One of our favorite kitchen design companies, Plain English, has teamed up with one of our favorite UK designers, Rita Konig, on a new range of paint colors. Designed to
This September, in collaboration with the interior designer, Rita Konig, Plain English are launching a range of 12 new paint colors. These will be available exclusively to Plain English customers and will bring the total number of paints in the collection to 36.
“I’m excited by colour, and my approach to it is quite confident,” says Rita, who is renowned for her layering of patterns, fabrics, colours and objects. “I have always admired Plain English’s bold use of colour, so I was keen to carry that on with this new collection.” Working closely with Kate Shaw, colour consultant at Plain English, Rita has devised a palette that takes inspiration from historical interiors, natural fabrics and British comestibles.
The new range – which dovetails with Plain English’s existing paint collection – spans soft neutrals (Silver Polish, Flummery, Mouldy Plum), warm reds and oranges (Rubbing Brick, Candied Peel and Medlar Jelly) and complex darks (Burnt Toast, Bib and Braces). The water-based paints are available in eggshell, gloss and emulsion, allowing the Plain English customer to create a scheme that works across walls, furniture, and cabinetry.
The paint names reference British ingredients and honest materials – the enduring, everyday ephemera of kitchen life. Moygashel, (a fresh, deep green) is a reference to the Northern Irish village that has been weaving fine linen since 1795. Flummery (a weathered neutral), is named after a sweet, soft pudding that first appeared in Gervase Markham’s 1623 handbook, English Huswife: Containing the Inward and Outward Vertues Which Ought to be in a Complete Woman. Rubbing Brick (a rich, rusty red) refers to a Georgian brickwork technique in which soft clay bricks were tapered by hand before being incorporated into the arch above a window or doorway. Bib and Braces (an inky blue) was inspired by the faded indigo of worn-in workwear.
The new collection was conceived to work in groups of three: an under-the-counter colour, a wall colour and an upper cabinet colour. “Silver Polish is a very good wall colour, with cupboards in Medlar Jelly,” Rita suggests. “You could then paint an island in Burnt Toast or a couple of bar stools in glossy Bib and Braces. Equally, just one bold colour such as Tea Caddy can work throughout” she advises. These exclusive colours allow you to create a scheme that is as bespoke as the cabinetry on which it is applied.
The unmatched quality of a Plain English kitchen promotes bold colour choices. “With Plain English, the proportions are so good, and the craftsmanship is so good, the cabinetry can handle having the light shone on it so brightly. A Plain English kitchen will of course look elegant in off-white,” says Rita, “but it’s fun to be able to break the rules with this new collection.”
The new Plain English Colour Collection in collaboration with Rita Konig comprises 12 new paint colours; Silver Polish, Nicotine, Bib and Braces, Candied Peel, Cotton Pinny, Moygashel, Burnt Toast, Rubbing Brick, Flummery, Mouldy Plum, Tea Caddy and Medlar Jelly, and launches on 10 September 2019.
Prices for a Plain English kitchen start from £25,000 and the new 12 colour are available to customers now.
Note, the colours will also be available to customers in the USA, where in 2018 Plain English opened a beautiful new showroom in New York’s East Village.
What was the process for determining the colors?
We started out by getting together with our own inspirations. Mine were images of rooms, painting and papers that I had collected over the years for their palettes. Kate Shaw’s were mostly things. What was quite funny is that we produced out of our respective packages very similar colours. We then very quickly started putting the colours together in palettes, working in threes to see how they worked together – that was really the guiding principle and inspiration – when working on a kitchen you often work with three or more colors.
Was there a particular historical moment you looked to? Or were you aiming for something more modern?
I think a bit of both. Given the Georgian style of Plain English and their ‘behind the green baize door’ ‘below stairs’ vibe I suppose there was a leaning towards pre war/Downtown Abbey domestic quarters. But when thinking about decorating I was thinking about using the colours now and that they would definitely therefore be something new and fresh.
Can you mix and match the colors?
Yes, very much so. They are designed to be combined and not just within this collection but with the previous two collections as well.
Do you have a favorite color palette from the collection?
I find myself returning to Burnt Toast all the time as my base colour – everything goes with it and then from there I keep on changing! Flummery and mouldy plum or Moygashall and silver polish. Nicotine, Burnt Toast and Cotton pinny.
How would you advise someone who is timid with color to use it in the kitchen? i.e. painting the inside of the cupboards, etc.
I think that painting the inside of the cupboard is one but it is slightly hiding one’s light under a bushel! However it is glorious when you see something like the Dutch cupboard at PE painted in a contrast colour inside, but I am not sure I would bother with your standard upper cupboard.
One of the things that PE do that I love is paint chairs or stools in a bright colour, you see that a lot in their kitchens and it is so much fun and because they move and could be repainted if said shy client found it overwhelming) i think that is the sort of thing I would rather do. Also there is a middle ground between a white kitchen and a very strong/colourful kitchen. Burnt toast is the sort of colour that disappears, so if you painted your island in Burnt toast and the rest in something more subdued that would be an option. Colour also doesn’t have to come via the paint. For nervous passengers I like too suggest using things to bring colour, books spines in the shelves for example bring colour in a random and unplanned way, as do flowers and plants, china and glass, a lot of the things in a kitchen bring colour so if you are unlikely to paint the wall red you can start out experimenting with the accessories.
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