Some celebrities may revel in picture-perfect homes, devoid of kids, pets and clutter – but it’s no surprise to find that tell-it-like-it-is Fearne Cotton isn’t one of them.
Despite being a red-carpet regular and having two decades of TV and radio success under her belt, the presenter-turned-wellbeing guru has always kept it real.
In her own words, she’s "never pretended to anyone other than who I am", has been candid about her mental health struggles, and isn’t afraid to fill her Instagram with refreshingly normal shots of herself, often make-up free, and her family (Cotton and her husband, Jesse Wood, have two children – son Rex, who turns six later this month, and daughter Honey, three).
That said, her stylish Victorian home in London oozes personality, with its quirky wall art, colourful furniture and stripped wooden floors – all testament to the fact that for Cotton, comfort and domestic harmony rule.
"Our house is constantly full of people, mess and chaos and I love it! With two kids, two step-kids and our many different schedules, our home needs to meet all of our needs," declares the 37-year-old, whose third wellbeing book, Quiet: Learning To Silence The Brain Chatter And Believing That You’re Good Enough, was recently published.
Here, Cotton – the newly-appointed 2019 Dulux Colour of the Year ambassador – reveals how she conjures her relaxed but effortlessly cool home style, uses colour to create a calming, mood-boosting space, and shares tips for living positively…
What’s your home vibe?
"I’m not into hard lines and cold colours, or spaces that feel stark. When people walk in the door, I want them to smell a nice candle or some coffee brewing, and see colours that make them feel relaxed and welcome.
"It’s not a space of perfection and symmetry, it’s a place of comfort. We’re a family who love to have lots of people over.
"I want everyone to feel they’re at home, so the vibe has to be cosy, especially in the living room. The decor’s organised chaos and trinkets – it’s homely, but there’s the overwhelming feeling that I can relax here and let my guard down."
How important is colour in your home?
"Colour is the quickest way to make a change in your home. What’s key is to take a step back and really think about how you want to live in that room.
"I’m exploring how Spiced Honey (Dulux Colour of the Year 2019) would work on the fifth wall – the ceiling – of my bedroom. I don’t have any painted ceilings but I love the idea of lying in bed and allowing the power of colour to wash over me.
"I believe that by thinking how we want to feel in a room, it’s possible to create spaces in the home where you feel optimistic. Leaving some of the worries of the day at the front door.
"Spiced Honey’s a colour that brings so much comfort and warmth, which is important in our home. It’s a very optimistic colour, which makes you feel cheerful, hopeful – and life’s always so busy, it helps me to keep looking forward.
"I love the name Spiced Honey too. My daughter’s called Honey and I chose it because it has gorgeous and sensory connotations."
What’s your advice for people who want to embrace a more positive lifestyle at home?
"Having colour in our homes is a really lovely way to reconnect. It can alter our moods or enhance the feeling we want to have when we step into a room. Is this a space to think, to dream, to love, to act? Start by thinking about what your home needs to give you, and then look at the colours that will help you achieve that.
"And start small! It can seem daunting but tiny changes – like changing the colour of one wall, or giving an old piece of furniture a fresh lick of paint – can have an immediate positive impact on your mood, and the sense of achievement you feel when you walk past it is an extra kick of feel-good positivity."
Do you have a sanctuary in your home where you like to retreat?
"When I’m in my bedroom, I like to feel cocooned. I love it there. Colour plays a big part in that, and so does the texture of the soft furnishing.
"I love stretching out in bed, buried in a fluffy duvet with my head on soft pillows and just taking a moment for myself – before all the chaos starts again. My bedroom is my small, cosy nook that’s feels all mine.
"I can be quite hyper-energetic, lots of ideas buzzing in my head, lots of things to do, so I need the space to have other calming colours. I’m also experimenting with different tones and textures from the Dulux Dream palette. I love the idea of Floating Petal, a very dusty light pink, on the walls – I think it would give the space a real twist."
In general, what are you looking to achieve this year?
"I’m looking to stop being so hard on myself. Sometimes, we set ourselves up for a fall, with: ‘Oh I’ve got to quit this, and I really shouldn’t be doing that anymore’. I’m trying to concentrate on the little things, like waking up each day and feeling grateful, or trying to have a more optimistic outlook. Small changes are the easiest to achieve and they can make a big difference."
Can you share some tips on how people can be more mindful?
"Mindfulness is all about little changes. There’s no climbing a mountain or instantly taking a great leap. All good changes are small ones. There can be big life-changing impactful moments, like going travelling, or having a baby, but the ones that we make conscious decisions on each day are small.
"Incremental steps are best to feel calmer, happier, more grounded and content. Each day just taking stock, taking a personal inventory, looking around you, appreciating the simple things, having gratitude. It’s tiny little things that add up to make a whole, but also that are going to last you the long run."
Why do you think people need to be more mindful and conscious of their wellbeing?
"In the modern world, with so much confusion and complication, many of us are going back to basics. This means simple acts like getting outside, getting air, appreciating colours, how we feel in the moment and our reaction to things around us.
"When we’re staring at our phones, we forget to see the blue of the sky, the sunlight hitting the pavement and even the colour on the walls. It’s so obvious, but something so many of us overlook."