Sweet and Sour


Colour Guide
Moody, rich

Colour Scheme
Mature, cosy, textural, luxurious, sophisticated

Key Textures
Silk, wood grain, linen, fine wool, glass, lacquer, fine cloth wallpaper


There’s as many images of interiors floating around on the internet as there are hairs on my head (and apparently if the oracle, Goggle, is correct, as a brunette I have roughly 110,000!). I’m sure there’s more than that…my point is, I don’t want to deconstruct just any old image, I want images that on an interior design level have the three E’s – exciting, enticing and eclectic. Yes, there are loads of these around, but to find an image of an interior that features all of these and also shows colour being used in an interesting way is much, much harder. So, having said this, the image that caught my eye only has one of the three E’s – enticing – and purely comes down to it’s colour palette. But that’s not to say that it doesn’t cover all the criteria for an exciting home for somebody else.

This interior does not rock my world but looking beyond the furnishings I can see an interesting colour palette. Don’t get me wrong, I can see the money spent but that doesn’t automatically mean it will contain the three E’s.

If you cover the bottom half of this image its a quite traditional interior using materials like rosewood, silk and Murano glass. Then add the acidy coloured sofa, French blue cushions and patterned sari and together they stop the room becoming too predictable, bland and arh…boring!

If you wanted to push the scheme a bit further I would add another accent colour like saffron. The different layers of blue inject some youth and freshness.

If the ceiling had been painted white it would have stuck out a mile, hence why a slightly off-white has been used. The ceiling colour, with its hint of black, gently connects all the other colours that surrounds it – the blind, curtain and wall finish. It equals 20% of the overall room.

My guess is the wall is actually a textured wallpaper. By not being a flat colour it adds depth but again it’s a cautious and mature choice. The nondescript colour lends itself more to being a backdrop for the rest of the colours to run around. This greyish tone totals 20%.

Not that I want to harp on about how the foundations of this room are traditional but I’m not surprised to see carpet as the chosen floor covering. The texture of the 18% pale grey carpet adds warmth to the space, and like the walls, is a good base for the other colours to dance on.

The windows are tall and the length of the sea green silk curtains accentuates this even further. With matching cushions on the sofa it brings the colour back down to earth and all together they total 9% of the colour scheme.

9% brown appears in the folding roman blinds (my favoured style of blind). Tonally it is the same colour as the wall and this allows the curtains to standout.

Don’t forget to include the colour of your wood furnishings in the overall scheme. When you have a piece as large as this shelf unit you can see how it can influence the colour palette. Apart from colour there is also another element at work, the grain of the timber itself. As this timber shows, you need to be aware of the size of grain as it can be used as a feature and add further texture to a scheme. The 9% rosewood shelving unit, with its linear shelves, plays with the illusion of elongating the room and distracts the eye from looking upward.

Now to the lime sofa – chunky, angular with its quilted seat cushion. It’s the piece that pushes the room away from being bourgeois. The 8% of lime injected into the room brightens the space. There is also the lime coloured vase on the shelving unit that is framed nicely by the dark wood, it also adds some interest to the back wall. The other lime vase on the ottoman I actually don’t think is necessary, a clear glass vase would work just as well.

The hue of the ottoman verges between the blue and mauve tones and equals 3% of the overall scheme.

The 2% bright blue silk pleated lampshade together with the sari gives the colour palette the kick in the pants it needs. It also appears in the glossy oblong tray that rests on the circular ottoman.

Adding further depth to the scheme is the 1% French blue used for the rectangular cushion and gorgeous hydrangeas.

The sunlight streaming through the window makes the 1% of gold in glass chandelier sparkle. Again, it’s in the same tonally range as the wall, curtain and blind.


TIP: Circular tables are more inviting and welcoming than their angular counterparts. They open access to seating and allow ease of movement around a room.

TIP: There are so many different timbers, both in colour and type, and you can either choose to feature or have them blend in the scheme.


*The colour on screen is not a true representation of actual colour