IN SEARCH OF LOST LIME

Some musing today on colour. I am in no way advocating a retreat from pastels. Pastels are useful as the mainstay in the home if you want to create light, capacious, open rooms and don’t have the luxury of oodles of space. But there is, as with many extremes in life, a fine line that must not be crossed if one is to avoid certain faux pas. In life, for example, it’s advisable not to be too self-serving so as to retain empathy for others. Or not to be too modest so as to ensure authenticity. And so with rooms, it’s best not to wash the whole thing out with light. I know it’s confusing, because ten years ago, this was the right thing to do*. But life is confusing, and the right thing to do is not an immovable target on life’s immense spectrum. What a light, airy, pastel-hued room needs are a few pops of colour. Acid, bright, boundary-breaking colour that you would never ever wear unless you were fancy dressing. Mango orange, lemon yellow (as in deep yellow, rather than the pale dijon mustard colour the misnomer often suggests), royal blue or Indian Ocean azure. A good pop of colour jolts the picture, adds excitement within a wash of good taste, like an offensive drunken guest at a bland dinner party. Don’t spend too much time or money deliberating on the items though – if one thing is fixed on life’s perplexing continuum, it is that nothing is fixed. Proust would have us believe that art can conquer time. Well he never bought a neon yellow coffee table in the Habitat sale.

*You might even have hung a stuffed fabric pastel heart on the wall. It’s OK.

Regency chair: ENO, White chair: Mary Magdalene Foundation, Coffee table: Habitat, Striped rug: Mary Magdalene Foundation, Small bowl: Jackie Giron, Green beaker: Brixton Road charity shop

Regency chair: ENO, White chair: Mary Magdalene Foundation, Coffee table: Habitat, Striped rug: Mary Magdalene Foundation, Small bowl: Jackie Giron, Green beaker: Brixton Road charity shop

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