Crown Paint Blog

As our lives become increasingly urbanised and cemented by concrete routines, it’s interesting to see that we’ve started to find other ways to bring nature’s healing properties into our world.

This can be seen in the realms of fashion, interiors and design this spring, with the concept of natural textures starting to pop up in many unexpected guises.

‘Haute couture handicraft’ has weaved its way onto the catwalk and to the forefront of design, with handbags, party dresses and accessories expressing new natural qualities. Designers such as from Dior, Marios Schwab, Brunello Cucinelli and Ralph Lauren have all incorporated natural elements into their designs, be it wood, cork or lace.

Marni, Mark Fast and Ostwald Helagason broke new ground with collections inspired by natural elements. Marni’s parquet floor inspired dresses were the toast of SS2012, Marc Fast’s innovatively weaved garments produced show-stopping designs, while Ostwald’s cork printed back-pack has quickly become a fashionista’s fashion staple.

In the home, Dutch artist Pier Hein Eek followed suit, producing ingenious wallpaper created from images of scrap wood, whilst reclaimed timber has been selected as the raw material of choice for furniture maker Joe Pipal. His pieces, usually made from three materials: cork, oak and wenge – truly help homeowners bring a new dimension to interiors – bringing the beautiful outside in.

So, if you’re taken by the idea of texture, and would like to introduce more wood into your interiors, or if you’re fed up of tired and dull looking interior wood, why not try Sadolin® Earthbalance Interior Stain, which comes in six on trend woody shades.

Earthbalance® Interior Stain is a greener living woodcare product that is manufactured with the aim of reducing our environamental impact. While providing a stain that has a tough finish, guarding against everyday wear and tear – it is also 99% solvent free.

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This week we’re sharing our last Colour Influence for Spring Summer 2012 – Modern Nostalgia. Here, Katie Mackay, member of the Crown Paints Trend Panel and founder of the infamous fashion blog, shares her thoughts.

Modern Nostalgia is a fresh take on mid-century modern styling. At first glance it seems delicate and subdued, but at a closer look it’s much more playful – even for a lover of bright, bold colour-pop like me – it throws up exciting combinations that couldn’t be further from the muted subtlety it seems to initially radiate.

Rather than trying to immediately pull in every colour from the Modern Nostalgia palette, make this one work hard in interiors to reflect your personal decorating style. Start by selecting your preferred palette permutation – whether it’s a feature a wall of Copper Caynon® from Crown’s Earthbalance range combined with the lighter White Pepper® from Crown’s Neutrals range, or simply, a whole room of pink Pashmina® from Crown’s Matt and Silk collection – this palette, creatively, ticks every box.

Like everything, trust your instincts in deciding where to take your paintbrush first. And, if you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, read further as I share my two favourite ways to enter the Modern Nostalgia world.

The first takes me back to country walks on a crisp pre-Spring day; cool blue skies and muddy ground, with woodland and shrubs strikingly bare of leaves. To create this feeling, tie together Evening Shadow® from Sandtex Feature Wall, Gossamer Blue from Sadolin Classic, Gravel Garden® from Sandtex Country Cottage and Culture Cream® from Crown’s Vintage® range – for a grown-up, inviting scheme of tonally complimentary blues and browns. Use these shades on woodwork, walls or furnishings – to create a cool, sophisticated scheme inspired by nature.

Cast your eye further down the shade palette and all of a sudden a retro Neopolitan ice cream bowl presents itself. A mouth-watering, complementary mix that evokes the feeling of a retro sweetshop, from bygone days, while still effusing a modern sense of charm and playful quirk. I’m sure you can see the shades that deliver this one; the enticing combination of Gravel Garden from Sandtex Country Cottage® with Cornish Cream® and Pashima®, all sitting next to each other within a glossy Gossamer Blue china bowl.

Whichever shade combination you choose, I think it’s the pale, crisp beauty of Gossamer Blue that lifts every take on Modern Nostalgia. Be it through breathing new life into old furniture with a lick of blue on the legs of a table or frame of a chair; or simply using it on a feature element in your room, start with this uplifting sky blue shade and build out.

For me, Modern Nostalgia is proof that pastels have punch.

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This week we’re sharing our third exciting new Colour Influence for Spring Summer 2012 – New Direction. Here, Judy Smith, member of the Crown Paints Trend Panels and Crown Colour Consultant, shares her thoughts.

One of my favourite Crown Colour Influences for Spring Summer 2012 is New Direction. It’s an upbeat set of super striking colours – Be brave – combine shocking pinks and lime greens – cleverly used to offset laid back tones of grey and clay.

The inspiration for this trend is the coming together of opposites – it’s like pairing natural stone with manmade plastic, hard architectural design with soft organic materials, and neon colours that shout out next to laid back neutrals.

The newness of this look is due to the fresh way it combines candy colours with more natural earthy tones – helping you create a look that is much edgier.

If you choose to be bold, and paint the vibrant 1977 Lime® from the Crown Paint Originals range, or Free Love® from Crown Paints Vintage – on all four walls, then make sure you get the balance right with floors and furniture to ensure they are kept cool. Try greys and lighter woods to create the perfect contrast.

Alternatively, if you go for the cooler, more natural tone of Wheatgrass, from Crown’s Neutrals range, on walls and ceilings, then bring in flashes of colour in features, accessories or even painted furniture. And with some of the brightest tones available in Satin trim finishes, it’s easy to update old tired furniture.

A great idea to really accentuate the use of this trend palette, is to paint a table top or chair seat in a sleek and glossy colour, leaving the legs raw. Summer Kiss®, a pretty pastel shade from Sadolin Four Seasons is ideal.

If I was to sum this palette up in five words, I would say it’s strong, modern, edgy, playful and thought provoking.

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This week we’re sharing our second exciting new Colour Influence for Spring Summer 2012 – Surreal Botanicals. Here, Philippa Pearson, member of the Crown Paints Trend Panels, Garden Designer and Journalist, shares her thoughts on.

The rich colours in this palette offers a combination of lush spring greens and zingy summer hues – that really help to bring out the botanical explorer in you. After the long dark winter, the palette wakes up your senses, with refreshing flashes of natural colour – a ‘must have’ to brighten up any homes interior or exterior this year.

Don’t restrict the use of colour in your garden to the flower borders. You’ll be surprised how a feature wall painted in a bright colour creates a whole new dimension.

Personally, I love the bright Barrier Reef® blue from Sandtex – it reminds me of holidays in sunny places – brightening up a corner of the garden making it a perfect place to sit and chill out.

In the garden, nature’s colours don’t clash and this blue is the perfect backdrop for plants as it blends perfectly with foliage and flowers – breathtaking.

Inside your home, try the unexpected and don’t be afraid to use splashes of colour. For a look that just screams style, combine vibrant pops of natural colour with more industrial greys – collide the gentle lilac of Blue-Mid® from the Ultimate® range with the subtle of Smoky Mist® grey from Crown’s Neutrals collection for an enviable on-trend interior colour scheme.

With a palette that has strength, depth and versatility, a painted wall here and a piece of painted furniture there, will create a warming and welcoming ambience that you and your visitors will love – a true colour statement that will appeal to anyone’s eclectic sense of style.

Back outside, you don’t need to paint your fences and garden buildings in brown, either – try Pea Green® from Sadolin – a warming green, reminiscent of plants growing in the vegetable garden – and the perfect way to for breathe new life into garden features. Similarly, the strong vibrant green of Seclusion® from Sandtex’s Exterior Satin range, is a stunning colour ideal for window frames and garden furniture – think of it as exterior botanical glamour for your outdoor space.

If I was to sum this palette up in five words I would say it’s: warm, zingy, fresh, flowery and breathtaking!

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