Letting the light in with Farrow and Ball – part 1

By | January 16, 2015

In November last year, I was one of the lucky Mumsnet bloggers selected to attend a presentation at Farrow and Ball’s Chelsea showroom and select paint from their range to decorate a room in our house.

I instantly knew that I wanted to choose our lounge/dining area, this is the room where we spend the most time as a family but it has its disadvantages:

*My childminding years had left the room looking tired (a bit like me), it was time to reclaim and revitalise (again, a bit like me!)

*The room stretches the length of the house and whilst the garden is South-facing, the front of the house gets very little natural light and so a colour was needed to invigorate and also enhance natural light where possible.

*I don’t like magnolia or just “white” paint, I prefer colour but anything has to be long-lasting and durable as, having two autistic children, means that I can’t chop and change things about at whim, the change becomes too unsettling for them.

This is the first of two posts, this one will answer specific questions posed by Mumsnet and my initial impressions of using the Farrow and Ball products, my second post will show the results and family feedback.

So, onwards with the questions:

The Farrow and Ball event:

a) How informative/inspirational did you find the initial colour talk with Joa and the rest of the F&B team?

I enjoyed Joa’s talk, especially with her use of colours and the results when colours that complement each other were placed together.

I had thought of neutral colours as well..neutral…but Joa was able to demonstrate with quite a few pictures just how a room can be enhanced with colour.

She had plenty of tips for painting/papering behind shelving and within furniture/door panels to create a striking look.

I came away with plenty of notes and quite a few ideas.

b) Please share the most interesting piece of colour advice or decorating tip you learnt on the day?

The best advice I had on the day was my brief chat with Joa, explaining the light issues and my decor, she gave instant advice with a colour that I wouldn’t have previously considered.

c) What did you find the most interesting aspect of our colour talk?

Joa demonstrated how there were six differing shades of (what I’d thought previously were just) white and the complementing woodwork paint, wall paper etc.

d) How do you think we could improve our colour talk event? (Please consider the venue, refreshments, structure etc?)

The venue was the Chelsea showroom, which was spacious and full of light, our talk was on the lower floor, which felt a bit cramped. It would have been better held upstairs.

The event was delayed in starting due to travel issues and it all felt a bit rushed afterwards with a quick grab of a wrap for lunch. I would have liked to stay longer but had to get back to Paddington.

Now on the colour advice / selecting a colour scheme:

a) Where do you normally go to find inspiration when deciding on a colour scheme for your chosen room/s? (Please think about Farrow & Ball websites, social media, magazines, websites showroom staff etc?)

I tend to get inspiration from magazines and sometimes from a particular piece of furniture or picture and work back from there.

Colour charts are useful but I find that the colour looks completely different as a sample on a wall.

b) Which source do you normally find the most inspirational and which is no good! Would you like more places to get inspiration and what form would they take?

As mentioned above, I tend to work backwards from a central point. My taste can be quite eclectic but with an aim of creating light where natural light can be lacking.

F&B products

Which room(s) did you decorate?:

a) Please describe your experience of using Farrow & Ball paints to decorate your room from first opening the tin, to completing the project and seeing the results?
~ think about ease of application, product quality, depth of colour and finish etc…

As mentioned above, it’s our lounge/dining area that needed and received attention.

Alvin at Farrow and Ball was great with advice via email and my products soon arrived, not only paint but brushes, a paint tray and a roller too!

My first impression from opening the tin was how creamy the paint was, not in colour so much but texture, it looked high quality.

Joa had said at our talk that the paint would “burst onto the wall” and it did cover well.

There was also very little paint smell, which is very helpful when there are children with sensory issues in the household.

I painted a small square on the wall and firstly thought “it looks very grey” but it dried to a lovely opaque-like colour which seems almost pearl-like.


The primer and undercoat went on really well, one darker wall needed a second coat but I was very impressed with coverage.


b) After your experience would you consider using Farrow & Ball paint in your home again? If so, why? If not, why not?

I would use F&B paint again, you’ll see in my next post how it’s changed our walls, for the better.

I had been told that the paint is very difficult to touch in if there are knocks, although I hope I don’t have to test this too soon, it would be interesting to see if this is true.

c) Now that you’ve used Farrow & Ball paint, how likely would you be to recommend it to a friend? And why?

I would recommend the paint and accessories because they are very high quality and the depth of colour is lovely, even on something I may have previously discounted.

As mentioned, this is post one of two, I attended a F&B event and received paint and accessories for the purposes of this post.

“I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network, a group of parent bloggers picked by Mumsnet to review products, services, events and brands.

I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity”.

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