Last year I went to an event and heard the interiors journalist and writer Kate Watson-Smyth talk about something called ‘The Red Thread’. Initially dismissing the thought as I’m not really fond of red (sorry red!) in interiors, it quickly became apparent that the theory doesn’t relate to the colour, but rather the idea that we all have a theme running through our homes that co-ordinates them and draws them together (and that if we don’t, we should).
The Red Thread can be anything – it’s a colour or it could be an object such as colourful art or house plants. It can be a style such as Scandi rustic or maybe it comes down to textures such as wood or soft furnishings. Often subtle touches tend to prevail and once you know what it is, it becomes quite obvious.
Now, I’m definitely guilty of not taking our home as a whole when thinking about design elements. We’ve renovated haphazardly, I’m not a mood-boarder or planner. I’m in awe of beautiful homes which are so clearly coordinated from room to room – perhaps it’s all about neutrals, or maybe the dark dramatic look is prevalent throughout.
With us though, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because we’re only really half way (or not even that) through renovating, that sometimes it can feel a little disjointed. I didn’t think that I could identify The Red Thread in our own home because although I’m decisive and generally once I see an idea, I settle on it rather than looking for 50 alternatives, I will say quite honestly that picturing the overall finished house has never been something I’ve done.
Fast forward a year though and it’s now very clear to me (and I’m sure Pete and most of you!) what The Red Thread is for me. Pink, obviously! It’s funny, I’m sure if you asked most people on Instagram what my favourite colour is, they’d say pink. And if you asked them what colour our kitchen is, they’d say pink and blue, but it’s actually grey.
Because as much as I love pink (believe me after years of hating it my middle-aged love of the blush has taken no-one more by surprise than me), we don’t actually have any full pink rooms in the house and nor would I. The top half of our dining room walls above the dado rail are a very, very pale pink, so light in fact it often looks cream. Aside from that, the living room is green and our kitchen, office, main bedroom and one of the spare bedrooms are all varying shades of grey.
It’s very easy to identify to The Red Thread though in our home once you know what it is. Sitting on the sofa in the living room writing this, I can clock a pink throw, pink tiles in our fireplace and a pink vase on the mantel itself. We have pink terrazzo planters, pink flowers in the mainly navy and green wallpaper and pink accessories on the shelves. It sounds like a lot doesn’t it? Yet somehow it works.
In the kitchen it’s clearly there with the pink of our top kitchen cupboards, which matches the back of the front door in the hallway. In the dining room as I mentioned, it’s subtle but it’s there with the palest of pink top walls, and a pair of pink candle holders on the mantel.
Moving upstairs, pink in our spare bedroom takes the shape of a velvet scalloped chair and in our bedroom a little bit has crept in since I painted a tile effect pattern on to our loft window plinth and gave a little glow up to the IKEA Bekvam step stool. I also am prone to a bit of pink bedding…! And of course we now have pink in our previously monochrome bathroom now I’ve tiled the bath panel.
Even the garden doesn’t escape The Red Thread since I painted our uPVC door pink and created the upcycled tiled table. I’m seriously hoping that I don’t ever get tired of it because it will mean quite a few changes otherwise to all my hard work.
I’m sure more pink will creep in as we work on more rooms in our home and I’m ok with that (and thankfully Pete seems to be as well, or perhaps he’s living by his mantra of ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ and decides not to challenge me on it!) It’s definitely a colour that makes me happy, feels warm and comforting.
I’d love to hear if you have The Red Thread in your homes? Let me know in the comments below.