Many of us have crossed over to the dark side when choosing paint, being less concerned with space and more with mood; deep, saturated colours abound. Contrary to popular opinion, such colours can be an inspired solution in a dark space. They blur boundaries, so you can’t read the perimeters of the space, and result in rooms that are a delight to retire to at the end of the day.
At Farrow & Ball, we have more than a dozen of these apparently simple colours, all of which evoke a complex response.
The strongest of our greens, Studio Green, reads almost black in low light, as does Paean Black in the red family and classic Railings in the blue. The dark hues in all these colours transform rooms into dramatic and enveloping spaces that have an unexpected hint of modernity, especially when only one colour is used on all the elements in the room.
Of course, we also have wonderful Pitch Black, which is as pure a black as you can get, and is strong and uncomplicated in all lights.
The latest addition to our selection of darks is Hopper Head, a classic charcoal colour that sits directly between Railings and Down Pipe. All these are undeniably moody and commanding, and are used as much on trim as they are on walls, just like the richer and redder Tanner’s Brown.
If your preference is for something a little lighter, then you can choose between the industrial lead tones of Plummett, the moody but less grey Mole’s Breath, or Charleston Gray, which, like London Clay, has a warm undertone that gives a certain softness.
All these complex colours have a robust intensity and produce powerful, stimulating rooms, while being respectful of traditional proportions. Together with soft Off-Black, they are more flattering to adjacent colours than an intense jet black.
Pink Paint Colours
Pink offers a beautiful breadth of style.
Charming Tailor Tack is our lightest and most delicate pink. Equally pretty are Calamine and Middleton Pink.
More lively and vibrant are Nancy’s Blushes and attention-grabbing Rangwali, or you could embrace the wildly romantic Cinder Rose.
A more muted rose, like moody Sulking Room Pink, or the underlying lilac tones of Peignoir, will create a sophisticated feel.
Who can resist the gentle tones of Pink Ground, Setting Plaster and Templeton Pink? A fabulous blush family in their own right, these colours feel like they are giving you a big hug – and they are especially soothing when used on both walls and ceiling.
Although blue is the colour used most often in decorating, it certainly tends to divide opinion more than any other. For some, it immediately conjures up cold, unfriendly spaces, while for others it evokes calm and serenity, even cosiness.
Light Purple Paint
Between them, our three shades of light purple paint can create a whole range of looks and feels. Delicate Calluna treads the line between purple and grey, making it an unexpected yet fitting choice for this elegant dining room. Try it with a much darker trim colour, as our Colour Consultant has done here with Mahogany, for a stylish, high contrast look that keeps the whole effect from being too “pastel”.
For fun kids’ rooms and entertaining spaces, try our more pink-toned Archive colour Sugared Almond alongside bright yellow accents (yes, really!), while for older kids’ rooms, Brassica strikes the perfect balance between playful and grown-up.
Deep Purple Paint
Deep purple paint works wonders in spaces of all sizes. In this open plan home, Paean Black creates an intimate living area that feels separate from the bright and airy dining space, adding structure and interest. In an attic bathroom, Brinjal enhances the room’s distinctive shape and cosy feel, making for a luxurious little escape. It can be tempting to go for white or grey in compact rooms like this one, but embracing low light and small spaces with a luxurious chocolate, plum, navy or dark purple paint colour can be much more rewarding, so don’t be afraid to go bold!
Purple Exterior Paint
With our hard-wearing exterior finishes, you can treat almost any outdoor feature to a lick of purple paint, adding personality and protection in one. Our recommended paint finishes for exterior wood and metal, Full Gloss and Exterior Eggshell, are protected against peeling, cracking and fading for up to six years. So, whether you’re looking to wow the neighbours with a statement purple door, railings, fences, sheds, or shutters, you can do so with the confidence that they’ll stay looking pristine for many seasons to come.
Without doubt, green promotes a sense of well-being and reflects the balanced feeling of nature, which is perhaps why we have welcomed green into our homes with unsurpassed relish recently. Green rooms retain an essence of life unmatched by any other colour and make us feel secure.
Fabulously uncomplicated Beverly and the deep forest green of soothing Studio Green both look greener in bright daylight and more conservative in lower light. Although chosen for contemporary homes, along with rich Calke Green and weathered Green Smoke, they have a traditional flavour that evokes a feeling of calm and serenity.
If you have a taste for the comfortable style of the English country house, then look no further than Lichen and Vert de Terre, which create flexible and restful rooms that are the perfect backdrop to shabby chic furniture and well-loved fabrics.
Equally tranquil and muted, the combination of French Gray with lighter Eddy and darker Treron are really much more green than grey, but characterfully flit between the two, depending on the light and time of day. This new family, all of which can be layered in one space, could not be more relaxed and is perfect for rooms that you would like to connect to the garden.
For a more sophisticated look, Ball Green, an old distemper colour, has a magical quality, appearing almost silver in candlelight, which makes it perfect for dining rooms, as is the darker but equally smoky Card Room Green.
Vital greens like Yeabridge Green are lush and uplifting. Together with cheerful Breakfast Room Green and Whirlybird, it is associated with health and good luck, which creates a happy family atmosphere. Rooms painted in these colours can’t fail to bring cheer, and none more so than stimulating but dangerous- sounding Arsenic!
Neutrals will always play a part in decorating because there are so many people who feel most comfortable when surrounded by carefully balanced colours that create an understated environment and make few demands on the eye.
They offer infinite possibilities for making spaces airy and relaxing, refined and timeless, or elegantly sophisticated.
However, neutrals alone are not a fail-safe combination and it is all too easy to fall into the trap of using bland, depressing colours that are nothing like the subtle, complex palettes featured here.
Farrow & Ball has six established neutral groups. Our Relaxed Neutrals, Architectural Neutrals and Contemporary Neutrals all have a greyer bias, while our Timeless Neutrals, Warm Neutrals and Traditional Neutrals are a little softer in feel.
Although each group will produce a very different look, the four shades within each one can be relied upon to work perfectly together in seemingly endless permutations, to create an effortless flow and variety of moods in your home.
Even if you choose to live with a really understated colour scheme, such as those outlined over the last few pages, a stronger accent colour of a similar tone can shift the balance of the room, for added interest and impact. By including a deeper colour within the scheme, you will make the other colours in the neutral family come alive. The best accent colours for each family are as follows:
Traditional Neutrals: Mouse’s Back
Timeless Neutrals: Pigeon
Warm Neutrals: London Stone
Contemporary Neutrals: Charleston Gray
Relaxed Neutrals: Mole’s Breath
Architectural Neutrals: Down Pipe
These accent colours can be incorporated in a number of different ways, from painting entire walls to small pieces of furniture, introducing an extra element to the decoration.
Grey Paint Schemes
Find inspiration for your project and view beautiful images of grey paint schemes in real homes.