Architect and designer Cristina Celestino warns against decorating with these specific colors

The expert shares her esteemed color insight – including which surprising shades to avoid

Cristina Celestino color tips, cold blue colors and furniture
(Image credit: Future)

Cristina Celestino is a master of shapes and functions, but now she is influencing our color choices, too. The Italian-born architect and designer is renowned for her unrivaled ability to create a cocktail of European design and contemporary styles – but how can we mirror this ambiance throughout our modern homes

The secret to a chic palette is simple if you follow Cristina's (opens in new tab) advice and avoid two specific colors at all costs. In her discussion with Livingetc, Cristina revealed all. 

The colors to avoid – according to Cristina Celestino

'I don't like violet or cold blue,' Cristina declares. 'These colors don't make me feel good, so I don't wear them, live with them or use them in my work.' 

Cristina Celestino color tips, lilac painted walls and purple bed

(Image credit: Future)

See: Painted wall ideas – have some fun with your walls with these creative paint ideas

But are there ever any exceptions to injecting these hues across our walls and throughout our home decor? Sometimes. But Cristina urges us to tread carefully and only use these colors in certain exceptions. 'These kinds of colors must be used with great caution and are only suitable for certain destinations or for very specific moods,' she says.

However, Cristina's expert advice didn't stop there. Following her warnings, she offered her top tip for accentuating other hues and showcasing them in the most stylish way possible.

Blue living room with grand piano and fireplace

(Image credit: Future)

'My top tip for using color is not to have everything in the same shade. When I receive a color request from a client (for example, The Pink Closet (opens in new tab) boutique in Ravello where pink is the predominant color), I play with the color, using it in many different shades and materials to avoid a banal, monochromatic interior,' Cristina adds. 

What are the exceptions?

As Cristina confesses, there is always an exception to every rule. But when is it acceptable to use cold blues and lilacs in our scheme? Color expert and Creative Director Little Greene, Ruth Mottershead, suggests that colder blues work particularly well in 'west and east-facing rooms,' where the shades appear to change dramatically as the sun changes position throughout the day. 

'Here neutrals with a cool, blue, or green undertone will help to create balance and will appear more subdued and restful in the evening light,' Ruth suggests. 

two-tone-walls-in-havana-style-space

(Image credit: Future | James Merrell)

See: Bedroom color ideas: 24 paint colors with impact

She continues, hinting that some cold blues will also work in north-facing rooms 'where colors tend to appear consistently flatter and cooler than they would do [if they were] bathed in natural light.' However, like Cristina, Ruth urges us to approach the hues with extreme thoughtfulness and caution.

'Paler blues and greens may appear cold but experiment with stronger green-blues such as Air Force Blue (opens in new tab) or Canton (opens in new tab) for a warming impact,' Ruth adds.

Are the days of lilac and cold blue interiors numbered? Only time will tell.

Megan Slack
News Writer

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc’s homes titles, including Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. As a News Writer, she often focuses on micro-trends, wellbeing, celebrity-focused pieces, and everything IKEA. 


Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and expansive collection of houseplants.