I love ombre. The shifting color feels like the fog, concealing one object with another. Ombre feels perfect for San Francisco, which is often concealed in fog, and I want to decorate a home with this paint technique. Ombre is a great way to quietly animate a space, with a contemporary twist. When done right, it can feel mysterious. I once designed a bar at school, based on the idea of fog: the ombre glass partitions (part clear, part frosted) concealed and revealed the patrons…sexy and chic, animated and minimal, all about seduction.
Ombre is the non-pattern pattern. Ombre curtains, wall covering, and furniture look great. Mix a bunch of ombre pieces together and you might end up with a hot mess, or even mix ombre with other patterns and you might need to adjust your drink. When done right and kept minimal, ombre helps a space transcend the ordinary, and it can be very calming.
I think this Parisian interior is especially effective. The boiserie (wood wall paneling) has been painted white, leaving floor color to creep part-way up the walls, as though a veil is being lifted. This gradation of color is perfect for anywhere that you require concealment, such as a bathroom or bedroom window where you want to conceal part of the view (either in or out).
And you can also use the ombre technique to paint an old chair or piece of furniture, giving it a new lease on life. Take this Windsor bench from Ercol as your guide.
David Bjørngaard, February 2014