A large family grew up in this early nineteenth century villa, standing close to the course of the Thames where it runs into London from the west. Most of these children have come of age but none have completely left yet, and their discarded winter hats and scarves are tidied and wrapped around the necks and heads of the entrance hall’s three marble busts, the lares and penates of the house.
The rooms in this benign and tolerant household are furnished and decorated with uncommon style. The children’s mother inherited quantities of beautiful things from her own mother and she and her husband have added many more of their own.
In the double Drawing Room light pours through two pairs of long sash windows, one at the front and the other on the garden side. The walls are a vivid deep turquoise on the garden side and a strong jade green in the room at the front. I doubt that Farrow and Ball does any shades half so nice. There is another flash of green in the plumage of the African parrot in its glass case, iridescent blues in the humming birds under a glass dome upon the chimmneypiece and pea green candles in the candelabra. But these are lived-in rooms with surplus possessions kicked under the sofas.
The householder and decorator writes :
‘I think I am a colourist and I thank my dear mother for influencing me and all her children with her tremendous style and colour sense, which reached its peak in the 1960s largely using the new Conran paints.
I find it hard to have just white or the dreaded magnolia on walls. I have had a thing about peacock colours for quite a while and was pleased to let rip in green and turquoise in the double drawing room, courtesy of good old Dulux. The colours are rather alarming and would put off most sane people, but they are dampened down many pictures (which always thrive on block colour), and the room certainly enjoys an added wow factor because of the colour way.
I would always counsel colour for a decorating statement, especially if the decorator doesn’t own many pictures or much clutter. You have to have something for the eye to latch on to.’
She continues :
‘I would say for me, the best colour in the world is yellow which is so versatile, gives light and generally enhances a room (see bathroom). I don’t go for white, tho it has its place. The main bedroom stayed white because I was lazy. Initially I was going for cinnamon or biscuit – but the pictures, furniture and orange, yellow and gold draperies make the room sufficiently interesting without colour on the walls.
My next room? It is time for a change and I would use a blue heading for navy, lighter blues and then either yellow (trad but what a combo), green, or even ochre and creams.’
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