Ask Patrick: Answering Your Decorating Dilemmas

Ask Patrick: Answering Your Decorating Dilemmas

15. Mai 2024

Got questions? We’ve got answers, thanks to our Brand Ambassador and colour connoisseur Patrick O'Donnell. From the best finish for furniture to painting a north facing room and even choosing the perfect ceiling colour, he’s here to answer some of your most common decorating dilemmas.

1. What finish do I use for furniture?

For wooden furniture, try Modern Eggshell. With a subtle 40% sheen, it makes for a glossier alternative to Estate Eggshell, although if you’re after a little more shine, you could use our glamorous Full Gloss, which has a wonderful 95% sheen.

Take a look at our Product Advice Sheets for more information on using our finishes.

2. What are the best colours to use in a dark or north facing room?

Most people see poorly lit rooms as a challenge but if you follow a couple of simple principles, you’ll never want to leave! The first (and least petrifying) option is using warm-based colours i.e. colours that have some red or yellow through them. North facing rooms love warm undertones! For those of a more confident colour disposition: GO FOR IT. Embrace the dark with deep inky blues, such as Inchyra Blue or sophisticated browns like London Clay, which delivers warmth and drama in equal measure. These darker shades create a cocooning environment, so perfect for a cosy room.

3. Which white should I choose for my ceiling and woodwork? 

The default setting for most people is using a generic, brilliant white on woodwork and ceilings. However, if you want something with less of a stark contrast, think about the underlying notes in your wall colour and choose a white that shares similar undertones.

For example, Sulking Room Pink shares a red undertone with Dimity, while Green Smoke shares a green undertone with Old White. Using more tonally aligned colours can also give the illusion of more space, as your eye is less drawn to where the walls stop and ceiling starts.

For ease, all our colours have a complementary white, which you can find on our website or colour card.

4. What finishes do you recommend for heavy traffic areas?

High-traffic areas, such as hallways, stairs and kitchens, need finishes that can stand up to knocks and bumps. So with this in mind, we recommend using our Modern Emulsion on kitchen and bathroom walls or Dead Flat® for halls and other high traffic spaces. Both are fully washable but Modern Emulsion is protected against mould, so is highly durable in high moisture spaces. For cabinetry, opt for our Modern Eggshell or even our Full Gloss.

5. What colour should I paint my front door?

Front doors are a fabulous way of introducing what décor style lies beyond! A bright Babouche door can read cheery sunshine, a pop of Rangwali screams confidence and dark blues and greens suggest elegant restraint. The sky’s the limit so just have fun and remember, if you paint your architrave in the same colour, your door will feel larger!

6. What are the best colours for a study/home office?

To create a perfect working environment, choose a palette that suits your job. If you’re a creative, you could use colours which zip with energy and inspire the creative juices, such as our sunshine yellow Citron or deep, joyous Charlotte’s Locks. If you need to really focus the mind and be free of distraction, try mid-tone blues, such as Parma Gray, or easy greens like Mizzle.

7. Can you suggest some good colours for a dining room?

We all remember a time when dining rooms were solely in various shades of red and for good reason: red can increase the appetite and what friendly host wouldn’t want their guest tucking into the labours of their hospitality? Think of rich reds, such as our aptly named Eating Room Red, or if red is a step too far, consider the softer, more muted Dead Salmon with its edge of brown, mushroom pink.

Green, a perennial favourite, can also lend itself to the formal setting of a dining room ­— picture a deep, rich hue like Calke Green and imagine how beautiful it would look in an evening, atmospherically lit with an abundance of candles. Bon appetite!

Looking For More?

If you’d like a little more Patrick in your life, follow us on Instagram @farrowandball and @farrowandballwallpaper. From more Q&As by Patrick to inspiring images of real homes, it’s a treasure trove.