Farrow & Ball color consultants: Paint regrets, begone


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If you’ve ever felt like you’ve spent too much time and money testing wall colors -- or repainting rooms that just didn’t look right -- you may be happy to know that Farrow & Ball is launching in-home color consultations here starting at $200. A Farrow & Ball color consultant begins with an analysis of the architectural detailing and lighting of up to four rooms, then reviews the client’s favorite colors during a one-hour meeting. The consultant devises color schemes from the company’s 132 shades with suggested paint finishes for exteriors and interiors, as well as options from the Farrow & Ball wallpaper collection. The room pictured in the lead photo is painted in Pointing Estate Emulsion with the cupboards in Teresa’s Green Estate Eggshell.

After the consultation, clients receive a color fan deck and written specifications including the quantities of paint required to complete each room. Sessions can be scheduled through Farrow & Ball showrooms or by calling (888) 511-1121. The program is being offered through showrooms in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston and Washington.


Farrow & Ball’s Los Angeles color consultant Cindy Saenz gave us a sampling of the service by answering our email posing some common questions:

What colors are trending?

Colors that tend to be most popular in Los Angeles right now are cooler grays such as Cornforth White or Pavilion Gray and warmer grays such as Elephant’s Breath or Hardwick White. Additionally, we find that most people like to introduce accent colors in the woodwork such as cabinets, bookshelves or furniture pieces using colors like Hague Blue, London Clay and Down Pipe.

[Pictured here, a room painted in a gray called Railings.]

What colors look best in small rooms or dark rooms?

Lighter cooler tones such as Strong White, Blackened or Cornforth White help to make a space feel open and airy. Darker, warmer tones such as Charleston Gray or London Clay make a space feel more intimate and cozy.


Should ceilings always be white?

I love using accent colors on ceilings. It’s another way to create attention in a space other than a regular accent wall. I often suggest ceiling accent colors in laundry rooms, bedrooms and playrooms with color combinations like Elephant’s Breath on the walls with a Brinjal or Pelt ceilings, or Ciara Yellow or Citron walls with Pitch Blue ceilings.

At right, the main part of the wall is Brassica, the ceiling and chair are Stone Blue, and the door is Manor House Gray.

Lacquered walls are hip, but are they too much for sunny L.A.?

California light is definitely bright, but I strongly believe you could use full gloss in the right space -- such as in a powder room or hallway -- with the right color. For most of our clients, I normally recommend our Estate Emulsion with Eggshell trim.

What colors do you recommend for Spanish-style homes?


For the exterior, I usually suggest a warmer scheme such as Savage Ground, Farrow’s Cream, or Stony Ground, and for the trim, whites such as Pointing or White Tie. For a clean and crisper look, I recommend Wimborne or Pointing as the body of the home, paired with Mahogany or Tanner’s Brown for the trim of the home.

Since Spanish-style homes tend to have details such as exposed wood beams on ceilings, I suggest keeping within a warmer scheme for the interior -- Oxford Stone, Cream, New White or Tallow paired with Wimborne or Pointing for the trim -- for a nice and subtle way to complement the woodwork.

What works with Midcentury Modern architecture?

I typically suggest warmer shades of gray paired with Skimming Stone for a contrasting trim or Off-Black for a more subtle look. I love using a different color like Eating Room Red or Radicchio for the front door to really make it pop.

For interiors, I suggest Hardwick White, Mizzle or Shaded White. Midcentury homes were built to introduce more organic forms, so when choosing colors you want earthier tones to bring the outdoors in. Since most are open floor plans, you can make it interesting by introducing a brighter tone on an accent wall like Hay, Hound Lemon or Ciara Yellow.

What about Arts and Crafts houses?

Since Arts and Crafts homes are primarily wood shingle homes consisting mostly of wood trim detail, I usually suggest a three-tone color combination such as Olive for the body of the home, paired with a lighter shade of green like Stone White, and White Tie for the lighter trim. Lichen, Stone Blue and Straw are always great for Arts and Crafts interiors. They typically have more wood so stronger, richer colors tend to work best.



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