DESIGNER Abigail Ahern credits colour with changing her life. “I know it sounds super dramatic but it’s true,” she says. “Colour has given me a home I never want to leave. It has made me happier. When I put my key in the door at the end of a long day I get this squishy feeling of contentment that envelopes me, and it’s all because of colour. I can assure you that a white hallway just wouldn’t have the same effect.”
The entrance of her London house, like the rest of the property, is painted in intense dark palettes. Her first love was Farrow & Ball’s Down Pipe but she has since developed her own paint label and so the hall is now in her own Mulberry Red, the lower ground floor sports Madison Grey and the ground floor is decked out in Hudson Black.
One of the main keys to success with these dusky tones is to invest in the best quality paint. Cheap, synthetic brands look flatter and don’t have the nuances that natural pigments have, she says.
In an effort to help the rest of us “debeige” she has written a book, Abigail Ahern Colour: Banish Beige. Boost Colour. Transform Your Life, and, like her best-selling Decorating with Style, it is full of genuinely good ideas and inspirational pictures.
“My motto in life is to take risks. Simply put, you can’t create a jaw-on-the-floor interior without them. I want this book to make people think differently about colour and stop being scared,” she says.
A poll on her social media sites confirmed what she suspected was true – magnolia is losing its attraction.
The book then is timely and she proudly declares that the colours on show in it are not “on trend”. They are, she says: “timeless, sophisticated combos that you will want to live with forever. There are no sherbet lemons and baby blues in this book”.
If you want move over to the darker side and be led by one of the world’s most exciting decorators then opposite is her fail-safe 60-30-10 rule and some more hints and tips on gaining colour confidence.
• Abigail Ahern Colour: Banish Beige, Boost Colour, Transform Your Home is published by Quadrille, £20. www.quadrille.co.uk; www.abigailahern.org