Farrow & Ball Sulking Room Pink (Photo: Paul Raeside)


The DIY diaries: how a splash of colour can transform your home – the result

Frankie Graddon is sold on a statement-making hallway and soft-pink bedroom

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By Frankie Graddon on

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Things I never thought I’d say: one) I have a completely pink bedroom; two) I love it. After being advised by Farrow & Ball’s colour curator, Joa Studholme, to warm up my cool-grey walls with a splash of the new colour collection, I now have Sulking Room Pink from floor to ceiling. And guess what – it looks great. Cosier, softer, prettier – it’s amazing the transformation that a lick of paint can achieve. I have to say that I was nervous about painting the ceiling (to me, ceilings, by law, are white and a bit dusty), but just that simple addition has made the atmosphere of the room feel all the more impactful. Similarly, painting the radiator has turned it into a thing of beauty. And I mean that – I have the best-looking radiator in north London.


During my consultation, Joa recommended painting both the wardrobe and a set of built-in shelves in pink and using a contrasting colour to add dramatic accents in unexpected areas, such as on the inside of the wardrobe doors. We discussed using Paean Black, a reddish black colour, which looks intimidating at first, but, when combined with the Sulking Room Pink, transforms into something rich and warm. Joa explained that using this technique would make a design feature out of otherwise boring storage solutions. I think I’m going to give it a go.


Over in the hallway and De Nimes has totally changed the feel of the space. It’s now a proper entrance to the house and the deep grey/blue makes a striking backdrop to all the prints I’ve been meaning to hang for months. Plus, the Full Gloss finish on the bottom half of the staircase bounces lots of lovely light around the space. The Railings grey window frame not only looks stylish (like a New York loft, said one friend), but also makes the window appear even bigger. To unify the space, Joa suggested also painting the stairway spindles and newel post (a nifty design tip that really jazzes up your stairs), which has worked brilliantly. My stairway has never looked so good. In fact, I’m so impressed with the result that I am also going to paint the window frame in my kitchen with the same colour. It would appear that I am on a roll.


Having lived in my transformed home for a couple of weeks, what I love most about the new walls is the personality they’ve given it. Whereas before, it felt a little flat and plain, now, it’s got a real sense of oomph. Once purely a dumping ground for shoes and coats, the hallway is now one of my favourite spaces and makes me smile every time I open the front door. And the bedroom is so snug I’ve treated it to new sheets and cushions – the only downside is it’s almost impossible to get out of bed in the mornings.

5 tips for doing colour at home

Think about the function of your room

Before you decide on your colour scheme, have a think about what the purpose of your room is and what atmosphere you want to create. Is it a space for relaxing or working? Do you want it to feel bright and bustling or – like my pink bedroom – snug and cosy? The mood of the room will be affected by colour, so it’s important that they correspond.


Before you commit to buying your paint pots, get your hands on a card colour swatch and, using Blu Tack, stick it to the walls you want to paint. Move it from the lightest areas to the shadowy areas and see how the colour changes and whether you still like it or not. Then move it from one end of the room to the other to check that the colour flows well with neighbouring rooms.

Colour can make a space look bigger

If you want to make a space look bigger, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stick to all white. By using darker colours in some areas of your home, it will make other areas feel lighter. For example, a darker hallway will make rooms coming off it feel brighter and therefore bigger.

Use colour to cheat height

Painting the skirting and cornicing of a room the same colour as your walls will make a room appear taller and the ceiling higher.

Scared of colour? Try hiding it

If you’re nervous of covering an entire wall with a bright colour, try painting hidden spaces, like the insides of cupboards and the backs of doors, instead. These smaller pockets of colour give a great effect without making a huge commitment.


To book your Farrow & Ball colour consultation, click here

Prop stylist: Laura Sawyer

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Farrow & Ball Sulking Room Pink (Photo: Paul Raeside)
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