If someone were to ask me 'What would be your dream job?' I have only two answers.

One would be that of David Downton, fashion illustrator extraordinaire, whose seemingly effortless drawing style makes me go a little weak at the knees, and whose 'work'  involves sitting around in the lobbies and penthouse suites of 5 star hotels around the globe drawing the world's most beautiful and glamorous women.  I could manage that.

The other is something that, when I tried to explain it, caused one of my best friends to almost spray his pint in my face when he couldn't decide between laughing hysterically and snorting in haughty derision.  

Colour Consultant.  There, I said it.

trying to argue that not everyone understands the importance of colour...was met with a look of pity and shake of the head that said ‘oh poor girl, she’s finally lost the plot’.

Admittedly, to a Bloke - and I mean bloke with a Capital B - it does sound a bit fanciful: trying to argue that not everyone understands the importance of colour and that it's not just a case of picking one you like and slapping it on the wall was met with a look of pity and shake of the head that said 'oh poor girl, she's finally lost the plot'.

But it's not just any old colour consultancy job that I'd love.  The ultimate would be that of Joa Studholme, a leading colour expert and International Colour Consultant for Farrow & Ball.

In the film Breakfast At Tiffany's the jewellery store serves as a place where Audrey Hepburn's character Holly Golightly goes to seek calm and solace on days when she has the 'mean reds'.  For me, that place is the Farrow And Ball paint library in my local Homebase (although just staring at the colour card for a while and dreaming up room schemes has much the same effect).

Anyone who has ever painted the walls of their home knows the problems you can encounter: the colour looks different once it's up, it looks different on one wall from another, it looks different depending on the time of day...and so on.  But help is at hand! Joa and F&B's Head of Creative, Charlotte Cosby, have combined their expertise in a new book called How To Decorate. Hurrah!

With 132 colours in the Farrow & Ball range and fifty-five of them being neutral this book sets out to 'demystify decorating' with Joa and Charlotte sharing their wealth of knowledge.

Although filled with stunning photography and inspirational imagery, this is most definitely not a coffee table book.  It is a practical manual, to be referred to time and again, and covers everything from the correct way to use samples to why ceilings don't always have to be white.  

Photo ©VeryKerryH2016

Photo ©VeryKerryH2016

Photo ©VeryKerryH2016

Photo ©VeryKerryH2016

Photo ©VeryKerryH2016

Photo ©VeryKerryH2016

At £30 a pop it's not cheap but think of it as money saved on all those tester pots! 'How To Decorate' really is the only sourcebook you'll ever need.


'How To Decorate' is published by Mitchell Beazley, and is available now from Farrow & Ball and all good bookshops.