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It's not black and white


It's not black and white

Sophie Lombardi

Learn how to live in your rainbow from Interior Designer @NicolaGobat...

To use colour or not when planning your interior is a highly personal choice and for some too bold, too scary and had-we-not-better-stick-to-a-nice-white-from-Farrow and Ball! However, a splash of colour on a wall is a relatively cost-effective way to revive or reinvent a room. When a colour hits the sweet spot it can transform a space, but get it wrong and it can be a daily reminder of a faddish or impulsive whim!

So, how to decorate with colour and get it right? Firstly, trust your instincts and revel in your taste and choices. If you love a colour it can't be wrong. Don't ask your best friend what they think unless you are happy for them to tell you (when four walls have all been freshly painted) that your choice of mushroom and stone hues to evoke the hushed and hallowed hallways of a boutique hotel looks 'dirgy'.

On a more practical note do bother to paint up large colour samples, use plain wallpaper lining, and move your samples about the rooms to see in different lights how the colour works. Will it be the first or last thing you see when you enter a room? Will you be able to enjoy it from the best vantage points - your bed, the sofa or reflected in a mirror.

Better quality paint is not a rip-off. The intensity of the pigment is always richer and goes on the wall more evenly without a whiff of flamingo blush!

I use colours that bring me joy and as a collection of travel memories. My kitchen units are all finished in F&B's vivid St Giles Blue, inspired initially by the restored National Trust kitchen at Avebury (done in Cook's Blue) but turned up a notch to remind me daily of the tropical waters of dream holidays. I apply a little restraint and make my bolder colour choices sit in the relative calm of softer tones as a little wham bam of colour goes a long way. 

Enjoy every moment of living in your rainbow whatever colours you choose.


You will find Nicola in a lovely country cottage in Sussex. To experience her colourful world you can stay at her luscious rural bolthole The Wisp

For enquiries please contact :,