Our Key Colours for 2020

Written on 7th January 2020

While we’re great believers in choosing hues that, above all else, make you happy to come home every day, there’s a lot to be said for the excitement that surrounds a new year’s design trends.

Whether they’re used in small doses or from floor to ceiling, touches of a new trend can be just the thing to refresh any home for the new decade. We caught up with our resident colour curator and tastemaker, Joa Studholme to get her thoughts on how we’ll be using colour in 2020, and to find out the key shades from our own palette that’ll help you get the look.

We caught up with Joa to get her thoughts on how we’ll be using colour in 2020, and to find out the key shades from our own palette that’ll help you get the look.

“The most important aspect of using colour in 2020 is to create spaces that are warm and welcoming for our friends and family”, says Joa. “We want to use colours that make us feel proud of our homes, and increasingly, that’s coming to mean tones that are bolder and more saturated.”

“Strong colours suit rooms that we tend to use at the end of the day, a time when we want to relax and be comforted, but this sense of wellbeing is also a wonderful side-effect of surrounding ourselves with colours found in nature. As we become increasingly environmentally aware, we’re collectively craving a connection with the natural world, which is why deep Duck Green and earthy, organic Sap Green feel perfect for the home in 2020.”

For Joa, there’s one more piece of proof – if any were needed – that our two greens fit the bill for the year to come. “While these colours feel fresh for a new decade, there’s also an air of nostalgia to them, which can be immensely comforting and grounding. These are colours that anchor our homes, remind us of our childhoods, and are perfect for family life – traditional, but with a twist!”

Duck Green

Left – Cabinetry: Duck Green No.W55 in Modern Eggshell; Wall: Pink Ground No.202 in Modern Emulsion; Right - Wall: Duck Green No.W55 in Estate Emulsion; Woodwork: Snow White No.W1 in Estate Eggshell


Duck Green is wonderfully strong yet subdued”, says Joa. “It feels familiar but still contemporary, so it’s a great trend-led twist on the perennially popular charcoal. Chic by day and cosy by night, it brings a luxurious atmosphere to any room, ideal for creating spaces in which to curl up at the end of the day.” As for how to use it, Joa says: “try it with Light Gray on woodwork and Ash Grey on the ceiling for a truly timeless feel.”

Sap Green

Left – Wall: Sap Green No.W56 in Estate Emulsion; Right – Wall: Sap Green No.W56, Dutch Orange No.W76 and James White No.2010 in Modern Emulsion

“Earthy Sap Green is a true reflection of nature”, says Joa. “It has an unmistakably organic feel, bringing a little of the outside world into your home. I love it in hallways, where it creates the perfect welcoming start to the journey through your home – the richness of the green will make all the rooms off the hall look bigger and lighter.” As for colour combinations? Joa’s recommendation is to go retro: “use it with Setting Plaster and Hay”, she says. “It creates a delightful mid-century modern feel.”



More Colours of Nature

Our love of the natural world doesn’t begin and end with our Colour by Nature collection. In fact, we’ve been taking inspiration from the great outdoors since the very beginning. Take your cues from these classic Farrow & Ball hues for even more ways to bring the beauty of nature into your home.

Mouse's Back

Left – Wall: Mouse’s Back No.40 in Modern Emulsion; Right – Wall and Ceiling: Mouse’s Back No.40 and All White No.2005 in Modern Emulsion; Trim: Mouse’s Back No.40 in Modern Eggshell


Mouse’s Back owes its name and shade to the fawn-coloured field mouse found all over the British countryside. This soft grey-brown brings a naturalistic feel to any space, and looks beautiful simply layered with Light Gray and Stony Ground, a combination that creates thoroughly relaxing rooms.

Ammonite and Purbeck Stone

Left – Wall: Ammonite No.274 in Estate Emulsion; Fire Surround: Railings No.31 in Estate Eggshell; Right – Wall and Ceiling: Purbeck Stone No.275 in Estate Eggshell

These complementary pale greys both hail from Dorset, the English county that Farrow & Ball has called home since 1946. Ammonite is inspired by the fossils commonly found along the nearby Jurassic Coast, while Purbeck Stone takes its name from the idyllic Isle of Purbeck. For an effortless neutral scheme, try a Purbeck Stone feature wall with the remaining walls in Ammonite, combined with the darker Mole’s Breath on trim.

Stiffkey Blue

Walls: Wimborne White No. 239 and Stiffkey Blue No.281 in Modern Emulsion; Cabinetry: Wimborne White No. 239 and Stiffkey Blue No.281 in Modern Eggshell

Navy may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think of the colours of nature, but this particular shade has a suitably unexpected origin. Named after the Norfolk village of Stiffkey (pronounced “stoo-key”), Stiffkey Blue is inspired by the blue clays that make up the coastal landscape and even dye the local cockles the same inky shade! Try it in Modern Eggshell to bring a luxurious touch to kitchen cabinets.

Treron and Pigeon

Left – Walls: Treron No.292 in Estate Eggshell; Right – Walls: Pigeon No.25 in Modern Emulsion

These avian-inspired shades occupy the middle ground between green and grey, ideal for those who want to embrace 2020’s green trend in a more subtle way. While Pigeon echoes the feathers of the bird commonly seen strutting around London, Treron is named after the common pigeon’s green-tinged cousin, found across Asia and Africa. Try Pigeon on walls and Treron on trim for a scheme that’s as easy to live with as it is on-trend.

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