As always at this time of year, I’m positively giddy to see the back of grey. As I write this, the country is being buffeted by the deceptively cute-sounding Storm Dudley, and with it there’s a seemingly endless cycle of scudding rain clouds, dank puddles and soggy socks.
However, there are a few glimmers of hope.
My 7.30am windswept dog walks are definitely getting lighter and there are hints of colour around: crocuses breaking through the soil, verdant shoots on the trees and the odd iridescent parakeet squawking overhead.
Johannes Itten (1888-1967) was a Swiss expressionist painter, designer, writer and one of the founding members of the Bauhaus school. He was quite a character, an advocate of using music and relaxation techniques to fire his students’ creativity and, more importantly perhaps, a colour theorist. He shaped modern thought regarding the way we consider and combine the various hues that surround us.
One of Itten’s quotes (of which I’m a big fan) is: ‘Colour is life: for a world without colour appears to us as dead.’ This stuck in my mind this month, along with the words of his fellow expressionist Wassily Kandinsky: ‘Colour is a power, which directly influences the soul.’
While we’ve explored ideas of maximalism and bold decorating decisions before in our
pages, I wanted this issue to go further and to reflect the truly life-affirming and empowering effects of bringing colour and pattern into your home.
To my mind, it’s a stylish shock to the system, revealing not only the latest fabrics and wallpapers of the season (which we do with aplomb), but also showing you the spectacular results achieved by some of the world’s most daring and chic individuals when transforming their spaces.
A few years ago, my team will tell you, I was down on the colour lilac. I didn’t get it. Now though, seen gracing the Dutch home of actress Carice van Houten and also our new pared-back punchy cover, I just can’t get enough of it.
As this is the season for embracing new projects, it seemed only right to also include our annual ELLE Decoration Kitchens special magazine (handily bound to the back of this issue). Now in its seventh year, it’s an indispensable 56-page guide perfect for those planning to rip out and renovate – or simply those who love all things related to the most important area of our homes.
So whether you’re exploring shades of purple, putting up wood panelling (there’s an expert guide to that inside, too) or transforming your kitchen, let ELLE Decoration give you the confidence to go bold, bright and brazen. You’ve got the power!