An award-winning French farmhouse restoration
Perhaps the most inspiring feature of Heather Depuis’s French farmhouse is the confident colour choices, where lavender, green, yellow and pink shades have been used to stunning effect. ‘Having travelled extensively in France, I am particularly influenced by Provençal style,’ she explains. ‘I love the colours and fragrances of that particular area and have recreated my own interpretations of those here in Brittany.’
The living room is testament to that ethic. Walking through the space is like imbibing a natural mood enhancer, with its rose pink walls and sheer, lime green window dressings. ‘Colour is so important. In my experience, if you go too pale with your colour choices, the room feels like it has no boundaries. Depth of tone adds strength and personality to a room.’
Colourful Grade II-listed Devon farmhouse
This six-bedroom house in the South Hams area of Devon, home of Christie and Peter Gavin, is Grade II listed, with older sections dating back to 1602. When the Gavins bought the property it was in good condition, but they still wanted to put their mark on it.
They chose a bold colour scheme, pairing bright walls with vibrant textiles, patterned rugs and an eclectic collection of artwork. The colours and textures work perfectly – if not unexpectedly – to complement the period property’s rustic features, including exposed beams, original floorboards and natural stone tiles, adding an injection of colourful personality.
A grand townhouse
The decorative starting point for Barry Manor’s Regency townhouse was two colourful rugs, one Turkan and one Persian. It is from these intricate patterns and deep shades that the house gets its moody and masculine, yet striking colour palette.
Dark blue walls offset furniture upholstered in vibrant textiles, with brightly coloured cushions and luxurious gilt mirrors and frames punctuating each room. In the kitchen, the brave red and cream tartan wallpaper adds a colourful and humorous twist to an otherwise country aesthetic.
Colourful Mid-century home filled with pattern
Fabrics, bold colours and surface pattern feature heavily in Julia Grant’s charming Victorian house in Chichester. Exposed brickwork and a neutral background create a rustic canvas against which zesty colour schemes and Mid-century furniture are the focus.
The use of pattern in this house is particularly striking. Although used generously, the patterned wallpaper and soft furnishings never become garish or overwhelming. The patterns perfectly match the style of the house and, combined with the sympathetic approach to original features, result in a quirky mix of periods and styles.
A Georgian home filled with colour and antiques
Graham Fanning, owner of this Grade-II listed Georgian house in Wales, is a great believer that colour can lift the mood of a room. His paint schemes are impactful and unique. Rather than picking up the most stylish neutral shade from a DIY warehouse, he quite literally took a DIY approach to his paint. Picking up discarded paint cans at the tip, Graham would mix his own paints, making a coral more orange, or adding some mint to his blues. If there ever was an artistic approach to decorating a house, Graham embraced it.
Another layer of colour is injected into the house with Graham’s collection of antiques, paintings and furniture. Each piece adds an additional drop of texture and personality and creates a wonderfully classic, but creative scheme.
A traditional Welsh cottage
When it came to decorating this traditional Welsh cottage, owners Mitzi and Mike Horwood went to the Welsh National Museum in Cardiff for inspiration.
‘I wanted our home to look like an old Welsh cottage and a lot of them had wallpaper,’ Mitzi says. She worked on a general theme of three autumnal colours, which she ‘weaves through the house so that it blends together,’ with pattern from wall coverings and her Welsh blankets and quilts.
The house is filled with traditional floral prints, tartans and patterns that would have been popular when the cottage was built in the 1840s. The simple dark, wooden furniture stands out against the vibrant prints and rich colours, creating a rustic, traditional look that is true to the period of the home.
Restoring a thatched cottage
After restoring this 18th century thatched cottage in Ireland, Sonja and Kevin Bergen chose a colour palette that, not only reflected their personalities, but also reflected their travels around the world. The colours chosen, oranges, yellows and vibrant blues, are distinctly Mediterranean in theme and give the house a constant feeling of summer.
During the restoration, Kevin whitewashed any exposed stonework and cleaned up the woodwork, creating a blank canvas for their chosen colours. The result is a rustic, welcoming and comfortable home.
A Regency villa restored from bedsits
Colour was the most important aspect of the decorating scheme in Gavin Waddell’s Grade II-listed Regency style villa. He sympathetically chose colours that were typical of the Regency style that the house was built in. Most significantly, the drawing room is in yellow that is, historically, the preferred colour. In a modern scheme, such a bold yellow would be considered brave, but to Gavin, it was the only option.
The house is filled with a mix of covetable antiques, ornate Oriental objects and sometimes daring but beautiful pattern set against bold brushstrokes of colour. Each room has instant impact, but the more you look at each room, the more you see. ‘It is like a form of abstract painting, and it takes time,’ Gavin says of the art of display.
Colourful Victorian Villa
Bright pink can often stand out as garish – certainly not a colour that you would associate with a luxurious mid 19th century Victorian villa on the south coast. The paint scheme in this home, however, is modern, eclectic and makes a striking impression. Original Victorian floorboards have been uncovered, sanded down and stained black, creating a deep contrast with the bold colour palette.
The furniture is either upholstered in bright contrasting fabrics, or covered with patterned throws and cushions. Each room has a fresh injection of colour, from the sunshine yellow dining chairs in the kitchen, to the jewel toned Moroccan style throws in the bedroom.