Interior motive: Easel does it

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

It’s official: we have reached peak paint. There have never been more options, more collections, more eco-friendly finishes, more strangely named muted whites, and frankly I am here for it.

Okay, I may have a slight vested interest, as I have a range of my own colours with Papers and Paints, the historical paint specialist in Chelsea and have created two other palettes for the kitchen company Plain English. It’s been hugely creative and fun developing these collections, and it’s never not satisfying spotting the shades in other people’s houses. I must admit though: I have often been guilty of not recognising my own paint, because colours really do take on a life of their own when used in different contexts. Right here is both the joy and the challenge of picking a paint. It’s a bit like wanting a jacket you’ve seen a friend wear and trying it on to find you look like a character on The Simpsons.

Paint colours change according to the quality of paint, the type of light in the room, the geographical origin of the paint company. If you are looking at swatches on a brightly lit November day in a curtainless south-facing room, your whites are going to look bleached and your fashion-forward terracottas will look lame. If you are choosing colours by the hanging light over the kitchen table on a Friday night after your second Pisco Sour, you will also get a slightly different view in the morning.

If you’re choosing colours after your second Pisco Sour, you’ll get a different view in the morning

We should think about rooms in terms of mood and how they link together. Depending on the scale of the project, I often prefer to use just one colour. If you have skirtings and cornices, you can paint them with the wall colour for a neater, more modern look. But here’s a tip. Before making any decisions, buy a roll of the heaviest gauge wall lining paper from a hardware shop, organise your paint samples and brushes, drink your cocktails and paint the largest panels you can. The next day tape the painted panels across the space in strategic places; opposite windows, in murky corners behind where the sofa or TV might go, and leave them there for a day or so. Only then will you get a realistic sense of how things will actually look. And with so many fabulous options of paint on the market, be courageous — you can always paint over it.