The Inspo Files: Colour Rust

Who is a sucker for trends? Do you find yourself flipping magazines page by page looking for the “what’s hot”? Scrolling through Pinterest eyeing up “colour of the year” posts? Or perhaps you are clued up on all things new from an endless string of email newsletters and blog posts? Well, this post could be just the thing you are looking for – The Inspo Files is where I chat about trends that I find exciting and intoxicating. This time it is the colour Rust, also known as Terracotta. Oh yeah.


Claybrook studio new paint line perfectly capturing the rust vibe source: Claybrook Studio

Last month, I hit the Scottish Interiors Showcase. Stop, don’t roll your eyes. I saw that. It might just surprise you that all the big textile brands make the trek up to Scotland from the Big Smog (and I can assure you, it really isn’t that far of a trek) to show off and chat up their new Spring 2020 collections. It’s turning into an annual affair for interior designer Carrie Cotton and myself to show our support of anyone & everyone coming to Scotland. If you don’t know Carrie, she’s a fellow American in Scotland and launched her design practice last year with great success.

Now this will warm you up on a cold winters day. The colour bursting from all the booths in some form or shape was RUST that reddish-brown, reddish meets orange meets brown, deep dark dusty rose and terracotta-ish shade. I found it wasn’t exactly easy to pin RUST down to one single shade. Like other colours, there is a range of shades pulling in more red or orange or brown or pink. I’ve been seeing more and more “earthy tones” making a play and this falls into that group. Don’t be mistaken, this is so much more than a retro 70s dessert boho vibe. This is Modern. This is Industrial. This screams Minimalist.

You might just recall that my Paris post in October was flooded with Rust too. Every store or cafe I entered seemed to have a touch of Rust here or there. You can read about Paris concept shops HERE or St Germain design district HERE.

If that wasn’t enough to convince you that Rust is the new “it colour”, some of the big paint brands have declared Rust amongst their fave shades. US powerhouse Sherwin Williams announced ‘Cavern Clay Terracotta‘ the 2019 colour of the year and says Rust “embodies renewal, simplicity and a free spirited bohemian flair”, “with a nod to midcentury modern style but with the soul of the American Southwest which creates a desert modern aesthetic.” Norwegian paint brand Jotun included ‘Grounded Red’ in their 2020 line up, described as “an excellent colour choice to turn the room into a warm and protective cocoon” by That Scandi Feeling blog. And last week Elle Decoration UK x Crown Paints revealed ‘Tufted Kilim‘ and ‘Cushion Craze‘ as part of their newly launched paint collection. Cushion Craze is described as “abstract simplicity”, “evokes a Morrocan aesthetic with a modern twist, unique & eye catching.” I’d have to agree.

source: Sherwin Williams
source: Elle Decoration x Crowne Paints colour Cushion Craze
source: Jotun Paint on That Scandi Feeling and Jotun

I was inspired by the wallpaper brands using various shades and styles of Rust to create designs from Art Deco to Jungalow to Japani to Abstract – showing the versatility of Rust.  Arte x Moooi collaboration brought the texture with their designs using birch Lucky O design & fabric Shoji Blossom design. Arte layered palm leaves Abanico design in varying shades of rust wowed. Osborne and Little kept things understated going for muted Rust in a floral Grove Garden design as an accent in Summerhouse Zebrina design while Phillip Jeffries inspired with a full on bold abstract mural, Splash.

Textile design has always been fascinating to me and the brands showcased tweeds, linens, velvets providing full on inspiration of the diversity of Rust from brazenly bold to subtle and soft. Clearly showing there is something for everyone’s style and tastes. Newcomer to me was Designs of the Time whose natural and sustainable fabrics caught my eye with a Scandi undercurrent, Fuego collection. Osborne and Little’s new Mansfield and Summerhouse collection are a lovely pairing. French brand Lelievre handpainted copper over deep lush Rust x neutral linen Chullo design was literally a show stopper and interesting alongside more traditional patterns. Emma Shipley just launched her new collection with Clarke & Clarke at a fabulous event in London where some of my fave Instagrammers styled up spaces (see here), the Wilderie collection is a maximalist dream come true.

And my final Rust edit from the interiors showcase are these two Rugs from belgium company Wind, a touch of glam vs a minimalist vibe, which would you go for? And the iconic Tom Faulkner Lily side table made from murano glass in Amber. Love.

From the high street to the high end designers, here’s a sampling of Rust in its glory. Let’s take a plunge with seating! Arlo and Jacob showing that velvety Rust brings the cosy comfy vibes to any space. Always bringing a rocker x industrial x glam vibe, Rockett St George  dining chair has clean lines and is a style maker. Unusually understated, this Margot sofa from Anthropologie is just waiting for cushions & a throw to complete the look. Going on the lighter side of Rust, Anthropologie pairs lilac for an eclectic vibe in Amy chairs. Say hello to HK Living scandi midcentury chair that has a retro vibe. Tell me, which would you “say yes” to?

When it comes to lighting, these brands are making serious statements with their designs using Rust. Spotted at Maison et Objet, Paola Paronetto SUFI ceramic pieces are sculptures made from paper thin ceramic in earthy tones. I’d happily design an entire room around one of these pieces, they are so unique and creative. Rockett St George’s simple yet glam fringe pendant pops against a dark moody backdrop while new comer Matchi Matchi cleverly create custom designs by adding shapes, colours, and textures to build an entirely bespoke look. Sounds good? Check them out.

It doesn’t stop there, Rust has infiltrated accessories from dishware to cushions to barcarts and sidetables. These pieces can easily fit in a highly refined contemporary home or a casual boho abode. I’ve had my eye on these Mastea blown glass coffee & side tables from Miniforms, the shape is fun yet elegant. HK Living is brining warm vibes to the dinner table with this 70s dishware set Stream. How about pouring a cocktail on this Klong Julius bar trolley?  Hay Design simply perfect Borosilicate glass mug in Amber warms my heart. While Ferm Living Shay quilt cushion pairs everyone’s fave millenial pink with Rust for this on trend cushion. Lastly H&M keeps it simple with plant pots with a touch of brass.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a colour feature if I didn’t touch on paints, so here you go. All the various forms of Rust from deep dark dustry rose to reddish browns to terracottas to orangey browns. Craig & Rose, Little Greene Paint, Farrow & Ball and Mylands. Which one is calling your name? You can thank me later.

If that wasn’t enough to spark your next room revamp, then check out my extensive Pinterest board which shows how designers are using Rust to create serious floor to ceiling drama. There are some colour blocking spaces using Rust with Blush and Blues is both an afforable and easy way to try Rust. Fear not, there are loads of spaces where Rust is creating a warm, cosy & comfy vibes when paired with neutrals. It’s all there along with colour palettes too. Click HERE to have a peek.

That’s a wrap on The Inspo Files: Colour Rust. As always, if you spot Rust when you are out & about, ping it over to me. I’d love to see it and can add it to the Pinterest Board and Insta stories.

Cheers for now,

Liz xx

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