From a career in Banking to Interior Design obsessed, Rukmini Patel is an expert in her field of exploring colour, texture and minimalism. As a local creative from the Northamptonshire/Milton Keynes area, it was great to chat and with Rukmini and ask a few questions on her love for all things interiors.
Rukmini specialises in renovating character properties such as Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian eras. She loves adding character in homes with colour and beautiful antique pieces creating a truly bespoke design that reflects your personality, much like The White Kitchen Company.
How did you discover your love for colour?
I have always been drawn to colour and different colour combinations through my Indian heritage (of which is very colourful), fashion and mainly through nature. When I decided to niche down in my business, I knew colour had to be part of it. Working with colour allows me to broaden my horizons and flex my creativity. There are so many different colour combinations meaning no limitations when creating designs for my clients.
You are trained in colour psychology, could you describe briefly what this is?
When using colour psychology in interior design it’s about looking at the seasons; spring, summer, autumn and winter. They each evoke a feeling and have certain characteristics with them. I use colour psychology as a way of creating the ‘feel’ a client wants in their home by using the right colours and textures from the seasons.
How does colour influence your work?
Greatly – I always start with colour when I am designing, I rarely will have a neutral wall unless it is intentional! I use colour not only on the walls, but through other elements in a scheme and it can really transform a space when used correctly.
Reference: Rukmini Patel Interior Design
For those who are not ‘colour confident’ what is a good way to begin introducing colour into your space?
Start with your wardrobe. What colours you wear and naturally gravitate towards? Pick out those colours and look at paint samples or wallpapers in those colours. Try testing them out in a small space like the cloakroom or a spare room and then when you are more confident take the colours into your main living areas. If you’re happy wearing it, chances are you’ll be happy living in it!
Other than paint colours, what different ways can you introduce colour?
Colour is everywhere right now; you can’t miss it! You can buy different coloured furniture, artwork, vases, handmade pottery and accessories are a great place to start as you can move them around. Rugs are also great way of introducing a colour without commitment.
A lot of your work incorporates pastels and light colours. What is it that attracts you to this palette?
This was completely unintentional by the way! Many of my clients ask for ‘bright and airy’ spaces and so a lighter palette lends itself well. I have used darker colours in my schemes, however, what I’ve noticed with my clients that they generally prefer the main living areas like the kitchen and living room to be lighter and brighter as these are the areas they are spending most of their time. Also, in the UK we have dull natural light for most of the year, so getting as much light into the home is a key requirement. As you know I love colour, so using pastels and lighter colours rather than neutrals works better and adds character to a home.
One of your core design values is ‘feeling cosy and warm’. What kitchen colour(s) would you recommend for this feeling? What specific kitchen features would you add to the space?
I feel earthy or warm colours would work well to achieve a cosy and warm feel. It also depends on the natural light in the kitchen. If you have a south facing kitchen you could go for warm terracotta or earthy pinks. Whereas a north facing I would suggest darker colours on the units like a teal or navy.
We are spending more time at home and its more important than ever to make the home work hard and the kitchen is the hardest working room of the house. I would suggest making it has homely as possible and less clinical.So, adding styling pieces, artwork, show off your crockery, add some plants, perhaps a café style curtain to dress the window.
I love having an open shelf and eliminating the wall units. Not only does it open up the space and make it feel bigger, but it also gives you the opportunity to style up your kitchen and display items normally hidden away in the units.
Tap into the colours you love, be brave and use them in your home! Start small to build your confidence then you will start to feel more confident in using them elsewhere.
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