In the Mood for Colour - A Soft Look

Extract from In the Mood for Colour by Hans Blomquist, published by Ryland Peters & Small.

Creating a soft and gentle scheme is quite easy, as the different shades in this colour spectrum tend to be harmonious and will give you an up-to-date interior that is comfortable to live in. You can either embrace the look wholeheartedly by choosing furnishings in toning colours, or introduce contrasting darker hues. A gentle scheme is traditionally romantic and can feel quite feminine, but if you accessorise it with contemporary furniture and objects, you can make the look more neutral. 
Having said that, I prefer not to label colours – or anything else, for that matter – masculine or feminine, as I think we can be more creative than that. We all have the right to choose the colours we love and to furnish our homes with our favourite furniture and accessories.

Dried flowers are one of the most beautiful things there are. The colours of most blooms become even more stunning when dried and their petals and leaves take on a tactile, paper-like quality. These peonies were just too glorious not to photograph for this book, both for their texture and colour inspiration (above). 

The romantic room above illustrates a perfect soft combination, with the light pink sofa and a duck-egg blue wall that has been painted and patched with roses and leaves. Both inviting and stylish, it would be a successful look to recreate.

This is an inviting spot to hang out (above), where layers of printed textiles are mixed with plain fabrics and pillowcases in soft textures and tones. A few darker colours have been introduced to break up the scheme and give it some depth. The French metal daybed was found at a flea market and the cushions and textiles are a mix of new and vintage. The backdrop has been painted in two tones, using soft Dorchester Pink for the panelling, and mixing it with pale grey Mono for the walls, both from Little Greene.

I have had a soft spot for floral patterns for as long as I can remember. A traditional choice for country-style interiors, florals are often considered old-fashioned by those who prefer a clean, contemporary look, but for me, floral prints work everywhere and can be incorporated into any look you want. Of course, a soft-looking interior with floral patterns sits very comfortably in a country-esque setting, and maybe that is where it fits best, but I would love to see more creativity than that when it comes to mix and match, and urge you to be adventurous. Layer different kinds of floral patterns, using faded vintage prints and soft linens to create a perfect corner for daydreaming in your city apartment or country house (above right). 
Another idea is to use vintage maps as wallpaper, or to make a headboard by papering a square the same width as your bed, then dress the bed with soft dyed textiles to add textural layers to your bedroom (above left).

This image (above) was photographed in fashion designer Marie Sixtine’s apartment in Paris. The warm mix of natural wood, painted furniture and soft textiles make the space very inviting, while the layers of textures give them a very personal look. The way the interior is decorated and the combination of soft colours used throughout give it a calming vibe.
The space was exceptionally relaxing and comfortable to be in, and all my senses – especially touch and sight – felt instantly soothed.

In the Mood for Colour by Hans Blomquist, published by Ryland Peters & Small.

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Photography by Debi Treloar & Hans Blomquist © Ryland Peters & Small.