You don’t have to be a genius to know that jewel tones are in right now. From wallpaper to upholstery, and accessories to wall paint, if this year’s London Design Festival was anything to go by, the market has jumped two feet first into gemstone colours.
In theory, this is great. It’s a significantly bolder trend than we’ve seen for a few years and it has the ability to be both warming and striking. But in practice, it can be a little tricky to navigate. They are often very intense shades, which makes them particularly difficult to blend into an existing design scheme, or even to build around a totally new one.
When it comes to decorating we are wholeheartedly against the concept of rules. Interior Designers know that their projects must be decorated with the taste of the client at the forefront. But sometimes, just sometimes guidelines are necessary to know how to execute taste...tastefully.
Even though decorating with jewel tones might scramble the brain, its guidelines are comparatively simple. By and large they are divided into colour groupings and for the most part, the specific guidelines that apply to one shade of this range should apply to the lot. The operative word here being ‘should’...
Emerald and Jade
Emerald and Jade hues are a great starting point if you’re just getting into the jewel tone trend, if only for the fact that they are immensely popular, meaning Pinterest is inundated with endless inspiration. Flawless green stones, and emerald, in particular, are distinctly rare and luxurious so it stands to reason that interiors in this colour are equally as regal.
This sophisticated shade matches perfectly to equally as elegant finishes like gold. Due to its intensity though, when these shades are used on large surface areas such as walls its best to consider keeping the remaining furnishings more neutral. Integrating beige or grey upholstery injected with accents of brass against emerald or jade walls is a soothing and welcoming colour palette.
For a more modern-industrial take on emerald and jade tones, mix green-hued upholstery with matt black metal and walnut. Or alternatively, embolden a crisp white palette with plush greens for texture. To avoid a clinical feel try patterned curtains, linens or velvets.
Fuchsia, Amethyst and Ruby
If green hues were a gentle introduction, then shades of fuchsia, amethyst and ruby can well and truly be considered diving in at the deep end. After Pantone named ultraviolet as their colour of the year for 2018, these significantly bolder and more playful colours have become more mainstream.
For a long time, purple was a colour rarely seen outside of a preteens bedroom. But now it has as a regal resurgence. It is, however, still a tricky one to decorate with given that it can be quite overwhelming. Rooms entirely decorated in ruby or mulberry reds can offer a seductive 1950’s boudoir feel, but aren't necessarily the most homely spaces.
We find red and purple hues are best used in single statement pieces, like sofas, accent chairs or feature walls, rather than submerging the room in the jewel tone. To tone down the intensity, pair with warm metallics and greys for a cosy autumnal feel.
Sapphire and Teal
Mark my words, in the coming months all anyone will be talking about is teals and blues. Evidently, sapphire velvet is the texture and colour of the moment already. The super luxurious and plush fabric can be seen on headboards, sofas and armchairs up and down the country.
Blue jewel tones may be having a moment, but arguably they are also the most classic of the jewel tones. They mix with other luxurious and classic finishes like brassy golds and white marbles perfectly. But above all textured blue hues work wonderfully with natural wood finishes, for a rural wintery feel. Dark navy shades work well on walls with alternating autumnal tones like tan browns and rusty coppers.
It's also popular to pepper sapphires and particularly teals with alternating jewel tones like Ruby. Teal wallpaper with ruby detailing is an almost mystical contrast.
Citrine, Topaz and Amber
Sunny yellow colours know their purpose, they exist to brighten a space and make a statement. Textured wallpapers are great in a citrine tone to do just that when contrasted with darker furniture in grey palettes, or dark wood finishes.
Accent chairs in citrine or amber velvet, contrasted with black oak footing are statement pieces that don’t assault the senses visually. The great thing about citrine and amber is that they cover such a variant scale of colours. Cooler and warmer varieties are available, depending on a variety of factors including personal preference and the amount of natural light space receives. This summer move closer to warmer tones like Mustard for a brassy undertone.