Ros and I were introduced by mutual friend Susi Bellamy, who suggested we arrange an event at Ros’ interiors store when my book, The Little Book of Colour, first launched. That was back in 2019. With the world turning upside down for the next two years, we have finally been able to get dates in the diary. So, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to invite Ros onto the Colour Couch to hear about her experiences and love of colour before I head up to Chester in March and finally meet Ros in person! Over to Ros…
What is your earliest colour memory?
I went to high school in the late 1980’s and then, much as now, it was important to blend in and be seen in the latest designer brands. However, I fell in love with a multi-coloured pair of hi-tops that weren’t Reebok, Nike or even British Knight but I absolutely loved them.
Despite the teasing, I wore these trainers to death as they were brightly coloured, no one else had them and they brought me joy! This was when I first learned to go with your heart and wear things that make you smile no matter what the ‘cool kids’ think!
What does colour mean to you?
Colour means the power to change how I look and feel. I choose which colour I wear, depending on I can’t imagine my world without colour… I was once waiting for a friend in Canary Wharf, London’s business district, and I was struck by how everyone surging past into the Underground was wearing varying shades of black and grey but I was stood in the middle of this sea of monochrome in a bright yellow jacket and it just made me smile.
At least my friend spotted me when she turned up! To me colour is a way of expressing my personality and bringing little pockets of joy to an otherwise dull world.
Do you have a favourite colour or a colour that you find yourself constantly drawn to? And why?
I absolutely love orange. It’s a fantastic accent colour, whether in fashion or interiors. It’s a lovely warm colour that adds a pop of excitement wherever it appears!
Do you have a colour that you least like? And why?
I think I genuinely like all colours, it just depends on what you pair them with. Personally I can’t wear yellow as it washes me out but in interiors I think it’s a wonderfully warm and sunny colour that can brighten up dark rooms or adds a splash of contrast to darker shades (think mustard with navy blue or sunny yellow with greys).
What do you love most about working with colour?
The power it gives me to change how my clients feel about themselves when looking in the mirror. When clients come to me with complete overwhelm because they’ve overdosed on Instagram, Pinterest or makeover shows it’s really interesting trying to get to the crux of why they think they want a particular palette in their homes.
More often than not they’re trying to recreate ‘looks’ they’ve seen on social media but once we understand what their actual palette is it’s really rewarding building up a scheme that really speaks to their subconscious and makes them feel a particular way when they spend time in that space. Colour is a wonderful tool for this, for both the creative process and the end result.
What do you think your life would be like without colour?
I feel like I would completely lose my personality without colour in my life. A wardrobe and a home without colour would be like a terrible dystopian world where we all act, feel and think the same.
Colour is a way of expressing your past, present and future, mixing periods, styles and places to showcase where you’ve been and where you’re going in life. It’s the perfect tool to show people who you are without saying anything.
Do you have a favourite colour place that you visit (or have visited)?
My absolute favourite colourful place to visit is Sketch in London’s Mayfair. It’s an eclectic bar/restaurant/arts space that is completely kooky and inspiring. The toilets look like alien pods so even popping to the ladies is a fun experience! Even their website is completely off the wall and exciting. Everyone needs to visit Sketch at least once in their life…
For anyone afraid of colour what would your number 1 piece of advice be?
My advice would be the same as swimming in cold water – if you’re scared then just inch in slowly. Try adding colour to your wardrobe with an accent handbag or shoes, or simply start adding colours to your interiors with cheap and easy to change things like cushions and lampshades.
As you start to acclimatize to your new ‘waters’ then you can try diving in head first! Paint a single wall or your ceiling a powerful colour or use wallpaper in an alcove or one wall (wallpaper is having a huge resurgence!).
If you love it then do the rest of the walls, if not then at the end of the day it’s only a wall, you can always paint back over it again but if you don’t try then you’ll never know!
Which colourful person do you most admire and would love me to interview for the On the Colour Couch series?
My favourite colour lover has got to be Zandra Rhodes! I used to work near her Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey in London and no matter how grey or rainy the day was its beautifully clashing orange and pink façade always lifted my spirits.
I love how she’s brought her unique and colourful style to both interiors and fashion, there’s such a close relationship between the two I think. I’d be fascinated to read about her inspiration and how she’s endured in such a cut-throat industry for so many decades!
Don’t you just love that Ros wore those multi-coloured pair of hi-tops regardless of what anyone else thought. That saying comes to mind, which goes something like, be yourself because everyone else is taken. As for interviewing Zandra Rhodes, she is on my dream list…
If you would like to find more about Ros, head over to her website www.theinteriorsshop.co.uk and follow her on Instagram on @theinteriorsshop.
Colour Masterclass announcement – I’ll be at The Interior Shop on Thursday 10th March 2022 for a live, in-person colour masterclass. If you would like to join me, then you can check out all the details here.
Book event – I’ll be at The Interior Shop on the evening of Wednesday 9th March 2022 for a live, in-person discussing my book, The Little Book of Colour with a live Q&A and drinks reception. If you would like to join me, then you can check out all the details here.
Wishing you a colourful day,