Help with Farrow and Ball Colours for hallway and stairs.

(113 Posts)
deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 16:24:36

Help desperately needed with colour scheme for my hallway. Been dithering for ages and have a decorator coming in two weeks time, so need to make a decision pronto!
My hallway, two stairscases and landing are narrow and fairly dark, particularly the hall. Upstairs there are east facing windows on both landings, so lots of light in the morning, but pretty dingy from mid-day onwards.
I have a longing to get away from neutrals, but think that darker colours would be too much in such a narrow space. Also the rooms which come off the landings upstairs are various shades of cream and grey, so I guess I should stick to colours which work with those colour schemes.
I'm at the point where I just want someone to make the decision for me!
I'd prefer to use Farrow and Ball, but willing to consider any other brands!
I would like to steer away from cream/yellow/brown tones - looking for something soft but clean looking which will brighten things up.

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 16:28:50

First: can you hang some largish mirrors at a right-angle to the windows? They would reflect light back into your hall/staircase and make it much brighter (mirrors opposite the window just reflect light straight back outside again, so aren't effective).

I have just repainted my children's bedrooms in F&B Elephant's Breath, which I think is a lovely modern grey (with slightly mauve undertones). It is a good background for furniture but also paintings, artwork etc.

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 16:31:24

The colours I've been looking at losing sleep over are Wimborne White, Pale Powder, Pavilion Blue and Borrowed Light. Has anyone used these colours in the hall? How did they turn out?

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 16:34:41

Bonsoir, great minds think alike! - that's exactly what I plan to do! I have considered Elephant's Breath, but was worried it would come out with a brown tone. Did you find this was the case?

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 16:34:42

Those colours are very pale for a hall and stairwell, especially if you use mat paint. Think of the finger marks...

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 16:36:04

Elephant's Breath hasn't come out remotely brown but I used it in bedrooms with quite distinct furniture mixed in with wood (DD has pale pink painted wardrobe and desk, DSSs have loft-style metal furniture).

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 16:43:01

That's good to know about Elephant's Breath. I was going to use modern emulsion, which I have in the bathroom and it wipes down really well. But you are right - they are very pale colours. I need to be braver...

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 16:44:17

Do you have cornices or anything to paint in a contrasting colour? The Elephant's Breath is amazing with our cornices...

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 16:46:26

What colour are your cornices? I don't have them, but of course can do skirtings and door frames to contrast.

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 16:46:36

I also need to decide on a colour for our bedroom (painter is coming back a week on Monday). Any ideas? High ceilings, cornices, parquet floor. No more Elephant's Breath! I have an anthracite linen bedhead and valance and linens from Caravane, so colour needs to be a bit "off" IYSWIM...

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 16:47:18

..and lots of spindles and banisters!

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 16:54:34

My bedroom is Morning Light from the Dulux Light and Space range, with dark grey skirting. It looks really good - the room is west facing, and quite small, so I wanted somthing which really reflected the light. The grey and cream go very well together, and I have teamed it up with Toile de Jouy curtains in charcoal and cream. My bedroom furniture is dark and works very well against the wall colour

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 16:56:11

What colour is your bedlinen?

littleomar Thu 04-Apr-13 16:57:15

We have east facing hall done in cornforth white (actually grey) with facing wall in downpipe (dark teal). Ours is quite a big space but c white works in the dark corners. Have borrowed light in a different room, it's really cold and shows off the wonky plastering a treat. And e breath in another w facing room where it does have a brown tone.

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:01:23

Pink is making a big come back at the moment - would you consider it for your bedroom? Looks great with cream and grey. I don't mean girly pink, but more interesting shades like Fand B Calamine or Cinder Rose

noddyholder Thu 04-Apr-13 17:02:00

Bonsoir little greene Milk Thistle is beautiful with grey and parquet

noddyholder Thu 04-Apr-13 17:02:32

Yes calamine is on my list for our new bedroom too!

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:05:58

littleomar - thanks for that. I have considered Cornforth White with Downpipe bannister. Good to know it works in dark space

noddyholder Thu 04-Apr-13 17:07:19

I think sometimes it is good to go with the dark We are all obsessed with light but sometimes it just isn't possible You can lighten up bits with art and mirrors if you find it too 'strong' initially

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:08:20

noddyholder - yes it looks lovely doesn't it. One more bedroom to decorate here and it's definitely on my list too... Checking out Milk Thistle

noddyholder Thu 04-Apr-13 17:09:43

I have used it and it is lovely esp in a bedroom.

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:11:30

Just had a look at Milk Thistle - it's lovely. Yes I agree with you about us being obsessed with light - I think we should just go along with dark sometimes. Just need to be more daring..!

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:14:52

The more I look and Cornforth White the more I like it...

noddyholder Thu 04-Apr-13 17:15:14

My last house was very light at the back big open plan and all white and the front small living room was north facing and much darker and painted it F and B brinjal and it was lovely in the evening really cosy compared to the back

noddyholder Thu 04-Apr-13 17:15:47

Cornforth white is very nice I like Dimty too

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:18:35

Thanks all for your input Will go to work with mirrors to create more light, and go a bit darker on the walls than I was thnking originally. If anyone else has any feedback on F and B they have used in dark hallway, would love to hear from you...

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:21:20

I was keen on Brinjal for my tiny windowless bathroom, but bottled out at the last moment!

Alwayscheerful Thu 04-Apr-13 17:22:17

Wimborne white is lovely but very neutral and pale, I think HSL will stand a darker shade unless you want a shaded white look.

Borrowed light and pale powder are great for bedrooms, they are very clean and fresh, green with some light blue in other light they can give a pale duck egg effect, are you looking for a fresh contemporary colour?

I have not tried pavilion blue. ( I have elephants breath everywhere, fab in the HSL and gorgeous in the sitting room I can only describe it as greige).

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:23:58

noddyholder - have you used Dimity anywhere? Did it come out quite pink?

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:26:48

Alwayscheerful - yes I guess I am looking for something contemporary and fresh. I think you're right about BL and PP being more bedroom colours.

noddyholder Thu 04-Apr-13 17:27:15

It is quite peachy if the sun/light is right on it otherwise very subtle and slightly grey

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:30:50

This is the problem for me when it comes to choosing, Noddyholder- the fact that colours can change so drastically in different lights.

noddyholder Thu 04-Apr-13 17:34:12

I sometimes hang lots of charts around the rooms and see how they change but I do this for work and realise its a bit much to give it that much thought when you have other things going on grin!

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:39:41

I'm thinking about nothing else at the moment - obsession you might say!

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:41:24

But this is what's driving me mad - I think I've made a decision. then I look at the colour later on in the day and it has changed into something I'm not as keen on!

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 17:45:13

I like the look of F&B Calamine but will have a hard time persuading DP that we should paint our bedroom pink. I have had several pink bedrooms in the past and love it... hmm. Maybe I should paint the loo with Calamine and see how he gets on with it?

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:46:04

... and I haven't even got started on carpet! Sisal or wool???

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:47:47

My carpet fitter is dreading me chosing sisal - he reckons it's a nightmare to fit and just not as great as it's made out to be. But I can't think about that yet until I've decided on paint colour...

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 17:48:29

I want this and, for DD's room, this.

<starts saving>

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:50:29

Bonsoir - yes I was wondering if you'd get away with it if DP has a say! It's not too pink, though, you could sell it to him as Bisque or something that sounds a little less girly!

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:52:09

Love those rugs, esp the flowery one..

OP - have you used F&B on walls before? All I'll say is, there are some great colours but the coverage is absolutely awful. We used it, and regretted it, the number of coats (and therefore the cost!) was shocking. A pot went nowhere.

My lovely friend who is a decorator says she recoils in abject horror when clients present her with F&B emulsions.... and she always has to warn them that they will need at least 50% more paint than they think they do!

Sorry - can't help with colours - we are white, white and white again!

Sisal shrinks, big time, acclimatise it in your house for as long as you possibly can (days, if not a couple of weeks) before laying. When the edges pull away, which inevitably they will, it can look really tatty next to the skirtings.... hard to avoid. The stuff itself though is glorious, I absolutely love it as a flooring.

Sorry, I'm the bearer of annoying news today! I'll skulk off somewhere else....

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 17:57:53

AnonymousBird - I used it in the bathroom and it went on so well and just needed one coat, which is why I became a complete convert! It was the modern emulsion, which might be different. I previously scoffed at people who were FandB addicts!

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 18:00:06

Yeah I know that about sisal, which is why I think I'll end up not using it. Some peoplke have had good experiences, but on balance I think it's probably not worth the risk. You need to use a real expert to fit it too, and is more pricey to fit than other carpets. It's so nice though...

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 18:00:22

My painter managed to need four coats of F&B Elephant's Breath in DD's room. He puts incredibly thin layers on... I told him that I slap it on! Fortunately he works incredibly fast (does a layer in under an hour in a 12 square metre room - it would take me a day...).

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 18:03:19

I think Calamine might work in our bedroom - I think it would go OK with the linen bed. I could go for Cinder Rose too, personally... Maybe I should drag DP to the paint shop tomorrow afternoon?

MarshaBrady Thu 04-Apr-13 18:03:43

Painters do tend to dislike it. We said before hiring that it would be F&B.

Most complained, one canny guy built his whole thing on using F&B and charged twice the amount. Didn't use him, but thought it was a good idea.

We have a dark hall and it's really nice to walk into the lighter rooms. Chappell Green, so all go with that - pale powder to shaded white type colours.

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 18:08:09

I'm very nice to my painter and cook him special veggie lunches to keep him happy smile

MarshaBrady Thu 04-Apr-13 18:09:54

Sounds nice Bonsoir.

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 18:10:04

Bonsoir - see, I can choose for other people, just not for myself! Good luck
persuading DP !

MarshaBrady Thu 04-Apr-13 18:10:31

Mine went off the rails a bit and I ended up counselling him in a round about way. I just wanted the walls finished!

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 18:12:23

MarshaBrady - Chappell Green is a great colour. I was thinking of it as a contrast colour to go with Pale Powder

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 18:12:49

Don't sweat it too much! And don't try too hard to be original - paint is a backdrop to, not a feature of, a room. It needs to harmonise what you already have, in the way of light/space/furniture, rather than be the starting point, IYSWIM.

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 18:13:22

MarshaBrady - do you mean your decorator or your DP

MarshaBrady Thu 04-Apr-13 18:13:48

yes we have the green and then the pale powder, also cabbage white is lovely, so so light.

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 18:14:25

My painter/decorator is very clever and needs to be handled with care as his ego is a bit fragile! Fortunately he can do all sorts of clever things no-one in my family could dream of every doing (putting up shelves straight etc) so it's easy to be appreciative of his skills.

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 18:15:57

Yes Bonsoir - I agree. It should be a backdrop and not the first thing you notice when you go into a room. That's why I always go for neutrals, but my DD is pushing me to be a bit more daring. And you're right - I'm spending way too much time agonising over this!

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 18:17:19

MarshaBrady - tell me how the Cabbage White lookd when it's on - is it a bit blue?

MarshaBrady Thu 04-Apr-13 18:19:22

Haha my decorator. He split up from his gf and I found him swigging pinot grigio in the bedroom at 10am surrounded by spilt cabbage white. My reaction -> pure gold! you are spilling the good stuff!

So I had to have words about choosing the right path. Anyway he finished it, but also called me many times a day to tell me how he was doing.

All the colours are lovely, I just stuck with one palette, ie no red based with the green base and did a walk through at the F&B shop, the guy was great.

But they all muted colours really and that's what's so nice.

MarshaBrady Thu 04-Apr-13 18:19:56

Yes very light blue. Can take a pic tomorrow and upload. The light is going now.

monkeyisback Thu 04-Apr-13 18:20:29

We did our reasonably dark hall in Cornforth White with a small 'accent wall' of Elephants Breath, not that you can really tell unless you look closely grin The hall table is painted cream and we have a standing corner cupboard thing that's grey so I think it all goes really nicely together.
I often stand in the hall to admire it. DH thinks I'm mad grin

MarshaBrady Thu 04-Apr-13 18:22:56

ha I admire our Wimborne White ceiling.

The decorator really thought we were mad doing the ceiling in F&B but it's so soothing grin

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 18:23:27

Ha ha great story MarshaBrady! and thanks for the offer of taking a picture - would really appreciate that.

KenDoddsDadsDog Thu 04-Apr-13 18:24:46

I have Dimity in our living room and it's not at all pink. It's lovely and velvety when it's on. Hallway is Blackened but that's because there isn't a lot of light.

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 18:24:55

Moneyisback - I do that in my bedroom! I could spent hours admiring the colours!

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 18:26:15

KenDoddsDadsDog I have Blackened in the bathroom - looks amazing with lots of white.

MarshaBrady Thu 04-Apr-13 18:26:36

Will do!

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 18:27:05

It is only right and proper to admire one's own artistic endeavours smile.

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 18:27:36

How would you describe Dimity when it's on - is it cream toned? And which way does your sitting room face?

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 18:30:16

Bonsoir - I agree, and I decorated my bedroom myself, at which point I decided that I would throw away my brushes and get a decorator in future. It too SO long. Getting a bit old and tired now for that - would rather save up and have someone else do it

Waferthinmint Thu 04-Apr-13 18:33:57

Bonsoir, your bedroom - pavilion grey

MarshaBrady Thu 04-Apr-13 18:35:36

What do people do about touch ups? My three year old has been drawing in places.

If we go over just where he has drawn will it be a different colour to the rest of the wall?

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 18:35:38

Pavilion Grey is beautiful, but the thing is that there is a connecting door between our bedroom and DD's bedroom (French apartment style) so I don't want two grey rooms opening into one another, IYSWIM.

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 18:36:21

Waferthinmint - how dark does Pavillion grey come out on the wall? Have you used it. It's yet another colour I'm considering

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 18:37:22

Bonsoir - that's why Calamine or Cinder rose would look so good... Very French too

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 18:38:23

Another thing: there is a small (one square metre-ish) ante-chamber between the hall and DD's bedroom, with doors (ie you can close it completely) which does very little and I want to do something more interesting with it. What do you all think about painting one wall with blackboard paint? I would then put some hooks and pictures on the opposite wall (behind the door).

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 18:39:41

Oh gosh I'm so glad the drawing on walls phase has passed... I had fluorescent green and yellow additions to my bedroom hall for years...

Waferthinmint Thu 04-Apr-13 18:40:25

I have it in my bedroom.
I think it looks great. I like it as it is a definite colour rather than a 'white'.
Looks good with my whiteish woodwork etc

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 18:40:49

MarshaBrady - you can sometime get away with touch ups. It depends how long the paint's been on the wall - I find it less noticable if the paint is reasonably newly applied. Also it depends how the light hits it - sometimes touch ups really stand out. Give it a try - you might get away with it

MarshaBrady Thu 04-Apr-13 18:41:03

I know, it's not good. Even pencil is bad and so fast!

MarshaBrady Thu 04-Apr-13 18:41:34

Thanks Dee. Will give it a go, we've bought little sample pots to do it.

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 18:44:06

Bonsoir - blackboard paint sounds like a great idea. Always wanted to do that, but never got round to it. Be prepared for lots of chalk dust and chalky fingerprints. On second thoughts, maybe not...

Waferthinmint Thu 04-Apr-13 18:44:17

There are some nice pictures of rooms painted in it on google images. It is a definite gray. Perhaps not hallway stuff. (dh calls it prison cell!) my favourite neutral for communal areas is Shaded white

MarshaBrady Thu 04-Apr-13 18:45:09

Me too. Shaded White is my absolute favourite neutral one. We have it in the living room.

whats the best green colour?

noddyholder Thu 04-Apr-13 18:51:59

Dimity was definitely peachy in the room I did! It is all in the light. I never used F and B much now Little Greene is better coverage overall for light colours.Blackened always a fave though with white I have a real decorating head on atm as have 2 flats on the go

noddyholder Thu 04-Apr-13 18:53:42

Anyone used Hardwick White?

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 18:59:10

Shaded white looks lovely actually, and seems to work well in artificial light. I'm adding it to my list

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 19:01:18

Noddyholder - what colour would you put with shaded white . I'm thinking of woodwork. Haven't used Hardwick White - it looks quite green

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 19:04:40

Just checked out pavilion gray on google images - it really does look nice

Waferthinmint Thu 04-Apr-13 19:06:31

James white if you want to bring out green tone or a whiter white. Or go darker on the wood

MarshaBrady Thu 04-Apr-13 19:15:03

We have a complicated thing where the woodwork is pointing in some rooms and Wimborne in others. The manager in Battersea was excellent and said noooo to some of the colours with pointing.

I'm pretty sure the shaded white is with pointing.

Really wish I'd kept the drawing on a post it note now for touch ups.

KenDoddsDadsDog Thu 04-Apr-13 19:30:43

My sitting room is north east facing. It's more of a mink colour than cream. Like milky coffee.

deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 19:44:02


deedeelondon Thu 04-Apr-13 19:45:02

Everyone's been really helpfulwine

Bonsoir Thu 04-Apr-13 20:14:06

Just had an after dinner chatlet with DP on the sofa and brought out the F&B colour chart. He was quite enthusiastic about Calamine for our bedroom and agreed to go the shop on Saturday afternoon. I need to order the paint by 3pm on Monday (for Friday delivery, painting to start the following Monday) so we'd have 48 hours to think about it.

KenDoddsDadsDog Thu 04-Apr-13 20:22:36

I have just done DD's bedroom in Middleton Pink and its gorgeous. Really chuffed with it.

ggirl Thu 04-Apr-13 20:32:09

Just had downstairs done , painter hated using F&B but raved about the Little Greene paint ,great coverage and easy to use.
Starlings Egg looks divine.

PrimalChic Thu 04-Apr-13 20:41:20

Cornforth White is great. We have it in the living room which gets lots of light in some parts of the day and hardly any at other times. It can look cool and grey, warm and pinky and complements other neutrals really well.

EB might be too dark in a hallway but great for accenting a lighter colour in an alcove?

deedeelondon Fri 05-Apr-13 07:34:45

Let me know if you end up going for it Bonsoir

deedeelondon Fri 05-Apr-13 07:37:18

PrimalChic - thanks for the input about Cornforth white - it's on my list. Your living room sounds like my hallway - light in some areas at different times of the day, so it sounds like it might work for me.

MarshaBrady Fri 05-Apr-13 12:02:38

Dee have pm'd you.

deedeelondon Fri 05-Apr-13 13:56:33

Thanks Marsha

Bonsoir Tue 09-Apr-13 13:04:07

I persuaded DP quite easily in the end that our bedroom should be Calamine and we ordered it on Saturday. The painter is coming on Monday and it should take him most of next week to replaster part of the wall and paint. I am wondering whether he can do our bathroom as well in a darker pink...

deedeelondon Thu 11-Apr-13 08:59:24

Bonsoir - brilliant! Let me know how it looks when it's done. I ended up going with skimming stone after a long long discussion at the F&B shop, with wimborne white woodwork - the painter was able to start early so it's well underway now. At the moment it's looking a bit darker than I thought it would, but am reserving judgement until it's finished!

Bonsoir Thu 11-Apr-13 12:06:18

Will you post a pic please when it's finished?

deedeelondon Fri 12-Apr-13 00:04:57

Will do - you too!

deedeelondon Fri 12-Apr-13 00:07:28

p.s. am now agonising over carpet...

Bonsoir Fri 12-Apr-13 08:17:50

Yes! I will try to post pics of all three bedrooms redecorated - post-housework and on a sunny day therefore in the distant future!

deedeelondon Fri 12-Apr-13 09:30:49

Ha ha - same goes for me. Will wait till carpet's down - hopefully there will be a small window of opportunity for a nice photo whilst it still looks good! Just been looking at the colour in the morning light and I'm really happy with it.

adanac85 Wed 08-May-13 08:58:40

I was thinking dimity for my stairwell - it's a very small terraced house with a narrow set of stairs. Our kitchen is already painted in dimity and our sitting room is nutmeg white from dulux, so I think for continuity across the bottom floor, the stairs should be done in similar tones.

Can anyone suggest similar tones as dimity/nutmeg white? Preferably from either dulux or F&B?

I've tried cornforth white, skimming stone from F&B and ochre white and york white from dulux heritage. I really like the ochre white, but think it's a little bit too pale, and a bit too yellowy.

We also have an oatmealy/beigy carpet on the stairs as well, and it doesn't get that much light!

I swear I've gone through 10 testers for the stair case and don't really like any of them!

benlinus Mon 13-May-13 11:59:25

The best colors for small bathrooms are bright shades of cool colors like blue, green, white or creamy smooth. However, you can use warm colors, without giving the illusion of space, everything is in balance the way to the room. Color or absorb light or reflect it. To warm colors and use them in a low voice. Balance the effect of strong colors, keeping the base color or neutral density light (value), and the use of strong colors for emphasis. Floors and ceilings white to balance the strong tsvetove.s stronger.

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