Feb 20, 2019

Prepared by Tracy Greenwood for NewMedia

inspiring neutral colours 1

Paint and textiles can be used to great effect to lift a neutral space, taking it from drab to fab. Textile designer Andrea Brand – we are in love with her digitally printed cushion covers! – inspired us.

Interior designer Andrea Brand, who collaborated with Plascon at Decorex Johannesburg 2018 where her magnificent digitally printed cushions took pride of place on the Plascon stand, says colour and texture are her lifelong passion.

An inveterate roamer, Andrea says travelling inspires her, fuelling her with ideas that she brings home and infuses into her designs.

Why are paint and textiles such an effective way to lift an otherwise neutral space?

They are the easiest ways to enhance a space because they can be changed whenever you like. Three to five years is often a time when we feel like something 'new'. Textiles like scatter cushions, throws and even upholstered chairs can also be moved from one location in the home to another to create a new look.

How do you go about choosing the right shade of paint for this purpose?

I find that the mood or trend of a shade is a good point at which to start. Each colour has a mood – an energy at which it 'vibrates', and people are often actually quite accurate in choosing the right colours for specific times in their lives. Warmer colours are more invigorating and energizing (think red, orange and yellow), while cooler colours are more calming, and a shade like deep purple imparts a feeling of serenity. Earthy shades, on the other hand, are grounding. And while we all have our own interpretation of colour there are some universal truths about them, too.

I would recommend that before deciding on shades to use in your home you should consider researching the therapeutic effect of colours and see if your research ties in with the colours you are considering using.

Where can coloured paint be used in the home to best effect?

I think that each room can be enhanced with one wall that has colour.

Or you could choose your favourite room in the house – the one that you spend the most time in – but this is a highly personal choice and will vary from one person to another.

Which colour trends would you recommend clients use to add drama to their spaces?

A dramatic trend that is very current right now is the use of dark colours. I would suggest going really dark with colours, from deep hues of purple and blue, greens, greys and even black.

Which colours tend to pair nicely with which popular neutrals?

The earthy rust colours that are trending now are great with neutrals, as are green and blue hues. For me, colour palette, like these, that come from nature has all the answers.

What is especially on trend in the fabric space right now?

Velvet, velvet and more velvet.

Why do your products, most specifically the cushions used on this year's Plascon Decorex stand, add life to spaces?

My designs are mostly inspired by nature. Taking anything from nature adds life to interiors. My Traces collection 2018 is inspired by the traces leaves make, as well as the leaf itself and its structure, which became my inspiration for this collection.

Which global interiors trend stands out for you right now?

A global trend for interiors is to take natural fibres, or images from nature and bring them indoors. When we surround ourselves with objects that inspire nature we feel whole and connected which is in opposition to the modern lifestyle that is by its very nature extremely fragmented.

* The Andrea Brand Collection of digital prints on eco-friendly fabrics is printed on wallpaper, upholstery fabrics, wood and even luxurious materials including silk and silk hemp, and her very own online shop will soon be launched. Keep an eye on her website ( for details.