Walls, ceiling and woodwork all painted in the same tone? It’s a bold approach, but the trend for ‘colour drenching’ is taking hold.
‘Softly, softly’ has largely been the approach to painted walls in recent years, but that’s about to change.
Many of us who spent more time at home during the pandemic experienced a desire to express ourselves through our interiors, and paint colour is an easy way to inject personality.
Blended: A dining room drenched in shades of blue. It’s a bold approach but the trend for ‘colour drenching’ is taking hold, according to interiors experts
‘We’re seeing a more liberal use of a single colour in our recent projects,’ says Rosie Ward, creative director at Ward & Co.
‘Known as ‘colour drenching’, the concept might seem daunting at first, but when executed thoughtfully, it can give a home a wonderful sense of cohesion, character and flow as well as creating a surprisingly calming atmosphere.’
Select a shade
Whether you choose a soothing mid-tone or a bold, all-enveloping colour, the idea is to drench your space in one hue — or tonal variations of it — from walls and ceiling to woodwork, the inside of doorways, window frames and even radiators.
‘Using a single shade in this way adds a feeling of grandeur as well as providing a chic, minimalist base,’ says Benjamin Moore’s Helen Shaw.
‘Varying levels of saturation can be a great way to take your home from bland to bold, as well as instantly shifting a room’s dimensions.’
If your home lacks features, colour drenching is a great way to add impact.’
Roby Baldan, interior designer
Colour drenching can work with any colour, but it does require thought and a full-on rather than half-hearted approach. Deep shades of blue or green can work beautifully in kitchens; blood-red can be enlivening in studies, cloakrooms and cosy living spaces — especially those that face north.
For a subtle approach, a dusty pink drench works beautifully in sitting rooms and hallways, and pairs naturally with aged brass or gold fittings.
‘Using the same shade throughout helps flatten less appealing features, like radiators, making them disappear into the background,’ says interior designer Roby Baldan.
‘A single shade makes the perimeter of the room recede and everything else stand out. In period homes, you can use a different tone to highlight architectural elements for a look that’s both modern and dramatic.
‘If your home lacks features, colour drenching is a great way to add impact.’
Work it like a pro
There are a few things to bear in mind to make this look a success.
First, choose the right tone. ‘Bold, saturated jewel greens and teals work very well,’ says Crown’s Justyna Korczynska. ‘Dark greys to near black and deep navy shades are also good choices. But avoid super-brights, as they can be overpowering.’
If you are a little hesitant, start with a small space such as a cloakroom.
‘Select three variations of your chosen colour, ranging from pale to deep,’ advises Roby. ‘Look at the amount of natural light available. Some rooms are suited to pale colours, while others need deep shades.
‘If the room gets plenty of light, select the palest shade as the primary wall colour, choosing darker tones for features. If the room is dark, use the darker shades as the main colour and the palest for the trim.’
How to coordinate
A fashion-forward option is to complement colour drenched walls with furniture for bold cohesion. This is a look that works in kitchens too — deVol’s new Heirloom range looks great in a deep burgundy finish against pale pink walls.
Sometimes, picking out a colour from a key piece of artwork is all it takes to kickstart your scheme.
Furniture, curtains, cushions, lamps, rugs, accessories and even flowers can be used to intensify the look, but stick to no more than a couple of different colours to avoid visual overload.
This is a statement trend that’s all about sticking to your guns — commit to the look fully and you won’t go wrong.
What your home needs is a… festive table runner
Detail: The Nathalie Lete Table Runner costs £58 (anthropologie.com)
Some people refuse to step into Christmas until the last minute. Others deck the halls at the earliest opportunity.
If you prefer the festive middle ground, but still want to bring cheer to your interior before you break out the baubles, your home needs a Christmas table runner.
If you like an understated Yuletide style, the £14.95 Not On The High Street beige linen runner decorated with snowflakes should suit.
H&M Home’s £6 plain red runner would serve as a base for greenery, colourful napkins and candlesticks.
If you want more adornment, options include the £58 Nathalie Lete Table Runner. Wayfair has a £13.99 runner with a grey stag’s head.
But there are also opportunities to go over the top. At Lakeland, you can find a £14.99 gold glitter runner while Marks & Spencer can supply a £25 runner with sequins in red or white, or another, in red and grey and also costing £25, with lights operated by batteries. Ho, ho, ho.