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Colour Notes 4.0

It might actually be Spring at last. We have waited so long. Despite the cold, primroses have been abundant and now bluebells are creating a blue drift across the woodland floor. Tulips and forget-me-nots are taking over in gardens. This edition of Colour Notes focuses on Twin Flower by Fee Greening – a design that helps you feel the warmth of the sun all year round.

Twin Flower was a favourite plant of the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, who formalised the modern method of naming organisms with both a scientific and common name in the eighteenth century. That century also saw the creation of the first comprehensive colour wheel, The Natural System of Colours, by entomologist Moses Harris. Alexandra Loske thinks he most likely developed this means of classification to allow for the identification of natural forms in the times before colour photography. He went on to produce many works featuring intricate illustrations of flies, moths, beetles and butterflies shown in their exact colours.


The fine yellow lines of Twin Flower's background are reminiscent of straw both in colour and shape. Straw was an eighteenth century colour and can be found in Patrick Baty's wonderful book The Anatomy of Colour. Its tone echoes the yellows of Twin Flower. Ironically, despite being called straw, it was one of the more expensive colours of the time. Van Gogh’s Harvest in Provence, also depicts a field of straw stacks painted in differing weights of brushstroke. It was painted in the baking late summer of 1888 which was 'the happiest of his life' according to Kassia St Clair. He was living in the Yellow House in Arles in the South of France at the time. 

Artists had many difficulties with yellow. Both orpidment and gamboge, two pigments (similar in tone to straw) that they relied on, were highly poisonous. And Naples yellow was very unstable and often turned black when used as a paint. There were no yellow pigments that were completely reliable until the twentieth century. And so we come to Temple Gold, Babouche, Persian and Desert Island 4. All excellent (and stable!) yellow paints that work very well with Fee’s glorious Twin Flower.



Green is a colour increasingly used in our homes. In these past months especially, our connection to, and need for nature in our lives has never felt stronger. Green is the colour most associated with life and renewal. Some great greens to bring the natural world into your home include Salvia by Paint and Paper Library, Verdigris by Edward Bulmer (pictured above) and SC270 by Paper and Paints which work well with the stem and leaves of Twin Flower.


Plum Pudding by The Hackney Draper is a pink that has richness and depth. It is a little darker than the Twin Flower's petals but, is a perfect pairing. On the other hand, Peach Blossom Colour by Papers and Paints is a few shades lighter but also works well. Both are reminiscent of the eighteenth century colour puce, hilariously described by King Louis XVI as the colour of fleas! 

We hope this helps with some colour inspiration. We’d love to see how you bring our wallpapers to life in your homes. Tag us on Instagram @commonroom.co, using the #mycommonroom or get in touch with images via email to info@commonroom.co.




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