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Review: Farrow & Ball’s new book is full of home design inspiration

Farrow & Ball How to Decorate has practical home design advice in chapters organized around room types.

Farrow & Ball How to Decorate
Joa Studholme, Charlotte Cosby
Octopus Books

To mark its 70th anniversary, the iconic British paint and paper company Farrow & Ball has gone back to basics with a new book that functions as both clever marketing vehicle and fantastic source of design inspiration.

Why flip through paint chips when you can cozy up with hundreds of pictures of well-designed spaces featuring Farrow & Ball paint and wallpaper?

"Every room should be seen as a fantastic opportunity to use colour," write authors Joa Studholme, Farrow & Ball's colour consultant, and Charlotte Cosby, the company's head of creative, in what serves as the book's guiding principle.

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But how to pull it off? This volume answers the question with practical advice in chapters organized around room types (children's rooms get a chapter of their own) and features (including exteriors, cornicing and moulding, ceilings and more).

Throughout, Studholme and Cosby explain that, more often than not, a great-looking space is the result of very basic principles.

This means parts of the book will be too basic for seasoned designers (see its 10-point guide on how to paint a space). But readers who are overthinking a redecorating project or feeling overwhelmed by it will be well served.

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