Interior paint trends usually focus on the visual impact, but in 2022 it’s all about embracing how colours make us feel
It’s the season when trend predictors are out in force tempting us to new decorating projects, and we might just indulge once the Christmas decorations come down and the house looks bare and lifeless, especially when increasing daylight scrutinises every flaw in our décor as we progress into spring.
But rather than go colour-crazy for the sake of fashion, let’s consider the feelings and atmosphere shades and hues create, something encouraged by interior designer and colour consultant Sinéad Cassidy.
She says, “There’s not a one colour fits all, so trust your own instincts and response. I could never say a colour is on the way out as we all have a different emotional response to a colour and once it’s used in the right proportion and supports the room’s function, there is no place for it to be passé.”
But if you feel in need of a steer, she says, “Dark and atmospheric is still up there when it comes to colour trends, and this could be the year of plum to challenge navy and dark greens we’ve already embraced. Colours in this realm include Pantone’s Rum Raisin, Fleetwood Vogue Imperial 1920 and Petrus, and Colourtrend’s Baked Plum.
“Our décor schemes are becoming braver and more sophisticated and our love of the dark colours in our sitting rooms shows no sign of abating,” she adds. “Clients are looking for new alternative tones to bring a rich decadence to their homes and deep plums are a wonderful colour to support this. The richness of this shade provides a chance to pair our neutral key furniture items with some beautiful new accent colours such as pale pinks, gold and creams.”
As a suggestion on how to create a cohesive look with darker tones in a sitting room, she cites Rum Raisin from Fleetwood Pantone, which she says, “pairs beautifully with a marble fireplace and is fabulous with green or pale pink accents. It makes a stunning alternative to the dark greys, navy and green wall colour options.”
Colourtrend’s colour expert, Dervla Farrell, also cites Colourtrend’s Baked Plum which she describes as a rich burgundy with a warm brown undertone that works particularly well in north and west-facing rooms to create a warm and opulent space.
But if you’re stumped for ideas on how to choose accent colours to go with such a distinctive shade, she says,
“Pair with silky grey greens or cool-toned oatmeal to contemporise and cool down the shade, or with dusky purples or light warm blushes to create a cosy and rich environment. Keep your furnishing’s simple and minimal to let this sophisticated shade do all the talking.”
If there’s a paint company that goes its own way regardless of what’s in fashion, it’s Farrow & Ball whose colour curator Joa Studholme predicts the revival of simple, familiar colours in clever combinations.
“There is something inherently human in the colours that we are attracted to for 2022, as well as in the way we use them,” she says. “Décor is moving forward while drawing inspiration from the modest character of the world of folk and craft.”
While the company’s signature flat tones typically evoke a retro feel, neutrals are warm and modern and their application offers novel style, so think strong colour on internal doors in a move away from white or plain wood, and tackling wall and floor treatments with a twist.
“There is something so familiar and comforting about a painted floor,” says Joa, who suggests deploying a chequerboard pattern using their Stone Blue and School House White to transport us to the past, and by having a wall colour below dado height and a neutral above.
“This age-old form of decorating introduces colour just below eye level to retain a light and airy atmosphere above while also providing durability,” she says. “Function goes hand in hand with ornament, using colours and finishes in unusual ways.”
Going all out creatively, Joa looks at a room’s fifth wall, the ceiling, as a way of introducing colour with added interest.
Using a red shade, Incarnadine No. 248, she suggests applying it in stripes, alternating with white and cleverly bringing the treatment down onto walls by just a few inches which she says “creates an intimate tent-like feel and softens the join between wall and ceiling.”