6 books for using colour in interior design
Loving colour is kind of our job – which is fantastic because it’s our passion too! Our FibreGuard performance fabrics design team knows instinctively that colour has an immediate influence on a space, whether we are even conscious of it or not. Colour combinations affect us too as humans, and most people aren’t even aware of their influence.
We take colour very seriously indeed here at FibreGuard. Learn about FibreGuard Outdoor, our range of colourfast fabrics that are ready to stand up to UV rays and humidity.
Today we're revealing our team's essential colour inspiration and design books, together with our own colour experts’ insights from the FibreGuard team. These books have been more useful to us than any university lecture or over-priced colour wheel that designers can buy, and we’re excited to share them with you today.
A Perfectly Kept House Is the Sign of a Misspent Life: Mary Randolph Carter
Our list of colour design books begins with the gloriously titled, “A Perfectly Kept House Is the Sign of a Misspent Life: How to Live Creatively with Collections, Clutter, Work, Kids, Pets, Art, Etc... and Stop Worrying about Everything Being Perfectly in Its Place”, by professional hoarder, Mary Randolph Carter.
You’ll love this book if you, like her, prefer your living space to speak more about your real life, dreams and loves, rather than be a beautifully cold, sterile showroom.
Colour and texture really bring a home to life, giving your ideas and inspirations tangible expression. A complete must for collectors, life-lovers and exuberant colour designers everywhere.
Simplicity: Nancy Braithwaite
Nancy Braithwaite’s Simplicity turns down the volume way down on the maximalism backed by Mary Randolph Carter’s book.
In terms of colour and interior design, Baithwaite argues that simplicity itself can be opulent. If you’re reaching for a space filled with a Shaker-design-like purity, you’ll need this book in your arsenal.
There’s an entire section of Simplicity devoted solely to use of colour in your interiors which makes this book a must-not-miss.
The Colour Scheme Bible: Anna Starmer
No list about colour design resources would be complete without a book with that kind of title. Starmer was right in naming her book a ‘bible’: this thing is huge.
Be prepared to be blissfully overwhelmed by colour and design inspiration.The Colour Scheme Bible is kind of like Pantone’s 35 Inspirational Color Palettes for the Home, except it features far more than 35 colour palettes (over 200 actually) and is more in-depth and lengthy than Pantone’s colour palette book. Covering areas like how colour contributes to creating a certain atmosphere to how it can give the illusion of space and depth, there’s nothing we don’t like about The Colour Scheme Bible.
Bonus tip: we also recommend checking out Starmer’s newest book on colour design: Love Colour: Choosing Colours to Live With. Published at the end of 2018, we are racing through this book as a companion text to the Colour Scheme Bible.
Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating: Lauren Liess
Lauren Liess, the interior designer behind the popular blog Pure Style Home takes colour inspiration from the great outdoors in this interior design guide.
With an entire section on colour in part one, Habitat is a must-have for minimalist designers and maximalist aficionados alike.
Mixing natural elements of wood and stone with vintage and modern pieces for an eclectic interior, Habitat focuses on neutral tones and is a must-have for every designer out there looking to make an understated splash.
Black and White (and a Bit in Between): Celerie Kemble
Are you searching to bump up your expertise on monochrome colour palettes? Do you seriously love the work of interior designers like Dorothy Draper and Madeleine Castaing?
It’s your lucky day! We’re recommending this book as it’s all that and more. Best known for working primarily in vivid colour palettes, acclaimed designer Celerie Kemble trades it all in for this romp through the world of black and white interior design.
Black and White (and a Bit in Between) is a fabulous homage to the iconic black and white work of interior design luminaries, including Bunny Williams, Thomas O’Brien, Mary McDonald, Victoria Hagan, Mark Hampton, Delphine Krakoff, Brad Ford, Philip Gorrivan, Carrier and Co., and Miles Redd.
You’ll learn from the best in this one.
Colour: The Professional's Guide: Karen Triedman
Rounding off our recommendations, Colour: The Professional's Guide is a kind of fusion of everything we love about the other books in our colour design library.
Focusing on the enduring quality of colour in both interior design as well as the idea and theory of colour in visual culture as a whole, Triedman’s book is an in-depth guide for design and visual professionals no matter what their discipline.
Get design inspiration for your boho living rooms, bright bathrooms, colour-pop kitchens or bedroom in need of new paint on our Colourful Interiors Pinterest board.
New! Bonus book: The Secret Lives of Colour: Kassia St. Clair
The Secret Lives of Colour delves into the extraordinary narratives behind 75 captivating shades, dyes, and hues. From the impact of battles transformed by a specific brown to the protective properties of white against the plague, and from Picasso's influential blue period to the charcoal adorning the walls of Lascaux's caves, the book explores a spectrum of stories.
Journeying from acid yellow to Kelly green, and from the significance of scarlet women to the imperial majesty of purple, these unexpected tales weave a vibrant narrative through the tapestry of history.
Author Kassia St Clair, fuelled by a lifelong fascination with the origins of colours, whether manifested in Van Gogh's chrome yellow sunflowers or the fluorescent pink of punk culture, has crafted a distinctive exploration of human civilization. Spanning realms of fashion and politics, art and war, The Secret Lives of Colour vividly narrates the story of our cultural evolution.
6 indispensable books about colour for interior designers
You might have guessed by now that we're passionate about colour and performance fabrics at FibreGuard. But what is the point in having performance fabrics in beautiful, deep colours if they fade after time? Our extensive colour fastness testing is an essential part of the production of all FibreGuard fabrics: the vibrant colours and colour durability are two of the key FibreGuard characteristics that our customers love most.
If you are seeking the ultimate in fade resistant fabrics, check out our high performance FibreGuard Outdoor range. Engineered for both outdoor and indoor use, its strong design and construction help these fabrics take exposure to the sun’s harmful rays in their stride.