Lisa Dawson is an interiors blogger, writer and presenter whose weekly blog inspires fans on Instagram and IRL (in real life) to transform their surroundings. With a background in fashion and homewards retail, Lisa writes a monthly column, Home Truths, for Real Homes magazine, has scooped several impressive awards and started a ‘thing’ when she co-founded #myhomevibe, the first Instagram interiors tag to be launched in the UK. Here, Lisa tells The Colour File what colour means to her, from her love of pastels through to the popular hue that doesn’t work for her…
Martha: Can you describe your first colour memory?
Lisa: Weirdly, it’s brown. This was the colour of our families huge three piece velour suite in the Seventies and it’s what I think of when I think of my childhood!
Martha: Do you have a favourite colour or cluster of colours and has this changed over the years?
Lisa: I love pastels – pink, mint, pale blues and purples. I’ve always loved these tones as they are a great contrast to white and black, sharp and clean.
Martha: What are your favourite colourful objects and why?
Lisa: My favourite collection in my home is my coloured glass, picked up from charity shops and sales. It looks lovely when arranged in rainbow shades and it’s currently on the window sill of my landing.
Martha: How does colour make you feel and to what extent do you use it in your work or personal life to influence your moods or those of people who follow your blog?
Lisa: My home is full of colour. I keep the base of my decor neutral so that I can add colour freely. Although I can appreciate minimal tones, I am always far more comfortable in a room with a mix of colour that draws my eye. I’m a big believer in that your decor should make you happy and I find a non restrictive palette does this for me.
Martha: Do you have a colour you could happily do without?
Lisa: I’m not a big fan of teal. I once painted a bookshelf in this shade and it didn’t last long!
Martha: How does colour get involved in your day-to-day life? Does it permeate your life from the moment you wake to the moment you go to sleep?
Lisa: Yes – my kitchen is very neutral but with pops of pale pinks and mustard tones. I find these colours really calming and uplifting. My bedroom is mainly neutral but with the colour brought in via the huge floor rug, a Persian that covers the entire area. I’ve contrasted this with pale pink cloud wallpaper with flying herons in my dressing room!
Martha: How do you choose colours for your work and where does your colour inspiration come from?
Lisa:I work with colour in my own home for my job and I gain lots of inspiration from travel and design. We recently visited Mexico and I’ve returned eager to update my outdoor space in the country’s jewel colours.
Martha: Do you think there are rules about colour or are rules made to be broken?
Lisa: I think rules are made to be broken. Although I wouldn’t ever consider putting red and green together as I think they jar terribly.
Martha: Tell me a colour story!
Lisa: I once painted my dining room dark grey because I’d seen a shop decorated the same and thought it looked stunning. However, although it looked great, no one wanted to sit in it. Instead of feeling cocooning which is how I thought it would feel, it felt dark and claustrophobic. I quickly released that it was a wrong move and painted it back to white!
Martha: Do you have any colour ‘secrets’, maybe something nobody knows about you in relation to colour, or has colour ever got you into trouble?…
Lisa: A few years ago when blush pink started filling our screens, I was desperate for a pink room. I had a sample pot so started painting the living room to test the colours one morning, then took the bull by the horns and painted the whole room. It was truly awful. It didn’t match the rest of the decor at all, least of all my red leather sofa which was an awful contrast! It lasted a week and I painted it back.
Martha: If you could give people advice about using colour, what would it be?
Lisa: My pet peeve is heavily patterned wallpapers covered in gallery walls, which for me is overwhelming. My ethos is that if you want to add colour in large quantities, keep the base neutral and add the colour on top. And if you do choose a strong wall colour, then add art, furniture and accessories one step at a time until you feel that you want to stop. If you love a colour, try it out – you can always paint it back! And always go with your heart.
Martha: If you had a colour named in your honour, what colour would it be & why?
Lisa: Ha! It would be a pastel I think, not a strong colour. These are the tones that I find most calming.
- To find out more about Lisa and her style, visit her at www.lisadawsonstyling.com and on Instagram @_lisa_dawson_