On the Colour Couch with mural artist Richard O’Gorman

little book of colour on the colour couch with graphic designer richard o'gorman

I’ve been following Richard of Househomo fame for a while on Instagram. I love how he uses colour and shapes with such joy in his mural artwork. When I saw that he had teamed up with my friends over at YesColours for one of their colourful collaborations, I asked them to introduce me and here we are with Richard agreeing to come on the Colour Couch to chat about his love of colour.

What does colour mean to you?

Colour really does mean joy to me; even coming across sadder, duller colours reminds me of the joy I find in their opposite hues! I’ve almost always dressed quite colourfully, but since starting househomo I’ve started dressing even more colourfully than I ever have before and the effect on my mood – and those around me – is palpable!

Do you have a favourite colour or a colour that you find yourself constantly drawn to? And why?

I’m always drawn to orange because it’s easily the most playful – and the most irreverent of all the colours, but strangely it rarely finds a way into my interior design, just my wardrobe! I think it can be a hard colour to play with in interiors – too bold and it’s showy next to other colours and too sheberty and it can fade away, particularly when I like to play in colour palettes of 4-6 colours. I always love a well designed neutral room with a GIANT orange lamp though, what a moment!

What do you love most about working with colour?

The way it can instantly change the vibe and energy in a room. You can utilise colour to absorb light and warmth, but to reflect and bounce it too, it’s a powerful tool! I bought a pink and red glass candle holder and left it on my window sill to decide where to put it, and the next morning the way the room was filled with this dancing pink and red light was so romantic and dreamy, it has stayed there ever since!

What do you think your life would be like without colour? 

I read an incredible book called Shades of Grey – don’t worry,  not that one! – about a dystopian world where only the higher classes can see more of the spectrum, and the limits that causes, and I can only imagine my life would be the same. Entering a grey home, I feel cold and uninspired and I struggle to imagine how its owners break out of those feelings!

Were you ever afraid or wary of colour? And what did you do to overcome this?

I don’t think I’ve ever been wary of colour, but there was a short phase in my late teens where I wore grey exclusively, can you imagine?! Looking back it’s quite clear I was trying to fade in the background – whilst still looking impossibly chic – but the moment I dipped my toe into colour I never looked back! I think I wore a purple T-shirt with grey jeans and a grey cardigan on a night out and immediately made 10 new friends! Coincidence? You decide!

Do you have a favourite colour place that you visit (or have visited)?

One of the most inspiring places I’ve ever been was the Venice Architecture Biennalle; hall after hall of amazing design and SO MUCH COLOUR! I absorbed so much culture that day my brain honestly hurt, and my feet did too – Venice is about 3 miles across but we somehow walked 26 in a day!

For anyone afraid of colour what would your number 1 piece of advice be?

Go and buy a tester pot of your favourite colour, or if you can’t pick a favourite a really joyous colour like yellow, or orange, and splash it on a wall behind an ornament, or around your ceiling light, or… anywhere! Leave it and allow yourself to walk back in the next day and see it, & listen to the feeling it gives you. If you’re anything like me you’ll smile ear to ear and your colour journey will be well on its way, but if you hate it? You’re on a different path but you know what you don’t like and you can move forward from there, but you’re one step closer to your dream colour.

Which colourful person do you most admire and would love me to interview for the On the Colour Couch series?

Heartzeena; no one does Dopamine dressing (and living!) like Zeena!

Isn’t it interesting to read that Richard had gone through a grey faze, wanting to fade into the background. Grey is the colour that allows you to hide and not be seen. Dipping his toe back into the world of colour and he clearly hasn’t looked back. If you would like to discover more about Richard and his colourful murals, head over to his Instagram @Househomo.

Wishing you a colourful day,

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