Colour Through the Decades: 40s, 50s and 60s

Written on 23rd July 2021

To celebrate our 75th year, we’re taking our readers on a journey through colour history. It begins in the 1940s, at the start of the Farrow & Ball story, and ends in the present, looking forward to the decade to come.

In this first of three special blog posts, Joa Studholme talks us through the styles that have defined homes in the first three decades of Farrow & Ball’s existence – the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s – and shows us which colours can help you capture the spirit of your favourite era in your own home.


1940s

“As Britain emerged from the Second World War and John Farrow and Richard Ball launched their fledgling business in Dorset, homes across the country were taking on a strong and positive approach to colour, albeit with a slightly sentimental tone. A rich patriotic palette of navy blues, reds and sunny creams promoted a cheerful sense of duty and kept up morale in the home.”

Get the Look
Get the Look

1950s

“There were massive changes in the homes of the 1950s, reflecting new prosperity for many and a more carefree attitude to colour. Vibrant, dynamic designs started to appear, reflecting the exuberant times. The dominant colours were ice cream shades of pink, green and blue mixed with bold patterns and kitsch accessories.”

Get the Look
Get the Look

1960s

“The beginning of the swinging 60s was dominated by avocado and yellow, but by the middle of the decade colours got far bolder, with bright acid colours and neons becoming all the rage. These were often mixed with black and white to create an outrageous clashing mix, which reflected the free expression of the time.”

Get the Look
Get the Look

Get a taste of your favourite era


Inspired by Joa’s choices? You can order sample pots of all the paint colours mentioned in this article with free home delivery. If it’s our retro wallpaper picks that have taken your fancy, you can order up to five free A4 samples to help you decide.

Related Articles

A Cosy Bedroom Makeover with Vincent the House

Read the article

3 Ways With: Serge

Read the article

Colour Through the Decades: 2000s, 2010s and 2020s

Read the article

A Copenhagen Apartment Comes to Life with The Nordic Edit

Read the article