And that instinctive dedication to finding the perfect shade with which to decorate our homes is as strong today as ever. So it was with a sense of history that we began exploring the warm, red-orange colour palette that would eventually become our new season colour: Burnt Sienna.
As the name suggests, we also looked to more recent history for inspiration – the rooftops of medieval Tuscan villages as the sun starts to dip in the sky, or warm, dappled light on a rustic terracotta brick wall. Soft, comforting but with real depth.
In the city of Siena in Italy, from where the pigment gets its name, the clay has been mined as a paint since Renaissance times and was popular with artists such as Caravaggio and, later, Rembrandt for its complex range from red-orange to brown, which helped them experiment with the effects of light and shade.
Our Burnt Sienna was created to work in more modern settings, be that a country cottage or contemporary townhouse. It’s a warm, earthy shade of orange that manages to be both mellow and strong at the same time. Its solid, reassuring presence retains an airy lightness that won’t overwhelm a room and will work just as happily as a main decorating colour as it will an accent shade in a scheme.
How you combine Burnt Sienna will create a variety of possibilities: pair it with soft, off-white Salt and it feels fresh and clean, combine it with a dark navy like Ink and it will feel rich and moody. Bring a lighter blue like Flax Blue into the mix and the scheme will feel energised.
For a shade steeped in history, Burnt Sienna feels unexpectedly modern. Its warm and soothing overtones are just what our homes need right now, bringing a classical refinement mixed with a welcome dose of life-affirming Tuscan sunshine.