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My Colour Story: Using Bold Complementary Colours to Transform a 1940's Home

We love hearing how you’ve created your dream homes, and we’re always up for sharing the shades that helped! So when Nicky Rampley-Clarke and his husband John kindly offered to share their story with us as they embarked on an exciting (but daunting) move from the city life of London, to the quiet countryside in Surrey, we jumped at the chance to have a nosy around their home. Spoiler alert: we love how they’ve expertly chosen bold complementary colours that give their interior a modern edge. 


Dulux sapphire salute a place to call home and work

A place to call home and work

Nicky and John bravely made the move in April 2020, mid-lockdown. As they’d be spending more time than ever at home, it really was more important than ever to get their living space exactly how they wanted it.

“We knew we were up for a challenge after transforming our terraced house in Tooting,” says Nicky. “But we were also nervous about moving out of the city - we’re young, and we love socialising and entertaining our friends and family, so we wanted to make the house feel youthful and bold.”

“We knew the house had potential, but it needed a creative overhaul. Initially we had planned to start on the bedrooms, but when we realised we would be working from home, the downstairs living areas became our priority”.

Calming colours for concentration

Starting in what would become a home office, Nicky wanted a calming colour that would help him concentrate, but still feel stylish and homely. People are looking for home office ideas now more than ever. If you are too, we’ve got some top tips for creating a great working from home zone, here.

The colour combinations Nicky chose for his home office were Sapphire Salute in a silk finish for the walls and Timeless for the woodwork.

“I love walking in there now - it’s bold but sleek, and it’s become a little oasis.”

Home office style 

The Home office ideas actually came from some of the couple’s favourite TV shows.

“The home bar set up in the office is pure Mad Men, stocked with crystal decanters our parents collected over the years,” says Nicky. 

Dulux sapphire salute home office style

They also loved Greenleaf (if you haven’t seen it, it’s a Netflix series about a wealthy family from Memphis, Tennessee) and took a few cues from the amazing mansion the family lives in.

“In particular, we chose really dark, high-polished wooden floors, which add a strength of character to the house that was a bit lacking before. A few of our friends tried to change our minds, but now they can see our vision really works.”

We think their interior design ideas have shaped up pretty nicely so far!

Choosing complementary colours

Nicky and John wanted to make sure that the house was youthful and vibrant.

“We wanted to live in the country, but not necessarily in a house that screamed it,” says John.

“The original structure was built in the 1940s, and then the previous owners extended substantially about 10 years ago, so the house didn’t have anything in the way of period features.”

The couple decided that alternating bold colours with gentler hues would help give it that stamp of personality they wanted. 

“The colours layer together really beautifully, from the punchy Copper Blush of the gym to First Dawn in the lounge, and then Sapphire Salute in the office,” says Nicky. 

Dulux copper blush hallway

“We’ve also added little accents of those colours elsewhere in prints and pictures, so the whole ground floor really comes together, despite some of the colours being quite bold.”

A heavenly hallway 

We love the colour combinations Nicky and John chose for their hallway. Sometimes it can be difficult to create something stylish in the hallway, but we have some simple hallway colour ideas to help really bring yours to life, right here.

Nicky and John wanted visitors to feel at ease as soon as they walked in, so chose Natural Slate for the front door. They picked Blush Pink for the hallway and added wood panelling in Timeless to bring character and draw the eye through the house. These created the starting point for their other colour combinations. 

Dulux hallway open blush pink

“I made a floorplan and added colour swatches to different rooms. That helped us work out the balance of delicate and bolder shades, which really add to the house’s sense of personality,” says Nicky.

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