I picked up the Farrow and Ball book, How to Decorate, its function, to simplify the often fraught process of decorating: the myriad choices that natural light, paint and architecture actually present. It highlighted a few simple design rules which dictate the final style you will create, they are worth bearing in mind, unwittingly you will be following them in some shape or form…but having them clarified is interesting not only in terms of your own decorating but also analysis of other’s interiors. Think of it as … Where do you draw the line?
There are multiple lines and facets you could pick starting with:
Traditionally all trims, architectural features and the ‘fifth wall’ aka the ceiling were WHITE. It’s crisp with strong colours, gentle with soft colours (and seamless when used in a shades of white scheme). It highlights classical proportions and good architecture, your eye is drawn to the lines of contrast, but ‘brilliant white’ is definitely a thing of the past, blackened, lime, great, strong, house, James, Joa … are just a random few I picked from the F and B white palette each nuanced to complement the spinning colour wheel wherever you land. While there are those still embracing the ‘all white’, you know, the homes where classic white trims have inexorably extended, sliding softly from their cornice position and down the walls, slipping over panelling and dado rail in a calming blanket of greige and shaded whites.
Shall we take a tour? Starting at the beginning.
A classic grand entrance in Baroque red in Baron’s Court Ireland.Farringdon House, Oxfordshire channelling Regency yellow with classic white trims.
Hip newbie Luke Edward Hall keeping his dark green sitting room fresh with .. white. F and B leading you in to…
A grand library in Bath, by Patrick Willaims, where the white freshens up the bookcases too.
A more sultry amethyst, at Anne-Marie Midy, shimmers in the South of France. Note the additional white accentuating that arched recess.
Hot Pink kept cool with creamy white by Beata Hueman in London.Henri Fitzwilliam Lay’s very grown up (almost) monochrome space, in textured layers of spice highlighted by classic white and brilliant red.
Then those shades of white rooms, where the textiles do the talking and often only at ground level, as above in Rita Konig’s minimalist Manhattan space.or ‘uptown’ in Caroline Harrowby’s scheme for a country Georgian number.or back in London town where Francesca Oggioni punches a visual hole in this monochrome mix with her striped rug and brown furniture.
finally fizzing off with House and Garden’s vibrant blinds and massed floral display against a shade of ‘brilliant white’.
I could go one…white is the light, is the meaning… for many a scheme. But there are other ways to create a harmonious flows, other lines you can choose to follow.
What about THE DARK SIDE?
Come on in. Next time…
Farrow and Ball …. green entrance and last visual previewing the ‘dark side.
House and Garden for all other rooms except…
David Hick’s Baron’s Court in baroque red and multi-colori staircase Richard Bryant.