I believe that every person has their own colour palette. Whether they’re aware of it or not, people are naturally drawn to the same objects, colours & textures over and over again. Understanding your unique palette is the perfect cue for design direction in any interior project.
I have developed this tried & tested theory over the past 15 years and encourage you to follow the next steps…
Collecting & Where to Begin
1. Collect 15- 20 objects that you love and surround yourself with and put them in a shoebox. It’s important that these are objects that you’re familiar with, (don’t purchase anything new solely for this exercise.) It could be something you wear all the time, an invitation you have saved, a cocktail ring or a cherished piece of jewellery, an heirloom, a photograph or even your favourite piece of art – anything brimming with nostalgia. It is important that it fits into the shoebox. If an object is larger – take a photo of it and place the image in.
2. Lay out all the shoebox items onto a clean table once the collection is complete. You will notice you have chosen things that have similarities – it might be a colour or hue that you’re drawn to, a repeat pattern that you’ve bought in different forms or even just a patina. Move and play around with the objects – edit out things that feel like they don’t quite fit. In doing this you will discover things that don’t need to be part of the design scheme (just yet.)
3. Edit your objects down to 10 things and colour-match them to paint chips. Not all of the paint chips have to be of the same finish, in fact, it’s best if they’re not. They may consist of a variety of metallic, satin or textured finishes – as some of these colours will translate into more than just paints. A marble finish, a woven object, a texture, an upholstered finish etc. I like to stick them down to a page and lay the colours out in a cohesive colour-matched order to visualise them best.
4. It is important that once you’ve made your palette, the objects return to where you found them. Now you can take your palette out and about with you. Write a list of things you need or desire and record the nooks and crannies of your house in a notebook, alongside your palette. This takes the pressure out of manically looking for objects on specific days and leaves you open to suggestions. Years of shopping wisdom have taught me that your perfect piece does eventually turn up, sometimes in the most unexpected of places.
I’ll be using one of my paint ranges; Atelier, as an example of this process. Inspired by Paris in the 1920s, I gathered objects that I imagined could be of that time. Scallop shells, artist ink, an old bakelite, belt buckles, milliner flowers, beads, wax seals and ribbons amongst other things. All of these objects produced very warm tones and I could see how my storytelling was being revealed. I imagine this period in time as quite decorative – objects found at the bottom of handbags, beaded flapper dresses and lavish parties…
Take your Time
When curating your palette, keep in mind that not all of these colours will be used in one room. Combinations of your COLOURBOX will be used throughout the entire house, whether it’s the exterior house paint scheme, the colour of your rendered walls & stone choices or the accent colours of your soft furnishings. It is a good guide for layering your space, you can refer back and find new inspiration – so that your design is never static. Whichever way you use your COLOURBOX it ensures a solid guideline throughout your interior project. And keep in mind that it is not simply about paint colours, but about the patina, textiles, natural materials and objects that are laced throughout your home.
The rooms in a home should be forever changing and evolve to suit your family, lifestyle and current aesthetical tangents. My advice is it will not be finished overnight, as it takes some thought and curiosity to find all the right pieces and finishes to create your space.
More examples of a COLOURBOX
& Objects you can include
Tales of a Sea Gypsy
Tender is the Night
Of all the dimensions available to look at in the world, colour is one of the most captivating. In my role as a designer, a 10-colour palette has evolved as the best starting point for designing a space. These 10-colour-palettes that I have turned into paints with the help of Murobond, have all been inspired by my travels and the stories & tales I discovered and imagined along the way.
By Sibella Court
THE SOCIETY INC.