Decorating tips from Farrow & Ball’s colour expert

Looking for decorating inspiration? Get on board with Farrow & Ball's latest book, Recipes for Decorating, which reveals colour 'recipes' for successful decorating schemes.

Farrow & Ball’s Colour Curator, Joa Studholme, creates colour schemes for more than 4,500 rooms per year and in this new book, Farrow & Ball: Recipes for Decorating, she shares her experience with a wide range of precise colour ‘recipes’ for creating successful decorating schemes.

Distinctive Inchyra Blue walls provide a perfect backdrop for the contemporary art. All White on the trim becomes an accent colour, making it just as important to the scheme. Art by David Shrigley,

Joa shows exactly which of the Dorset-based paint and wallpaper company’s paint colours work well together, whatever your decorating style.

Chic Hague Blue has a therapeutic quality about it, making it great in bedrooms.

At the heart of the book are 13 case studies of very different beautiful homes, from city apartments to country cottages, explored in turn to reveal how selecting the right range of colours can create a harmonious whole.

Much thought has gone into the light—dark contrasts in this home. In this fairly contained space, it was wise to take the wall colour over the joinery, leaving the Pitch Black beams and doors as the stronger elements. Art by Karine Laval.

For each case study there is a detailed colour palette recipe and a menu of ideas to copy. Colour is then considered room by room, showing how to combine colour with light and space to get the most out of every area, whether a large kitchen or a compact study.

Studio Green looks majestic in this dramatic hall and is wrapped around the glazed panelling into the kitchen, to marry the two areas together. Strong White on the woodwork enhances the urban, contemporary look. Art by Bentemarie Kjeldbæk.

Joa’s aim throughout is to provide helpful, practical information on successful colour combinations while beautiful photography provides visual inspiration.

Setting Plaster is a perfect pairing with the artwork in the bedroom. Had the owner defaulted to a white ceiling, this would have detracted from both the art, by Michael Bevilacqua, and the pendant lights.

Joa Studholme has amassed a vast wealth of experience in the 23 years she has worked with Farrow & Ball. When she is not developing and naming new colours, or spreading the word about how to use them, she is works with the paints and papers on design projects all over the world, some of which are featured in the book.


Published by Mitchell Beazley, £30.

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