A Move to the Light Side

There’s a change a-comin’. I can feel it. Where darkness led before, now light is breaking through and I sure am ready for a new dawn! 

It’s always strange when you can feel a trend coming to an end and right now I can feel our love affair with dark walls, fabrics and furnishings beginning to wane. Whether it’s graphic design work, art, fashion or interiors, every website, instagram post, coffee table book and interiors design blog is sporting a crisper look more indicative of starched white shirts than it is our favourite worn-in black jeans. When it comes to interiors, there is a revolution of paintbrushes transforming previously dark spaces to fresh bright rooms and it all feels very uplifting and bright.

What’s especially fascinating about this aesthetic change of heart is how quickly it’s happened. A insider told me that in 2015, Hicks Blue was the biggest seller for Little Greene Paint Company yet all the featured colours for 2016 have been light and fresh with the biggest surprise being Benjamin Moore Paints announcing that Simply White was their colour of the year for 2016. White a colour?! Brain-melt! 

Beautiful white dining room by Hilary J White Interior Design and photographed by Simon Maxwell (left) and Gabriella Palumbo of Flat 15 has a bold yet bright living room as featured on Design Sponge (right) 

But I must admit, I am really delighted with this turn to light. (Cue second brain-melt!!) While I love using colour and often balance bold shades in my designs with white accents, I find I’m longing for the architecture quality that white brings and then play, play, play with colour and pattern in the rest of the scheme. White is perfect for simple Scandinavian looks, full of stark walls, light woods and sleek finishes like the below image by Hilary J White. White is also fantastic for pushing other colours forward as a back-drop for more adventurous patterned textiles and furniture. This is executed especially well by Gabriella Palumbo of Flat 15 with the blue chair taking centre-stage in all that white space and looked over by a white image of Marilyn. 

In other colour trends, Pantone went with the calming fresh combination of Rose Quartz and Serenity this year and Dulux changed from last year’s pinky Rose Blush to Cherished Gold, which reflects all the brass and gold that we’re seeing in modern design schemes. Can you work all these colours together in a single interior look? I think you can and I’m sure we’ll see lots of mixing and matching ahead. 

The combination of white, pastel pink, blue and gold makes me feel like I’m walking into an exquisite Francois Boucher painting, which is right up my street. Below you can see this lovely combination bright to life in some Jessica Zoob curtains, cushions and an antique metal hat box. Isn’t it delightful!  

Francois Boucher's delightful colour palette in Pastoral Scene and a similar colour scheme in a Tunbridge Wells home renovation done by Smartstyle Interiors and photographed by David Merewhether

Lighter, brighter interiors are now filtering in to magazines, are getting extra love on Pinterest and are frequently being requested by Smartstyle clients. This seems to be where the late end of the decade is going to take us and I’m really delighted to be working with this new lighter look. It’s like walking in to spring after a long dark winter. 

Thank you so much to Hilary J White Interiors, Simon Maxwell and Gabriella Palumbo from Flat 15 for allowing us to share their beautiful photographs and designs.

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