Fowler specified the Great Hall’s main story walls to be warm white that changed from pink to lilac, and the upper story walls to be cool white. The background of the main frieze, the ring band of the columns, the frieze above the upper windows, and the coffers were grey-blue. The baseboard/skirting was painted blue-grey and the dado grey-white.
The Great Hall at Syon showing Fowler’s scheme.
One of the great 20th century colorists was legendary decorator John Fowler of Colefax and Fowler. Especially after World War II, he bought many of England’s Stately Houses back to life with fresh decorating schemes. Often that meant raiding the attics for forgotten furnishings, and dyeing old damask table cloths and blankets to make new curtains. But perhaps most of all, we should acknowledge Mr. Fowler’s use of paint to redefine the English Country House Style.
John Fowler was familiar with the pigments available in the 18th and 19th century and the paint colors that could be produced. Also, he collected bits of historic fabrics and papers to color-match popular schemes of various periods. However, from what this writer understands, he was not so interested in recreating original paint colors, but rather to present a scheme that best suited the room while keeping history in mind.
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