Where do you draw the line?

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?

Richard Bryant mulot colour staircase

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.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 16.55.03A classic grand entrance in Baroque red in Baron’s Court Ireland.Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 17.09.45Farringdon House, Oxfordshire channelling Regency yellow with classic white trims.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 16.56.13Hip newbie Luke Edward Hall keeping his dark green sitting room fresh with .. white.farrow and ball hall 2 F and B leading you in to…

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 17.05.11A grand library in Bath, by Patrick Willaims, where the white freshens up the bookcases too.
Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 17.06.07A more sultry amethyst, at Anne-Marie Midy, shimmers in the South of France. Note the additional white accentuating that arched recess.
Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 17.03.55Hot Pink kept cool with creamy white by Beata Hueman in London.Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 17.06.34Henri Fitzwilliam Lay’s very grown up (almost) monochrome space, in textured layers of spice highlighted by classic white and brilliant red.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 17.07.52Then 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.Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 17.04.46or  ‘uptown’ in  Caroline Harrowby’s scheme for a country Georgian number.Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 17.03.16or back in  London town where Francesca Oggioni punches a visual hole in this monochrome mix with her striped rug and brown furniture.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 17.03.01finally 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?

farrow and ball hallCome on in. Next time…

Image Credits:

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.

One thought on “Where do you draw the line?

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