We share a universal desire to connect with all that’s green. We strive to be surrounded with the beauty and invigorating essence of fresh air, clear running water and lush botanicals. It’s no surprise that the riot of colours and intricate patterns viewed in our natural environment are copied in all the decorative arts. Bringing the outdoors in has always been a source of pleasure that repeats over generations.
In the bookazine titled The Colourist, The Art of Colourful Living, which is artist, colour and paint expert and author Annie Sloan’s newest venture, she offers helpful tips on how to decorate with bold botanicals. If you are in the mood to envelop a room with leafy splendour, here are Sloan’s guidelines for getting the most from nature’s paint box.
Green botanical prints, patterns and plants always sit well in a scheme with pink colours. Red (and by extension pink) and green are complementary colours. Use similar depths of colour for optimum results — emerald green alongside fuchsia or pale turquoise green with pastel pink.
You can use several different botanical patterns or colours in the same scheme as long as there are plain elements separating the theme. Also, choose prints with varying scales so the patterns don’t compete with each other. Go bold, make a statement with exuberant print wallpaper on a wall or a carpet of florals covering the floor.
For maximum impact, keep the rest of the room neutral. Shown here, Sloan illustrates that the same elegant palm-patterned wallpaper has been used in adjacent rooms but in contrasting colourways. The breezy Palm Leaves Icons wallpaper is from Cole & Son.
You can always experiment with large-scale wallpaper and fabric in a small room such as a cloakroom or guest bathroom, or cover a bed or the headboard. Put up a shelf and line it with a few sculptural houseplants. Don’t shy away from artificial plants. You may not have the time or available light to care for live greenery, however, today’s quality faux plants large and small look and feel surprisingly real. For an ultra-cool look, seek out botanical fabrics, wallpapers and accessories with dark backgrounds that make the tropical leaf patterns pop.
Bold botanicals always look fabulous when used with touches of metallic finishes. Gold and brass work well with green. A few elements with these finishes can give a room a glamorous feel. Think of gold trim on chair and sofa edges and legs. Whether plain or carved, the details come alive with metallic paint or leaf. Metallic details on a book shelf or chandelier add sparkle and luster.
The Colourist overflows with brilliant photography as Sloan unveils a wondrous variety of inspiring homes, artists and designers, places to visit and inspiring ideas rooted in her enthusiastic love for creativity and the magic of colour. In this first issue, Sloan sets the mood with one of her favourite colour combinations. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Antibes Green, Scandinavian Pink and Antoinette. There are six step-by-step projects included with guidelines on how best to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Chalk Paint Waxes, and brushes.