How to Use Pantone’s Colours of 2016 in your home (without it looking like an explosion in a sweet shop…)

We admire Pantone’s indecision; we hate having to pick just one favourite colour too…

Instead of their usual ‘Colour of the Year’, for 2016, Pantone have selected two colours to represent the moment. The reasons given for the selection of Rose Quartz and Serenity, are that they, used together, ‘demonstrate an inherent balance… and…soothing sense of order and peace’, which is an antidote to our ‘turbulent times’, and also that their use together points to ‘movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer’s increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged.’

Well we certainly can’t argue with the sentiment, but more than this, we rather like the two colours in question and want to see how we can jump on the bandwagon and use them to add some colour to our homes!

The problem with this particular colour combination is, get it wrong and you quickly veer into sugar-coated little-girls-bedroom territory. Rightly or wrongly, we associate baby blue and pink with, well, babies, so it’s difficult to see how we are supposed to use these colours in a grown-up, or dare I say it, even stylish, way.

Well…despite all the connotations, used in the right way, it is possible to add these two candy hues to your home without looking like you’ve over-dosed on Pick’n’Mix …

Of course, palest pink has been a design story for some time now, with pink paint back in vogue and certainly one way to go is to choose a colour such as Farrow and Ball’s Calamine for the walls and style with suitably cool Scandinavian-like furnishings, adding some splashes of pale blue here and there.

Indeed, the combination of pale colours is certainly evocative of Scandinavian design, with Ferm Living (above) and Bloomingville already using pastels in their accessories. We also love the recently launched collection from Toast Living and Milk Design featuring pale blue and pink coffee that bring a laid-back vibe to the pairing and removes a lot of the sweetness in the process (below).

Just as the two colours themselves have been representative of different genders, successful integration into your interior scheme can be achieved in using materials and styles that denote a ‘difference’ from the candy tones. The juxtaposition of these baby-like colours with neutral-coloured, hard-edged materials works particularly well. The colours are toughened up and given a cool twist when set against pale wood, concrete, and the clean lines of mid-century modern Scandi-style design. In terms of pattern, the current on-going trend for geometrics and strong, clean lines is the perfect foil to balance the inherent softness of the two shades.

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Vodo Masco’s children’s furniture’s hard plastic and striking form puts a spin on the use of baby pink

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‘Visu’ chair from Muuto uses blonde wood to modernise the soft pink.

6-Pale-Hues - from lifeisamoodboard
Pastel colours are offset by the clean lines and natural materials used elsewhere in the scheme.

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You could, of course, choose to embrace the pairing even more fully and rather than trying to tone down the sugar, opt for this beautiful and wholly optimistic cushion from Heals.

Now that Pantone has made their announcement, we can expect a rash of Rose Quartz and Serenity coloured homeware to appear in time for next Spring.

Right now, we’re loving the way Rose Quartz can add warmth to a winter’s day as the light gets ever-scarcer in the run-up to Christmas. And that is what the pairing of the two together can do – marry the cool wintery blue with a warmer, more hopeful tone. As we all know it’s the way that different colours work together that can provide the real interest in design and so we hope Pantone will continue the trend and pick two colours for us to get excited about next year as well!

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Down the Rabbit Hole – discovering great British craft in Deptford…

It has just gone 3pm last Sunday and it seemed like night was already beginning to set-in as I made my way from the DLR station, down an unassuming alleyway in the heart of Deptford, South London and into a re-purposed office-like block that is the home of the Deptford branch of Cockpit Arts.

Feeling just a little bit like Alice on a journey of discovery and also a little bit like I was back at high school in the 1960′s municipal-style building, I began to explore the higgledy-piggledy layout of the studios themselves.

Even when in the heart of the building, the makers’ studios don’t reveal themselves straight away. They are a series of smallish rooms, leading off nondescript corridors. Just like in the best adventure stories, glimpses of some of the wonders that lie ahead can be seen; in this case through internal windows into the studios where you can get a sense of some of the work going on inside.
Above, an example of a window into a studio – this one has been thoughtfully styled by Jen Rowland maker of intricately illustrated homeware.

It was busy when I arrived fairly late on the Sunday afternoon and because you had to go right into each room to see what was happening, it was a very intimate experience and a real opportunity to meet makers, actually feel the materials they use and see up-close the tools they work with.

Meeting the person who has made something and through seeing where they work, understanding a bit of how it was made, really does add another dimension to the work itself and can make it even more beautiful or precious than it would have been otherwise.

It was particularly wonderful to see the workspace of the award-winning maker Eleanor Lakelin, whose wooden sculptural works are so beautifully made and use their material in such an original way.
Above, Eleanor Lakelin’s studio space and some examples of her work.
One of the most interesting spaces belongs to textile designer Charlotte Grierson whose huge loom dominates her studio, along with the very evocative display of hundreds of different coloured threads, below. It would have been lovely to see the loom in action!

A display of Charlotte Grierson’s hand-woven textiles and her studio space

Three further weaver’s work stood out for us at the studios. The delicate yet modern lampshades by Josefin Landalv are woven with paper yarn. They diffuse the light beautifully and have a great textural quality that makes you want to reach out and touch them!


Rowenna Mason’s vibrant, modern twist on a traditional woven cushions fuse bold geometrics with a richness and sense of heritage that comes from the rough texture of the material. We definitely want some to brighten up our homes and see us through the dark winter days ahead!

Finally, we were drawn to the luxury of the subtle patterns and finely woven silk used to make Laura’s Adburgham’s textiles. Simple, understated, but beautifully crafted.

British craft is alive and well and can be found in the most unlikely looking places. If you get a chance to visit an open studio, and spend some time discovering makers who use true craftsmanship to create beautiful and unique pieces, we can highly recommend it!

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Top 5 Cool Christmas Craft Fairs

You may think the words ‘cool’ and ‘craft fair’ do not belong together. Well, think again! Here is our round up of the must-visit events to soak up some Xmas cheer, while stocking up on presents from some of the UK’s coolest designers, makers, artists and illustrators.

The London Illustration Fair

Ok, so it’s not actually a craft fair, but it’s still on our must-see list, with plenty of Christmas shopping opportunities! Featuring over 70 of the UK’s freshest illustrators, designers, print makers, plus a pop-up Crafty Fox Market (which does sell hand-crafted homeware) , live DJ and Christmas bar.

Where: Bargehouse – OXO Tower Wharf, London

When: Friday 4th – Sunday 6th December

Tickets: £5 General admission / Children under 12 years of age go free.

LIF 2015 Flyer Landscape

Cockpit Arts Open Studio

Cockpit Arts plays host to some of the capital’s top designer-makers across its two sites. Now, you’ve already missed out on their Holborn open studios, so make sure you don’t miss the chance to pick up a beautiful hand-crafted present or two in Deptford, when they open their doors this coming weekend. We’ll be there , although we’re not promising we won’t treat ourselves to an early present or two!

We’re especially looking forward to seeing beautiful hand-woven textiles from Catarina Riccabona, gorgeous prints from Jen Rowland and intricately illustrated homeware from Josie Shenoy.

Where: Cockpit Arts Deptford, 18-22 Creekside, London, SE8 3DZ

When: 3rd- 6th December

Tickets: £3 on the door

cockpit arts

Selvedge Artisan Christmas

Selvedge Magazine will be hosting two Christmas fairs, one in London and one in Bath. Like the magazine, the fairs focus mainly on textiles but there are some other goodies to be had. In particular, do check-out Emma Wood, Forest and Found and Montes and Clark at the Chelsea Old Town Hall event.


Where: Chelsea Old Town Hall, London

When: 3rd-4th December


Where: The American Museum

When: 12th December

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The London Artisan

Held every Sunday at The Old Truman Brewery in collaboration with Designers/Makers, The London Artisan markets host a wide-range of makers plus artisan food stalls and talks.

Where: The Old Truman Brewery, London, E1


SUNDAY 6 December
SUNDAY 13 December SATURDAY 19 December
SUNDAY 20 December

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Christmas Crafting with Oh Comely Magazine

Finally, here’s one for those of you who fancy getting crafty yourselves! Join the lovely folk at Oh Comely magazine along with special crafty guests for an evening of hands-on crafting and festive fun.

Where: 71a Gallery, London

When: Thursday 3rd December, 7pm

Tickets: £12, book in advance

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There are many more events being held in London and around the country and we’d love to hear your suggestions for other must-sees! Happy Christmas shopping!

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