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A pop of colour with Marie Bernard

Would you like to add a pop of colour to your interior, but you don't know where to start? This month Studio HENK is inspired by artist duo Marie Bernard, who, with their beautiful works and refined combinations, know better than anyone how to get started with combining unique shades.

Colours are an important ingredient in the works of Marie Bernard which can be seen in the Studio HENK stores this month. We spoke with Masja van Deursen and Serge Game from Marie Bernard about their greatest sources of inspiration and how you can add more colour to an interior.


How do your artworks come about?

Serge: “We intuitively work with paper and scissors and cut shapes, which we then slide around like a jigsaw puzzle until we are satisfied with certain compositions. We like it when shapes are not so perfectly finished. It is precisely those cracks, frayed edges and imperfect overlaps that are very important. Then, when we're happy with a miniature version, we make it big in paper or wood.”


Where do you get inspiration for the colours in your works?

Masja: “Actually, we constantly see beautiful colours around us. Whether it's a piece of chewing gum or a piece of paper, I always find something that makes me think 'Wow, that's a nice colour combination'. Ancient art, for example from the Middle Ages, also inspires us enormously. No matter how old certain art is, colour combinations like ultramarine with gold tones and sap green with vermilion can still be so vibrant. We are also always inspired by the trips we make. For example, I notice that I reach for almond or lemon colours more quickly when we have just been in Sicily for a week and I combine that with Portuguese blue, for example. Furthermore, from my background as a graphic designer, I also look a lot at fashion, design and architecture.”

Serge: “I also get inspired in the forest with the colours of the different types of mushrooms, mosses and withered leaves.”


What do you pay attention to when combining colours?

Serge: “We always start with a calm base, either dark or light. The contrasts always come afterwards. We also never use pure black from a paint tube; we always build this up from multiple colors to a very dark green or dark gray shade that looks like black. That gives more layering to a work of art. We also think it is important that a combination is not too right, the colours can best rub together a little. We don't have to like it ourselves, as long as it's good."

Are there any no-gos?

Masja: “I think lime green is a complicated colour. Just like sea green, that is very difficult to combine.”

Serge: “I don't like bright neon colours or magenta. We regularly have discussions when Masja wants to add magenta or another bright colour to an artwork. But in the end, the most important criteria is whether the colour works.”


Do you have any tips for using colour in an interior?

Masja: “Yes, I would keep the basics of an interior calm by choosing neutral or easily combinable shades such as off-white, warm gray or brown. With a neutral base, the emphasis is mainly on the materials and the shapes. Then add colour through one or more pieces of furniture in a striking shade or through art. I also like statements, for example with a curtain or a pronounced rug. Wall colour can also work well, but I wouldn't do that in every room. For example, I like to keep the bedroom calm in terms of colours, but a bright colour can work very well in a hallway or kitchen.”


Inspired by the story of Marie Bernard? Add a pop of colour to your own home with the guidance of our expert interior advisors. You can make a free appointment here for extensive colour advice regarding your interior and any other questions you may have.