Farrow & Ball is one of the better known and most popular paint brands out there — and they have plenty of iconic shades behind them that you might have heard of. But I've often wondered which are the most popular.
I've had enough discussions with the designers on paint and color by now to know that if there is any paint color to avoid, it's a bright and pure white. In the wrong setting, pure white can feel gallery-like, creating a living space that feels cold, stark, and sterile. That's why we recommend warming up any space with a neutral lick of paint. With undertones of reds, browns, or yellows, these off-whites hold the power to bring a subtle warmth to your space, helping it to transition to a room that, once filled with your furniture and decor, feels cozy and cocooning.
Neutrals range from pale off-whites that in bright light might look pure, all the way through to light browns or greige tones. But there are so many shades to pick from in the wide world of neutral paint, so where do you start? If you've decided to go neutral in your home, we've spoken to the team at Farrow & Ball, and some of our favorite interior designers, to get an idea of what the most popular Farrow & Ball paint color ideas are and why, to help you narrow down your choices.
1. Elephant's Breath
Chances are you've heard of Elephant's Breath, perhaps in part for its affectionate name, but most likely because this is one of the most popular Farrow & Ball paints around.
It's a warm mid-grey that was created by John Fowler, the notable English interior designer, and has an impressive way of changing with the light. It's a great color for a south-facing living room, with a consistent stream of warm light pouring in throughout the day, Elephant's Breath feels warm, but it can become almost lilac in west-facing rooms. 'It has a touch of magenta undertone, which is what makes it appear almost lilac in cooler lighting,' explains Patrick O'Donnell, brand ambassador and color consultant for Farrow & Ball. 'Elephant's Breath is a renowned favorite,' he adds.
For Gillian Gillies of Gillian Giles Interiors, a neutral is the best trim color around. 'We believe that your trim is an opportunity to do much more than simply paint it pure white,' says Gillian. 'In this third floor bedroom, we took inspiration for the trim color from the Cole & Son Nuvolette wallpaper. Painting the trim in a harmonious color – we used Farrow & Ball Elephant’s Breath. It blends the wall with the trim and the overall effect is soothing and luxurious.
Dimity is another top neutral paint and a Farrow & Ball bestseller. It is a slightly darker neutral shade but the perfect color for those who are looking for a little more shadow and depth. 'Moving towards the warmer whites, we find this gem,' says Patrick. 'It has just a little red through and therefore an ideal choice for those nervous about poorly lit rooms.
'You can use it as a wall color and team it with Pointing on your woodwork or use it as a ceiling color when decorating your room in our softest red, Red Earth - this will feel much less harsh than a pure white.'
In this example, Dimity has been selected as a wonderful backdrop to colorful appliances and kitchen fittings. ‘We wanted the kitchen furniture to be the main act in this room, so we decided to paint the wall in a warm white with some red and black pigments,’ Sina Gwosdzik of Jall & Tofta.
'The gentle backdrop creates a blank canvas which highlights and pushes forward the brighter tones which sit upon it, so the colors become more three-dimensional, seeming almost to float. Let’s not forget the beautiful warm white and speckled grey marble splashback, which adds texture as well as a hit of luxury, giving the whole room a sophisticated edge.'
3. School House White
This paint comes up time and time again, and for good reason. It's a dreamy off-white that feels soft and calming, and in some bright lights may even look like a pure white. It's perfect for a white kitchen, giving it a warmer aesthetic as seen here in this example when paired with Farrow & Ball's Bambauche.
'School House White is an ever popular, timeless soft white, reminiscent of the color used in old school houses,' says Patrick. 'With none of the cool undertones of more contemporary neutrals, it is particularly versatile, while still appearing white even when used in more shaded areas.'
4. Shaded White
Another one of the most popular neutrals of all time is Farrow & Ball's Shaded White. 'It's one of our best sellers – this is such a good off-white which works brilliantly with our more restrained blues and greens but can hold its own as a wall color,' says Patrick.
'There is just enough color through it to deliver some character and teamed with its tonal companion School House White offers an easy and effortless scheme for any room in your home.'
Designer Christiane Lemieux is also a fan of the shade and has used it on the walls to create a layered and warm neutral color scheme. 'We love this neutral because it also has a lot of warmth to it, making it a perfect neutral for fall or winter!'
Finally, for something a little darker, veering away from that off-white look, Jitney is brilliant, and I'm not alone in thinking it.
Jitney is seriously popular with lovers of Farrow & Ball. 'It's a soft, gentle brown-based neutral which, when teamed with a warm white such as Wimborne White delivers a clean aesthetic but delivers more warmth than a grey shade,' says Patrick. 'The ideal choice for an entryway without too much light or a clean living room that can be easily layered with pretty prints and linens on your upholstery and curtains.'
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Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.
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