Thursday, February 18, 2010

Farrow & Ball

You know the saying "champagne tastes on a beer budget"? I have champagne tastes on a prosecco budget.

We're leaning toward painted cabinets that we'll paint ourselves. But the paint will most likely be Farrow & Ball. An English company founded in the 1940s and still independent to this day, Farrow & Ball uses traditional methods of manufacturing paint, using old-fashioned pigments instead of synthetics. The company mixes all of its paint in Dorset, England, and ships them to their stockists. Now, I don't know if I've just swallowed the Farrow & Ball marketing pitch whole, but I have to admit there is something about their colors once applied. They look historic, elegant, muted without being muddy. And who can resist colors named "String" and "Elephant's Breath"?

I've now taken two trips to my nearest Farrow & Ball retailer (or stockist) and purchased enough samples to paint a small closet. And now that I've uploaded the photos, I realized that the colors don't read true on my laptop. The photos are too grayed and dark. The colors do read fairly true on my desktop.


A lovely warm changeable neutral. A warm, pale taupe.

Green Ground

This is an amazing color. A very pale spring green, but in certain lights, it reads as a neutral.

Old White

A perfect sophisticated, warm gray. I don't know what it is, but this color simply screams high-end. This would look stunning with marble.


The color of corduroys. A more intense version of string with perhaps a touch of mustard.

Ball Green

A gray-green that again reads almost neutral.

Vert de Terre

A stunning green with a hint of blue.


  1. I'm intrigued by the cabinets you're getting and painting yourself. Are these kitchen cabinets or a hutch of some sort? Also, where are there F&B retailers? I thought you had to go to the Design Center or something?! I drool over the F&B color chart I have and could do some serious damage if I had access to samples!

  2. Lucy, We're currently considering using IKEA boxes and custom doors (and some custom uppers). We're just starting to get estimates from cabinet makers so we'll see how things unfold.

    Oh, and Crown Point has added F&B paints to their available finishes. I'm sure the colors would go beautifully with the styles of cabinetry that they make.

    If you go to the F&B site at and select "United States," there's a list of retailers under the showrooms. I've been using the Colorworks in Lexington, but I've discovered that Johnson Paint Company in Waltham has F&B. And Donald Kaufman paints too. I think the Design Center is only open business hours M-F. I shudder to think about taking my little ones there! The Lexington Colorworks has Duplos. And they were very, very nice.


Thanks so much for commenting. I love reading your thoughts and responses.