The Art of Colour Drenching

The Art of Colour Drenching

When we renovated 7 years ago our decorator painted our skirting boards the same colour as the walls – at the time I just thought he was being lazy (not cutting in the crisp white contrast I wanted) – but maybe he was just a trend setter, ahead of his time?

If you’ve picked up an interiors magazine lately – or scrolled through some ‘home’ accounts on Instagram, you’ll have noticed – as I have – the term “colour drenching” increasingly being mentioned. Most references I’ve found to the term date from the end of 2023, with one lonely article referencing the ‘trend’ as early as 2021!

Colour drenching: all blue everything

What is colour drenching?

The technique involves saturating a room in a single colour: top to toe. Think the big impact items like walls, ceilings, skirting boards, carpets/flooring – and including heaps of the details like tiles, soft furnishings, art pieces, door/drawer handles, and light switches.

Why colour drench?

British designer Abigail Ahern says, “One of the amazing things about colour drenching is that the walls and ceilings effectively disappear and become an amazing backdrop to all of your interesting furnishings and decor.”

Colour drenching is said to create a cohesive, immersive space; transforming any room into a harmonious environment, creating a sense of unity and balance. By using one colour throughout, you eliminate visual clutter, a particularly effective trick for small spaces, helping the room feel larger and more open.

The versatility of colour drenching is a key part of its popularity. In theory, whether you prefer a bold, saturated hue or soft, muted tones, there's a colour drenching scheme to suit every taste. Though as Katherine (@bluetangonz) told me when I asked about the trend on Instagram, “As much as bright pink is my favourite colour, even I wouldn’t colour drench a room in it.”

Choosing a colour

Chances are you have a favourite colour – mine’s been green as long as I can remember and I’ve never wavered. If you’re going in for colour drenching, you’re going to have to LOVE the colour you pick. Your wardrobe could offer vital clues to the colour you’d most like to cocoon yourself in.

Alternatively, ask yourself, how do I want to feel in my home? If you want to feel:

  • Cosy ….. think darker, muted shades (sultry blues, warm greys, chocolate brown)
  • Invigorated….. choose bold, vibrant tones (orange, reds)
  • Happy….. warm colours with a pop (buttery-yellow, tangerine, peach, lilac)
  • Relaxed…. Bring the zen of nature in (watery-blues, foresty greens)
  • Soothed…. Keep it soft and neutral (warm whites, creams, pale greiges)

Is colour drenching just a passing fad?

This design approach has been growing in popularity in recent years – but how long will its moment-in-the-sun last? My personal thoughts are that in a couple of years colour drenching will have gone the way of colour blocking and feature walls... like any trend, it’s not here to stay.

Also like all trends, it's easy to get swept up in the excitement and forget about your own personal style and preferences. While it's great to experiment with new ideas, it's important to remember that your home should be a reflection of your personality and tastes, not just a showcase for the latest trends.

Is colour drenching for you?

Despite these notes of caution, if you

  • love the look,
  • enjoy having fun with your interior spaces, and
  • aren’t afraid of a new paint job every few years

then go for it! Colour drenching is a bold way for you to add some wow factor to your home, to evoke playful/restful/cosy, without making the room feel too busy.

In a recent Instagram poll I ran, 3 times more people voted for coloured walls over white walls, which tells me you’re up for colour… but how far will you go with it?

Colour drenching: green art, green walls, green lamp

Meet in the middle

Colour drenching offers a creative and impactful way to transform your home’s spaces. However, I know you’ll approach consideration of colour drenching thoughtfully and you’d never just follow the crowd. If you’re not 100% committed, reach a compromise by colour drenching only the things that can be easily changed – a partial colour drench. It’s a lot easier to roll a new paint colour onto the wall or replace your towels and duvet, than to replace your carpets or bathtub!

Key notes:

  • Choose a colour you love
  • Use your wardrobe for clues
  • Focus on your own preferences and not trends
  • Embrace the experiment, be prepared to tweak and adapt
  • Get your painting muscles ready

By staying true to your own style and preferences and by picking a colour that makes your heart sing, you can create a home that's truly a reflection of who you are, while having some fun along the way.

Would love to hear your thoughts on colour drenching! Leave a comment below.

x Mel

P.S. I still think my decorator was being lazy with those skirting boards!

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