In this GRIM weather, it is all too easy to consider moody schemes and sombre tones for that New Year redecorating project. And that’s not a bad thing. Our animal nature compels the need for us to feel cocooned and safe. Darker tones do this for me, but they can also absorb the light, making you feel like you are in a Caravaggio painting, which could be a little depressing, love him as I do. So I have composed a scheme that dispels any fear of using dark tones for large surface areas, by the use of three essential factors. Don’t think you can’t paint dark walls because it will be depressing in summer. Wrong.

You might want to add to the below a massive bunch of flowers but either way the scheme is not just for the dark, winter months.


Get the textures flowing! These create visual interest as your eyes are constantly alert and taking in heaps of information. Textures create character in a room, and we all want bucket loads of that. From glass to leather, paper to different timbers, this is easy and inexpensive to do. Our homes are brimming with gorgeous textures. Don’t forget to mix up the fabric textures too…linens, cottons velvets. Yum.

Natural Forms

A theory I have is that by including forms from nature in schemes, we are made to feel more at ease. Perhaps because we identify with them, animals as we are. Look for foliage, animals and birds as patterns on fabrics. And then contrast with…..

Playful Patterns

Geometric forms mixed in with more traditional patterns is a great way of giving a scheme a playful twist and creates visual vibrancy. If we walk into a room and think “oh this is fun, I could hang out in here”, we then feel happy, and if we feel happy then we can relax. Look for stripes, spots and geometric shapes. Amy Kent has some fantastic designs for floor rugs