If the hue fits...

If the hue fits...

Deciding on how to decorate a room is a little like planting out a garden from scratch.

Faced with a bare canvas it can be a daunting prospect. If you are not well versed in what sometimes feels like ‘rules’ about such things, it’s easy to give up before you have begun. The thought that friends might say ‘oh dear didn’t you realise that grey NEVER goes with…’ or ‘ oh no, of course that Japonica died because you planted it next to the….’is enough to put one off.

Fear not. Here is a secret: there are no rules when it comes to taste. Your taste is your taste. You pay the rent or the mortgage, so who cares what people think? Who cares if people seem to be living dream lives on Instagram? Who cares if one in every 5 million people have a body or face deemed universally perfect? Reality is, we don’t live our best life every day. Most of us are doing our best to juggle money worries, family politics, job insecurity, health niggles, friendship and relationship ties, not to mention food addictions without worrying too deeply about what colour we paint our walls. However, now that many of us are spending time working or just being at home more often, the time seems to have come for large numbers of us to question previous decorating decisions.

In 2018 the colour of the year seemed to be a mid-brown. I took myself off to a DIY store (before Claybrook did paint!) and bought what I felt was right. I painted it on the walls in my study. The next morning, I came down to what looked like, well….there is no way of saying this politely….poo coloured walls. Think baby’s nappy.

I had listened too much to what trend forecasters were saying and not going with my heart and instinct of what to use in that room. Of course, one of the ways to know what is right is by trying a few options and deciding which is best. In gardening that can get expensive; who hasn’t bought pretty things in the garden centre only to watch them wither and die in coming weeks due to lack of research? Soil acidity, wind direction and shade levels are factors to be considered in a garden. Inside life is a little simpler.

One of the beauties of interiors is that the backdrop to our look is easily changed, and without breaking the bank. Changing your lawn is a long-term project; changing your wall colours to improve on a previous scheme or just to ring the changes can be done in a few hours. Not only that, gone are the days of buying multiple sample pots that end up in land fill. Claybrook produces paint cards that are easily taped to the walls you intend to paint. These can be swapped around onto different walls at different times of day to see how the light changes the hue.

Knowing what colour might be nice is often simply a case of looking at the existing furniture and working with shades that complement or match. In the same way that if you had an existing large yellow shrub you might either match or chose a different shade to work alongside it, it’s the same inside. We find at Claybrook that many customers layer the interior like the exterior. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the style is classic, mid-century, shabby chic or modern; the same idea that a wall scheme will either be a neutral backdrop or a zinger of a talking point applies across different looks. Start with a piece of furniture you love and layer the pieces around that to build up a scheme. Once these are in place order some of the free samples to see how they will work together. Alternatively, start the other way around if you have a blank canvas. Try hues that you love, and then build the furniture around your chosen wall scheme.

Kate Blush Paint
Kate Blush paint

We don’t take life too seriously at Claybrook so when it came to naming the shades we had a little fun. Trying to pretend we scraped off a pigment from a skirting behind a harpsichord, analysed it for four years and then created a paint inspired by it…. well that just isn’t us. What we did do was play around with pigments at our paint producer in the north of England, and come up with 24 shades that we felt were fantastic for decorating with. Some are based on colours in our tiles, others from more esoteric sources. Sweeney Brown (it actually has undertones of aubergine or red) was based on the iconic car in the 70’s television show ‘The Sweeney’ for example.

The paints are produced from quality bases and highly pigmented formulations to give great depths of colour and the excellent coverage make the paint efficient to use, reducing the amount required to complete a job. It’s also vegan friendly, non-toxic and has virtually no odour. It has been produced with very low VOC’s and with care to be environmentally-friendly along the chain of production, something important to all of us with an eye on the future. Made to order in England, fresh for each customer, it’s available in two water-based high-performance finishes. The Emulsion gives a flat matt finish and is suitable for all internal rooms such as bedrooms, living areas or low traffic hallways. The Eggshell paints have a slight sheen to aid durability so these are great for use on walls or woodwork particularly in hallways, bathrooms and kitchens.

Terracotta Pot
Terracotta Pot paint

We recently re-did our offices and the blue we mixed for the job became Claybrook Blue, so you too can feel part of the Claybrook family now! (do you eat as many biscuits as us though?)

We have free delivery through most parts of the UK so at least the price advertised doesn’t ramp up with extra fees at the checkout. Good luck with your DIY projects, and don’t forget to share the results with us on Instagram or at [email protected].