‘You can get away with craziness in the hallway’: at home with colour expert Annie Sloan

4 weeks ago 8

In Annie Sloan’s beforehand room, determination is simply a small, woody array that she picked up astatine a flea marketplace for adjacent to nothing. The carved legs person been painted achromatic but the apical has the quality of acheronian marble flecked with orange. “I’m truly pleased with that table,” says Sloan. “I took a sponge, chopped immoderate much holes successful it and utilized it to use paint. It’s comic – sometimes I walk ages trying to marque thing enactment and it looks conscionable awful. And past thing takes maine 10 minutes and it’s like, ‘Oh wow!’”

Sloan, 73, has been experimenting with overgarment and colour for implicit 50 years and shows nary signs of slowing down. “When I near creation school, I realised conceptual enactment didn’t really marque maine happy,” she says. “It was colour that radical seemed to request astir successful their lives.” Half a period on, successful this property of greige and permacrises, we arguably request colour much than ever.

The hallway is painted with a Riad Terracotta.
Riad Terracotta was utilized for the hallway. Photograph: Rachael Smith/The Guardian

Unsurprisingly, Sloan’s ain location – a four-bedroom, late-Victorian terrace successful Oxford, which she shares with her husband, David Manuel – is simply a masterclass successful however to usage it. From soft to splashback, determination is hardly an unpainted aboveground successful the house. The entranceway hallway is successful a sun-baked orangish called Riad Terracotta, and the floorboards successful Antibes Green. Like each the paints successful the house, some are from her ain Annie Sloan collection. “You tin get distant with immense amounts of craziness successful the hallway,” she says, “because it’s not an country you walk overmuch clip in.”

From here, respective greenish steps descend to a mezzanine plot room. Here, the walls scope from orangish to greenish to pink, the second inspired by the interiors of a Cuban cafe. “The pinkish has been waxed,” Sloan says, “a merchandise I’ve developed to support our paints. It gives the walls this beauteous mellow finish.”

Down different fractional level is simply a basement room and eating room. The room has been extended to incorporated a dank, underused country of the garden, present a agleam meal country edged with woody planters adorned with architectural salvage – fragments of chairs and mouldings “that person conscionable been stuck connected and painted.”

The aforesaid originative attack applies to the room splashback, which has been painted with bright, joyous figures that contrast with gun-metal painted cabinets. In the adjoining eating room, a hand-painted soft stands against agleam red waxed walls which person the lustre of Chinese lacquer.

Annie Sloan
Annie Sloan surrounded by finds from her travels. Photograph: Rachael Smith/The Guardian

On the crushed floor, 2 abstracted surviving rooms person been knocked together. At 1 end, ornate plasterwork stands retired against grass-green walls (Schinkel Green, named aft neoclassical German designer Karl Friedrich Schinkel). “I knew that I wanted thing beardown and agleam successful here,” says Sloan. “It had to beryllium a colour that could transportation the beardown artwork we have. If you enactment those colours connected thing excessively neutral, they conscionable benignant of die, truthful it had to beryllium agleam but not hot.” In the alcoves either broadside of the fireplace, shelves person been painted successful an array of colours that “make the objects sing.”

At the other extremity of the room, the walls are a much subdued warm grey (French Linen), chosen to bespeak the quieter creation and objects successful this portion of the room. (Although she couldn’t defy a sunset streak of Barcelona orange above the representation rail.)

The kitchen
The room splashback was painted with agleam joyous figures. Photograph: Rachael Smith/The Guardian

After a grade successful good art, Sloan segued into interiors and began moving for backstage clients. “It was successful the days of marbling and wood graining, truthful I did each of that and ended up penning a publication astir it,” she says. The Complete Book of Decorative Paint Techniques was published successful 1987 and sold implicit 2 cardinal copies, establishing Sloan arsenic an authorization connected colour.

Three years later, arsenic shabby-chic and upcycling were emerging arsenic interiors trends, Sloan launched her ain overgarment company, producing colours designed to alteration vintage furniture.

“I ended up moving with a mill successful Belgium that was consenting to experimentation with me,” she says. Together, they established a look for her Chalk Paint range, which tin beryllium utilized connected conscionable astir immoderate aboveground without preparation.

The maestro  chamber  is painted Aubusson Blue.
The maestro chamber is painted Aubusson Blue. Photograph: Rachael Smith/The Guardian

Sloan was calved successful Sydney to a Scottish begetter and a Fijian mother. When she was 10 the household moved to Kent. Sloan recalls spending six weeks aboard a vessel that travelled to the UK via Fiji, Tahiti and Panama. The acquisition instilled successful her a lifelong emotion of travel, and her location is filled with objects sourced from her globe-trotting: a saint’s caput from Brazil, maquettes from China, ceramics from South Africa, a postulation of jugs from the southbound of France – “just things I truly similar the signifier oregon colour of”.

Throughout the house, one-off finds jostle for space, and representation frames bent somewhat askew. “Things bash determination astir rather a lot,” admits Sloan. “People thin to deliberation that the location is done now, that I’m not going to bash thing else. But I deliberation it’s a bully thought to support our homes successful flux. Everybody is successful immoderate mode originative – I’m conscionable precise keen connected helping radical find that creativity.”

Annie Sloan’s archetypal online interiors course, How To Fill Your Home With Colour, is disposable astatine createacademy.com