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Sometimes I have to think quite hard about what sort of ‘thread’ should be running through my Colourswatch column each month.
I have to wait and see what books come my way, or what is floating around in my head to leap out at me.
This month was rather easy for a change. It all came to me on three separate shopping trips. All of them are things I have bought in the last week or so and it has all made it very easy for me!
So what do a book, a string of felt, a nail polish, toothbrushes and candlesticks have in common?
All are multi-coloured. So we have a multi-coloured colourswatch this month.
I’m not leaving my book review until last this month – so why not mix things up and put it first? Sir Terence Conran is quite simply the godfather of modern interiors with his influence felt in just about everything we do. His work with the groundbreaking Conran Shop and Habitat stores in the UK has had a huge influence on how and what we buy. It was Conran who really pioneered the concept of having furniture set up to look like a room in his stores so you could see how things went together. Habitat drove the ‘design for the masses’ before IKEA ever came on the scene. He is passionate about imparting design wisdom to people so they can make great decisions about their own homes. This book, Essential Colour Terence Conran – The Back to the Basics Guide to Home Design is a little cracker. It isn’t a large book but it is packed with exceptionally practical information about how to use colour confidently and how to use it well. Covering a huge range of looks, and colours with thoughts on furnishings and decoration, this is a lot for very little. The book retails for $30 and is published by Conran Octopus. We bought our copy from the iconic Timeout Bookstore on Mt Eden Rd. Their selection of design/interior books is impressive.
There is one (well actually many – but only one I am going to talk about today) odd feature about our ‘new’ old house. It is 150 years old and has been messed with a bit. Some quirky bits I have kept – others I have got rid of. One bit I have kept in all the renovations is the light pull in our stairwell. It’s an unusual wee thing – halfway up the stairs you can pull the light on to the stairwell itself. I hated the stupid bit of string hanging down and was on the lookout for something fun to replace it. While I was in Collected by LeeAnn Yare last week I found one of her Felt Ball Garlands in a jar by km*2 and the problem was solved. A light pull made of multi coloured felt. Nice. They come in two colourways and I got the brighter one (obviously). They retail for $39 and could be used across a window, hanging from the door or tied together to make a garland that stretches around the room (I would like to see that…) Collected by LeeAnn Yare is in the Bloc Normanby Road in Auckland.
While I was at Collected I also stumbled across another colourful pick-me-up. I have personal aversion to the horrible toothbrushes you get from the supermarket with their horrible bland patterns/colours on them. So imagine how happy I was to discover Pantone do toothbrushes with each one in a pack of five coloured differently. Ah excellent. Though slightly more expensive than your average one, they retail for $29 for a pack of five. Now my bathroom is multi-coloured and no one will get confused as to who they belong to. From Collected by LeeAnn Yare, as above.
It must be the week for little pick me ups. My favourite colour in my own home is the fabulous Porters cerulean blue called Avalon. My office and the lounge are painted in it, and I was very excited to see Zambesi adding it to the colours of their range for summer this year. So to find an O.P.I nail polish in the exact same shade made me very happy. For those of you who know me – I am exceptionally happy to live IN colour, just not have colour ON me. But I am loving this nail polish, and on me it is going. The shade is called Suzy Says Feng Shui and it retails for $29. A great little pick-me-up for your nails. I bought mine from the beauty department at Farmers.
I like that I keep the best for last. These candlesticks are just such a pop of colour that I just love them. The fact that I may have had some hand in the choosing of the colours is neither here nor there really… in a range of fabulous (I would say that) colours – red, yellow, kelly green, cerulean blue and pink. They start at a very respectable $18 for the single small, $30 for the tall single, $60 for the three arm and $99 for the five arm. The thing about them is they look gorgeous without any candles in them, just as they are. I have been playing around with them putting coloured candles in them as well as putting plain white ones in them. I also have a set of the three tall singles in different colours – and I imagine a set of five down the table in all the different colours would be lovely. The candlesticks are by Parnell Agencies and to find some near you call 0800 828 466.
Words and photos Anya Brighouse 19 July 2012