Freshlook’s Farrow & Ball Firm Favourites From the Year just gone

Farrow and Ball elephants breath in hallway
Farrow and Ball elephants breath in hallway

Fresh start to a new year and as the year begins it can give the perfect opportunity to reflect on choices from the past year, what went well, what could’ve gone better, and of course which colours you’d selected to decorate your home!

Each year we bear witness to a multitude of colour palettes, some are executed perfectly and are a delight to look at, whereas others may evoke a little morsel of nausea and feelings of unease.

I’m sure you can relate.

Throughout 2018 we have seen Grey dominate across each and every surface it’s come up against, from bedroom walls to skirting boards and wooden features.

For the best part you’d pushed to make the colour grey seem uncool at the moment it would seem, gone is the dull boring and ‘beige’ attitude that it carried not so long ago.

Being the Pioneers of all things paint, Farrow and Ball have once again deliver

ed some fantastic tones to tempt our clients into bringing a Freshlook to their home in 2018, this is our overview to hopefully help inspire or give you ideas for your own decorating project.

So without further ado let’s dip into our top picks.

1- Elephants Breath (No229)

Elephants breath hallway good natural lighting
Elephants breath hallway

A warm and uplifting mid-grey which according to Farrow and Ball can appear “almost lilac” in certain lighting conditions, and you know they are perfectly on the money there, having used this for a few clients this year we’ve had the privilege to observe it on a multitude of surfaces.

Having seen and used it first-hand this colour really can be taken down a few routes styling wise, whether going for a minimalists’ dream or heading down the route more contemporary, we’re sure that you can find a place in your homes and in your hearts for what is sure to become a timeless choice.

Grey has been a prominent colour choice for homes around the world this year in particular what we like to call ‘versatile’ shades, ones that can feel equally at home in a living room as it would a landing, a bedroom as much as broom cupboard, you get the point.

Just hearing the name ‘Elephants Breath’ conjures up for me the sight of steamy morning mouth exhaling an almost vape cloud puff that is caught by the sun rising hazily on the horizon, full of mysticism.

This natural shade comes across particularly majestic when used alongside natural woods, living house plants and the like.

Why we love it…

The depth that this colour contains doesn’t become apparent until applied over a surface when you’re able to fully grasp the almost chameleon like shade change from a grey to blue grey lilacish, hues of elephant skin and fond memories are sure to put a grin on your chin.

Opens up the space even in areas notoriously dimly lit such as stairwells and small washroom areas, any source of natural lighting will only add more beauty to it’s effect and welcome you home each time you arrive back from a tiresome day, adds a homely modern feel.


2- Downpipe (No26)

A daringly dark hue that encompasses the depth of blue undertones resulting in this dramatic lead grey, originally a colour which would have featured on guttering and downpipes but that has now found its way onto surfaces inside the home with ‘fanatical zeal’

This colour can be used to great effect on statement walls or by incorporating onto detailing’s/ woodwork and decorative features, both with a white back drop or complementing lighter shades or greys & blues.

Really sets off the old ‘curb appeal’ factor when used externally on front doors, window frames, porches and wooden features also fresh paint and regular upkeep will help extend the overall lifespan of the wood.

Why we love it…

A real stand out colour which sits beautifully on wood details and mouldings to provide effective contrast to any white or off white backdrop.

It’s versatile enough to also be used as full on wall covering to make a statement, or just to enhance a space when used sparingly across the canvas, we really liked it when used on woodwork and decorative features against a lighter or whiter backdrop

3-Cornforth White (No 228)

Seated as a Mid-tone in the easy neutrals section, we like to think of it as a bit more of safe bet with clients that could be a little risk averse normally opting for magnolia or white. farrow and ball Cornforth white in hallwayFarrow and ball cornforth white in hallway

The finished colour sits pretty light and bright under most conditions, and brings about an uplifting ambience that can really transform once gloomy areas especially when adding more lighting into the space.

We’ve found the classic white ceiling and skirting to be favoured choice when using throughout the home, if used in the same home as colours from nearby colour families or groups it can seem like the theme remains and flows room by room.

It’s almost pastel like complexion is sure to bring a touch of sophistication to any surface it covers.

A great choice to brighten up your stairway, long corridor or high ceiling rooms.

Why we love it…

The colour configurations within this paint can lead you to gaze blissfully into walls, making the chore of watching paint dry a splash more entertaining, but the real magic happened once its set and cured.

Behold the spectacle; the series of events that will play out on your walls is almost akin to the changing of the seasons, giving so much more variety and in our opinion the ability to impact how you feel.

Picking up you spirits on a gloomy winters day when basted onto the surfaces in your main living areas, but also relaxing you for an afternoon slumber if adorned on the bedroom walls, as with our ‘firm favourites’ we can recommend making them work in most scenarios you’ll come across from a decoration perspective.

4-Ammonite (No 274)

A perfectly light and subtle grey that sits beautifully in areas with low natural lighting, if you are able to see it in a well lit area for comparison we can recommend doing so and you can then fully appreciate the greyness of it and not as hint of blue in sight! This can be a challenge in our current climate and lust for all 50 of the shades of grey available on the market.

As with most Farrow and Ball colours, applying this to your homes surfaces will bring about a refined feel to the space. One of the lighter shades that can easily substitute your predisposed penchant for white especially when it comes to ceilings, if your inner trail blazer really would like to show off then do so by applying liberally to covings or woodwork, be warned though this could really shake the canaries cage.

Puts a note of distinction onto cupboards, wardrobes, bookcases and built in functioning storage areas, it’s light enough to basically use anywhere that you would a white, so whip out your creative pants and get going.

Why we love it…

So light some wouldn’t even notice if this were applied to some surfaces, however if a closer inspection was warranted you’d be glad for doing so, it has been referred to as having a “fantastically understated quality “and I must say that it truly is, and would do well in a minimalistic environment & feel equally at home across your office walls.

5-Railings (No31)

You’d be hard pushed to find a shade of black that can be so dramatic yet also retain an alternative softer side than this, which the maestro’s at Farrow and Ball would say it’s “a soft black with blue undertones”

Just as they achieved with ‘Elephants Breath’ Farrow and Ball have whisked up another ‘shade shifter’ of a colour, which

subtly shimmers from one shade into another transforming before your very eyes bringing a depth of colour achieved by no other manufacturer.

It can be just as stunning when used to make a statement from the kerbside, front doors, window ledges, garden gates or even a garage door can really have that visual impact to set you apart from the neighbours but in a tasteful manner.

From the inside of the home using it in spaces that are bathed with natural lighting can work really well, if you’ve got the courage to painting a whole space in it then decorating accordingly will surely create a powerful space yet is still soft to the eye, some may say ‘dramatic’

Why we love it…

The boldness blended with a taste of cold hard iron, you can imagine it as the colour of choice for both a cast iron handrail decoration from a Victorian seaside town and your bannisters at home, a real nod to the traditional railings and handrails from yesteryear.

Having this gently brushed across the skirting’s, architraves and window ledges inside your front room will add a perfect and slightly daring approach to contrast lighter shaded colours such as Ammonite.

Railings on feature wall
Railings on feature wall


Creating a timeless look, or more realistically an interior project that could last 7-9 years needn’t be so hard, use our Farrow and Ball Top Picks for the year to splash a little inspiration, fresh energy and new beginnings into your home this winter

As you’ll see the colours we selected to be our firm favourites are all quite easy on the eye, would fit in well within most homes and offer more than just a flat regular colour which can be picked up anywhere, instead with our expert guidance throughout 2018 our clients have been shown options that fit perfectly with the look they are trying to achieve.

By assessing natural light patterns, current tastes and what would be possible within budget we are able to provide you with our recommendations that have led to many a happy customer.

And how you can introduce these into your own home, bringing a modern twist to the feel of your home and hitting the sweet spot for visual impressions.

Perfect if you have visitors due round that haven’t visited in a while and you want to impress, or end the gentle jibes about you needing to freshen up the place.

By selecting the right colour combinations you can adjust to your own perfectly suited tastes, staying on trend yet not seeming samey, there’s a fine line between inspiration and copying depending on the perspectives drawn.

Throughout this last year we have seen our top picks feature in a variety of spaces and work just as well in bedrooms as they could in through spaces and lounges, so in essence you’ll have a palette full of colours that will bring your property right up to date

Each of the handpicked colours have been used directly by us throughout this year, bringing a modern look and feel to homes across Surrey and London.  Our clients have been thrilled with the finished projects, sophisticated finishes and overall vibe exuded.

So this concludes Freshlook favourite Farrow and Ball for 2018, we wonder which colours will remain just as popular in the upcoming year and what they have up their sleeves from the colour mixing magicians….

Tell tale signs you’re in need of a decorator!

Today’s post will shed some light on scenarios when you’re probably best leaving it to the professionals, even with D.I.Y being so prevalent as a hobby, a way to save a few pennies and spend your free time doing bits it can be easy to get out of your skill remit.

So in no particular order:

  • You decide to tackle the redecoration of the spare room, in free time obviously, 2 years later it still bares resemblance to a half written off dungeon that no sane guest would ever sleep in.  Subsequently it is now the dumping ground for all manner of goodies, including the home gym kit you promised yourself would get used this year.
  • The state of your wood leaves a lot to be desired.  Flaky, peely, lifeless and certainly out of shape.  The idea of making it look nice seems appealing.  The prospect of many hours of sanding, filling and making good does not, think of many other enjoyable things you could be doing with your free time.
  • Someone before has done a less than satisfactory job on the paintwork, with each inspection and layer that you peel back, just like an onion, the mystery seems to keep unraveling.  How long do you want to spend uncovering the previous owners bodges?
  • When assessing your previous painting attempts, your friend asks which child of yours done the job!
  • Each time you decide to tackle a job you end up cursing, instantly regretting it and not having very much fun in the process.
  • You decide to try your hand at patterned wallpaper…..


I’m sure there’s plenty of other scenarios out there, why not leave a comment with some of your favourites




Why choose a Professional Painter?

So if you’re like most guys out there you probably figure that free time could be spent doing D.I.Y tasks.

How much do you really enjoy home decorating, or painting?

A bit of painting, some wallpapering and if you are very lucky even some removal of that lovely old wood-chip wallpaper someone thought would be a good idea 30 or so years ago may seem like a good idea at the time, but isn’t always the case.

However I’m guessing that REALLY you’d prefer to have some time to relax, catch up with some friends for a beer, play outside with the kids, take the Mrs away for a weekend.

Probably a whole lot more activities you could choose as more fun and desirable than a weekend of sanding, getting dusty, having to clean up and potentially get paint places you don’t want to!

The point here is that your time could be better spent doing other things.

Having fun.

Enjoying life.

Chances are you probably work hard enough each week.

By getting a professional painter to come and do the job for you chances are you’ll receive the following:

  • A better finish overall.
  • A quicker job than if you were to tackle it in evenings and weekends.
  • Less mess and disruption to your life.
  • Longer lasting results.
  • Happier family.

Another way to think of it may be if you own a nice car, say an Aston Martin, who doesn’t want one of those right?!

Well if it needed servicing or fixing would you take it to the local greased up guy down the road, he’s most likely not worked on one of these or if he has it’s not an everyday affair.

Or do you take it to the local Aston dealership that specialises in this make of car?


The same applies to painting, wallpapering and most other jobs around the home.

If you are in need of a freshen up, a complete home redecoration or perhaps you have a list of little bits and bobs that’s been building up for a while now.

Give us a call and we can help you out!