Bright and beautiful

Printed Zeb Stripe Rug, available from Photo: PA Photo/Handout.
Printed Zeb Stripe Rug, available from Photo: PA Photo/Handout.

Even if you usually favour neutrals, it’s hard to resist the lure of summer’s jovial brights. This season’s trend for cheery colour radiates friendliness, energy and warmth, and a colourful trove of textiles can really help pull a room together.

Whether it’s in offbeat accessories, bold focal points, giving furniture a new lease of life with decorative paint or getting creative with window dressings, pops of colour create a fun-loving space.

“I get inspired when I’m surrounded by beauty and colourful things, even in the simplest of ways. You could easily argue that here are bigger things to worry about in life than surrounding yourself with small ideas and a colourful quirkiness, but little things count a great deal too,” says Charlotte Hedeman Gueniau, author of Happy Home Outside.

“I have a soft spot for throws - and you can never have too many hand-embroidered cushions for their sheer beauty, while round velvet poufs or floor cushions come in handy when multiple guests show up,” Hedeman Gueniau. adds.


Teaming luxurious fabrics and accessories in jewel colours might sound showy, but this fearless approach can create an endless source of inspiration.

“Whether or not the sun is shining, the romance and flamboyancy of summer makes for the ideal backdrop to bold, bright and downright bonkers interiors,” says Jenny Hurren, creative director of Out There Interiors. “Team bright, block, clashing colours with fantastical accessories and decadent fabrics for an indulgent bohemian feel that will work for every room in the home.”

Simon Wade, managing director at Parker & Farr, agrees: “While in winter, we tend to lean towards darker, more muted shades, summer is the ideal time to introduce colour into the home,” he says. “Whether it’s making a statement with a brightly coloured sofa, or simply adding pops with cushions and throws, a burst of colour in the home can really help to bring the outside in.”

Selby 3 Seater Sofa in Tuvalu Chartreuse, £2,430; Aurora Chair in Chiaso Boudoir, £675; curtains in Shrabana Lotus, £43 per metre; Infinity Hedgerow Rug, £238; decorative accessories made using fabrics from the Voyage Decoration Myanmar Collection, from £40 per metre, Voyage Decoration (for stockists, visit

Benson 2 Seater Sofa in Peacock, £4,885, Parker & Farr (

Florine Large Floor Cushions, £83-£99, Out There Interiors (

Printed Zeb Stripe Rug, £32, Oliver Bonas (

Botero Rosso Chandelier, from £790 for the 46cm diameter five light chandelier, Christopher Wray (


Painting a tired piece of furniture in an unexpected shade, such as a bright buttercup yellow, can trigger a real sense of achievement, as you’re bringing something old back to life, as well as revamping a space.

Annie Sloan has been working with paint in interiors for more than three decades, and there are “endless possibilities” with her Chalk Paint range, which sticks to just about any surface - inside or outside the home - without the need for priming or sanding. Go on, grab a paintbrush and give it a go!

Johnstone’s Paint is also joining in the fun this summer with their new Carnival Colour collection. We love Crushed Pineapple, cited as a creative and happy hue, with the highest saturation levels on the colour spectrum.

“It’s perfect for kitchens, bathrooms, conservatories, utility rooms and hallways,” says Donna Taylor, Johnstone’s Paint senior colour consultant.

“Due to its brightness levels, it will lift the dullest of rooms in a full wall format with ease, and is ideal for rooms with low natural light. Its brightness also allows this colour to be used as a feature with a harmonious or contrasting bold shade, rather than accompanying it with an off-white or pastel tone.”

Shutters in a bright palette can also help bounce light around rooms, and can be a worthwhile investment as they’re built to last.

“Shutters are a stylish way to make an impact. Unlike blinds or curtains, shutters do not obscure windows, allowing you to make a feature of beautiful period details and adding kerb appeal to the outside,” says Murray Clark, director of The Shutter Store.

“To pack a punch, opt for a bold bright shade with our ‘Colour Match Service’. Yellow’s associated with happiness and optimism.’’

Phoenix Wood Tier on Tier Shutters in Dulux Spring Breeze 3, currently on offer from around £274.50 per square metre (usually from around £549 per square metre), The Shutter Store (

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in English Yellow, £18.95 for 1L (

Fiery Sunset, Waterfall, Fuchsia Fantasy, Crushed Pineapple and Island Breeze from the Johnstone’s Paint Carnival Colour collection (suitable for walls and ceilings), from £17.69 to £18.56 for 2.5L (for stockists visit

Missoni Home Protea Dinner Plate, currently reduced to £64.40 from £92 for set of two, Amara (

Brabantia Orla Kiely Retro Bin, £125, Binopolis (


A few rays of sunshine allows your outdoor space to be lived in, so make the most of it with some well-chosen accessories. All-weather cushions and pillows, in pinks and oranges, will pull the colours of the house into the garden, and make it feel like another room, where you can entertain, dine and relax.

“When stocking up your outdoor kitchen, think low-maintenance,” advises Hedeman Gueniau. “Use durable materials that can stand the weather changes. Melamine, plastic and treated wood are all good. Then you don’t have to take everything inside all the time, but just leave it out until the season is over.

“Lanterns for candles create a cosy light when dusk sets in. Being outside means you have the opportunity to go a bit crazier when decorating than you would inside. Pick the brightest plates and the funkiest prints.”

Think of the patio or garden as an extension of your interior landscape. Garden planters with flowers on a wall, plus mixing and matching materials and colours, will create a relaxed and carefree look.

“Vibrant metals sat alongside nature’s finest green grass and blue sky is always a winner!” says Hurren. “I love to add fairy lights, candles and floor cushions to my outside space, to make it feel more like an extra room of the house; perfect for long summer nights!

Coloured Glass Jar with Straw, £2.99, Dobbies Garden Centres (in stores only,

Recycled Glass Medium Vases, £35 each, from a selection by La Soufflerie, Heal’s (

Jacky Fuchsia Pink Garden Box Cushion, currently reduced to £23 from £30, Ragged Rose (

Portofino Stacking Side Chairs in Purple, Pink and Blue, £145 each, and matching Bistro Tables, £210 each, from the Olayinka range of metal garden furniture, Out There Interiors (

Happy Home Outside: Everyday Magic For Outdoor Life by Charlotte Hedeman Gueniau is published by Jacqui Small, priced £25. Available now