Mick Jagger saw a red door and wanted to paint it black says the Rolling Stones track. The opposite could be said for Johannesburg antique dealer and artist Donald Price and his wife Jill. Red is Donald’s favourite colour, and their home is anything but monotone.
Donald Price is a big guy. Big enough to fight dragons and probably win. Pretty fortunate then that it’s his bold choice of colour, rather than the twinkling-eyed man himself, that hits you on entering his Primrose, Johannesburg, home. Donald calls it The Dragon’s Lair and fills the space with an assortment of colours and pieces that most people would be too afraid or confused to use.
“I’ve always loved colour,” says Donald, “but I find people are scared of it. Even my wife was nervous when I started painting the house different colours, but I think I have imagination and artistic flair.” His wife Jill agrees: “Whatever Donald touches, he makes beautiful.”
For close on a decade the couple owned Red Dragon Antiques in Fisher’s Hill, east of Johannesburg. But now Donald spends every day beautifying tired retro furniture, with nothing more than elbow grease and a lick of brightly coloured paint.
The Prices bought this very house because its huge, hangar-like garage was the perfect space for Donald’s new furniture restoration venture. But the home itself has also been enlivened by the artist’s unique and colourful touch.
In the entrance hall, Donald decided to forgo bland (read neutral) walls for a bright 50s-style welcome into his colourful home. This audacious combination of warm orange walls with acid green cornices and pillars ensures that the space is anything but ordinary. It’s the perfect pairing of Plascon Velvaglo Satin Sheen Tangerine Tango (O3-A1-1) and Plascon Velvaglo Satin Sheen Kiwi Salad (Y7-A1-2).
Move through to the lounge and a single vibrant colour showcases an eclectic collection of art and curiosities. Rather than overwhelming the space, Plascon Velvaglo Satin Sheen Red Flame (R7-A1-1) adds depth and dynamism to the room, which reflects the couple’s artistic personality and houses their collection of Eastern and other unusual art.
To section off the two areas of the dining room, Donald used only strategically placed colour. The space around the dining room table is painted with Velvaglo Satin Sheen Kiwi Salad (Y7-A1-2) and given a dose of extra “pop” by the complementary Njabulo (R6-A1-1) red antique sideboard. A calming contrast is achieved with the much quieter Velvaglo Satin Sheen Venetian Violet (P4-A1-3) in the chill area away from the table.
How to: Distress wooden furniture
Donald uses this technique to add colour to his vintage furniture without losing the inherent, nostalgic design of the pieces.
How to: Revamp metal furniture
Donald is a huge fan of gold and metallic paint. He loves the richness and smooth finish that metallics add to retro pieces like wire garden furniture.