Farrow & Ball – Pattern & Colour Talk

I spent a very enjoyable evening at the Guildford branch of Farrow & Ball earlier this week, where I attended a talk on ‘Pattern & Colour in the Home’, given by the company’s International Colour Consultant, Joa Studholme.

Joa was a thoroughly engaging speaker and uses her wealth of experience to share loads of expert tips, and, more importantly, to explain why they work. This was brilliant, as although there were some ideas that I’d heard or read about before, understanding the logic behind them really helped me to get a feel as to how I could apply them in my own home.

Here are some pearls of wisdom that really stood out for me:

  • To create a sense of harmony within a home, and to avoid rooms jarring with each other as you move around the house, decorate the hallway/landing first and then choose complementary colours for the rooms leading off this.
  • When planning colour combinations, look at them proportionally together; after all, there is usually less wood work than wall in a room.
  • You don’t have to have white ceilings. If you are putting a strong colour on the walls, try using a sympathetic neutral on the ceiling. As the eye is naturally drawn to the contrast line between colours, ceilings can look lower if there is a stark difference; softening the line therefore changes the perception of height.
  • If you have coving and picture rails, paint these the same colour as the walls to make the walls look as tall as possible.
  • In a dark north-facing room with little natural light, it is often better to embrace this and decorate it in strong dark colours to create drama, than to opt for lighter shades.
  • Don’t be afraid to wallpaper cupboards as well. This often looks better than having a big block of plain colour interrupting the pattern on the walls.
  • Wallpaper with large patterns work better in small spaces as they make them look bigger, small patterns would look fussy.

Plenty of food for thought there. Unsurprisingly, I left buzzing with ideas…

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