One passionate former painter and decorator has turned his love of colours – and the planet – into a thriving business.
Words: Georgina Blaskey.
South-West Londoner Phil Robinson is a family man and when his wife was pregnant with their first child, he didn’t want to decorate the nursery in smelly oil-based paint and have her breathing in the fumes. “After 20 years of decorating, I was sick of the smell and how it made me feel,” he says.
He spent one long year experimenting with various existing eco-friendly brands and concluded that he couldn’t recommend either the quality or the colours, “and the colour charts were so uninspiring,” he recalls. Launching his own company, Paint The Town Green, was the answer nine years ago, offering environmentally friendly paints at competitive prices in on-trend colours unique to him.
Today, the company is the go-to supplier for customers who want a planet-friendly approach to decorating, plus great shades. “My priority from the start was high quality paint in desirable colours,” explains Phil, who is as passionate about his clients as his business. “As we’re going into someone’s home, their private space, it’s important clients feel relaxed and happy – all my team are good guys and girls who I feel comfortable with.”
His brand new showroom, on Allfarthing Lane SW18, takes the shopping experience a step farther. “At the shop, my aim is to meet people, explain who we are and what we do, be accountable to customers, and keep delivering quality and peace of mind,” enthuses Phil. “We can discuss the services we offer, including refurbishing and tiling, explore our colour boards, and talk through our colour consultancy service.”
The showroom has different zones. “We have our paint-mixing station at the back (all tins are freshly mixed every time), our central deskarea where we work and show samples,and the ‘window display’, a zone to sit in and browse design magazines and discuss colour pairings using the boards and charts.” Withenvy-inducing copper pendant lights fromAndrew Kornat Designs (you can purchase his products from the showroom), and shelves ofsimple yet contemporary textiles from Hannah Watchorn, interior ideas abound.
“I am a resident and this company started here. SW18 is an exciting spot, with the Ram Quarter development around the corner and other suppliers for lighting, tiling and fabrics close by. We may be working all over London now, but we’re keen to grow from the roots we established in our local community,” smiles Phil.
8 TOP COLOUR TIPS
1. Keep it simple, less is more Shadows/angles of walls cancreate different perceived shades so test the colour in different areas of a room
2. Look at your samples at different times of the day and night as the light can make a big difference to how you perceive your colour
3. A dado rail provides an opportunity to have a bolder colour above or below it or you might want a subtle colour on the walls then pick out the woodwork in something other than white for contrast
4. Include bolder colours with a feature wall. It adds depth to a room and provides a point of interest without being overpowering
5. If you are planning more than one colour in a room, try them next to each other
6. Build a colour scheme around something in the property, for example, a fabric, piece of furniture or one of the colours from the tiles on the floor of a Victorian hallway
7. Think about the mood a colour will generate. A soporific shade for the bedroom might seem like a great idea for bedtime, but will it work when you’re trying to get up on a winter morning.