Bright and beautiful

Everything low as to draw the eye horizontally and close-to-the-floor pieces signal casual hanging out, from Colour by Abigail Ahern.
Everything low as to draw the eye horizontally and close-to-the-floor pieces signal casual hanging out, from Colour by Abigail Ahern.

A splash of paint here, a vibrant cushion there — it’s amazing how you can transform a room with some simple but lively touches.

“Colour is clever,” says designer, author and blogger Abigail Ahern. “Get it right and it lifts your spirits, get it wrong and it will make you run for the hills!

“It’s been my obsession for as far back as I can remember. I grew up in a colourful home. My mother, an artist, would choose shades for our walls in the same way that she would select colours for her paintings: instinctively, from feeling and observation.”

But it was when Ahern was living her now-husband, Graham Scott, in a rented property in America, that she really used colour to change a space — dabbling with patterns and textures to bring to life a home they weren’t allowed to paint.

For many of us though, it can sometimes feel like you need to be brave to embrace colour, and what if you feel differently about it in a few months’ time?

“The biggest tip I can give you when selecting a palette, is to nail the mood or atmosphere you want to create first. Do that, and figuring out what colour to go for gets so much easier,” advises Ahern.

Fancy a change? Feel inspired and follow these top tips and advice from the designer’s new book — Colour — for making specific spaces in your home bright and beautiful.

MAKE AN ENTRANCE

Hallways tend to be one of the most neglected spaces in our homes.

“When I come home at night after an exhausting day, I want to walk through the door and be enveloped by a feeling of squishy contentment,” says Ahern. “And the only way you achieve that is to create a strong first impression.”