“It’s a really fun and fresh colour,” says Keshav Murugesh about Curiosity, the Asian Paints Colour of the Year. Every year, ColourNext identifies one hue that captures the essence of the time specific to our country. This year’s colour – Curiosity – inspires us to fearlessly experiment and energises us with optimism. Keshav, a design publicist who has worked with names like Vivienne Westwood, Villeroy & Boch, and Atelier Ashiesh Shah among others, paired up with Mumbai-based interior and product designer Pooja Bhandary to style this shade in a range of wall treatments and looks.
With these looks, Keshav and Pooja decided to show the readers just how versatile it can be. “The colour is a bold one and we made it the hero of each look. Instead of shying away from it, we made it the focal point of each room,” Pooja explains. “Broadly, we used three different wall treatments. The first one is a tone-on-tone, horizontal striped look, the second is a solid colour offset with contrasting bright orange detailing and the third works moulding and wallpaper into the mix. It is all about balancing the colour to create cosy, realistic spaces.”
The first look in our series is a vibrant library-living room design. “We wanted to bring in the old-world charm of a traditional study but blend it with an energetic approach,” she continues. Keshav adds that it would be very easy to look at this colour only in an eclectic or quirky context. “With this styling, we wanted to show the audience how to use a fun and fresh colour and wall treatment to elevate a serious room as well. Even in a sombre space like a vintage-inspired library modern living room, this lively blue works to contemporise the look,” he says.
Read on for their top tips on how to boost a library living room with this exciting hue:
Bring in the stripes - broad, bold and beautiful
“For this treatment, we wanted a fresh, tone-on-tone effect. We paired the colour with a lighter blue from the ColourNext palette called ‘Vitality’. For a more dramatic effect, one can also pair it with a darker shade like ‘Magnum’ that has a tinge of Indigo to it. Not everybody has the luxury of large rooms and high ceilings. The important thing to remember with broad, horizontal stripes is to use it on all your walls to give depth and have a flowing effect. By using the stripes on every wall as opposed to one feature wall, it makes the room look bigger,” says Pooja.
Add warming elements
“We have used a palette of warm wood and tan leather to work with Curiosity. The tan has a tinge of burnt orange which contrasts beautifully with the fresh blue while the wood finish infuses the space with warmth. We finished the look with a few antiques, glass elements and metallic detailing to elevate the decor and add a little drama,” says Keshav.
Create the right balance
Pooja says, “We wanted to have a realistic approach and Indian homes tend to be filled with a lot of wood. We used an antique room divider with fluted glass inserts and set it flush against the wall to create a beautiful contrast of vintage and modern. The tan leather chairs are a contemporary version of Colonial Club chairs. The colour offsets the brilliant blue while the sleek lines and material palette add depth and texture to the look. Another tip is to add a few pockets of light features to the room. We brought in neutral shades with the bookcase and rugs. On one wall, we arranged framed watercolour paintings of six Indian cities in a vertical cluster to balance the broad, horizontal stripes.”
Play around with soft lighting
Keshav stresses that lighting is a very important factor with this look. “Bright ceiling lights will overwhelm this look and make it look like an ice-cream parlour. Instead, go in for soft, warm lighting like a few floor and table lamps paired with wall sconces. Also, if the room gets flooded with natural light during the day, diffuse it with sheer curtains or choose a room with controlled lighting,” he adds.
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