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One of my favourite things in all the world is colour. I find it fascinating, deeply fascinating. I appreciate how it can influence mood and perception; how it strikes us in the most ordinary and extraordinary ways; how we live in a world awash with it.

I find colour enlivening, so let's take a wander through colour exploration in various guises. If you are beginning your experimentation with colour, looking for how to use it in various spaces, or simply want to remind yourself about it’s awesome power, read on!

Look for it everywhere

I have a list of 'Things of Wonder' on my phone, where I note the things taking my breath away. And there's an astonishing amount on there with colour at the core:

  • the most amazing colours of sunset from my kitchen window
  • the extraordinary colours of fresh beetroot - reds, whites and yellows in explosions of lines
  • the colours of flowers and fruit at the green grocer
  • raindrops on the silver leaves of my ground cover
  • being smacked between the eyes with the brightest blue sky whole tramping old ground in my mind
  • sunlight bouncing off all it touches as it rounds the earth to begin a new day
  • the perfect red on toenails
  • the perfect pop of nasturtium orange
  • extraordinary crisp blue sky
  • sunlight through bougainvillea
  • the sliver of a silver moon hanging in the sky at dusk


Art is colour. Well, one area of art is colour; colour is art.

Colour is so extraordinarily emotive and evocative there is no limit to how expressive colour is in the world of art. Even the absence of colour is powerful.

Search for the hashtag ‘art’, or ‘abstract art’ on Instagram and have a scroll. Chase that rabbit down the hole by exploring the art of anyone who’s use of colour resonates with you.

Check out Mark Rothko - his colour fields paintings are beautiful studies of emotion, translated into rectangles of paint on canvas. And don’t look for something to ‘get’ in his paintings - the whole point is to ‘feel’.

You might like to explore indigenous art across various cultures - the narrative of colour is very strong in so many.

Go through an art history book and look at the way colours are used to tell the story. Don’t worry I am not going to go into the semiotics of colour through the ages because there's a lot to unpack there. Colour is used to convey emotional, socio-economic and cultural narratives. What one colour means in one culture can be vastly different to another.

Film uses the semiotics of colour, using our understanding of certain colours to help us interpret motivation.

Even if you don't love abstract art, or 'get' it, spend some time looking at abstract art to spot what colours, and colour combinations resonate with you.


The world of colour in fashion is deep and varied. The lack of colour has been a staple, one that doesn't resonate with me which makes me the odd one out in a Melbourne winter! Black has a place, I am sure, but not with me.

When you look at your wardrobe - what colours excite you when you see them folded or hanging?

What colours do you feel good in - when you pop on the outfit you have a bounce in your step?

What colours bring out your eyes?

In all colours, there are warm, neutral and cool tones. So when you say you wearing yellow doesn't suit you, perhaps it's been the wrong tone of yellow? Perhaps you need something cleaner? Or cooler? Or dirtier? Or warmer? Lemon and mustard are both shades of yellow, and there's a lot to play with in between!

In your wardrobe, unless you are the glorious Trinny, perhaps look at a narrow palette to start with, to ensure more of your separates and layers mix and match with one another.

When pulling together an outfit do you like to wear a single colour (dressing like a crayon)? Note: this is monochrome dressing. Monochrome doesn't just mean black or white. It means one colour, so it can be any colour (or tints and tones of the same colour). This is a particular irritation of mine when people misuse this word, particularly fashion journalists.

Or do you prefer a pattern clash?

Or perhaps you don't think about fashion as anything other than functional. In which case, I strongly suggest you to invest in clothes of colours your really like, that you feel good in. What's more functional than the natural energy of a dopamine hit because you feel more 'you' in certain colours?

And for those who want to take a deeper dive into colour in fashion, Trinny Woodall is the best guide and a breath of extraordinary oxygen. Watch her Closet Confession series. It's brilliant.


Depending on your journey of your home and homewares, you might have a very carefully curated home or you might have an accidental collection.

I'd encourage you to think about how colour makes you feel, and how you can use those colours in different spaces throughout your house to create those feelings, those moods.

For me, the best example is my fabulous friend Candice. She has hands down the best collection of bedding and manchester of anyone in my life. It's all colour and pattern clash. And she mixes and matches so well. I love it, and have always had a little bit of envy when viewing.

However, what I realised is, when I tried to capture the same thing in my bedroom, it stressed me out. My bedroom, to help me relax, needs to be very neutral. I don't mean white. But softer tones, muted tones. And still with a pattern clash. But chill.

You don't need to dash out and buy new furniture, artworks and homewares and cushions and throws. Pick a colour or a few to focus on in a particular space. Can you paint something? Even some frames for artwork to pull colours through? What does your local op shop have in those colours?

And don't feel you need to use the same colour/set throughout your house. I have different colours in my dining and lounge to my bedroom to my reading space to my spare room. But there's colour in each of them ;)


I am sure it's not a surprise I finish here. And honestly, the colour exploration here is the simplest.

Get out into it.

And see it, really see it.

See the visual textures of different colours of greens in the trees.

Look at the multitude of colours in bark.

See the tiny flowers of a weed in the cracks of the concrete.

And look at all the colour of flowers!

Great resources

Two fab books:

  1. Chromatopia: An Illustrated History of Colour by David Coles
  2. The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St Clair
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