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Choosing Colour for The Flagship

Having a shop isn’t like a home. Once you’re open to the public it's harder to close in order to re-paint and re-wallpaper so I had to get it right. The building has grandeur and presence and is steeped in history so my colour schemes needed to represent that. It was a big decision I didn’t take lightly and I took my time to figure it out.
My natural colour palette is autumnal - think rich raspberry, olive green, mustard, dusty pink, maroon, aubergine…. I’m always drawn to that sort of scheme. For the Flagship I decided to go against my natural inclination - a tough decision to make - but my rationale was that being so far up north (the same latitude as Finland) and how dark and short the winter days are, I thought that going for a fresher combination would lift the spirits and reflect the light rather than absorb it.
It was a long process to get right. I painted sample colours and combinations onto large sheets of white card, hauling them to the construction site to make sure they looked good in the natural light in the shop at different times of the day because it’s crucial to see paint in all lights. You’ve got to live with them so putting the paints in every scenario was really important to me. I even had the sheets propped up at the end of my bed because I wanted them to be first thing I saw in the morning with fresh eyes.
After months of trial and error, I finally settled on a scheme that I really love, and I’ve predominantly used Edward Bulmer.

The Petra Palumbo flagship is located on the ground floor of the freestanding old bank building which is simply gorgeous. The doors are painted in Light Olive Green, it’s the perfect shade. As you enter through them, the colour sets the the scene for what’s to come...
William Morris’ Honeysuckle Wallpaper (an ode to my hero designer) splashes the main wall and I pulled out key colours from the wallpaper and reflected them throughout the space. 
I bought a large reclaimed dresser from PC Pirates Furniture and painted it in EB Light Olive Green, it really grounds the space and gives it presence without it being overpowering. All the architraves and skirtings are painted in it too, continuing the story and conversation between the paint and wallpaper. I love Light Olive Green, in fact, we get asked all the time by customers who it’s by.
Nestled to the side of the store you’ll find my ever-evolving curation space complete with two very large original alcoves which have been fitted with antique mirror and shelves either side of the fireplace. I found a very large fire surround on gumtree for £50 (I had an alert on my phone for fire surrounds within a 15 mile radius and this one came up) and I painted it Pompadour. I had to bring in a bit of my natural palette! It immediately adds some oomph to the space but also complements my blue and white Delft tiles that decorate fireplace and the greener side to The Flagship.
Buff is painted on the big wall in the curation space where a large open freestanding unit sits against it filled with my treasures. It’s the perfect background as it has enough tonal warmth to make an impact but not too much to take away from my wares. I wanted to find a colour that would draw inspiration from the natural earthiness of the Scottish landscape and also tie in with the William Morris wallpaper. 
To me, colours that sit next to each other need to have a conversation, almost vibrate when they’re together but it’s about figuring out what you want them to say and how you want them to make you feel! My goal for the shop is to give people a little break from reality when they step into my curated world and hopefully they leave feeling inspired and I think I’ve achieved this predominantly through colour. A big thanks to EB’s exquisite plant-based, breathable eco paints!

 

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