or small, in the city or the suburbs – some beautiful colours and natural decor will have you singing “The Hills are Alive” like Julie Andrews every day,’ smiles Kondlo.

Dulux Colour Consultant Palesa Ramaisa also believes individuals have historically ‘longed to create a tranquil space for themselves and their families’. She says a ‘fresh coast of paint’ is an excellent way to get on board this trend of getting back to nature. ‘It will improve your space without you taking on the expense of major decorative changes.

‘Colours chosen from the outdoors can make a small space seem bigger, or a big space feel cosier and warmer,’ says Ramaisa.

Blue, blue, my world is blue

If tranquillity is indeed what you’re after, Ramaisa says you’re likely to evoke the feeling with cool-toned shades like green, teal, blue and purple, giving your space an instant face-lift.

‘Our personalities and tolerance for colour are different, and so each individual will gravitate to the tone of a specific colour. When it comes to shades of blue, for example, some people will seek an intense, bold shade of blue while others may look for a grey with a blue undertone.’ While not keeping them up all night. Soft shades such as teal, mustard, muted yellow and olive greens always do the trick.’

Spring in your step

Kondlo also suggests shades of green and blue for tranquillity, and includes tones of yellow, beige and white. ‘For maximum natural effect in a bedroom, try earthy coloured walls with a soft blue or green bed. Plascon’s soothing green Evening Glade and nude Nutmeg Dust from our 2019 Colour Forecast also make for a naturally calming space.

‘A kitchen or a dining room can be more uplifting but no less natural, with brighter shades of the primary colours offset by beautiful neutrals,’ she says. ‘Look at Plascon’s neutral of the year, Ravine, or Daiquiri Cream from the forecast’s Minimal colour story.

‘This palette features tones of spring where sprightly colours like mellow Meadow Yellow, sunny Lemon Rind and brooding Atlantic Ocean provide colourful natural links to the outdoors.’

Kondlo says a combination of Lemon Rind and Meadow Yellow is perfect for a ‘lively living space, making you feel as if you’re basking in sunshine all year round.

‘For smaller spaces, paint your ceilings, trims and walls a light neutral if you want the space to feel bigger and lighter.’

Tradition

Certain traditional exterior styles call for specific colour combinations. And these can be extended internally.

‘The French country style, for instance, features colours from the full colour wheel including sunny yellows and soft golds, reds, greens and soft ocean tones. Lilacs and lavenders are also synonymous with this decorative style and pair beautifully with rustic furniture and that typically layered French look,’ says Kondlo.

‘Colours for an American Cape Cod home are inspired by the seaside,’ she says. ‘Aquamarines paired with rich reds, blues, greys and white all work well in this scheme. If you’re looking to recreate a North African look, look at earthy tones ranging from bright saturated reds, blues and yellows to browns and beiges.’

Ramaisa says for a typical Mykonos or Mediterranean look, make use of white walls and blue frames or shutters, while a Tuscan style calls for cloudy yellow undertones paired with rustic stone and wood elements.

‘When we think of Moroccan style, we think of dusty pinks and burnt oranges. The farmhouse look is something that is also extremely underrated, pairing together a deep heritage green with a brilliant white.

‘The key is to understand the look that you desire and execute the look with your personal touch,’ she says.

Between a rock and a hard place

Earthcote’s range is also inspired by nature, says consultant Helen Botha, while consisting of contemporary textures. Look out for products like Granite, inspired by the look and hardiness of granite rock, or Sand Paint, a fine-grain look like mud or clay, with shades in names that evoke the feeling: Blesbok and Gravel, for example. ‘Arniston White was especially developed for white cottages in that Overberg seaside town that need to withstand some wind and rain, and is suitable for outside walls and inside ones.

‘And for earthy Karoo spaces, the Peinture colours are inspired by the ancient landscapes and rustic textures of the Karoo and have names like Mosbolletjies, Bakkie Breker and Snot en Trane.’

Flower power

Kondlo says in order to finish off the natural look, whether in a large or small space, try layering with loads of indoor plants. ‘Climbing plants are on trend this year and look great against any of the colour forecast’s natural tones,’ she says. ‘Introduce other natural elements such as rugs or botanical art. Natural wood, bamboo or cork flooring is the cherry on top.’

But, says Ramaisa, colour is ultimately personal. ‘The heart wants what the heart wants! You would be surprised at some colour combinations that may sound crazy but look amazing once paired together.’

And she agrees with Marie Kondo on the uncluttering ethos: ‘Always try to create a space that isn’t cluttered so that all the elements within your space can have some room to shine on their own.’.

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