Book Review- IN THE MOOD FOR COLOUR Perfect palettes for creative interiors by Hans Blomquist

We’ve been stuck in a neutral colour rut for so long, how can I resist the lure of this book title In the Mood for Colour by Hans Blomquist, all time favourite interior stylist, art director recounting his story of colour, a major interest for me. To find all this rolled into one generous tome means well established books at the top of my long list have been bumped off in favour of this newbie.

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The book opens with A World Full of Colour, a lush mosaic of mainly polychrome images from around the world, in its format its very familiar to Instagram users. It is then divided into chapters, Dark, Pale, Natural, Soft and Bold. Each chapter is layered with a visual feast of colour images illustrating ways to bring colour into interiors. Running through both text and images the simple message about using colour in interiors is they are all ‘designed by nature’. Grow your confidence with colour by looking at the many ways nature successfully combines them. This is a personal account of his relationship with colour and his response to the different colours is engaging and effervescent particularly when he discusses how his mood responds to different colours.

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The eclectic schemes showing ways of using colour are summed up with delightful names like Pistachio, Duck Egg and Faded Denim, hinting at a layered experience that engages all the senses. The double page spread, Rose, Powder, Petal, like a mood board, uses a variety of images, paint, fabrics and flowers, with the main image demonstrating how to layer them up confidently.

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With its wealth of eye candy images, still lifes and dreamy compositions, it’s an invaluable tool for anyone wanting to find ways to launch into the colour zone and on their way to creating confident colourful interiors. In the Mood for Colour is now my go to for inspiration. I’ve worked on many rewarding projects where colour has been pivotal. As lead colour expert on an innovative government research project colour was used to show how environment affects childrens learning, further projects have been using colour to develop rooms for teanage cancer care as well as psychotherapists consulting rooms.

IN THE MOOD FOR COLOUR Perfect palettes for creative interiors

Hans Blomquist

Published by Ryland Peters & Small £19.99

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My Tiny Indoor Garden by Lia Leendertz

If you have no garden and are thinking you are never going to have enough space to have your own or be able to grow your own salads look no further than My Tiny Indoor Garden. House plants are having a moment just now, we use them for styling so many projects, they are something we can all have and everyone wants to be in on the act. This delightful book by Lia Leendertz with beautiful images by Mark Diacono is packed with space saving indoor gardening ideas and even people living in the most restricted spaces can join in. It includes lots of ways to display flowers and plants as well as a wealth of tried and tested growing tips.

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Before I go any further R&B have to declare an interest in this title and tell you team member Amanda Russell was one of the case studies featured. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty more case studies and very doable projects we want to enthusiastically immerse ourselves in.

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There’s lots of detail on plant maintenance and how to keep them in prime condition from the people growing the plants. There is a pretty succulent garden in a porch with a useful demonstration on how to take cuttings to increase your plant collection. Cookery writer Deborah Robertson shows us the secret of reinvigorating mint plants to keep them producing flushes of beautifully scented leaves. And who couldn’t linger over a fabulous multicoloured hyacinth jar collection, attractive with or without blubs in them.

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Full of beautiful images and information this book would have our shelf space for a long time even if Amanda wasn’t in it. It’s a great gift to take out again and again as well as being a reliable and in depth reference book.

My Tiny Indoor Garden

By Lia Leendertz

Published by Pavilion Books

Images Mark Diacono

Marbled Notebooks

These inexpensive books have had a makeover using a very simple but effective technique -marbling

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You will need

Flat tray, large enough to fit the paper ,in which to do the marbling.

Marbling inks

Copper coloured Spray paint

Masking tape

Lolly or cocktail stick

Lots of newspaper

Kitchen roll

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Instructions to marble paper

  1. Cover the work area with lots of newspaper. Fill the tray with 3cm of water.
  2. Prime the surface of the water by putting a drop of marbling ink onto the surface of the water. Wipe it away with some kitchen paper.
  3. Using the dropper bottle apply 1 or 2 drops of marbling ink onto the surface of the water. Either bow it or give it a quick stir with a stick or back of a paint brush.
  4. Place a piece of paper on top of the water and inks and then lift it off. The design will be on your paper.
  5. Leave the sheet to dry. You can try a second print but it will probably come out lighter than the first.
  6. Add more drops of ink and repeat steps 3 and 4
  7. Remove excess ink from the surface of the water with a scrap of paper.

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Instructions to cover a book

  1. Open the book at about its middle and then lightly cover the spine with masking tape.
  2. In an open area spray the spine with copper spray paint. Leave to dry. Make sure, where it will be visable that the inside of the spine is also sprayed.
  3. When it is dry remove the masking tape.
  4. Cut the paper so it covers 1 side of the outside of the book, but leaving the spine showing, with an overlap of 4cm
  5. Fold to make it fit and cut away the corner. Repeat for the back of the book.
  6. Using PVA glue stick the marbled paper onto the front outside of the book and the over lap on the back of the covers. Repeat for the back of the book.

Tip Wear disposable latex gloves for the whole project, as it makes it much less mucky.

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