Category Archives: Farrow and Ball

Our love affair with Farrow and Ball knows no bounds (though our credit card may disagree)

Bedroom colour schemes

We have four bedrooms and – for now – we’re ignoring the smallest one that is a bit of a dumping ground/study. So there’s three that have had the full makeover.

I realised we hadn’t yet shared our chosen paint colours, so thought I’d do that now as I still haven’t taken photos of the finished rooms. (Sorry! I keep meaning to but need to get some shots in daylight but as we’re at work throughout the week and busy at weekends I never seem to get round to it.)

So, for now, you’ll just have to make do with the colours.

Back bedroom

I really didn’t want to love Elephants Breath – it seems to be the shade that everyone associates with Farrow&Ball – but, oh, one little tester pot and I was hooked. It’s such a lovely soft neutral with surprising hints of purple. Calming, elegant and serene. It had to happen.  Our chosen woodwork colour, Dimity, doesn’t seem to be chosen often for woodwork but it’s a lovely pairing due to it’s very slightest hint of pink – in some lights. Oly is smug because he picked this one out.

farrow and ball elephant's breath

Elephant’s Breath on the walls

farrow and ball dimity

Dimity on woodwork

Farrow and Ball Slipper Satin

Slipper Satin on the ceiling

Farrow and Ball All White

All White for the cornicing and ceiling rose

Music room

We knew we had a few bright accents for this room so wanted to keep it a fairly neutral backdrop. Plus, as Oly has insisted on calling it HIS room we wanted to keep it a little masculine.  So, we turned to the delicious grey palette.

farrow and ball Lamp Room Gray

Lamp Room Gray below the picture rail

farrow and ball Pavillion Gray

Pavilion Gray above the rail

cornforth white

Cornforth White on the ceiling

Farrow and Ball All White

All White for the woodwork, picture rail and cornicing

Master bedroom

This one was the most contentious and Oly needed a fair bit of persuading – what would I do without Pinterest? But, in the end, we opted for full-on drama with the utterly fabulous Hague Blue. Perfect white woodwork was the obvious choice but – as with the rest of the house – we didn’t want to use white on the ceiling (and lose the focus on the cornicing) so we went for the softest of blues in Cabbage White.

farrow and ball Hague Blue

Hague Blue on the walls. Yes, that’s right on the walls!

farrow and ball Cabbage White

Cabbage White on the ceiling

Farrow and Ball All White

All White for the woodwork, cornicing and ceiling rose

So, there you go, that’s our bedroom paint colours. Each room is deliberately quite different, but they don’t fight with each other as you cross into them.

What do you think of our choices?

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Hallway, stairs, landing and lobby paint colour scheme

Would you like to see another colour scheme? Sure you do!

When we tried to work out this area one thing was very clear – we had a lot of wall and a lot of wood.  We also realised we’re so blessed with such great space that we didn’t need to comply with the usual requirement to make a hallway feel larger by keeping the colours light.  With this freedom, we were surprised at how quickly we settled on paint colours.

Ready? here goes:

Farrow and Ball French Gray

French Gray on the main body of the walls

Farrow and Ball Old White

Old White on the walls below the dado and the inner door from the lobby and screen

Farrow and Ball Slipper Satin

Slipper Satin for achitraves, doors, dado, ceilings and the picture rail in the lobby

We’re also going to use Slipper Satin on the stairs – on the large original side panels as well as on the spindles and sofits. The newel posts and banisters will be stained (mahogany) and either varnished or waxed.

Farrow and Ball All White

All White for the cornicing and ceiling roses

Farrow and Ball Mouse's Back

Mouse’s Back (such a great name!) for the body of the walls in the Lobby

Farrow and Ball Brinjal

Brinjal in full gloss for the back of the front door.

And that’s it! We were advised to choose colours that make us happy. Oly loved Brinjal when I first started waving F&B colour charts at him so we’re glad to have found it a home.  We’ve got all the paint and now, as with the rest of the place, just need to get it on the walls!

We’re really happy with these colours and hope they will transform the house and its entrance way back to a  more elegant past, without making it feel too dated.

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Which way do you hang Lotus wallpaper? A Facebook debate

We decided to upload a couple of pics of our lovely new kitchen diner to Farrow and Ball’s fabulous inspiration site.

I find it so useful looking at other people’s projects – whether my taste or not – and particularly like to see how paint colours turn out in different areas;  incredibly helpful for choosing. So we thought we’d do our bit by sharing our pics, we’re gracious like that.

F&B accepted the pictures onto their site last week, all was good.  Then I was a bit surprised to browse Facebook yesterday and see a pic of my own kitchen staring back at me in the news feed!

Facebook

It was shared by Farrow and Ball with the message “What do you think of this kitchen recently uploaded to our Inspiration site? Anything you’d change or perfect as it is?”

Now, there was a fair bit of love for the piccie (over 400 likes to date and 40+ shares) however there was also much hatred. And you know what? It didn’t bother us at all; it was just amusing how unnecessarily vicious strangers feel they have the right to be.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I dare say we wouldn’t like a lot of their homes so we don’t particularly care if they don’t like ours.

However, the comments that were actually annoying were the ones about the fact we had hung the wallpaper upside down. Facebook’s arm-chair interior designers chose to call us ‘idiots’, ‘knobs’ and ‘cocks’ because of it.  (But we’ve probably been called worse over more important things than wallpaper……)

Lotus BP 2061Lotus BP 2061Anyway, the lovely Lotus paper can be hung either way, it’s a matter of preference.

We spent a long time deciding and discussing the merits of both ways :

“It looks like cupped hands”, “It’s a smile”, “It’s a frown”, “I can see a beard now”, “That’s a weird jellyfish”, “Do you just see lady bits?” and so on.

But we chose the way we wanted it, up it went and we bloody adore it. We know it’s not to everyone’s taste and, honestly, we couldn’t give a monkeys.

However, I was very pleased that F&B graced their comment thread with the following:

“We love how passionate everyone is about this! As with anything aesthetic, subjectivity is the watch-word of the day – everyone’s opinion counts here and we welcome both positive comments and constructive criticism… We also thank the owner of this home for adding their photos to our inspiration site to help inspire others.

With regard to the direction of the Lotus pattern, this can be hung either way depending on personal preference. This is a common quandary and we have previously created a board on Pinterest to show how Lotus looks hung both ways. Included in this board is a picture of the original inspiration behind our Lotus pattern, taken from 19 century French archives: http://pinterest.com/farrowball/lotus-wallpaper-hung-both-ways/

Original Lotus paper inspiration

And here is that lovely original inspiration for the Lotus pattern from 19th century French archives  –  adapted and simplified to become the Farrow & Ball Lotus design.

Oh, well, now, will you look a that?! It’s the same way up as our wallpaper.

IN YOUR FACE FACEBOOK CRITICS!!!!!

Sorry, couldn’t help cheering. I guess that’s why we’re knobs/cocks/idiots. But we knew that already.

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Sitting room paint colour scheme

We’ve finished plastering. Woohoo!! Just now need to patch up the gaps and clean up the mess. Then it’s onto sanding, mist coating and finally  – be still my beating heart – painting!

In the meantime,  I thought it was perhaps time to share another colour scheme, this time for our sitting room.*

Farrow and Ball Pigeon

Pigeon for the main body of the walls

The computer screen doesn’t massively differentiate the next colour from Pigeon, but it really is different (lighter) in real life!

Farrow and Ball Blue Gray

Blue Gray for the frieze (above the picture rail)

Farrow and Ball Off White

Off White for ceiling, skirting, window woodwork, architrave, doors and picture rail

Farrow and Ball Pointing

Pointing for the cornice and ceiling rose

The idea is to create a cosy, calming, neutral backdrop, though not too neutral. We have some lovely bits to go in this room including a family heirloom – a painted corner cabinet from 1710 – as well as framed ivory fan set against fuschia felt. And, of course, we have a wonderful original cast iron fireplace – a post about that little beauty will follow soon.

We need to crack on with painting as soon as poss so we can get the radiators back on before we start to need them. Then it’s just carpets, curtains, furniture etc and we MIGHT stand a chance of being done by Christmas. That’s the plan anyway.

Oly has been known to become one with floor...

Oly has been known to become one with floor…

* I refuse to call what will be our new beautiful room a lounge.

In the little flat I grew up in my mum always used the term ‘sitting room’ – and I find it much more elegant and fitting for our darling house.

There will be no lounging on settees in this room, there will be sitting on sofas.

And, ok, after a few drinkies there may possibly be the occasional touch of sprawling on floors……

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A 32 hour lesson

We both work in corporate communications. A large part of our day is spent clarifying messages, aiding understanding and making sure everyone knows the score. Clearly, we can’t be arsed to do that outside of work or the disaster that was last weekend would never have occurred.

A major misunderstanding with Kitchen Guy went something like:

“Just checking, you are doing all the painting in the kitchen diner, right?”
“Erm, no.”
“But we thought that was what we’d agreed – you do everything, we don’t need to touch any of it.”
“Except the decorating. I don’t do painting.”
“But you did the painting on the job you did for our friends, you did everything for them whilst they were on holiday.”
“No, they paid for a decorator to do the painting, I just organised it.”
“Ah. So, can we add it on to the job now?”
“No chance. That’s 2 weeks of a professional decorator’s time.”
“Ah.”

Head in Hands

Dawning realisation

So, it kind of explained our bemusement at the order of work thus far. We did wonder why they put spotlights into the ceiling before painting them and radiators onto bare plastered walls etc. Just kept putting it down to “Ooooo, I guess that’s how professionals do it. Isn’t it fascinating?”

We also wondered why Kitchen Guy gave an ‘am I meant to care?’ look when we told him the paint had been delivered and was stacked in the hallway.

As we marvelled at our incredible stupidity our choices loomed sharply into focus.

1) Pay for a pro when the job is complete. (Meaning the kitchen diner wouldn’t be finished for another few weeks and it would cost a fair whack, which we don’t really have left for this room.)

2) Do the painting ourselves when the kitchen was installed – being incredibly careful not to get paint on our new cupboards, floor, appliances, granite etc etc (Note: We are not incredibly careful people and masking up a job of that size would take FOREVER.)

3) Stop whining, refuse to believe it’s 2 weeks work for a professional decorator and that it’s totally beyond a pair of amateurs and get the f***on with it. It’s only painting after all.

Yes, dear readers, we went for option 3. Because we are stupid and stubborn.

So, in one weekend we:

      • Mist coated 2 ceilings (watered down emulsion to seal the bare plaster)
      • Mist coated all the walls
      • Sanded, undercoated and two 2 coats on the coving
      • Slapped 2 coats on the walls


At this point it seems only fair to remind you that the space we are working in is pretty big and the ceiling is about 3 metres from the ground. And, we had no light as the electrics aren’t yet wired up. Impressed yet? You bloody should be.

All in, this took us 32 hours. Each.

So, 64 hours – yep, Kitchen Guy was right: 2 weeks work for a pro.

IMG_2647

Cornforth White, All White and Great White

Did we do a great job? Well, to be honest, it wasn’t bad considering. We didn’t sand down nicks on the walls in between coats, we didn’t have time but, all in, we were pretty proud – especially when, this week, we were complimented on our finish by a very experienced tradesman. We still have woodwork to finish off but that’ll be much easier to tackle, even with everything installed.

Farrow and Ball greys

There was a lot of surface to cover

What we learnt:

      • Clarify exactly what is included when you hire any tradesman (yeah, yeah, basic principle, we know, we shouldn’t have had to learn this the hard way, blah blah blah)
      • 32 hours is a serious amount of hours to put into one weekend and it is not recommended, however keen you think you are. 
      • Painting on that level can make you hurt in places you had no idea could hurt that doesn’t subside for days and inexplicable bruising will appear
      • When rollering, small specks of paint make you look like you have the pox and will alarm the local shop keeper when popping out for a pint of milk
      • Painting high ceilings is undoubtedly the most evil job ever (especially when you’re only 5’3’’)
      • Farrow and Ball paint is worth every last goddamn penny as it goes on like a dream and the finish is amazing – we ain’t never looking back
      • A sense of humour, and a little whisky, can get you through just about anything
Downpipe cabinet

We’re really pleased with the colours

There’s also a slight satisfaction that whilst Kitchen Guy is doing an amazing job and we were quite happy to hand the whole lot over (and indeed thought we had) there’s something quite satisfying about knowing our own blood, sweat and tears are in that room now.

Above all, our 32 hour lesson has taught us that, if we put our mind to it, we can do it. So the rest of the house feels a tiny bit less daunting now.

Bring it on.

His n hers

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Classically contemporary colour

We’ve had an exciting delivery from Farrow and Ball!

Farrow and Ball delivery

Amongst the delivery was all our paint for the dining kitchen. Here’s what we’re having:

Farrow and Ball Down Pipe

Down Pipe for the cupboard doors

Farrow and Ball  Railings

Railings for the central island and table legs

Farrow and Ball cornforth white

Cornforth White for the walls and shelving

Farrow and Ball strong white

Strong White for the ceilings

Farrow and Ball all white

All White for the cornice and all woodwork

Farrow and Ball lotus BP 2061

Lotus wallpaper for the chimney breast

So, whilst it’s fair to say we looked away when we paid for this little lot – we’re confident it will totally be worth it.

The colour scheme may not be to everyone’s taste (“Grey? Euggggh” was one reaction) but we’re really excited by it and reckon it’ll look both classic and contemporary, allowing accent colours to stand out but not dominate.

And the best bit, we only have to wait a couple more weeks to find out!

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EDITED TO ADD:  Want to see how this turned out? Sure you do! Head on over to this post to find out.

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