V&A, Ros Byam Shaw


Interior decorators have long used specific colors and palettes to evoke strong moods—the right mix of browns, greens, and oranges can easily bring you back into the 1970s. Here, in this highly original and digestible book, color palettes from the fifteenth century onward are analyzed and explained by interior design specialist Ros Byam Shaw. The colors used in each wallpaper and fabric are presented in proportional grids, giving a clear understanding of the hues that have become emblematic of their era.

Each wallpaper and fabric, carefully selected by Here Design from the V&A’s collection, is arranged chronologically with its own double-page spread with extended captions that explain the significance of the palette. A color grid is shown beside each pattern, in which the colors in the original piece are shown in proportion to their use, and with their CMYK references to enable designers to replicate these colors in their own work. The result is a book that offers fascinating insights into color that will be of interest and use to designers working today, whether specialists in interiors, products, or graphics. It will also appeal to a more general audience as a beautifully designed book that offers inspiration to those interested in interior design.




The Victoria and Albert Museum is a museum of the decorative arts founded in 1852 to support and encourage excellence in art and design. The V&A is located in London, England.

Ros Byam Shaw

Introduction and Notes By

Ros Byam Shaw is a freelance journalist who writes on design and interiors for The World of Interiors and House and Garden. She is the author of Farrow & Ball Living with Color (2010) and Farrow & Ball Decorating with Color (2013) along with numerous other books on historic houses and interiors.