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.


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.


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



Chevron Rug


You will need –

  • Painter’s canvas
  • Wide masking tape
  • Stencil brush
  • Black fabric paint, Dylon
  • Set square
  • Ruler
  • Shallow dish
  • Water-erasible pen, Korbond
  1. Start by drawing guide lines down the length of the canvas with water-erasible pen. Be careful that they are straight and are at even intervals.
  2. Stick masking tape at an angle between one parallel line and the next. Add the next piece so a triangular shape is formed. At this point, check that all of the tape is firmly stuck down. Repeat until you have lines of zigzags.
  3. Lightly dip your brush into the fabric paint, then using an up-and-down motion, apply the paint. Do a small amount at a time and build up the colour so you achieve the right density.
  4. Leave to dry overnight before you remove the tape. Iron on the back of the canvas to seal the colour. And finally, either hem around the edge of the canvas for neatness or fold under and secure with hemming tape.


Dip Dyed Plates

With some plain white china, emulsion and masking tape you can create designer plates for next to nothing. Please note these are purely decorative and cannot be used for eating from or put in a dishwasher.

You will need some white China we used Ikea 365 costs £2 for a large plate and £1 for a small one, Crown paints match pot s£1.49 for 40ml we used the following colours: Blue Planet, Scrumptious,Orange Squash, Up beat, Shocking pink, Hot mustard.

Masking tape and a car sponge.

Stick the masking tape across the paint to make a line of where you want the colour to finish. Dip the sponge into the emulsion, and using an up and down motion, cover the area where you want to add colour. Build up in layers and leave to dry before removing the masking tape.

Tip If you get smudges when you remove the tape, use a scalpel blade to remove the excess paint.




No-sew Blind

You will need :

– Fabric, width of window +3cm, by height of window +4.5cm

-Iron-on hemming tape

– Iron and ironing board

– Dowelling, 1cm thick by the finished width of the blind


-Staple gun

-Strips of wood


blind composition

1. Cut the fabric to size. With the wrong side facing up, fold up 1.5cm on the long sides and the bottom edge and secure with iron-on tape.

2. Still with the wrong side facing you, turn the bottom edge up again by 3cm to create a channel for the dowelling. Iron in place with tape.

3. Measure 10cm in from each long edge at the top of the blind; this is where the ribbon will sit. Secure one long length to each of these points with staples, ensuring that half hangs over the front and half over the back.

4. Staple the top of the blind to a strip of wood, then attach hooks for hanging. To pull up the blind simply roll the fabric to the top and tie in place.

blind ribbon detail




Matisse Inspired Wall Art

Create a bold Matisse inspired fabric wall art. Use simple motifs to make an impactful piece of wall art.

You Will Need

  • Canvas, £8, Hobbycraft
  • Tracing paper
  • Bondaweb £3.90 Akaban
  • Fabric scraps
  • Stapler
  • Pencil, paper and tracing paper
  • Command Strips from £2.70 B&Qhomestyle_maymakes1_4_N_036.tif


  1. Place the canvas on a large piece of paper and draw around the edge of the canvas, add 10cm to each side.
  2. Draw your design on the paper and mark each colour. Using the tracing paper trace the shape for each colour.
  3. Iron paper backed Bondaweb to the reverse of fabric scraps. Cut out the shapes, then remove backing paper and iron to bond in position. Use a sewing machine to sew around the edge of the fabric shapes.
  4. Place the fabric image on the canvas and stretch the fabric over the edge, use the stapler to secure the fabric at the back.
  5. Hang on the wall using Command Strips


  • When stapling the fabric on start from the middle and work towards the outer edge so there are no creases in the fabric

Découpaged Furniture

Give a distinctive edge to a chest of drawers by adding unique insect decals to the knobs and paper cut outs to the drawers.


You Will Need

  • PVA glue
  • Waterslide Decal paper £2.15 CraftyComputerPaper
  • Insect Images
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors



  1. To make images for the knobs print insect pictures onto decal paper following the manufacturers instructions. Cut the images to size then soak in water, slide image onto the knob.
  2. Print insect images onto paper, cut out and stick on drawer sides and interiors. When dry paint drawers and knobs with matt varnish.


Wine Crate Shelf

Wine merchants are happy to part with these wooden crates for free or for a charitable donation. It only takes a lick of paint and bold geometric wallpaper to transform a discarded crate into a must have box shelf. We chose wallpaper from Harlequin, a roll will go a long way, there’s plenty left for covering lots of things like files, books and shelves.


You will need:

Wooden Wine box

Emulsion paint

Kaleidoscope wallpaper by Harlequin

PVA glue

Picture frame brackets Homebase

Paint brush


Screw Driver

Electric drill black and decker

Masonery screws



1.Paint the exterior of the box with emulsion paint.

2. Mix pva with a little water to the consistency of double cream and paint the inside of the box to seal. Leave to dry.

3.When dry measure and cut wall paper to size.

4.Paint the reverse of the paper pieces and insides of the box with let down pva

5. When dry, screw picture frame brackets to the side, then screw to the wall.


Tray Side Table

Our latest charity shop find was a great little wooden tray, perfect to transform into a side table with a simple wooden tray stand.


You Will Need

  • Wood 24mm x 20mm x 2400mm £5.99 Homebase
  • Screws
  • Webbing
  • Nut, bolt and washer from £2.48 B&Q
  • Sandpaper
  • Black and Decker power saw and drill

Total price




  1. Decide the height of your stand then calculate the length of the legs remembering they will be crossing over. Cut four legs from wood. Drill a hole large enough for the bolts in the middle of each leg.
  2. The stand needs to be as wide as the tray to support it enough to cut two batons the width of the tray. Make the first pair of legs by screwing a baton to the top and bottom of one leg, then screw onto the second leg making a frame.
  3. To find the width of the second set of legs measure the inside width of the frame. Cut 2 batons to this length then screw a baton to the top and bottom of one leg and screw onto the second.
  4. Paint the frames and tray with matt emulsion paint, when dry varnish.
  5. Put the smaller frame inside the larger frame and use the nuts bolts and washer to assemble the stand. To keep the tray stand open and stable cut lengths of webbing then staple in place on the batons



  • If you are putting the stand up and down often invest in locknuts for the joint

Tetra Pack

It’s hard to believe the humble beginnings of these lovely vases, they are Tetrapak, initially used to contain soup and orange juice. Because they were initially used for liquids they make great vases. We have chosen two different methods of decoration decoupage on a gold background and ombre painted effect.

HomeStyle magazine feature : Fabric CanvasMAY issue 2016 .Styling Amanda Russel & Juliet Bawden

You will need:

Empty clean Tetrapacs

White spray paint Valspar from £5.60 B&Q

Gold Valspar Spray paint from £5.60

Pink Valspar tester pot £1.49 B&Q

White emulsion

Masking Tape

Photo copied images

PVA glue and brush


  1. In a well ventilated room spray the cartons with white spray paint to obliterate the existing type face. Leave to dry and repeat if necessary.
  2. Spray the ones you want gold. Leave to dry and again repeat if necessary.
  3. Cut out butterflies from photocopied copyright images. Arrange and stick over the gold boxes.
  4. To make an ombre effect box. Stick a line of masking tape a third of the way from the bottom of the box. Paint on the turquoise colour directly.
  5. Leave to dry. When dry remove the masking tape and tape a new line at the top of where you just painted and another line of tape about another third of the way up the box.
  6. Mix a desert spoonful of white emulsion into the turquoise and paint this between your two lines of masking tape. Leave to dry.
  7. Remove the masking tape and then add another line of masking tape covering the top edge of the colour you just painted.
  8. Mix 2 more spoons of white emulsion into the paint mixture and paint on this lighter colour. Leave to dry and then remove the tape.

Tips: To speed up the process dry with a hairdryer between coats of paint.

HomeStyle magazine feature : Fabric CanvasMAY issue 2016 .Styling Amanda Russel & Juliet Bawden

HomeStyle magazine feature : Fabric CanvasMAY issue 2016 .Styling Amanda Russel & Juliet Bawden


Lego Keyring Board

We were all brought up with Lego and there is still plenty of it around. This is a brilliant if a bit cheeky way of storing your keys.

If you have a brother boyfriend or know a child that has some lego they might give you some in return for a Lego key ring.


You will need

A small piece of hardboard £1 from B&Q

A Flat Lego base (the sort you build your castle on )

Oblong Lego bricks to turn into key rings.

Drill with a tiny bit

Split rings for key ring

No nails


Costs £4



1.Measure the back board of the lego and cut out a piece of hardboard to the same dimensions.

  1. Using no nails stick the board onto the hardboard
  2. Using a tiny drill bit, a jewelers drill bit is ideal, make a hole in the corner of the lego brick.
  3. Thread the split ring through the hole and attach the keys.


Make sure the hole is in the correct place or else the lego brick will not plug into its base. You can pick up Lego in charity shops or for very large scale you could use Duplo instead.