A neutral color palette is typically the safest choice when it comes to a clean, modern design. But in the right hands, neutral tones can act as a simple foundation from which the designer can take big, bold leaps. In this home, white and off-white set off big splashes of burgundy red, deep blue, and even black. Without the calming neutrals, these bolder choices could come off as too loud or garish, but here, a balance is struck and the result is sophisticated with a pop of playfulness.

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Farrow & Ball’s new paint collection celebrates nature’s spectrum

A 19th-century color guide used by the likes of Charles Darwin has been brought back to life via Farrow & Ball’s new Colour by Nature collection. The 16-hue line was released last fall in collaboration with London’s Natural History Museum, which holds an early copy of the work, Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours, in its rare books library.

Based on shades found in nature, the 200-year-old handbook was assembled by Scottish painter Patrick Syme, who built off the findings of German geologist Abraham Gottlob Werner. Syme carefully prepared his palette by deriving pigments from animals, plants and minerals; painting the colors on paper; and cutting and pasting them into the book by category. Darwin carried a copy on his famous HMS Beagle voyage, and scientists and artists still reference the guide today in pocket-sized versions printed by Smithsonian Books.

Farrow &

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