This spring, fine artist and colour expert Annie Sloan launches three new Chalk Paint colours in collaboration with Charleston Farmhouse, the country home and meeting place of the Bloomsbury Set until 1978.

Today, the Charleston Trust promotes the legacy of the group, who took art beyond the canvas and immersed themselves in a world where design and radical thinking took centre stage.

Replete with uninhibited colour and pattern on both walls and services, the new collaboration is described as "a hymn to the possibilities of paint".

Designed to inspire creativity, three new Annie Sloan with Charleston Decorative Paint sets contain a new limited edition shade of Chalk Paint – a vibrant green, damson or warm mustard – alongside two complimentary and mixable Chalk Paint colours, plus a Clear Chalk Paint Wax and ideas guide.

Joining the iconic Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan collection of decorative paints, which are available at selected stockists across Dorset, are Firle, a fresh vibrant green echoing the colour of the wall surrounding a mantlepiece in Clive Bell's study; Rodmell a deep damson inspired by the painterly washes of twilight shades on the studio walls, and Tilton, a warm mustard reflecting the golden hues in Vanessa Bell's bedroom.

"I found out about the Bloomsbury Set and Charleston Farmhouse through old illustrative books which led me to the 1930s English artists," explains Annie of the property nestled deep in the Sussex countryside, which became the home of Bloomsbury group artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant – two of the most radical and influential British artists of the 20th century – in 1916.

The house had an open-door policy and frequently hosted fellow intellectuals including Virginia Woolf, E.M Forster and Roger Fry. Over the next 50 years they transformed Charleston from an unremarkable seventeenth century farmhouse into a decorative masterpiece, bringing the experimental language of modernism into their home.

The Bloomsbury group included some of the 20th century’s most pioneering artists, writers and thinkers – people who believed in debate, creativity, beauty, innovation and truth and whose work was guided by a sense of fun, freedom and irreverence.

Annie has channelled this inspiration into each of the colours and products she has designed for this collaboration.

"I loved their spontaneous and free approach to painting," she explains.

"They pushed boundaries and took chances in an absolutely joyful way, seamlessly blending historical, cultural and modern references. I felt like Charleston was my special secret, it was such a cherished find.

"In 1971, when I was studying Fine Art, I actually wrote to Duncan Grant to invite him to our arts club. Sadly, he declined, so this collaboration is genuinely a dream come true for me."

Annie first developed her now famous furniture paint, Chalk Paint, in 1990. When she started working on it, she wanted to create a decorative paint that was immediate and allowed her to be direct and spontaneous. She had three young boys under 7 at the time, so she had little time to decorate. She wanted a fast turn around – paint in the morning, then wax and put it back in position by the afternoon. What’s more, she wanted to develop a paint that could go on more or less anything – old and new wood, metal, plastic, cement, bricks, etc. – all with no priming, no sanding, no preparation needed.

By leading the decorative painting revolution over the last three decades, Annie Sloan is widely recognised as one of the world's most respected experts in paint and colour.

As well as authoring 26 internationally sold books, Annie Sloan transformed the world of furniture paint with the creation of her own brand of decorative paint, Chalk Paint, in 1990. Annie’s fine-art background and contagious enthusiasm for decorative painting has motivated both home painters and experienced professionals, unlocking countless creative potentials over the last 30 years.

She is all about sharing her passion for decorative painting, and inspiring people to be creative and adventurous with her paints and colours. Her products are exclusively available through her network of over 1,700 independent Stockists located in 55 countries around the world.

As part of the collaboration with Charleston, Annie has also launched Paint-Your-Own Keepsake box sets. These contain the three limited edition shades of Chalk Paint – a vibrant green, damson and warm mustard – alongside two complimentary and mixable Chalk Paint colours, two large Detail Brushes, Clear Chalk Paint Wax, a lint free cloth and an ideas guide, all contained within a sturdy wooden box for you to transform and treasure.


Artichoke, Westbury, Sherborne

New Image Tiles, Kitchens & Bathrooms, Kent Close, Weymouth

No64 Biscuit House, High Street, Lymington

On The Green Interiors, Commercial Road, Poole

The Labrador Company, Manor Farm, Blandford Forum