Before the rise of Instagram and influencers, most of our colour choices were led by fashion catwalks and colour forecasters. Now, paint and colour system companies are competing to help interior designers and home wares companies alike focus their colour thoughts. In 2020 for instance, the Pantone Matching System (used by many industries including printing and manufacturing, graphic design and fashion) chose Classic Blue, Dulux have opted for Tranquil Dawn, a pale mossy green, Benjamin Moore’s pick is First Light, a soft pink and even wallpaper makers Graham & Brown have got into the act declaring rich green Adeline to be the shade to use.
Two women who know how much colour can influence our interiors decisions are Jackie Piper and Victoria Whitbread. The design team behind the hugely successful original launch in 2007 of Pantone homewares – we’ve all seen the distinctive mugs based on the Pantone colour process – they started British Colour Standard in 2015.
A random find in an Oxfam shop started the duo on their new colour adventure when they chanced upon an old British Colour Standard dictionary. Derived from a colour system created in the 1930s, it used dyed strips of wool and ribbon to specify and standardise the colour of a huge number of products across the British Commonwealth, from military uniforms to post boxes. It had fallen out of use after the Second World War mainly because it was not needed following the advent of digital colour. Piper and Whitbread put samples from the original colour dictionaries through modern colour readers to create a digital profile for hundreds of hues that had originally been created and catalogued in the 1930s. Now the company produces a number of home ware products and paints based on shades from the original collections.
As a specialist in hand painted kitchens, Harvey Jones is just as obsessed with colour. Our kitchens, hand built in British workshops are primed with two coats before being expertly fitted and then hand painted in situ in whatever shade you choose, to ensure you get exactly the colour you want for your new kitchen. Of course, the added joy of a hand painted kitchen is that if you fall out of love with the colour, you can choose a new one and have it repainted, meaning your kitchen will never be out of fashion.