For Farrow and Ball, creating a new paint color is a years-long process that involves rigorous testing and careful consideration as any new shade means an old one must go. So to launch nine new hues—which debut today in an interactive installation at London Design Festival—is no small undertaking.
The colors reflect the current trend of rich palettes and bold combinations and range from a moody blush and a punchy Holi-inspired pink to a deep, purple-black, and an earthy, mid-century modern green. The set also includes three new neutrals, including a warm, sandy shade called Jitney that embodies the summery mindset of the bus that takes New Yorkers to the Hamptons.
The collection as a whole was inspired by the idea of making historic colors work for today’s tastes. “These are established colors with historic roots, but they are brilliant for the contemporary world,” says Joa Studholme, Farrow and Ball International Color Consultant. Studholme is the creative mind responsible for concocting these new colors—a job she’s done for more than two decades—along with Charlotte Cosby, Head of Creative, who started working with Studholme 12 years ago.
Studholme notes that the industry is experiencing a “seismic change” as we shift from white and gray to warmer, more saturated tones, and the new colors follow that trend. “I think we’re seeing these dramatic, rich colors coming into interiors because the world is in a bit of turmoil. There’s a bit of nostalgia for those rich colors,” she says. “When you come home, you want it to feel like your home is giving you a great big hug.”
Here, a look at each new color, and our suggestions on how to use them.
Taking its name and inspiration from a Japanese green tea, Bancha is an earthy green that “feels protective and comforting,” says Studholme, who has the color in the hallway of her home. “It’s fantastic in small spaces,” she adds. This is already a crowd favorite, as it works just as well in an 18th century home as it would a contemporary condo.
How to use: Take a cue from the pro, and use this shade to carry the outside in by painting a foyer or entryway. In her own home, Studholme says “it feels like a continuation of the garden.”
Studholme experienced India’s Holi festival in 1990, and for the last 28 years, she’s been thinking about the bright pink powder ever since. Rangwali is her version of that shade.
How to use: Another color that’s perfect for small spaces, Rangwali is best experienced in a room where the light shifts—it takes on a pastel look in natural light, and becomes a deeper rouge in the dark. Opt for a powder room with a window, or if you’re feeling bold, the guest bedroom.
Paean is a dynamic shade that shifts with the light from a sophisticate eggplant purple to a deep, saturated black. It was inspired by old churches, with worn hymnal books and light filtering through dusty stained glass windows.
How to use: Studholme predicts you’ll soon be seeing this on front doors everywhere. Everyone loves a statement entry.
New Yorkers know the Hamptons jitney is not exactly glamorous, “but it’s quite exotic to us,” laughs Cosby. The warm neutral is meant to evoke that relaxed, beachy vibe.
How to use: Create a calming oasis in the bedroom with wall-to-ceiling coverage.
“De Nimes represents the new and old coming together,” says Studholme. “It crosses the barrier of very fashionable and very down-to-earth.” For her, it represents the working man, and, in fact, it was almost called Workwear instead of taking its name from the French city where denim was first produced.
How to use: This calming blue works beautifully in any space, but try it on cabinetry for a fresh, lighter take on the blue kitchen trend.
Now the deepest red on Farrow and Ball’s color card, Preference Red is a super luxe, statement-making hue.
How to use: Create a sophisticated reading room or elevate your dining room with this rich rouge.
Taking its name from the French word boudoir, which means “sulking place,” the blush Sulking Room Pink may just have the power to unseat millennial pink as the preferred pastel.
How to use: While a bedroom might be the first choice given the name, Studholme suggests taking this color to the kitchen and pairing it with cabinetry painted in Paean Black.
“This is inspired by the schoolhouse I live in,” says Studholme, adding that this white “takes all the yellow out.” It’s a timeless neutral that balances out the other whites on the color card.
How to use: Whitewash your whole home or make a monochrome bedroom by painting the walls, ceiling, floors, and furniture.
“This is a true Farrow and Ball color,” says Studholme. In fact, as they were working on it, they kept checking the color card—which always has exactly 132 shades—to make sure it wasn’t already on it. It’s a darker version of the class Pigeon color, thus the name comes from the green genus of the species.
How to use: Ideal for exteriors, Treron lets a structure blend in with the landscape. Inside, it can elevate your laundry room or office.