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January 9, 2024 – Published in Design & Decor Autumn-Winter 2023 issue

The Colour Drenching Movement

Words: Rachel Balzan Demajo (SAKS Interior Design & Decoration)

With a dopamine design concept, the shift towards colour drenching is all about finding that one colour that makes you happy – and exploiting it!

After years of minimalist design dominating the landscape, people are craving personality and energy in their homes and want to experience vivid, stimulating environments. There is a certain vibrancy and playfulness that this trend instantly brings to any space, injecting a room with character. 

In essence, colour drenching is a maximalist trend that is incredibly inexpensive and easy to achieve. Starting with a small room is an excellent way to dip into the colour-drenched waters. The selected colour will envelop all the walls and the ceiling, creating drama and colour intensity whilst infusing the room. Floorboards and skirting should also be included – unless you are aiming for a more modest outcome. However, for maximum effect, the entire floor, walls and ceilings, and any fixed items, such as radiators and pipes, will be drenched in the tone colour. In tandem, soft furniture and even furniture pieces can work with shades of the chosen colour to add depth.

By blurring the borders of the room, colour drenching actually works to make a space feel and look bigger. When taking this monochromatic direction, the breaks between surfaces – such as the wall and ceiling, or the wall and trim – are softened, which can benefit the design of a room, especially with regards to smaller spaces.

Lighting will, arguably, become more crucial to the design of your room, as it will turn into the primary way of highlighting architectural features, rather than the usual contrasting colours used on walls, window sills, and architraves.

Soft furnishings – such as sofas, armchairs, carpets, curtains, and the respective upholstery – can all retain the same hue, or can be a shade of or patterns thereof, creating depth in the chosen hue. 

A good starting point would actually be a piece of painted furniture; perhaps, an upcycle, a retro piece, or a stylish armchair. The colour drenching approach would work around that colour and build itself up, with full or partial commitment, as you prefer. Layering is something that can come later, which one can keep adding for effect, even once the base look has been achieved. The deeper the commitment, the more you can play with shades of the selected hue, enveloping everything into a world of the chosen colour, using natural daylight – while noting window size and proximity – artificial lighting, and even metallic accessories to bounce off the scheme.

Whether you wish to bring a bright and airy feel to a smaller space or create a sense of drama and warmth to keep you cosy all year round, colour drenching might be the key to creating the vibe you are after.

It’s time to get the paintbrushes and rollers out! 

For more ideas on colour drenching and interiors, please visit the SAKS website:

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