Finding balance

A self-admitted lover of all things neutral, features editor Karien Slabbert takes a walk on the wild side and discovers that pops of colour can lift one’s mood

Our fast-paced, modern-day lifestyles leave us sensory overloaded. After a long day at the office and navigating traffic we need a place to reload, reboot and get rid of all the mental clutter. For me this place should be a cool, calming space filled with muted colours.

I am a ‘monochromist’ at heart. A monochrome palette doesn’t leave room for clichés. Its beauty lies in its simplicity, and if form follows function is applied to colour, one could say that the modern-day muted palette has evolved to create a calm repose for our senses.

This makes me happy

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This scares me

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Neutrals – slate, charcoal, pewter, chalk, frothy milk (maybe toned-down caramel if we’re feeling particularly risqué) – have become my go-to colour palette. On the flipside of the spectrum? Lively, energetic colour in all its glory.

After someone recently noted that my home is devoid of colour and looked sterile, I decided to do away with my normcon design idiosyncrasies for a few minutes and have a look at 2015’s colour forecasts.

Strikingly, 2015 colour trends have an artistic flair. Palettes are well-crafted and well thought out rather than colour for colour’s sake. There’s a shift away from the soft pastels we’ve been seeing all year – colours are richer, more painterly.

Here are a few colour highlights:

Pantone’s View Home Interior trends for 2015 show that old rigid colour rules have been replaced by more creative guidelines. One of the most striking combos is Serendipity, which sees an unlikely combination of hues that seem to clash and work together at the same time. ‘Scarlet Sage’, ‘Eggshell Blue’, ‘Tiger’s Eye’ and ‘Bright Chartreuse’? Yes, please. Add a neutral wall as background and you have a calming, yet invigorating combo.

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Plascon’s Colour Forecast 2015, Vivid Expression, sees the same unexpected colour palette. ‘French Marigold’, ‘Lady in Red’ and ‘Mystic Tulip’ might seem like a crude combination, but mixed with ‘Off Shore’, it presents a calm yet invigorating repose. It’s all about timing.

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Colour bleed – a new spin on one-colour ombré has become increasingly fashionable. I think we’re going to see a lot of multi-colour washes, where various colours flow into each other like watercolour paintings splashing out on the local decor scene.

I must admit, I prefer soft, washed-out pastels to popping colours, which is why Plascon’s Urban Glow colour palette is a breath of fresh air.

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Speaking of watercolours, one of my favourite looks for 2015 is Watercolour Finishes, like this combo of ‘Dried Lead’ and ‘Caribbean Current’, both from Plascon.

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To me, this presents the ultimate reboot space. The wall finish makes you want to lie down and dream of ocean colourscapes. Bondi blue in your bedroom, but anchored by a neutral hue.

Maybe these candy-coloured shades are a bit too much to stomach and you might prefer to retreat to a neutral cocoon; one underpinned by raw materials and a white shell. Be daring and add just a dab of ‘Spring Crocus’, ‘Magenta’ or ‘Mystic Tulip’ to your colour mix. You might just feel surprisingly rejuvenated. I have.

Serene, with an edge


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While we yearn for calm, muted spaces to recharge, we also yearn for spaces that enliven us. I say, why not get the best of both?