How to decorate small spaces

These colours are a perfect palette for the summer. They are fresh, but not too vibrant, a good background for clean design.’ From left: ‘Hop-sack’, ‘Imperial Claret’, ‘Fowler’s Olive’, Tarlatan’, ‘Langtry'; all £24 for 2.5 litres matt emulsion, at the Paint Library (tel: 0171-823 7755) 05, natural), printed linen, 137cm wide, £35 metre, (b) ‘Rathmullan’ (F86501, natural), linen, 150cm wide, £19 metre, (c) ‘Brera’ (F56218, water blue), and (d) ‘Brera’ (F56221, birch), both linencotton, 140cm wide, £34 metre. All by Designers Guild. For stockists, call 0171-243 7300. 2 ‘Brentwood’ folding chair, plantation-teak frame with natural canvas slings, 88 x 58 x 53cm, £80, by Royal Arrow, at Kensington Design, 12 Stratford Road, W8 (tel: 0171-938 2000; also mail order). 3 Watercolour box, oak with brass fittings, 48 half-pans of paint, ceramic mixing dishes and a sable brush, £285, by Schmincke; shown here with additional Da Vinci sable brushes, from £4.30.

All at Cornelissen, 105 Great Russell Street, WC1 (tel: 0171-636 1045). 4 ‘Cornelissen’ easel, oak, 180cm high when wound down (will hold a 120cm canvas), £250; shown with a selection of hog-bristle brushes, How to decorate small spaces from £3.40. All at Cornelissen, as before. 5 ‘Livingstone’ sofa (538051), natural rattan with steel-tube frame, 138cm long, £249, at Habitat. For branches, call 0845-601 0740. I All weekend-artists crave a room at the farthest corner of the house or the bottom of the garden where they can paint undisturbed. It may not be the perfect, north-lit studio but, so long as it has good natural light and a sense of seclusion, it serves the purpose. The garden room shown here is an adaptation of an off-the-peg’, wooden hut’, fully insulated and double glazed. In addition to being used for painting, it is an extra sitting room and is especially appealing in summer when the double doors can be left open. It is furnished informally with a rattan sofa and a couple of director-style chairs which can be drawn up to the small table for coffee or lunch. (The chairs come with natural-coloured canvas slings, but these could be changed, as here, to integrate more fully with the scheme.) Opposite the doors is open shelving with slide-in storage baskets on the lowest level. The artist’s easel stands across a corner by the doors and benefits from natural light coming from two sides. The fabrics combine taupe and duck-egg blue in linen and cotton, with the patterned design having a lovely, painterly softness about it. The boarded walls have a silvery, weathered’ finish; on the floor is a harmonizing sisal.

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