Melanie Abbott an industry expert in colour who works in Porter’s Paint and also a graduate from iscd in Diploma of Colour in Design give us here inside knowledge on how colour can inspire and influence individuals.
What drew you to specialise in colour over the variety of other areas in design?
While studying Cert IV I felt drawn to and really enjoyed any briefs and subjects that related to colour and its various applications in design. I had never really considered it as an area of specialty when I commenced the Cert IV but I think having Wendy Greenhalf as my educator helped spark my newfound passion. I learnt a lot about myself during the Cert IV and to discover my eye for colour was very exciting.
Where you always a creative person?
I didn’t think so before starting at ISCD but it wasn’t long before I realised that we all have creativity in us it’s just about being in a situation or environment that opens your eyes to creative capabilities and allows you to explore and experiment and push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Do you believe colour can inspire an individual and influence their mood?
Absolutely. Colour is one of the first attributes that effects you when you walk into a space or a room. It has the ability to calm you, invigorate you and wow you.
What colours do you believe should be used in a bedroom or living room and why?
I am a big fan of blues – rich, dark navy’s and soft blue greys – as well as silvery greens and mid greys. They each lend themselves to so many colour options when accenting with soft furnishings and look fabulous with all the different timber furniture available.
What are this seasons’ colours? Or is there a colour that you dislike that you have had to overcome?
I think that silvery sage and olive hues are becoming more popular. They offer a fresh take on the grey’s that have been used so much recently. As a colour designer you do have to leave your colour likes and dislikes at the door when doing a consultation. It can be challenging for me to specify or help a customer with browns and oranges but every colour has a place and bringing those hues I like less to life as part of an overall palette can be very rewarding.
After studying the theory and philosophy behind colour do you see everyday objects in a new way?
I sure do and working at Porter’s has added to that. I see colours all around me in a different way and can’t help but imagine different colour palettes and applications of colours everywhere I go. The ability for colour to draw the eye in and to evoke feelings and memories is not something I had focused on before. It is fascinating to observe nature and the colour palettes that occur without human intervention and to then observe the carefully laid out schemes in our built environments that have been carefully put together to make us feel a certain way.
Do you tend to be drawn to a particular colour?
Personally I am generally drawn to more neutral colours for large spaces – greys and greige (grey tinted beiges such as Porter’s ‘Woodsmoke’) – and greens and blues for accents with pops of yellow for fun.
Where do you find your colour inspiration when working on different projects?
We are surrounded by inspiration in daily life and I also pull images from magazines and pin them on a board at my desk (old school!) I also have dozens of screenshots on my phone from Instagram and boards on Pinterest. We are so lucky to have incredible technology that allows us to capture am inspiration instantaneously.
As a colour specialist is your home full of colour or a neutral heaven?
As a colour specialist I fall in love with new colours and combinations everyday. I can’t commit! At the moment our home is very white, which I love, but I change the look around with accessories seasonally. I am planning a complete repaint of our interiors and am nearly settled on colours. Nearly…..
Is it hard to separate a client’s brief to your own personal taste?
I haven’t struggled with this yet actually. I always go into a job remembering how important it is to listen to the client’s likes and dislikes and to incorporate the parts of a scheme that can’t be changed such as furniture and flooring.