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Last fall I couldn’t get enough of my polka dot shirt from Boden. The good news? It’s proving to be a staple piece in my spring wardrobe, too. For the latest post in my Bright.Style column, I wanted to show how easy it can be to layer various blue and navy shades with polka dots in a smart causal outfit.Boden-menswear-2
For this preppy look I decided to play on repetition with one of my favourite patterns – the polka dot. I built the outfit out from the shirt and then layered in the pink polka dot tie.Boden-menswear-3
It pays style dividends to layer pattern on pattern and by switching out the colour in the tie for a hot pink it adds a splash of unexpected bright colour to the outfit. The motto here: a little goes a long way! This is because a polka dot is a busy, commanding pattern so only a little splash of accent colour is needed otherwise it would compete for attention with the polka dots, rather than adding to the overall look.Boden-menswear-4
The quilted jacket adds structure to the look and helps to give a casual vibe to the shirt and tie combo underneath. I am obsessed with this jacket – it’s super comfortable, keeps out those chilly spring breezes and is versatile enough to work with many different outfits.Boden-menswear-5
The shoes! We have to discuss these shoes. This is my go-to pair for when I need a smart casual look. Sometimes formal shoes can feel kinda tight and uncomfortable, so like how these feel so easy on the feet. Plus, the contrast with the blue and navy colours of the outfit works so well. What do you like about this outfit? Do you/how do you wear polka dots?Boden-menswear-6

SHOP THE OUTFIT: JACKET | SHIRT | TIE | BELT | JEANS | SOCKS | SHOES

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Diving in at the deep end with super bright hues such as lime green can seem intimidating, so I hope this post is useful for raising those colour confidence levels! Embracing lime green can pay incredible design dividends, as the wonderful home of Raina Kattleson from the first Bright.Bazaar book shows. The key to success with a lime green-focused colour palette is to take one of two routes: you can lavish key pieces with colour such as walls and floors and keep furniture and accessories neutral. Or, switch it up and use layers of lime and turquoise shades to add interest to a more neutral space.Decorating-with-lime-green-2
Raina’s open plan living space demonstrates how to get the right balance when it comes to painted lime green walls. The smooth lime green base throughout serves as the perfect backdrop to layer in small splashes of blue hues throughout the space. By letting the lime green hue take the lead in the scheme, it allows accent hues to be used as a tool to break up the strength of the dominant hue. There’s a fresh, healthy and energizing feel to this palette; I like how the lime brings a zesty kick that’s tempered by the azure blue hues. Remember that it can work to bring two strong colours together as their joint intensity can serves to bring balance to a palette, just like the lime green and turquoise blues here.Decorating-with-lime-green-3
Treat side tables and bookcases like mini stages to display accessories that coordinate with the colour scheme of the room. This turquoise vase perfectly offsets the lime green walls of the living room, while the flowers help to visually soften the look of the room.Decorating-with-lime-green-4
Colour is a great decorating element to help zone an open plan space because it provides a visual indicator to the change of purpose in the various parts of the room. The continuation of lime green across the walls here helps to tie all the sections together and offers a synergy between each area. Meanwhile the array of blues that are layered into the space to signify the zones: an ultramarine painted cabinet and tiled fireplace draw the eye along the feature wall of the room, making statements out of both in the process. The change in pace to a steel-blue denim colour for the rug and radiator pulls the far end of the space together, grouping the living room furniture. Surprise orange accents complete the scheme by inviting visual interest and echoing the clean finish of the lime walls.Decorating-with-lime-green-5
The floor-to-ceiling lime walls in Raina’s upstate New York living room brings punch to the flea market finds and weathered furniture layered throughout the scheme. Notice how the vivid turquoise throw draped on the sofa creates depth and interest – it really helps to soften the scheme and tone down the punch of the green. I hope you found this colour advice useful! If you would like to buy the book, you can do so in the following places: Amazon UK / Amazon USADecorating-with-lime-green-6

// Photography by Andrew Boyd for the Bright.Bazaar book

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1. Spring is the best time to ride through London, especially on a blue skied, sunny day. How gorgeous is all that pink blossom?Flower-market
2. I think my permanent social media status should be: Always colour hunting!bright-bazaar-book-the-times
3. The Times newspaper named the Bright.Bazaar book as one of the best books for your ottoman. Not only that but they also wrote how the prime minster’s wife, Samantha Cameron, was recently pictured in a rare interview sitting on a mustard-yellow sofa with graphic animal cushions that’s very similar to the cover of my book, which is my old living room! They said: “If it’s good enough for the prime minster’s stylish wife, then it’s good enough for us.” It’s so exciting to see such a huge endorsement for the book a whole year after it was published – I am thrilled!Colourful-houses-in-london
4. London was on #makeyousmilestyle fire on Saturday afternoon.Paddington-bear-london
5. I randomly spotted this tiny Paddington Bear soft toy in a window box and it made me smile.Whippet
6. If I see a Whippet while walking through Primrose Hill high street (or, frankly, any high street) I will run after it and ask its owner if I can have a picture with it. This fellow is called Merlin and it made my weekend meeting him!Valspar-3d-house
7. The interview I did with the Guardian newspaper about the 3D House I designed for Valspar Paint went live.bottlecloth-tablecloth
8. I love the loose yet striking look of this Witty Conversation tablecloth, which was the result of a collaboration with talented Danish illustrator, Ulla Puggaard. 9. I’m smitten with this mini pot from Shino Takeda Ceramic. 10. I love all the colours and textures of this Tasseled Jacare Pillow.