The many colours of vintage Penguin books

Here are some pretty Penguins for your delectation… The colours add beauty to the tomes and you’ll often see [...]

5 ways colour helped me cope with coronavirus lockdown

I don’t know about you but I couldn’t have done without colour during the various coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. Here [...]

How to paint a mini-mural in 15 minutes

I love painting things. Every stage thrills me, starting from leafing through paint cards, comparing shades and buying tester [...]

Stories about stairs

What sayings from your childhood have imprinted themselves indelibly on your brain? My mum was the queen of phrases. [...]

What colour is your house?

What colour is YOUR house? I’ve walked down this street soooo many times (on account of the fact my [...]

The unexpected gift of friendship

Sometimes life gives you little unexpected gifts: tax rebates (rare), a good hair day (rarer), perhaps a broken-handled wabi-sabi [...]

The colourful apple doesn’t fall far…

Good morning and welcome to a new week SIC breaks up tomorrow, which means the massive locker clear-out is [...]

All-year round Christmas decorations

I’ve always loved party decorations When I was a kid and was tasked with licking coloured slivers of paper [...]

Are you brave with colour?

I’m on a proper colour roll today… Here’s another close-up I took in my living room the other day. [...]

Embrace the visual noise

‘Never work with animals and children’ That’s what W.C.Fields once famously said (second-in-command, aged 12, is incredulous: ‘Why? We’re [...]

How to buy art with your heart

Just when you think you’ve seen all the beauty you can take… My colour-loving friends, I want to share [...]

My multicoloured Etsy find

Yesterday, I talked about how Etsy is my go-to destination for superb colour finds. Here’s one that I bought: [...]

Why I love Etsy

What do you do if you have a spare five minutes? Pour yourself a sizeable G&T? Idly swipe your [...]

My colourful vintage blanket collection

LOOK at these cuties!! Around 15 years ago I went through a phase of buying colourful crocheted blankets. I [...]

The healing power of gerbera flowers

What is it about gerberas? Maybe it’s something to do with the fact that they look like flowers a [...]

Where does ‘cushion’ come from?

I love words I love that there are so many wonderful words to choose from when you’re musing over [...]

My purple Leuchtturm 1917 notebook

What is it about a new notebook? Whenever I get one I get that ‘new school year’ buzz (buying [...]

Colours that go well together

Hello, folks. I wanted to show you this picture I made for my friend Jen’s 50th birthday @yoyojenjen It’s [...]

The colours that cats see

Welcome to my world and the #storyofmyhome  It’s the one where this glorious creature perpetually chases her brother round [...]

My colourful childhood dressing-up trunk

Oh my gosh, just LOOK at these beauties!! Rail after rail of colour-organised vintage dresses, spotted at @topshop in [...]

A guide to vintage Penguin book colours

Here are some pretty Penguins for your delectation The colours don’t just add beauty to the tomes, they also [...]

Colourful street art: why I love it

It’s that time of year I start to feel intense wanderlust In my mind, i circumnavigate the globe and [...]

Welsh colour names

When i was a little girl, my Mamgu (‘grandmother’ in Welsh) looked after me while my mum went to [...]

The joy of watercolour paints

What IS it about a set of watercolour paints? Pure, unadulturated colour joy. I love them most when they’ve [...]

Creating flat lays with Pantone postcards

OK, so it would seem I’ve discovered a new favourite colourful pastime (like I don’t have enough already): playing [...]

How The Colour File got its name

When I started The Colour File, I chose the name for several reasons. When I take pictures, I keep [...]

American academic tassels: what the colours mean

I’m fascinated by the subject of colour blindness A friend told me about a boyfriend she once had, whose [...]

A world of undiscovered colours

Hello, folks, and welcome to a new week. Do you take for granted being able to distinguish between different [...]

Where to find colour in London: Liberty’s

Where do you head to when you’re feeling flat, melancholy or in need of recalibrating after your cage has [...]

How to play the Valspar paint swatch game

When I was a kid, I loved playing Monopoly. It wasn’t on account of being highly competitive (ok, so [...]

Adding Californian colour to a shady spot

Do you ever have a, ‘Why, Miss Jones, you’re really rather beautiful!’ moment about an area of your home? [...]

A lifelong love of colouring pencils

I was sketching for one of my colour projects when I realised just how DELICIOUS these pencils looked against [...]

Creating colourful art from ocean plastic

Today, 22 April, is World Earth Day. We should be thinking about our environment every day but our frenetic [...]

The story behind my purple tattoo

Do you have a tattoo? I never used to see myself as a tattoo kind of gal. This was mainly [...]

Colour blocking with pink and mint green

Who loves colour-blocking? Regular readers of the Colour File will know much I love hiding same coloured objects against [...]

‘Blue and green should never be seen’ & other colour sayings

Rules are made to be broken, right? I often think this when I hear sayings that have effectively become [...]

3 April 19: Remembering lost ones through colour

Do you have a colour that distinctly reminds you of someone? When I remember my mum, I think of [...]

31 March 19: A colourful Mothering Sunday

Happy Mothers Day from The Colour File  I’m forever impressed and amazed at the talent I see on Insta [...]

29 March 19: Frames aren’t just for pictures

What do you like to see in a frame? As well as the usual suspects – pictures, prints and [...]

24 March 19: Why are butterflies colourful?

Who loves butterflies? I know not everyone is a fan of animals that flap and flutter (a butterfly phobia [...]

22 March 19: Valspar’s Institute of Primal Colour

I love the opportunity to immerse myself in paint. Not literally (I’m guessing that’s quite a niche hobby) but [...]

21 March 19: International Colour Day

Today it’s a double whammy: its International Colour Day AND the Hindu festival of Holi. As such I’ve been [...]

The blue of falling in love

Colour perceptions are individual – for example, one person’s ‘feeling blue’ blue can be another person’s energising ‘blue sky [...]

Losing your mind to colour

Have you ever almost lost your mind over colour? This pic was one of the first I ever took [...]

Colour and disorder

I remember once learning about the law of entropy. It states that ‘all things tend towards disorder’, whether on [...]

Pastels colour wheel

Good morning from Tuesday. Here’s the desaturated plastics pic I promised you. It’s a blend of pieces from Devon, [...]

Ocean plastic colour wheel

This weekend I went for a walk along the Thames, close to Colour File HQ. There’s one spot where [...]

Colours in conversation with each other

Did I ever tell you how much I love colour? No? 🤔😁Let me tell you again. What I love [...]

10 books about colour

As a colour-lover, I’m often asked colour questions like, ‘What’s your favourite colour?’ The other one is, ‘What colourful [...]

The story of Staffordshire dogs

I love ceramic Staffordshire dogs. Dating back to the 1720s, there are all manner of stories relating to them. [...]

How to create the perfect (colourful) freelance space

When I worked on a national newspaper, we did long hours (news never sleeps, even if you feel the [...]

The psychology of pink

One of the things I’ve learned is that colour isn’t just something we see: the moment it seeps into [...]

The power of a green room

Throwback to when the dahlias were in full bloom and my bedroom was green.. There’s something so grounding about [...]

The story of pink calamine lotion

I’m forever poring over (read ‘virtually licking’) paint cards in search of the perfect shade of _______ (enter whatever [...]

31 January 19: Are you a fan of the fade?

Good morning, folks. I was really inspired by the @marksandspencerhomepr SS19 event yesterday. As well as being overjoyed to see azure [...]

My (growing) vintage cotton reel collection

What object you own gives you the most joy? In the words of Marie Kondo, what ‘sparks joy’ (in [...]

What do you see first when you wake up?

Sending you happy vibes from a sunny Sunday ☀️☀️☀️ One of the first things I see when I wake [...]

The story of colourful kantha quilts

I once read that creative people tend to prefer asymmetry (I’m all for buying odd numbers of things rather [...]

The story of the colour, heliotrope

Are there any words you love and, conversely, any you don’t like? Apparently, the least favourite word in the [...]

The story of green malachite dye

I mentioned some time back how I searched tirelessly for a decade for the perfect coffee table. I eventually [...]

Organising and tidying using colour order

I’m working on a project that’s making me really think about how we organise our stuff. Apparently, us human [...]

Dan Baldwin’s 100 tones of happiness

What would you buy if money were no object? For me it would be art. I already have a [...]

The story of red and white candy canes

Do you put candy canes on your Christmas tree? I tried it once but realised it was a no-go [...]

The story of the white elephant

‘Don’t even THINK about it!!’ That was my mum’s standard response when, a long while back, she’d tell me [...]

The story of coral colour

After the punchy Ultra Violet of 2018, Pantone gave us Living Coral for its 2019 Colour of the Year. [...]

The story of my pink bathroom

Do you have a favourite room in your home? I love my Angie pink living room and, as a [...]

The wonder of colourful birds

I once visited a bird sanctuary in Trinidad and I remember doing a 360 degree turn and seeing colourful [...]

The story of the yellow smiley face

I often muse upon the whole ‘What did the first person to do X really think?’ thing. You know, [...]

Yellow covers for ‘smart thinking’ books

Hello lovely people I was just lusting over my pile of beloved Penguin poetry books and it got me [...]

Fear of colour: chromatophobia

As someone who loves colour with a passion, I’m fascinated when people tell me they’re afraid of it. They’re [...]

Coloured bar charts: the (only) best bit of maths

I’ve never been too hot on the mathematics front (I try to hide in a cupboard if second-in-command needs [...]

The story of Missoni stripes & chevrons

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If life gives you chevron knitwear, then it’s time to thank your [...]

A story about colourful phone directories

Has colour ever helped you to solve a problem or conundrum? As a trainee reporter, I was asked to [...]

The story of denim

How many facts do you look up each day? I’m not sure if counting will make me feel good [...]

The story of how the RA cups went missing…

When I was younger, I’d go to the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) with my mum, and (typical kid) [...]

The perfectly perfect art of kintsugi

I adore imperfection. Imperfection is, to me, perfection, because it’s real. My life is imperfect in some crucial ways [...]

Colour quotes in Shakespeare

When we did Shakespeare at school, I loved any reference to colours For example, Othello’s ‘green-eyed monster’ (not to [...]

The story of magenta

I love magenta. Named after a battle between the French and Austrians in Lombardy, this colour that is 50:50 [...]

5 colourful holiday destinations

Someone recently asked me what my ideal holiday destination is. On a general level, the answer is almost certainly [...]

Stories about colour blindness

Since I started the Colour File, I’ve been fascinated by the stories it’s led me to, including our about [...]

Frida Kahlo’s colourful diary entry

Colouring pencils excite and inspire me: they are representative of a universe of creative possibilities. They also make me [...]

The colours of heraldry

When I was a child, my brother and I were occasionally looked after by an elderly neighbour. She wouldn’t [...]

How to decorate with Dulux Spiced Honey…if you don’t like brown

A childhood of being dressed in ‘autumn’ colours and living in a beige-coloured house was enough to give me [...]

The colours of Bordeaux

Who, what or where is your creative muse? Although historically a person or even a goddess, I’ve discovered that [...]

The Colours of poetry

Hands up who loves poetry? I have to confess, I don’t love it all. There are some poems I [...]

The story of blue for boys & pink for girls

Welcome to Saturday, folks. One of the things I love about colour is how we come to recognise and [...]

The story of the ‘green room’

Ever wondered what’s behind the term ‘green room’? TV studios have them for waiting guests to help calm their [...]

The colour rules of Tiddlywinks

Anyone out there play tiddlywinks? Apparently its a highly competitive pursuit, thanks to a bunch of Cambridge University undergrads [...]

Do women see more colours than men?

My mum once said she could never marry anyone who sings out of tune. I think my criteria would [...]

The joy of flat lays

Who loves aerial views? Whether it’s the view from a plane or pictures of the earth from space, I’ve [...]

A story about colourful stamps

A friend of mine was an avid collector of stamps when he was a kid. He’d buy them with [...]

Eduardo Paolozzi’s London Underground mosaics

Have you ever noticed something for the first time that you’ve actually seen a million times before? I had [...]

Memories of mixing school powder paint

When I was at primary school, if you were really well-behaved you got to mix the paints. They came [...]

The story of sugar almonds

Don’t you love colourful traditions? They’re a thing of family and fable, often springing from quirky habits and strong [...]

Colour for mental health

Colour is potent and powerful and has the ability to effect change in so many ways. At the London [...]

In love with Peruvian textiles

When I went to Peru a few years ago, I was captivated by the awesome Andes (altitude sickness aside) [...]

The story of Stib colouring pencils

As a bit of a swot, I always quite liked the start of a new academic year. Covering exercise [...]

The story of red clover bugs

On The Colour File a while back, I told you about the time my brother and I were made [...]

Colourful beach huts

HANDS UP who had a Wendy house when they were a kid? I didn’t (which possibly explains the ‘dolls [...]

Blue & white azulejo tiles

One of my favourite colourful things about Porto is the traditional azulejo tiles. There are buildings where lore and [...]

The story of fractal art

Fractal pictures were all the rage in 1989 (yeah, ok, so you weren’t even born then…) when I went [...]

The story of Porto’s colourful swallows

In Porto I saw ceramic birds for sale at every turn. I was told they first came about in [...]

A story of loss and love: green for Oscar

I always wear green for Oscar, my son’s twin brother, who died. It’s a colour tradition that happened largely [...]

Black and white interiors: love or loathe?

Those of you who know me will know I’m not the biggest fan of black and white in interiors. [...]

The story of coloured barricade tape

I want to share a colour story that was told to me in Porto. As you know, I am [...]

Colourful Porto street art

Since arriving in Porto four days ago I’ve been hunting for someone I know. Well, not technically ‘know’: more [...]

What’s your first colourful holiday memory?

Good morning, folks. Well, I’m three days in to my Porto colour holiday and I’m having a riot, so [...]

The story of why Portuguese buildings are yellow and blue

When we were working on Shelfie back in deepest, darkest January, with short shooting days, the colours du jour [...]

The joy of putting things in colour order

I recently read that 40 per cent of millennials choose holiday destinations based on whether they’ll photograph well for [...]

My top 4 interiors styling tips

When it comes to interiors, colour tends to come first, before I think about anything else. In many ways [...]

Pale green and blue bridge perfection

I have this thing about bridges.  I told you about my love of the Severn River Crossing back in [...]

The coloured front doors of Aberaeron

As you may recall, I recently changed the colour of the front door at Colour File HQ. ‘Yeah, so?’ [...]

My colours of Wales

I’m off to Wales – the Land of my Fathers – where, I’ve been happily reassured, it’s a good [...]

My love of Art Deco pthalo green

Do you ever fixate on a colour then discover it pops up in your life in all manner of [...]

13 July 18: Picture wall joy

Good morning, folks. I know it’s only 24 hours since Shelfie was published, but I felt the need to [...]

Ocean and river plastic collage

Recently, I’ve been creating a series of Thames plastic collages, set against different coloured backgrounds. In a slightly obsessional [...]

2 July 18: The art of furniture-shifting

Are you a furniture-shifter?  Guilty as charged. When I was a kid, I loved nothing more than changing the [...]

The perfect coffee table

Did I ever tell you about my coffee table (see here, in the foreground)? I spent literally a decade [...]

Cafe Nerro indigo

Do you ever come across a colour that makes you think, ‘I need to see more of that!’? I [...]

29 June 18: Tales of Walton Street SW3

When I was kid, my mum told me she was known by friends at her Welsh boarding school as [...]

23 June 18: Crimson, cravats & crime

Hello, folks. I’m on such a colour high after yesterday that I thought I’d spread some more Thames coloured [...]

27 May 18: Purple Thames shelfie

Who saw the lightning in London last night? As second-in-command and his friend ran in and out of the [...]

Blue, green and yellow: the joy of analogous colours

What are your thoughts on analogous colours – clusters of colours next to each other on the colour wheel? [...]

29 April 18: Yellow Thames plastic

Morning, my colour-loving friends. Now, I don’t know what it is but there’s something about this yellow Thames plastic [...]

What is the Blue Mind effect?

I grew up near the River Thames and I live near it now, just a few miles from my [...]

Marrs green: the world’s favourite colour

Recently I blogged about my love of colours that seem to defy categorisation. Well, I’m pleased to say that [...]

How to make a colourful masking tape greetings card

Happiness is making things, especially if it involves colour. Here at The Colour File, we’ve been lusting after MT [...]

Tangerine Dream

Happy Sunday, Colour Filers 🦊🦀🦐🔥🍊 And what a sunny Sunday its turning out to be. It’s getting me in [...]

In praise of green

Hello to all you lovers of green I love this shade of green – I spied these impossibly high [...]

Colour trios: Orange, yellow and pink

I’m big into orange at the moment, or, more specifically, mandarin and tangerine. I spotted some matched with pink [...]

Red and green

Here’s a dose of red and green, despite the popular saying that dictates they should never be seen together [...]

23rd March ’17: Paisley print

Happy Thursday, folks 🦋🌼🐻. I did it again…I went in search of colour and found macaroons…happily, they go perfectly [...]

Why I Love Faded Colours

During my gap year when I was 18, I worked in an orphanage in southern India. After washing my [...]