By Suzanne Martin
When you walk into a clothes store, what colour do you walk toward first? Toward natural tones, or beautiful brights? The answer can be enlightening says Fiona Douglas at Hyndland’s own Bluebellgray. A self-confessed ‘colour’ person, Fiona has built her interiors business around natures colourful palette and believes the colours you’re drawn towards in fashion, food and the natural world should be incorporated into your interiors.
‘I had a very outdoorsy upbringing growing up in the Highlands. We were always outside swimming in rivers or on trips to freezing cold beaches. It definitely fuelled my love for nature which deeply influences all my designs and use of natural materials.’
As the days lengthen Fiona’s mood lifts and she loves her first glimpse of bluebells poking their bonny bonnets toward the light – hence her Bluebell fabric for curtains, blinds and lampshades (see P. 29). After long, gray Scottish winters, nature’s first shoots have a grounding effect which translates well into our homes as we switch over from heavy tweeds and wools to natural linen, wood and wicker.
And Fiona isn’t against placing strong colours and prints against each other, she believes there’s much more scope now for individuality thanks to the internet and websites such as Pintrest. In fact, in answer to this need Bluebellgray are soon to launch their new interior advice service.
‘Our new mood board service is something that has come from customers asking us for advice to help decorate their homes using our designs. It will be a paid for service that involves an in-depth consultation via zoom or in person with our in-house interiors stylist who will then put together mood boards and swatches and present the ideas back to the client. This can be followed up with a curtain and blind making service and shopping advice.’
But what if your tastes run more towards the neutral tones of the natural world? Karen Harvey at Hoos Glasgow advises, ‘Moving into spring we want to freshen up our space with more colour and bright accessories whilst maintaining the calm of our favourite winter palettes. Wool textiles make way for soft cottons and linens that lend a lightness during warmer evenings. Vibrant yellow tones add a spark to our interiors contrasting with warm neutral greys, ecrus and browns that keep us grounded, while graphic cushion designs add a playful accent with painterly motifs that mirror nature.’
Layering natural materials alongside a calming colour palette creates a more relaxed environment for some. It really does depend on your own natural instincts towards colour, so don’t ignore that inner voice. The layering tones and mix of textures adds interest and builds up to more than the sum of its parts when each piece is chosen because you love it. This is your space and there is no right – spaces are as different as their occupants.
‘I love coming home – it’s a very calm, neutral space with lots of green – the ritual of caring for my plants and watching them grow is very centring,’ explains Karen. ‘The furniture and objects in my space are a combination of new and old, creating a balance of history, materiality, contemporary design and innovation – looking around, each piece brings joy, be it through its beauty and function or the memories it carries.’
And that reminds me of something Fiona said, your interior should energise you and bring you joy. Spring is a fresh beginning and a hopeful tender shoot of renewal – whether that means a full bright colour spectrum, or a more neutral scheme, let it be particular to you and fill up your joy.
Invite nature in as a prelude to warmer days and lighter evenings to come. Adopt a houseplant, nurture some seeds, mirror your hopes for a garden in full summer in your spring interiors and watch your spirits lift after another trying winter. And with the homes and interiors stores of the West End on hand to help you, there’s no stress either.
And chill, you’re home.