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Step inside a colour expert's home

Longing to use colour in your home? Step inside Farrow & Ball's Joa Studholme's beautiful family home for great paint ideas for hallways, living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms.

Set against an ever-changing palette of hip paint shades, Joa's family home is a boho-chic dream, packed full of clever paint tricks.


Hello, my name is Joa Studholme and I have a real passion for colour, so I’ve been incredibly lucky working for the last thirteen years for Farrow & Ball, whose paints are absolutely packed with pigment, so they have real depth of colour.

My golden rule is about light and colour. If you have a small dark room and you paint it white, you end up with a small, dark, dull room, so use really strong dramatic colours in dark spaces and leave the whites for big, light, airy feeling rooms.

Make a dark and dramatic entrance
In this dark hall I’ve used Down Pipe to create a real sense of drama when you arrive, and then painted the floor in Slipper Satin to bounce light onto the walls. You find it a bit frightening? Don’t forget that you are always moving through your hall, you’re not hanging out in it, and the main bonus is that all the rooms off it will feel much lighter in contrast.

Plan a light and spacious living room
Here, when we have just reversed the wall and floor colours from the hall to maximise on the huge amount of natural light. So Slipper Satin is now on the walls reflecting the light and Down Pipe is on the floor. Don’t forget that a dark-painted floor will immediately make the room feel much wider.

Add romance to your bedroom
Here, back in a darker bedroom space, I’ve used one of my favourite ways of indulging in colour, painting a headboard directly onto the wall in Teresa’s Green, a great foil for the London Clay walls. If you use any shape or colour and even change it every month like I do, I think it looks particular exciting if you use Eco Gloss for a really jewel-like feel.

I wanted the bedroom to be as romantic as possible, so I chose the beautifully chocolaty London Clay, which also feels very cocoon-like, so is very sleep-enhancing. However, I wanted the room to feel as tall as possible, so I took the colours straight over the picture rail, right up to the ceiling.

Create a calming kitchen-diner area
In the kitchen everything is the same colour, and I mean everything: the floor, the walls, the units and even all the furniture. This creates a very calm feel and maximises on the light. And the window frames being the same colour as the walls means that your eye can scoot straight out and connect with the garden.