Walls and Trim: Sloe Blue No.87 in Estate Emulsion and Estate Eggshell | Design: Emilie Munroe; Photographer: Stephen Karlisch
Name and number: Sloe Blue No.87
Primer & Undercoat: Dark Tones
Complementary White: Shaded White
ABOUT SLOE BLUE
This blackened shade of blue takes its name – and its distinctive hue – from the patina on sloe berries, the inky-dark fruit of the blackthorn. These hedgerow jewels have been a familiar sight across Europe for millennia. In fact, excavations of Anglo-Saxon sites at Coppergate in York and Abbot’s Worthy in Hampshire have shown evidence of sloes in ancient diets, and the picked fruit was even found near the remains of famous 5000-year-old mummy Ötzi when he was discovered in 1991.
Not just a favourite of our forebears, sloes still appear in many kitchen cupboards across the UK in the form of a dark, richly coloured gin. In France, the sloe-based spirit eau de vie de prunelle is made and enjoyed in regions such as the Alsace – as well as being a favourite of fictional detective Maigret.
Despite being best known today for its affinity with a good tonic water, the blackthorn has had many uses throughout history. Its wood was used for walking sticks, its gum for ink, and its fruits pickled or made into jams and chutneys, with their juice saved to serve as a fabric dye.
HOW TO USE SLOE BLUE
Like the shrub that inspired it, our own Sloe Blue is a versatile thing indeed. As well as working wonders on walls and ceilings, it really shines as a woodwork shade.
Try it on a front door for the most inviting of entryways, to add character to wooden dining chairs (as our previous colour consultee Cathy Chivers has done in her famous chalet), or on all the trim in a room with Oval Room Blue walls and Potted Shrimp accents.