When I was choosing the colour for the walls in the study, I was trying to conjure up the image of a men’s smoking room. It all started when I was 11 and I stayed at an old British Raj hotel in Darjeeling with my family. To get there, we left the scorching plains of Western Bengal and climbed the cool green hills in an ancient stem train. We arrived, as if by magic, into a time warp. It was as if the British had just popped out for a game of cricket . Menus we’re tapped out each day on an ancient typewriter, the waiters wore white gloves, and just as we started eating dessert, the maids would rush up to our rooms and warm the sheets with old coal heated copper bed warmers. There were huge ballrooms, deep verandas with white wicker furniture and there was a men’s smoking room; full of squeaky leather club chairs, old books, velvet fringed lamps, Persian carpets and the enduring smell of cigar smoke and whisky. The walls were a dark squid ink blue which made everything seem mysterious and forbidden- and it was, children and ladies were ‘not permitted’. Perhaps that’s why I wanted this colour. A touch of the forbidden, a foothold into a forgotten time, or perhaps it was just so I could sit in a men’s smoking room whenever I chose. Whatever it was, I searched in earnest untilI I found this shade of blue. It’s @farrowandball Hague Blue No. 30. The study is on the Western side of the house, so although it gets some lovely light in the late afternoon, for the most part, it’s quite a dark room. Sometimes you need to capitalise on the things you can’t change and just go with them. Deep, dark and masculine- it’s the perfect colour for a modern woman to reflect, in the shadows of a men’s smoking room, whenever she choses. #hagueblue .
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