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The Farrow & Ball paint colours that should be on your radar

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From stylish Stiffkey Blue to classic Ammonite, here are the best picks.

There are a few things we love about this time of year – making the most of the warm evening light, beautiful blooms on kitchen tables, and refreshing the home with a lick of paint.

But in a world of seemingly endless colour, it can be a struggle to decide which colours to choose and how that tiny slab of colour on a paint chart will translate onto the walls of your house.

That’s why we reached out to some of our expert designers across Oxfordshire to share some of their must-have, on-trend Farrow & Ball paint colours in real homes with pictures, so you can see exactly what they look like in situ, rather than just on the paint chart.

From Stiffkey Blue to Setting Plaster to Pigeon, the result is the start of a whistle-stop tour featuring sophisticated neutrals and bold palettes – taking us through private homes and familiar facades, turn-of-the-century chalets and modern apartments.

And while we don’t have any intention of featuring all the Farrow & Ball paint colours – there are 132 in the palette, including 50 neutrals, we think this selection shows what a thoughtful combination of simple and familiar hues can yield.

In this world of colour, at least, nothing ever stays still for long. So this is very much going to be a work in progress. Bookmark this page and climb aboard at any time. You may just find yourself inspired.

1. Stiffkey Blue

F&B’s Stiffkey Blue colour is an inky blue colour is named after the Norfolk beach, where the mud, along with the cockles, share a particular deep navy hue. Although traditional in feel, it is often used to create a richly dramatic space with a more contemporary finish.

But if you’re considering this colour, bear in mind that it does appear much bluer when used in well-lit areas of the home, and almost indigo-like in smaller and darker spaces.

Farrow & Ball’s Stiffkey Blue Paint Colour by Flippa Interiors
Image: Flippa Interiors
Farrow & Ball’s Stiffkey Blue Paint Colour by Flippa Interiors
Image: Flippa Interiors

The cupboards in this contemporary kitchen with its bespoke hand-made curved leather banquette in Henley-on-Thames, by Flippa Interiors, are painted in F&B Stifkly blue.

The Oxfordshire-based interior designer has also used the colour for the frames and shelves in this bespoke hidden cupboard library, where it’s been paired with F&B’s Charlotte’s Locks for the back.

2. Setting Plaster

The bathroom design by Stella Mannering & Company is finished in F&B Setting Plaster – a dusty pink named after the blushing walls we often admire in newly plastered houses. It is definitely a pink in historic terms, but it has a certain softness due to the inclusion of yellow pigment.

Farrow & Ball’s Setting Plaster Paint Colour by Stella Mannering & Company
Image: Stella Mannering & Company

Setting Plaster and marble worktops, our new favourite combination.

The paint colour, combined with the creates a wonderful backdrop for the marble washbasins and antique furnishings – especially when paired with F&B Pointing – a warm and delicate off white colour often seen in the lime pointing used in traditional brickwork.

According to Stella Mannering & Company, they use Farrow & Ball paints for their wonderfully diverse colour palette which they manage to constantly update. They have been colour trendsetters for many years and have always had a depth and consistency of colour on which they can rely.

3. Pigeon

Even doors can get the F&B treatment. The front door above is finished in F&B Pigeon – a cosy and nostalgic blue grey named after the colour of the bird.

This bluer version of contemporary grey shades is particularly popular on kitchen islands. It is also incredibly suited for use in boot rooms, cloakrooms or darker spaces like studies and panelled rooms.

Farrow & Ball’s Pigeon Paint Colour by HÁM interiors
Image: HÁM interiors

F&B Pigeon looks sublime in this bathroom designed by Tom Cox of HÁM interiors. “We like to look at the pigment and depth of colour in a paint,” comments Tom.

“Too often a shade will have too much grey or brown as an undertone, which can then be challenging when layering a scheme and adding furniture. Pigeon by Farrow & Ball has just the right balance, it gives a space a calm and muted quality.”

4. Ammonite

F&B’s Ammonite paint colouris named after the treasured fossils often found on the Dorset coast. It has a fantastically understated quality. Its subtle grey tones create a hushed, calming feel in homes.

Farrow & Ball’s Ammonite Colour by Farrow & Ball
Image: Farrow & Ball

Neither too warm nor too cool, this most popular of Farrow & Ball’s neutrals works in all rooms, no matter their orientation. It has a very subtle grey tone to it that is only noticeably if you pair it with a brighter white.

One of the reasons why Ammonite is so popular is because it works in both old and new properties. Farrow & Ball do recommend their White & Light Tones Primer & Undercoat for best results.

5. Old White

F&B’s Old White is more subdued green than white, particularly in north-facing rooms. This soft grey green simply earns its name by being the most historic of all the Farrow & Ball white paint colours. It’s a traditional Neutrals that feels more of a classic grey in well-lit spaces.

It’s the most sophisticated of colours and feels just as at home in the drawing-room of a historic house as it does in the kitchen of a modern family home. Misty interiors used the F&B Old white in this cosy small sitting room in a pretty Cotswold cottage.

Farrow & Ball’s Old White Colour by Misty Interiors
Image: Misty Interiors

According to designer Kozue Garner, Founder of Misty interiors, “This colour has a deep texture with elegance which I believe brings more character to this room. I just wanted to make this a calm space for reading books”.

6. India Yellow

When colour curator Joa Studholme from Farrow & Ball shared her predictions for 2022, we couldn’t help but notice that among a handful of colours, she believed rich mustard yellow was going to be big news in 2022.

After a couple of rather grey years, with lockdowns and all, we’re beginning to see a move towards the colour of happiness for some light relief like F&B’s Inda Yellow.

Farrow & Ball’s India Yellow Paint Colour by Farrow & Ball
Image: Farrow & Ball

Named after the pigment collected from the urine of cows fed on a special diet of mango leaves, this deep mustard yellow colour creates a really cosy and surprisingly un-yellow space when contrasted with a dark tone like Tanner’s Brown.

Yellows are brilliant for adding warmth to any space. Nut use it in moderation in smaller rooms, though. Otherwise, its moody intensity may be a little overpowering.

7. Breakfast Room Green

Using one colour on both walls and woodwork, such as lively F&B’s Breakfast Room Green, can make a room look bigger by disguising the limits of the space. The bold use of this one colour also creates an exceptional background for art or for furniture, which can be upcycled with a lick of Modern Eggshell.

Farrow & Ball’s Breakfast Room Green Paint Colour by Farrow & Ball

The combination here of Breakfast Room Green and F&B’s Stone Blue feels both arresting and familiar, while the chalky matt finish of the signature Estate Emulsion on the walls shows these colours at their very best as the light changes through the day.


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