Mention the phrase Farrow & Ball and chances are names such as Elephant's Breath and Cornforth White spring to mind. Since the early Nineties, the paint company synonymous with quirkily evocative nomenclature has been the premium brand for quality paints, as well as twice-yearly wallpaper collections.
With a strong heritage values – a range of paints were developed for the National Trust, so helping it to restore period properties with palettes sympathetic to their eras – its colours adorn the walls of some of the most prestigious properties and art galleries worldwide.
We've gathered our favourite and your most-loved white paint for your inspiration.
- See: White kitchen ideas – for a stylish scheme that will stand the test of time
Neither too warm nor too cool, Cornforth White sits contentedly between Ammonite and Purbeck Stone to create a hushed and calming retreat. As interior designers know, a white room painted entirely in one solid shade can look flat and featureless. Instead try combining subtle variations on walls, woodwork, cornicing and ceilings to enhance the proportions of a room. It can work exceptionally well in a country-style kitchen, when paired with wooden beams, reclaimed furniture and a statement range cooker.
- See: Decorating with white – pure, fresh and sophisticated ways to decorate
'This cool white is both strong by name and strong by nature,' says Farrow & Ball. This white is best for south-facing rooms with blue and grey undertones. The subtle urban feel of its light grey undertones add a contemporary twist to period homes, while staying in keeping with modern properties.
See: 10 most popular Farrow & Ball colors – the must-have, on-trend shades
Ammonite is named after the treasured fossils often found on the Dorset coast. 'Neither too warm nor too cool, its subtle grey tone creates a hushed and calming feel in homes both old and new,' say Farrow & Ball – perfect for white bedrooms.
Try pairing this understated tone with a pure, brilliant white to enhance its light grey tone.
Sharing its name with the old Dorset term for a spider’s web, this delicate white has a barely there and almost translucent feel to it. Wevet is clean, understated and incredibly easy to live with. With its hint of grey, this hushed tone can be used as a wall colour for just about any scheme.
While this paint leans more towards a grey than a white, we still felt it was a colour worth considering if you're not after a pure white. Elephant's Breath reads as an uplifting mid grey with its hint of magenta, but can become almost lilac in the cooler light of west facing rooms. Try offsetting Elephant's breath with Strong White for a sense of neutrality and calm.
This just off white is named after the market town of Wimborne in Dorset and home to Farrow & Ball. This warm white is only a shade away from a pure white. The addition of the smallest amount of warm yellow pigment creates a very versatile shade. Pair with an exuberant colour palette for a modern look.
About Farrow & Ball
Founded in 1946 by paint pioneers John Farrow and Richard Ball, Farrow & Ball have a passion for producing quality paint and wallpaper. During the 1950s the company supplied paint for Ford Motor Cars, Raleigh bicycles and even the War Office.
In the early 1990s it developed a range of National Trust paints, working closely with historical buildings, helping to restore them with colours sympathetic to their eras.
This range grew into the distinctive collection of paint colours we know today. A selection of artisanal wallpapers followed in 1995, produced by using traditional block and trough printing methods with paint instead of ink to create the luxurious textures the company is famous for.
Why we love Farrow & Ball paint
Besides the evocative color names? With such an extensive palette, with each shade available in a variety of finishes, it's possible to find the colours that work in any setting – from traditional to modern, inside or out.
If customers require advice putting a scheme together, knowledgeable and talented staff provide helpful, free in-store consultations and an at-home service (for a fee). Oh, and its green credentials are excellent as all F&B paints are water-based, give off low odor and are child- and pet-safe.
Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space.
Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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