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Do’s and Don’ts

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The Do's and Don’ts of colour according to Sarah Ord

Interior designer and proud co-owner of newly renovated The Stack, it’s clear that Sarah Ord has a taste for a kaleidoscope of colourful design. After The Stack burned down in its opening week, though this was by no means the introduction owners Sarah Ord and Nigel Pace dreamed of, it gave Sarah the chance to redesign the club’s look. From vibrant brushstroke wallpaper and leopard-print carpeting, the newly decorated club is a visual feast.

From her vast experience in colour, Sarah Ord provides some simple do’s and don’ts for you to follow when adding a splash of colour to your home.


1. Use nature as inspiration. Start with something that resonates with you and go from there. A slice of fresh watermelon on a sunny breakfast table could lead to a pink living room with black and green striped curtains.

2. Colour is the visual perception of different wavelengths of light so mix colours of different saturation and hue to build the story. Your home is your canvas.

3. Play with pattern in multiple colours – try layer upon layer of stripe, sprig, swirl and swathe.

4. Refer to the colour wheel if you’re in a panic. Tint colour in a lighter direction by adding white or shade it down by adding black. Remember that there are only three true colours at the end of the day, black and white not being any of them.

5. Combine colour with textures for visual and touch appeal. A teal blue silk lampshade will give off different light to the same colour in velvet.


1. Think colour only appeals to the eye. It can be evocative of far off places, different times, experiences, smells and sounds.

2. Be afraid. Colour is emotive, so the deeper the colour and more contrasting the choice, the more emotional the response.

3. Even begin to think that you need to tone it down.

4. Be like everyone else and defer to neutral. Neutrals are colours, too, but how much emotion do you feel in a grey room?

5. Play it safe. You will be able to tell when the space is not quite cohesive, so go for it.

Image Gallery

In the bar, Hugh Byrne artworks from Ebony/Curated hang alongside one of Leinster Hall’s original chandeliers, which was salvaged from the fire. The chairs were designed by Sarah Ord and upholstered by Leon CCXIX in Jim Thompson ‘Gemstone’ fabric in Emerald
The Brasserie
A brass lamp from Weylandts
An Oliver Barnett artwork from Ebony/Curated in the members’ lounge
The carpet was designed by Sarah Ord and manufactured by Nouwens Custom Weave
Vases from Loft Living introduce subtle glamour
Co-owners, Sarah Ord and Nigel Pace

Read the full article in our September issue, on sale 22 August.

Photographs Greg Cox 

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