“Little Greene is an independent, British paint manufacturer, committed to the socially and environmentally responsible production of high quality paints and wallpapers.”
Last month we caught up with Little Greene‘s Marketing Director – Ruth Mottershead to learn more about this iconic paint and wallpaper brand.
Firstly, for the few who haven’t heard of Little Greene, can you tell us who you are and why you’re one of the leading paint specialists.
Little Greene is an independent, British paint manufacturer, committed to the socially and environmentally responsible production of high quality paints and wallpapers.
We incorporate many of the materials used in the past for the preparation of the very high quality paints we make today.
What sets Little Greene apart from other paint companies?
We are particularly proud of our paints’ depth of colour. Reassuringly high pigment levels (over 40% more pigment than many ordinary paints), give Little Greene paints an unequalled depth of colour and a true point of difference.
In September, we will be launching a refreshing new palette of authentic National Trust paint colours. As with our previous colour-themed capsule collections, including ‘Grey’, ‘Blue’ and ‘Pink’, we’ve identified an unrivalled selection of 31 beautiful greens, each with a noteworthy origin, and each with an important place in contemporary interior design.
Little Greene have nearly 300 years of experience, what have you learnt and improved on during this time?
Whilst our roots date back to 1773, Little Greene as a brand has been operating for just over 15 years.
With records dating back to the year 1773, the Little Greene Dye Works of Collyhurst Wood, on the outskirts of Manchester is one of England’s most ancient industrial sites for the making of paints and dye solutions.
The Earl of Derby granted rights for the use of the site as a ‘house producing colours’ in the 18th century. Joshua Rowlands, the earliest identifiable proprietor of the works, led the development of traditional paints for domestic and industrial use, drawing upon his experience of making dye solutions for the cotton trade.
The early paints would have been based on natural resins and pigments, similar in many ways to those used by the great artists of old. We incorporate many of the materials used in the past for the preparation of the very high-quality paints we make today – something Joshua Rowlands would have been both amused about and proud of.
We are constantly evolving our colour palette and presenting archive colours in a contemporary way. Our focus has always been on helping people to create beautiful, high-quality interiors and a home they can be proud of.
At the start of 2018, we began a research project in collaboration with the National Trust. With more than 500 places in the National Trust’s care, including some of the most significant historic interiors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the association offers Little Greene a unique opportunity to delve into a prestigious and eclectic mix of decorative styles.
How important is the UK production of Little Greene paints?
Manufacturing our paint and wallpapers locally is really important to us. All our paints and wallpapers are manufactured in the UK and we actively source from suppliers who can match our commitment to local industries. We’re dedicated to minimising pollution, energy consumption and distribution overheads whilst supporting the local business community.
As an interior brand we notice lots of home decor trends, how easy is it for Little Greene to spot paint trends?
Fashion is often a source of inspiration for new colour trends. The tones used on the catwalk are often reflected in the latest interior design schemes. However, using colour within the home requires a lot more consideration than clothing as colour is something you live with every day.
With this in mind, many of our shades are inspired by our natural surroundings. Our latest collection, ‘Green’ is the original colour of nature, reassuring, soothing and calm. Green can be used in both a muted scheme or to brighten up a room and create vibrancy depending on the space you are decorating.
Do you see Little Greene as trendsetters?
We certainly consider colour trends when updating our colour palette, but it isn’t the most important factor. As trends can be so fleeting, we find that our most loved colours are some of the oldest. For example, French Grey and Celestial Blue a dusky variant of sky blue which dates back to 1807. These colours are still as relevant as they were originally, but now, we incorporate them into the modern home. We put a lot of time and work into ensuring our colours are authentic.
What are the big Little Greene trends for 2019?
In September, we will be launching our latest colourcard, ‘Green.’
As with our previous colour-themed capsule collections, including ‘Grey’, ‘Blue’ and ‘Pink’, We have identified a selection of 31 beautiful greens, each with a noteworthy origin, and each with an important place in contemporary interior design. There are 20 National Trust-derived shades, plus several important greens from Little Greene’s archives and the current colourcard have also been included.
Drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as Beatrix Potter’s Cumbrian farmhouse, George Bernard Shaw’s revolving writing hut and even mythical birds featured on the wallpaper hung by Chippendale at Nostell Priory, the new colourcard features some intriguing stories and a gamut of glorious greens in a comprehensive array of hues.
Has there been a stand out favourite Little Greene colour this year?
‘Sage & Onions’ is one of our stand-out colours for 2018. This vibrant, surprisingly bright green is the original colour of the garden gate at Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s farm in the lake district, which features in The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck. This name refers to an unfortunate scene in which Jemima unwittingly gathers up ingredients to help make stuffing for the cunning Gentleman Fox, who is planning to make a meal of roast duck.
Use in combination with ‘Tea with Florence’ for a subtle contrast and accessorise with branches of vibrant greenery.
We’ve noticed lots of Brissi customers tend to favour the grey, silver, and metallics decor trend. Which colour would you pair with this metallic style?
Bold, dark colours such as Hicks’ Blue and Puck are beautifully complemented with metallic finishing’s. Pair deep blue kitchen cabinets with brass handles to create subtle contrast or accompany a sumptuous scheme of dark green with gold framing for a contemporary ‘now’ interior.
What are your foolproof tips to updating a sitting room with a new colour, statement wall and accent colours?
If you’re looking to update your living space, painting the whole room in one colour can create more height. The ceiling is often forgotten and painted white but coordinating all elements of the room creates the illusion of depth. Also, consider other elements of the room that could be painted such as skirting boards or cornicing and select highlight colours to enhance the room.
And finally, what is your all time favourite Little Greene colour?
My favourite Little Greene colour is Livid, my lounge is painted in Livid all over. I have created a colour blocking effect by adding China Clay Deep to the upper walls and ceiling.
Visit Little Greene for more paint and wallpaper inspiration.