“Making definitive decisions and being consistent about the follow-through is how to best avoid a mishmash of styles and colors,” says UK color specialist Annie Sloan. Creator of Chalk Paint, her own line of historically-inspired decorative paint colors, she also oversees workshops and writes books that serve as instruction manuals.
In her latest, Annie Sloan’s Room Recipes for Style and Color, she translates her expertise into practical tips for the amateur decorator. The volume presents and dissects nine design styles, each approached with the color clarity and consistency that Sloan espouses. Here’s a look at one of our favorites, designer Virginia Armstrong’s house, which Sloan classifies as London Retro.
Photography by Christopher Drake.
Above: White walls throughout the house are “counterpointed by a very limited palette, mainly yellowed-green with a blued-gray and pine-colored wood,” Sloan says. In the kitchen the gray wall behind the open shelving provides a contrast to the whites and wood tones on display. While staying consistent color-wise, the house also has an appealing lived-in look.
Above: A large floor-to-ceiling window floods the room with natural light. The dining area is furnished with a classic, midcentury ensemble inspired by Eero Saarinen’s molded-plastic Tulip chair from 1956.
Above: An Ercol daybed designed by Lucian Ercolani hosts a selection of cushions with classic patterns by British designer Lucienne Day that share the same gray-and-ochre color palette as the contemporary designs from Roddy & Ginger, Virginia Armstrong’s own midcentury-inspired housewares line.
Above: A midcentury G-Plan sideboard and wall-mounted 1960s Ladderax shelving unit present a blue and white theme in this corner of the room.
Above: Displayed as art, vintage books are an effective and authentic way to introduce midcentury colors and graphics to a room.
Above: Another way to add midcentury flavor: a world map laminated on the seat and support of a 1950s school chair.
Above: Annie Sloan’s Room Recipes for Style and Color is written by Annie Sloan and her son Felix Sloan with photography by Christopher Drake. It’s just out from CICO Books for £25, and is available in the US through CICO Books for $35.
Choosing paint colors can be daunting; browse the designer-vetted colors in our Palette & Paints series, which includes:
• Happiness-Inducing Colors
• Moody Paint Picks
• Metallic Wall Paints
• 10 Best Pink Paints
• Celadon Greens
And on Gardenista, we have expert advice on Exterior Paints.