For anyone contemplating a new colour scheme to brighten up their gaff this coming spring, the experts are already predicting what will be big in 2020, writes Carol O’Callaghan
We’re awash with colour for the last few years, a symptom of recession, we’re told. Apparently, we go all brilliant white and minimalist in boom times, and revert to colour and cosiness during economic austerity.
Right now, colour continues to reign supreme, with certain shades and hues set to trend in the coming year. According to Ger Cooney, interior designer and colour consultant at Colourtrend, people are trying their hand at particular neutrals in addition to the deeper, dramatic shades.
“Beiges and more muted blush tones and browner tones are in, especially orange for 2020. 2019 saw more dramatic colours like rich and striking botanical green and navies, and people being more adventurous generally.”
Yet there are plenty of us who are nervous about taking the plunge and slathering something deep and interesting onto our walls. If you’re anything like me, cushions and throws are my one and only nod to colour in my otherwise neutral surroundings.
“If you’re not sure, a feature wall is still very popular and a good way to inject striking colour. The navy trend in 2019 will continue into 2020; the same with teal and petrol if you don’t want green. It was a divisive colour this year,” says Ger.
What about grey, which has almost become a perennial favourite, you might ask?
“Grey has been around for years,” Ger adds. “It’s versatile, a classic neutral, but it’s much more about muted tones now.”
For Ger, a place where colour, and dark shades at that, ought to be used is the smaller room with a north-facing aspect. “Putting colour on the ceiling can create a cosy cavern. I would say to embrace the lack of light.”
Still unsure about taking the plunge into darkest navy or even the newly re-emerging orange and terracottas?
“Use colour in accessories, something you’ve always liked,” he say. “They can be refreshed at any time. You can also paint furniture like lockers in a bedroom, wardrobes and kitchen units. They’re a good way of injecting colour and can be easily changed.” Ger says, “think about your big-ticket items first, like floors and furniture. These are expensive and you don’t want to make a mistake. Colour on walls can be changed very easily if you change your mind.”
Another interior designer with a speciality in colour matters is Patricia Wakeley, who also represents paint company Fleetwood as a colour consultant. She too is seeing a shift away from light greys.
“We’re seeing warmer whites and lighter neutrals overall, especially greige which is a combination of beige and grey. These suit our light here in Ireland. There’s definitely a shift towards more natural colours, even in wallpaper which is still a huge trend.”
For an alternative approach, and one which doesn’t involve committing to colour on walls and ceilings, Patricia suggests using it where no one would expect.
“Try it on wainscoting and skirtings, or use an all-over colour in something like a downstairs cloakroom.”
For the bravehearted, she also suggests the novel idea of using mismatching colours, although this might sound a bit tricky without some direction, especially for a home decorator who is a little shy in the colour department.
“I’d advise going for pale pink with green, or a duck egg with a greenish-gold, or corals with chartreuse,” she suggests.
“They can look really stunning. For small spaces, think about the light coming into the room. With south facing there’s more choice with colour because of the quality of the light. With north-facing (spaces), colours become blue. Bear in mind there’s no magic paint to make a room look larger, so give it personality with some drama and layer on the lighting and mirrors. Use your own personality as a guide, not trends.”
Patricia says: “If you have a colour in mind, use a tester pot as the colour will change given the time of day and time of year. What you see on a colour card is only the size of a postage stamp and can look different when painted on a larger wall.
“Don’t paint a tester pot on a pre-prepared wall, or on something white. Put it on a card or the back of a piece of wallpaper which isn’t bright white so you get an accurate feel. Take it with you when you go shopping for accessories.”