ISSUE 96  |  The Urban Kitchen

Required Reading: Farrow & Ball Decorating with Colour

October 28, 2013 9:00 AM

BY Christine Chang Hanway

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Farrow & Ball’s new book is an unabashed celebration of the powers of its own paints, featuring 18 case studies from a converted fur factory in Paris to a mountain cabin in Norway. Written by Ros Byam Shaw, the former features editor of The World of Interiors, with photography by Jan Baldwin, Farrow & Ball Decorating with Colour is divided into three main chapters according to style: Classical, Country, and Contemporary. Also included are 10 Decorating Principles to help readers adopt examples from the book and put them into practice in their own homes. 

We particularly like the use of color in UK broadcaster and journalist John Nicolson’s house, which is both classical and contemporary. Here’s a first look.

Photography by Jan Baldwin

Above: Nicolson’s house in Spitalfields, London, dates to the 18th century and was built for a Hugeunot silk weaver.

Above: The exterior woodwork—shutters, front door, and trim—are painted Green Smoke in an eggshell finish. Farrow & Ball describes the shade as “an uncertain green/blue/grey colour popular in the second half of the 19th century.”

Above: In the below-street-level kitchen, with flagstone flooring and matchboard paneling, Nicolson used Card Room Green on the woodwork and String, an off white, on the walls.

Above: The stair and surroundings are in a palette that could have been original to the house: Tanner’s Brown, London Clay, and London Stone on the woodwork; Stony Ground on the plaster walls, and Off-White on the ceiling. 

Above: An Eames La Chaise (which Nicholson found in a junk shop) contrasts with the formal lines of his sitting room. The original features had been stripped and Nicolson reinstated the mantel and matchboard paneling. The walls are painted Off-White and the paneling Light Gray

Above: In another room, Joa’s White extends from paneling to trim to door: “For devotees of Off-White, this colour, though just darker, has none of the coolness or perceived greenish nature of Off White.”

Above: In a white attic bedroom, the fitted cupboards have been set off by several coats of Mouse’s Back

Above: Farrow & Ball Decorating with Colour, is just out from Ryland Peters & Small; US, $45UK, £35.

Looking for more help selecting paint colors? Have a look at some of our favorite Remodeling 101 posts: 10 Architects’ Moody Paint Picks, 10 Happiness-Inducing Paint Colors, Architects’ Top 10 Gray Paint Picks, and Architects’ White Exterior Paint Picks