At Home With... Cate St Hill
Designer, interiors writer and stylist Cate St Hill
1. Home is … a calm sanctuary to escape to
2. Please can you tell us about your colour scheme?
I’ve chosen soft, light greys and neutral tones for my home because I wanted the walls to become a neutral backdrop for everything else in the space. I think it helps create a timeless interior that can evolve with you – the space can adapt with the seasons or as our tastes change and the light grey will always go with everything. At the moment, for instance, I’m enjoying adding a few forest green accents, Mylands Brompton Road No. 205 is the perfect colour for this, I also like to add lots of plants to bring the space to life.
3. Where has your love of greys and neutral colours come from and whats your favourite Mylands colour?
For me, greys and neutral colours are very calming – when I walk through the door I want my home to feel instantly relaxing and tranquil. Especially living in a busy city with lots going on, I find neutral tones to be quite cleansing and restorative. I can recharge my batteries and feel at home. Lots of bright colours would probably give me a headache! I like the new Mylands Greys and Neutrals collection because they're soft and neutral and can work in any home, whether it's a period property or contemporary new build.
4. How do you choose your colour tones – and has your colour palette evolved over the years?
When choosing a colour I always pay attention to the light in a room as that can have a huge impact on how that tone can be perceived, for instance, using warmer tones in cold, north-facing rooms and blue tones in brighter, south-facing rooms. I also like to take inspiration from what’s outside that particular room. For example, from my living room I can see the tops of grey roofs and brown chimneys and I think that tonal colour palette has subtly made its way inside. In my previous home I lived opposite a burnt orange building and I picked up on that with some subtle accents in the cushions on my sofa. I think my colour palette has become more refined, I understand now what works in each space and how colour can make me feel. Sometimes I play it safe with neutrals, but when you find what works for you, stick with it. A year or so ago I painted my bedroom a soft pink because it was on trend, I liked it for about 10 minutes and then wished I’d painted it a light grey!
5. Any design tips on creating a neutral colour scheme?
Use natural textures to bring interest and give a sense of warmth
Have an accent colour to give a scheme some depth and contrast - dark green, navy or burnt orange in the accessories for instance
Paint the woodwork with same as the walls to create a seamless, contemporary look
6. Where do you get your inspiration from? I tend to gather inspiration by getting out and about - I love travelling, visiting different cities and attending design fairs such as the Salone del Mobile in Milan. So I could be inspired by the tones of Marrakech’s souks, the design of a hotel room or a new product launch at an event.
7. What is your favourite possession in your house and why?
I’m not sure if he is a possession but my favourite thing in my home is my sausage dog Francis! He just brings the space alive and makes it feel like home.
8. What is your favourite season? Does this alter your views on how to design a space?
Definitely Spring, I love the bright, sunny days, the hope of new life and a new season, and all the greenery that starts to emerge. There's a theory in colour psychology that our personalities relate to the seasons and that impacts the type of colours and styles we’re drawn to. A Spring personality for example might like light spaces, modern designs, pale woods and warm colours that have a softness to them. I certainly like to style my home with the seasons, so I’ll add lots of cosy blankets and textures in the winter, I’ll pare things back in the summer, or add plant pots with fragrant hyacinth bulbs in the Spring.
9. Do you have any plans to make any updates in your house this year?
Yes, I'm redecorating my bedroom after going off that soft pink! I’m hoping to give the space a more sophisticated, grown up feel with light beiges and hints of forest green. Green to me means balance, calming nature and tranquility.
10. ‘Reveal your true colours’…can you share with us any exciting upcoming projects you have in the pipeline?
I’m working on a couple of things, from interior projects with clients (I offer interior design services to help homeowners make the most of their space, from full makeovers to furniture sourcing!) to interior workshops - the next one, being run with my friend Nancy Straughan, is taking place on the 16th March at Skandium in London.
Stone Castle No. 71, Sloane Square No. 92, White Hart No. 51, The Boltons No. 28.