Expert Eye: Fields of Colour


NO TWO DAYS are ever the same when it comes to the world of an interior stylist. The brief can change as fast as the weather, but in the end it’s all about the mood you are trying to create. When a client brief lands on my desk, before I even consider the pieces I am shooting, I decide on a palette that will reflect the ambience we are trying to create.

Styling by Julia Green for Greenhouse Interiors, Photography by Armelle Habib.


There is so much emotion wrapped up in colour. If the brief is for moody hues, for example, then I opt for textured greens (which also happen to love the camera). But if the brief is for something light, white and bright, I will opt for a fresher palette with just a pop of bright colour – such as a yellow or an orange – to set the tone.

Artist Adele Naidoo is fascinated by the juxtaposition of strong, vibrant colours. Her body of work explores the beauty in nature and allows her to express her own ideas of colour. Adele has extended her love of birds into her latest collection with a more subdued and sophisticated palette. The use of monochromatic tones makes this work easy to style and even easier to fall in love with.

Styling by Julia Green for Greenhouse Interiors, Photography by Armelle Habib.


Another important consideration when styling a space, whether it’s for home or for a shoot, is to ensure that any works of art have a proportional scale. If art is the hero of the space, then the scale of it should be considered just as important as the design itself. Scale is what gives the room a sense of balance.

In the Adele Naidoo project – as well as in the one we did for artist Jen Sievers – artwork has been hung on walls or left standing depending on their size and how they interact with the design items around them. A sense of proportion can be manipulated by adding smaller or larger pieces of furniture to the area, or with the inclusion of other decorative items such as house plants and flower bouquets.

Styling by Julia Green for Greenhouse Interiors, Photography by Armelle Habib.


Aside from the subjectivity of style, it is best to ask how the space will be used and who by, as this may dictate certain practicalities. In the images presented there is a playful theme that would make these living rooms ideal for any age group. You can sense the personality of the kind of people that would inhabit these spaces: people that love quirk, light or shade, and colour in all forms.

Jen, for instance, was born with colour on her mind and a paintbrush in her hand. Ever since, she has pursued a life driven by kaleidoscopic creativity. She uses acrylic paints with fresh colour, playful brush strokes, and a characteristic infusion of soul. The result is pure and timeless joy.

In the end, style is subjective, and the rules are there to be broken. But if you work to some basics – such as mood, colour and scale – the living space will feel considered and styled to match your idea of perfection.

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Related Artworks

Kate Bender, Into His Fiery Heart. Oil on canvas, 84 x 152cm.
Kate Bender, Only the Wind Sings