Inspired by the unique architecture and decorative interiors of the V&A, Master Paintmakers has launched a range of paints in close collaboration with the museum. We speak to this historic British paint brand’s Creative Director Simone Barker to find out how the collection came about…

Tell us about the idea behind the range? 

The V&A is an adored British institution whose collections contain treasures from all disciplines of art and design. It is so closely connected with the concept of beauty in art and colour that it was inevitable that the museum should eventually formalise its vast resources into a unique paint colour palette. It seems like a natural move that these iconic, rich hues should be offered to the public.

What colours can we expect and what inspired the palette?

The colours are taken from architectural details and decorative schemes used within the fabric of the South Kensington building. They are a collection of classic colours: rich and opulent, refined and subtle, but always inspirational, much like the V&A itself. The palette references several influential architects and designers connected to the historic museum.

How did the collaboration between you and the museum work?

Our partnership seemed like a natural fit – we have a valuable British heritage, having produced paint since 1892 that has been used on hundreds of applications, from aircraft wings and trains to cash points, fighter jets and even mobile phones. We used that expertise to make a strong, hardwearing paint collection which is tough enough for modern life while remaining lovely to look at. In turn, the museum drove the selection of colours and had daily input into its creation.

Tell us about the highlights of the collection?

These colours are the cornerstone to creating a beautiful home in any style, from contemporary city chic through to country classic. Highlights include Reuben Red, a rich Victorian red named after Reuben Townroe, who worked on architectural decorations for the South Kensington Museum, as the V&A was then known. Owen’s Teal is a rich sea-green, taken from designer Owen Jones’s original decorations for the museum’s early Indian, Chinese, and Japanese Rooms, considered 2017’s on- trend colour for homes. For me, the highlight of the collection is the range of tones offered for each colour, perfect for building a scheme to use throughout a room, or indeed a whole house.

What sort of homes does this range suit best?

The collection offers the very best of British design, condensed into 40 beautiful colours; each of which will create a beautiful home. These inspirational colours are incredibly versatile, working for any style of home, in any setting.

The V&A Classic Paint Collection is available in four finishes: Matt Emulsion, Eggshell, Gloss and Masonry from £36 for 2.5 litres. Available from 3 April in retailers and at

Images courtesy of The V&A

Words by Emma J Page