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Turn into a succulent for the summer. A colour theory

Are you a chameleon or a succulent? A colour theory for summer.


Crassula Magic Sunset houseplant Succulent houseplants. Why should we mimic them?

At a time of year when it’s all about colour: think of blue skies; yellow and golden sunshine (we hope); colourful flowers; green grass and bright clothes, we tend to mimic what's going on outside by donning colour-coordinated clothes. 

sunflowers in the summer garden Sunflowers are the epitome of happy summer days because of their bright colour and large flowers
Wearing yellow Kate Middleton, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, or Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, looks very sunny in a sunflower-coloured summer dress










Why? are we chameleons? Do we change our clothing in order to match the surroundings?

Chamaeleon, chameleon changing colour Chameleons are good at changing their colour in order to blend into the surroundings!

We tend to associate summer with pastels and bright colours but winter  with with drab and dark colours.

Beach hut coat hooks These beach hut coat hooks not only lift up coats from the floor but lift the spirits too because of their bright colours!

It's all down to the weather, of course, and what we see outdoors. So yes, in a simple way, we are like chameleons. Obviously the weather is more of a grey colour during autumn and winter (or could we view it as ‘silvery’?) and the nights are dark – and they go on for longer. But the sun is still golden, when we can see it; and the skies can be a glorious blue. Who can fail to be amazed by brilliant skies on a frosty or snowy day, for example? So why don’t we wear bright or pastel clothes in the cold weather?

Raining with umbrella and clothes in bright colours A bright spot in the gloom. Doesn't this lift the spirits?


Well, it might be all about skin tone. We tend to look browner and healthier in the summer and bright clothes often blend well with these outdoor tones. In the winter, however, when skin tends to be pale or sallow, bright colours can look a bit shocking. But one can still don some colour in the form of accessories. Have you noticed how great a colourful coat looks over neutral clothes, for example, or how a bright handbag or pair of shoes can lift the appearance of someone? Colour has a habit of enhancing the outlook. Think drab and you will act that way. Think bright and you will feel lighter.

Colourful accessory coat in winter model wearing clothes Colourful additions to an outfit can brighten the outlook no end.

But, hey, let’s not dwell upon winter too much just now when we have the month of August stretching ahead of us like a wonderful mirage. Soak up the colour that is all around this beautiful month. Absorb the colours in flowers such as Roses, Clematis, Crocosmia, Echinacea, Lychnis; Nepeta; Lavender; Dahlia and Salvias, to mention but a brief smattering of garden lovelies that are bringing life and vigour to the borders.

Roses in summer garden There is plenty of colour in the garden to excite the senses in August, such as roses

We can all afford to bathe in colour for the summer. Drape yourself in a deckchair; a hammock even, and let the sun seep into all your crevices. Dine outside whenever possible and make the most of every bit of warmth.

Dining outdoors in the garden at this table and chairs Dine outdoors in the summer and make the most of the colour in the garden


Sit in the park, if only for a few minutes, and listen to the sound of the bees, the birds and notice the flowers. These things are all good for us. Gardens and nature are great for the human brain. Think of yourself as a succulent like a cactus – except instead of storing water you can absorb warmth and colour of the outdoors. The good feeling this generates will last long into the autumn and winter.

Cactus - Cereus peruvianus monstrosus This Cactus: Cereus peruvianus 'Monstrosus' absorbs water and stores it in its stem.

You can apply the colour game to your indoor space too. Dare to be bold with the colour inside your home and you will enjoy a transformation! It seems as if the love of the ‘neutral’ colour scheme is coming to an end. According to supermarket chain ASDA, sales of coloured emulsion paints are up 495 % from last year. People are beginning to have fun with their decorative schemes and they are tending to customise their homes in more colourful – or sometimes moody and expressive - ways.

What colours are popular in 2015? Top of the charts is Dark Grey because, presumably, people feel it is dramatic and it combines well with brighter and lighter colours. Next, Forest Green emulsion is a great choice because there are different tones and they all look good with natural wooden furniture.  Third in the popularity charts is Midnight Blue which is bold and calming. It looks like the night-sky and goes well with a light ceiling and flooring. A feature wall can look really effective if the rest of the room is painted light or white.


Green painted walls in a bedroom. Decorating A room with a feature wall painted in a bold colour can look great. Match accessories to give unity to the theme
Midnight blue in a dining room A dramatic blue wall teamed with white can look very effective

There are more unexpected ways to add colour to the interior of a home. Try painting a door in a surprising colour. How about yellow? You might even use the same colour for the skirting board too.

Yellow door, decorating in a home colour A door painted in a bright colour inside a home can lift the scene

How about using bold colour for curtains or blinds? Match them to other colours in the room – perhaps pick out the colour in the settee or in cushions. Consider colouring the ceiling rather than leaving it white. Or if you have wooden stairs they can look amazing if you paint the risers in different colours! Even in the kitchen there are now brightly coloured appliances. Choose with care and then allow them to decorate your life.

Stairs painted in bright colours These colourful stairs look amazing!

Basically, most of us tend to learn towards the chameleon habit of matching our colour to the surroundings. We need tempting out of our comfort zone in order to turn into more of a succulent. Try it! Absorb some colour from the summer season and apply it to your home and lifestyle so that you have winter cheer that lasts forever!

Perfect Plants can help you to apply colour to your home and garden. Visit the website today for inspiration!


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