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History repeats itself with a modern colour twist

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WHILE Spring is the time to look forward, to clear the clutter and cobwebs away from our homes, this seasons decorating trends are harking towards a bygone era.

According to the experts at Crown Decorating Centres, history is most definitely repeating itself this season – but with a delightful modern twist.

For homeowners seeking style inspiration with a particular historical look in mind – whether it is Regency grandeur or Art Deco flair – an authentic colour palette is often the best starting point.

Explains Crown Decorating Centres’ Colour Specialist, Kathryn Lloyd: “Throughout history, the development of colour for decoration has depended not only on prevailing taste, but also on the pigments available. That’s why certain colours and colour schemes seem to suit certain building types and even particular locations.

“Of course, the development of synthetic pigments in recent years has made virtually any colour available to the homeowner, but historically authentic colours remain as appropriate today as they always have, because they owe something to nature and the environment.”

Here Kathryn gives an insight into five architectural styles and movements from centuries past – each with a distinct colour palette to reflect the architecture and design trends of the period.

Neo-Classical: This collection draws on the style prevalent in the second half of the 18th Century, inspired by the growing archaeological evidence of how the Romans decorated and furnished their buildings.  This collection embraces the clearer, lighter colours used at that time.  Muted matte shades of yellow and pink combine with chalky greys, blues and greens.

For the modern homeowner wanting to embrace muted shades with subtle twists, this is an ideal choice.

The Gothic Revival of the 1830s and ‘40s draws inspiration from the study of Medieval buildings and decorative objects.  The colours in this collection are noticeably rich and vibrant, drawn from medieval decorative motifs which would have been used in fabrics and ceramics. This palette features a rich tapestry of vibrant yellows, reds, greens and blues which mingle with muted counterparts, and is made for the homeowner who is ready to embrace colour at its most bold.

Late in the 19th Century, the Arts & Crafts Movement sought to revive traditional building crafts and the use of local materials.  This was reflected in homes where craftsmanship, simplicity and good design using warm colours driven by nature, were used as a reaction against low quality mass produced design.

The colours of the era reflect that greater sense of individuality, with a mix-and-match colour palette of strong greens and oranges alongside milder sage and sandy hues.

Fast forward to the 1920s and ‘30s and the inimitable Art Deco style became de rigeur. Inspired by the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels held in Paris in 1925, the shapes and colours of the day convey an image of pure elegant luxury.

Statement black and rich blue are accompanied by pure greens, understated greys and browns.  This eclectic mix of stylish statement pieces has seen a well-deserved resurgence in design popularity with its simple lines and calming colours.

Finally, the ‘50s Sketchbook draws on the creativity of post-war architecture and design when new housing and commercial buildings were urgently required.  This challenge drove architects and designers to produce inspired design and decoration, adding a splash of colour to a Britain being rebuilt with mass produced materials.

It was a challenge which brought new colour combinations to the fore – sky blues and yellows, mustard, terracotta and greys. Bold choices for a brave new era.

Adds Kathryn: “Creating an authentic look in your home is a really satisfying way of achieving a great new look.  It gives a sense of purpose to a decorating project, but sometimes it’s difficult for homeowners to know where to start.

“We’ve brought together eight time-bound collections which capture the essence and historical significance of the era – each with a palette of fifteen shades which gives homeowners the scope to create an original yet valid look.

“What’s great is that while the colours are historic, the technology behind them is most definitely contemporary to ensure a perfect lasting finish and effect.”

Most Historic Colours are available in a wide range of Crown Trade finishes, including Clean Extreme High Performance Emulsions, Matt Vinyl, Silk Vinyl, Mid Sheen, Satin Finish, Eggshell, Acrylic Eggshell and Full Gloss.

Crown Trade Historic Colours are available at Crown Decorating Centres across the UK. Visit www.crowndecoratorcentre.co.uk to find your nearest store.