The Importance of a Disruptor Colour

If there was just one tip I would give to someone who prefers a monochrome colour palette, or who wants to add a designer element to their room, it’s to use a disruptor colour.

I can’t speak enough of the importance of adding just one different colour to punctuate a room, to break up the monotony of a colour palette, and to make the room a bit edgy.

But here’s the thing: whatever it is that disrupts is going to draw everyone’s attention all the time, so it has to be stunningly gorgeous! This means buying a designer item, or sourcing something beautifully vintage or artisan.

Here are some rooms that illustrate how to add a disruptor colour.

This bathroom is clearly stunning. I love the monochromatic colour palette – the slubby olive and bluey-green by House of Hackney – but it’s the fab leopard-print pink and burgundy towel that takes this room to a whole new level. These warm hues pop against the sleepy toned walls and door and make this bathroom sing.

Adding a quality bathmat or hand towel is such an easy thing you can do to your bathroom or powder room. They don’t need to be patterned, but this can help elevate your room if you don’t already have patterning in it.

Try Baina or Bianca Lorenne for towels (both available through The Room Editor).

In this living room, UK designer Kate Jerman shows how using an orange chair in an otherwise restrained dark inky blue space punctuates and adds life to the room. It makes it come alive.

Orange is a great colour for disrupting blues and neutrals.

Any pink tone and vibrant grassy greens are also fabulous – if orange is not your thing.

This is an easy thing to do in your own living room. You don’t need to add colour with a chair (although a chair always works well). You could instead use a vase, a lamp, or an ottoman or cushions.

Of course, a disruptor colour doesn’t need to be BRIGHT or BOLD.

It can also be MUTED.

Here, the chalky greens and blues have been disrupted with the peach-toned pouf. This room is by @Scotstyleeditorhome – a UK designer.

To achieve this, again you can use a vase or furniture item, a lamp shade or a cushion. But use the same depth of hue that you have everywhere else in your room.

Although less vibrant, this works equally well – just with a softer more muted effect.

A disruptor colour can also be used in a room which already has more than one colour already going on.

In this room, the dusky pinks and french grey-blue is disrupted by the yellow chair.

Without this chair, the room would still be stylish – but with it, the room is taken to a whole new level.

How can you do this in your home? Select a colour that contrasts with the other colours in your room. So, if you have predominantly green and blue hues in your room, you could add a shot of pink or orange. If you have burgundy and brown in your room, you could add a shot of green.

Image by Jane Churchill Fabrics.

Farrow and Ball (one of my favourite follows) has disrupted the matt pink walls beautifully here with a reflective lime green velvet cushion.

Need I say more?!

If you have predominantly blue or teal in your room, disrupt with a shot of orange, pink or green. If you have predominantly sage green in your room, disrupt with a shot of pink or orange.

Note how the disruptors are usually complementary to the main hue, and usually opposites in terms of Warm versus Cool colour. They can also be a different texture which adds a whole new level of interest.

Vogue Living shows how it’s done in an elegant minimalist way, reposting this work by Alana John Design, an international designer.

The black/white palette is broken up with a simple pair of stunning orange patterned vases.

This goes to show how in a very monochromatic room, the punctuation of colour can be incredibly effective.

Finally, all these images show that the Disruptor item is a stand-out work of art in itself. It might be a beautiful vintage piece, or a bright artwork, or a stunning cushion. But it’s stunning. Don’t scrimp on your item or choose something too ordinary.

This tip of mine cuts across all interior styles – mid-century, modern, vintage, and whatever colour palette you prefer. But choose your disruptor carefully as it’s going to be a focal point! If you have any questions, or need help in your home, contact me on / 021 026 30012