Create a sense with colour contrast in association with Farrow & Ball

The paint experts at Farrow & Ball explain how to achieve a spacious, sophisticated look by pairing light and dark colours

Optical contrasts are a perfect way to give a room a sophisticated look while heightening the sense of space.

For example, painting the walls in a paler colour, and choosing a darker one for the skirting boards, doors, door and window frames will make the room feel elegant, airy and big. Excellent combinations to achieve this look are Farrow & Ball’s Lime White (colour card number 1, a classic neutral reminiscent of untinted bright white limewash) and the cool-hued Bone (15); the versatile off-white Slipper Satin (2004) and the quintessentially neutral Light Gray (17); or the popular, warm Dimity (2008) and the rich Joa’s White (226).

If you hanker for a sophisticated, contemporary feel, dare to go even darker. Choose intensely dark hues for your skirting boards such as the 18th century-like stone hue of Mouse’s Back (40), the rich Mahogany (36) or even the dark bronze Railings (31), and everything above the skirtings will look brighter and bigger. And if the thought of darker woodwork feels unnatural to you, consider how often you see mahogany or pine skirtings and doors. You just have to translate that look into paint.

For more information and to request a free colour card, visit

Ideal Home loves...

Get creative with space

Small living room ideas for gorgeous spaces

Add a feature wall | Nursery decorating ideas | Nursery | PHOTO GALLERY | Ideal Home | Housetohome

Nursery decorating ideas for your new arrival

Country garden with wooden decking | Create the perfect gardener's retreat | PHOTO GALLERY |

Create the perfect gardener’s retreat

Bright towels | Bathroom accessories | Bathroom | PHOTO GALLERY | Style at Home |

Simple accessories that make bathrooms better

Be creative with lighting for a gorgeous glow | striking ideas for stairs and hallways | Hallways and stairs ? 10 striking ideas | hallway decorating ideas | housetohome

10 striking looks for hallways and stairs

Budget kitchen sinks | Update your kitchen on a budget | Budget kitchens | PHOTO GALLERY |

Update your kitchen on a budget