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Choosing Grey & Neutral Paint Made Easy

This post is intended to be a SERIOUSLY useful resource for anyone currently uming and ahing over paint colours. There’s no way around it, choosing paint is a total nightmare and can end up costing you an absolute fortune. I have frequently spent the cost of five litres of paint in samples, tearing my hair out to find the right shade.

So I’m spilling the beans on the tried and (endlessly) tested grey and neutral favourites that myself and all my stylist and interior pals go back to again and again.

These six paints below, top my list for the best neutral and pale grey colours. Ever…well at least until Bert & May relase a new shade ;). Nearly every stylist I know is currently having a major love in with Bert & May, a specialist supplier of handmade artisan tiles, wooden floor boards, taps, ceramics, you name it, they’ve got it. And they have the most amazing selection of natural pigment paint colours.

My Top Tips:

Even though I’ve picked out the best six grey/neutral shades, ideally you’ll still need to test them. If you have time, when choosing a colour, paint a large piece of paper about A2 size and masking tape it to the wall often folding around a corner so that you can see what it looks like in the light and shade.  You can do several pieces in various parts of the room and then the main thing is not to be too hasty. Try if at all possible to sit with it for a few days to see how the colour changes at different times in the day.

Pick a gorgeous chalky, matt finish (another stylist’s obsession since they photograph really nicely) over a high gloss. Matt paint helps to enhance the beatiful tones in your paint as the light changes throughout the day.

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  1. Farrow & Ball ‘Strong White’
  2. Farrow & Ball ‘Ammonite’
  3. Bert & May ‘Salix’
  4. Bert & May ‘Almond Butter’
  5. Paint And Paper Library ‘Slate II
  6. Fired Earth ‘Malm’

Main Image by Emma Lee styled by me for Fired Earth.

 


Is It Just Me Or Is Pale Pink The Best Colour Ever?

I have an entire Pinterest board devoted to pink. We’re not talking Katie Price’s Range Rover here. We’re talking palest nude blush is it pink or not? pink. If you’re scared of colour it goes brilliantly with grey and neutrals. It just adds another layer and interest to a room. So what to consider when you’re as obsessed as I am…

When you’re choosing pink accessories it’s great to think about adding texture like velvet, linen, and silk taffeta curtains a la Rose Uniacke‘s house – damn that woman’s stylish.

If you want to do ‘cool’ pink just add a poured concrete floor… as you do. The idea is that the softness of the pink if offset by a tough surface. The same applies with fixtures and fittings or accessories.  There’s been a lot of pale pink and copper in that department but my personal favourite is when it’s pared with un-lacquered brass.

Super, super chic points come when you team pink with navy (even if I do say so myself!). I have a navy armchair and a dirty pink Kristin Hecktermann cushion in the sitting room. It’s a much-admired combination.

If you don’t want to commit to the pink thing but fancy experiencing the vibe, head to Sketch for tea (remortgage before you go) or to Spring Restaurant. Both are a total treat. Note that in Sketch they have even painted the ceiling pink – a neat interior trick. It creates a full, luxurious looking space and doesn’t jolt the senses with a sharp colour change.

Below are a selection of my favourite pink things right now.  It is a total understatement to say I am ‘currently obsessed’ with artist Caroline Popham’s paper sculptures.  Great news is that she’s having not one but two exhibitions in London this month.  Check out the details here if you fancy going.

Photo above courtesy of Lean Timms

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Photo: Emma Lee.  Styled by me.

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  1. Cooee Dusty Pink Ball Vase
  2. The Conran Shop Linen Waffle Towel
  3. LinenMe Stone Washed Pink Napkin
  4. Caroline Popham Paper Sculpture
  5. Tine K Home Blush Corduroy Cushion
  6. Soendergaard Eve Tableware

 


Get A Look At These Loafers!

Just Shopped is quite literally what the postman has just dropped through my door. It’s a snoop into what’s been filling up my shopping basket of late.  Today there’s a bit of #FashChat (FashChat being an endless WhatsApp stream between me and an equally shopping mad friend where we share our latest finds).

I have recently acquired these Mango loafers. They’re soft, comfy, and expensive looking but a very wallet friendly £59.99. I’m styling them with scruffy jeans for a bit of a dress up, dress down vibe.  I’ve had so many comments about them, most cherished is from super stylist pal Sarah Clark of Little Spree who spied them on our recent shoot in Tuscany.

Mango Appliqué Leather Loafers

 

 


Pentreath & Hall

If you’re looking for a one-stop destination to snag an unusual and beautiful gift then Pentreath & Hall is the place. The shop is a creative collaboration of dreams between architect and interior designer Ben Pentreath and Birdie Hall, a decorative artist and maker. If you can’t get to their exquisite Rugby Street shop then all is not lost. Much of it is available online.

I’ve picked out my favourite pieces that I am adding to my own shopping wish list.

(As you can see I’m a bit over excited about the alphabet brush pots).

  1. Bridie Hall Alphabet Brush Pots
  2. A5 Bookcloth Boxfiles
  3. John Derian Painter’s Handbook Tray
  4. John Derian Sparrow Postcard
  5. Astier De Villatte Tricolore Tea Cup
  6. Bridie Hall Candle

How To Choose Kids Bedding

When it comes to shopping for children’s bedding for me there’s one golden rule – don’t buy that matching set. Step away from the cartoon character duvet and pillows. I’m personally not a fan of a room with a really obvious theme and matchy-matchy e-v-e-r-y-thing.

Instead, it’s all about the mix of print and pattern. You can experiment with florals, checks, spots, paisleys (you name it) but on the whole for it to work it’s best to keep the print small scale.

Getting this look right means looking a little further afield than the usual high street offering. Have a browse of Camomile London, Lab Boutique, Cyrillus, La Redoute and Zara Home.

Another thing to consider when picking out bedding is to challenge yourself to think beyond the usual kids colours (you know the drill bright blue for boys and baby pink for girls).

If you’re going pink try a muted shade and if you’re after blue go for petrol or slate. If you’re feeling adventurous, I love a flash of unexpected pea green or mustard.

The final word on bedding is this – if it’s from Liberty hit the BUY button immediately. Their prints are a never ending source of pleasure and soon your little ones won’t like it so get in there while you can and then save it for the grandchildren.

Imagine how much your daughter will love you when you wheel out the vintage Liberty – hello grandma of dreams!

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  1. Zara Home Gingham Flannel Bedding
  2. Lab Nude Linen Duvet Cover
  3. Liberty Duvet Set
  4. Camomile London Floral Duvet Cover
  5. Le Petit Lucas Du Tertre Elephant Blanket
  6. Cyrillus Cornflower Pillowcase