Colour is simply visible wavelengths of light, so the quality of light in which a colour is seen affects it more than anything else. In the winter months, we rely on artificial lighting more than ever, so it’s important to know which colours work best in each room, and how they interact with your lighting. Our creative director, Marianne Shillingford, shares her words of wisdom for getting colour and light right this season.
“Bedrooms need the lowest levels of artificial lighting, and it’s here that the dark works in our favour for restful nights. Dusky shades like Denim Drift, Heart Wood and Warm Pewter are soft and gentle, turning down the visual noise, while a deep, rich blue like Sapphire Salute creates the effect of a summer night.”
“The kitchen should be a visual feast in winter, when meals often take place when it’s dark outside. Overhead and LED lighting make cool, pale shades look washedout, so intensify the palette with hues such as Pepper Red, Caramel Latte and Soft Truffle. Think rich, warm and spicy.”
“Lighting in a living room should be designed for rest and relaxation. Ditch overhead lights for layered floor and table lamps, together with the glow of firelight and the twinkle of fairy lights. Colours for the walls should be inspired by a combo of your own winter wardrobe and Mother Nature – cosy, mellow and warming – such as Spiced Honey, Natural Hessian and Soft Truffle, to cocoon and comfort.”
“Keeping concentration levels up when the days are short requires lighting and colours that focus the mind and revitalise, without being overpowering. Replace lightbulbs with ones that mimic natural daylight, and choose refreshing shades inspired by nature, like Lavender Quartz, Willow Tree and First Dawn. These will help you connect with the outdoors, making for healthier, happier working.”
“Focus is key in a home office. Consider zoning the work area, and add a desk lamp to boost your concentration”
“When it’s cold outside, it’s good to make it look and feel warm inside – particularly in the smallest rooms we use every day. Bathrooms suffer most from the winter blues if the colours and lighting are too harsh, so try softer downlights and muted shades like Rock Salt, Mellow Mocha and Egyptian Cotton on the walls and ceiling, with bright pops of colour in accessories. Deeper, richer shades, such as Warm Pewter and Heart Wood, create more grown-up, intimate spaces – perfect for the chillier months when a Nordic plunge pool is not your idea of bathtime relaxation!”
How to Use Testers
Start by painting two coats of your chosen colours onto A4 pieces of paper (don’t forget to write corresponding names on them!). Move the testers around your room and check on them at intervals during the day, to see how the colours look in different lights.