Here’s Why You Should Decorate With A Moody Holiday Palette
British paint expert Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint has made her famous around the world. With the release of two new colors this holiday, Athenian Black and Oxford Navy, Annie is looking to the dark side for inspiration — and the results are right in step with dramatic holiday decorating.
“Black and navy will be big in 2020. They’re classic colors and always popular, and I’ve been developing these shades for years,” says Annie. “I think this reflects the global mood; a desire to be grown up and responsible, grounded and calm, but still strong and impactful leading us into 2020. They’re formal and sophisticated, and can be used as neutrals, yet still give a scheme some punch.”
Scroll down to discover more of Annie’s holiday paint tips!
Black walls have been gaining traction with designers for years, but some homeowners are tentative about taking the plunge. “My son, Felix achieved this textured, multi-dimensional, night-sky look by applying both Athenian Black and Graphite to emphasize the nuanced, light-and-shadow effect Chalk Paint has on porous walls.” The stars were achieved by flicking Graphite and Old White from the end of a long-handled detail brush for a constellation effect.
Create a chandelier-like holiday arrangement over a sideboard with custom-painted wooden ornaments and a simple branch. To give the ornaments a more dimensional, festive feel, apply a glimmer of gilding wax in a gold or silver finish after painting. “I love applying these luxe finishes to natural, organic and found objects such as holly and pine cones, or creating festive stamps using corks,” says Annie. “It’s inexpensive but looks very sophisticated! And the process of gathering pieces to use in this way is also a nice festive tradition for me and my grandchildren.”
Giving store-bought holiday crackers a coat of paint means they can be written on with chalk to double as place cards. Make your own to create a special palette for a festive table.
A tree dressed in monochromatic ornaments — with a tree bucket to match — stands out against dark navy walls. Highlighting the sideboard’s detailing with white paint gives a playful, Pop Art sensibility to a painted piece. “Oxford Navy is deeply indebted to the saturated blues synonymous with traditional Indian-block printing, elegant 19th-century uniforms and of course, the ink of fountain pens,” says Annie. “The velvety finish can be applied to any surface without priming or sanding.”
Wooden ornaments may not have the glamour of reflective glass balls, but they give branches a homespun, historic hit of color that complements the natural beauty of a live tree in a low-key way.
Make a signature gift wrap by embellishing plain paper with stripes of paint for a cohesive look under the tree.
A broad band of navy mimics wainscotting and is a good way for those who want to test drive the drama of a dark paint color without a full commitment. “Dark colors bring coziness and introspection to a place; they’re perfect for a bedroom or if you’re nervous about going the whole hog, consider painting just half of the walls to mimic wainscotting,” says Annie. “Or gradually introduce painted furniture; you can start by painting photo frames and lamp bases and then move up to bookshelves and dining room sets once you’re more confident with color.”
Gold naturally shines bright during the holiday, but this metal is even more magnificent on an indigo background. Dress up the open shelves of a cupboard with a constellation of gold stars, and add to the sparkle with metallic finishes.
Visions of sugar plums may dance in their heads, but the walls of this child’s room are alive with fleet-footed rabbits, hedgehogs and fawns. Artist Lucy Tiffney created this fanciful mural in various colors from the Chalk Paint palette on a black ground. A ticking Santa sack is a whimsical addition beside a stack of gifts.
Scandinavian style really shines during the holidays, but the effect is always pared back. Here, a simple paper garland and string of fairy lights give a lift to a bedroom.
Create a modern, homespun advent calendar using ticking bags and simple, handwritten tags with the dates. Suspending them from satin ribbons keeps them within easy reach.
Nothing says holiday cheer like a classic green door, and its matte finish has a softly aged look. An exuberant tonal wreath embellished by a natural starburst of seed heads and bare branches is the crowning glory of Christmas curb appeal.