Last year I got to ‘meet’ Wayne Perrey, The TV carpenter (you might know him from UK makeover shows including, BBC “The Great Interior Design Challenge”, “Interior Design Masters”, Garden rescue” and ITV “Love Your Garden”), when he invited me onto his podcast, The TV Carpenter. We had a such a great time that I’ve invited him to be a guest on The Colour Couch. Below he shares about his love of colour and how he still sees colour despite his colour blindness.
What is your earliest colour memory?
As a child of the late 70s Brown was heavily featured in our home, we had lots of mid century furniture and a large brown sofa, we even had brown flock wallpaper which was the height of sophistication, but I remember my bed throw was brown and cream and I used to pull the thread and watch it unravel.
What does colour mean to you?
Colour for me and my family is a big discussion, especially as many of my family including myself are colour blind. My mums side of the family carry the gene, she is one of seven kids, all the men are colour blind and all the women passed on to their male children, in fact it’s rare but one of my female cousins is also colour blind.
Rather than feeling like I was missing out, being colour blind made me feel a little special as people were always intrigued by what I saw. As they always say “you don’t miss what you don’t know” because I still see colour it’s just slightly different from the norm.
My only issue is I can’t name what I see (in my mind blue and purple are next each other on the wheel so if it’s a dark shade its purple, if it a light shade it’s blue) but who needs to name them anyway. I’m able to love colour and like how a room and its colour palette make me feel so I still have an opinion on it.
Do you have a favourite colour or a colour that you find yourself constantly drawn to? And why?
Any one who knows me or has seen me on TV they will say ORANGE, I’m a big fan of wearing your happy as I hate dark colours.
But the Orange was a happy accident, working on TV you can’t wear any branding and they encourage you to wear the same clothes over the 3 day makeovers for continuity, so I bought a pack of 5 orange tops and went to work. The effect it had on people was interesting, it made people smile, the editors loved it as it looks great on camera and subconsciously it reminded people of the DIY store B&Q which seemed perfect for my brand as that’s what I teach.
And a little added bonus, my little girl could always find her daddy on TV even if I was in the back of the shot!
Do you have a colour that you least like? And why?
I’ve never thought about this but looking in my wardrobe I don’t own any green as it’s not punchy enough but I do love it in interiors as it has a calming effect on me.
What do you love most about working with colour?
Over the years I have worked with over 100 interior designers (mainly on makeover shows like BBC Great interior Design challenge and all series of Interior design masters) and I am constantly surprised by what is achieved with colour. The choices they make with regards to tone and blend, but also how you can create a feel in a room. Sometimes a designer just has ‘IT’ and has the ability to draw a scheme together and I have seen designers learn the skills to equal effect.
What do you think your life would be like without colour?
Like I said “I like to wear my happy” seeing first how a colour choice whether I’m wearing it or painted a room for someone can effect people, I would feel like I’ve lost one of my super powers, because who doesn’t want to have that effect on people?
What’s your favourite colour story?
My mum loves colour and interior design and I remember my dad paid a lot of money for a decorator to paint our 3 floor staircase and hallway from top to bottom, but after it was finished my mum hated the colour she had chosen for the wall under the dado rail, so whilst dad was at work one evening me and mum repainted it.
My dad came home in the early hours and didn’t even notice, it was our little secret for years as she didn’t want to admit she had picked the wrong colour. From the age of 13 me and mum painted lots of things in our house and dad was non the wiser.
Were you ever afraid or wary of colour? And what did you do to overcome this?
Being colour blind I used to have the fear of “Getting it Wrong” like the rule that red and pink shouldn’t go together. My wife used to despair when I would dress my daughter for nursery, it was minefield putting together tights, skirt, top, shoes and then throw in a red coat and my mind would blow especially as I waited for my wife’s reaction when she picked her up at the end of the day.
As my daughter got older she would tell me what went together. Sometimes I would struggle with choosing a tie colour with my suit but I was shown a tip of matching the tie with the inside lining of the suit and that got me out of lots of tricky situations.
Do you have a favourite colour place that you visit (or have visited)?
My wife has recently got membership for Soho House and I find their colour schemes stunning. I interviewed Linda Boronkay on my podcast who was style director for many years and her insight into choosing colours for the houses was so inspiring. There is something about the texture and palette that just makes you relax.
If you could pick any colour and give it a name, what would that be?
A bright orange – and it would be called ‘DIY GUY”.
For anyone afraid of colour what would your number 1 piece of advice be?
Just do it, it’s only paint and it can be easily changed. If going dark go darker, if going brighter go brighter because very rarely do you regret it, and speaking from experience if you chicken out and don’t go full throttle, a week down the line you will always wish you had pushed it as you get used to it pretty quickly.
Which colourful person do you most admire and would love me to interview for the On the Colour Couch series?
You, I would love to hear your thoughts as when I interviewed you, we could have talked for days and I know my podcast listeners loved it.
Wayne’s wish will be granted. I will jump onto the colour couch to interview myself… one day. How fascinating that despite his colour blindness, Wayne doesn’t let that stop him from fully embracing our colourful world.
If you would like to listen to the podcast I did with Wayne (which was such great fun, we could have chatted all day), you can listen over here.
And to discover more about Wayne, head over to his Instagram @theTVcarpenter.
Wishing you a colourful day,