John Sutcliffe obituary

My brother-in-law John Sutcliffe, who has died aged 78 of cancer, managed to construct a career and a life around his passion for colour and for the domestic design of earlier centuries. Unusually for an interior designer, in his later freelance commissions he did the work himself, mixing the paints to his own palette of pigments and applying them in a wide variety of finishes. He also made important contributions to the Farrow & Ball range of colours.

John was born in Boston, Lincolnshire, to Holman, a shipbroker, barrister and founder member of the conservation organisation the Georgian Group, and Sheila (nee Frowd), a writer. He went to Winchester college and then to St John’s College, Cambridge, where he read first architecture and then fine art, graduating in 1965. His first main job, from 1968 to 1973, was as the East Anglian historic buildings representative for the National Trust, based at Blickling Hall in Norfolk.

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