Monday, 9 February 2015

A Whiter Shade of Pale

Our love affair with Farrow and Ball, their paints of course, not the men, has endured for three decades and more. For our post-war Collins' house in Southampton, it was love at first brushstroke. 'Smoked Trout', 'Mouse's Back', 'Picture Gallery Red' and 'Cooking Apple Green' all found their way onto our walls and into our hearts.

Farrow and Ball, these paint perfectionists with their deliciously named tints and tones, convinced us that although we had flirted with Dulux, Zoffany and Crown in the past, only Farrow and Ball, founded in Dorset in the 1930s and still there today, was the real deal when it came to decorating.

the deliciously named shades of the Farrow and Ball colour wheel

a recent redecoration of our Budapest kitchen using Farrow and Ball 'Old White'

So our timber framed Herefordshire cottage, our follies and garden rooms and our Regency Brighton flat were all decorated in elegantly colourful Farrow and Ball style. The colour palette from which our choices were made was as extensive as it was seductive. We defied fads, trends or 'hot' colours of the year as we enhanced our rooms with 'Dayroom Yellow', 'Oval Room Blue', 'Vert de Terre' and 'Elephant's Breath'.

our painter at work in our Budapest kitchen where 'Old White' is teamed with 'Lime White'

Then the 'grande passion' arrived in the form of decorating our 200 square metre Budapest apartment with its 15ft ceiling heights. Untouched for 50 years and in multiple occupancy, it was a sorry, unloved sight of peeling plaster, grime blackened, of unspeakable bathroom, and a plethora of dark brown, gloss paint. 'Lime White' was to be the knight in shining armour. Eggshell for the woodwork, Estate Emulsion for the walls, all 92 litres of it shipped from London. Rapture. And so it was. 

'Lime White' , a colour used extensively in our Budapest apartment

The soon to be ours, Norwich terraced house is a blank canvas. But what colours to choose? Whatever, our artist friend, Enrico, of whom note should be taken, said, "Farrow and Ball, it is so last year!" Annie Sloan's 'chalk paint' is, apparently, what is colouring all the best drawing rooms these days. After all, according to the 'World of Interiors', "it will transform even the drabbest bunker into a haven".

it is for 'Little Greene' we are now enthusing

But, we have been seduced by another! Little Greene has been producing paint and paper since as long ago as 1773. With its reassuringly high pigment levels, this paint offers a depth of colour with undertones that subtly change in different lights providing real character and definition. With 49 [not 50] shades of grey, who can resist? Not us!

P.S. We are not in the employ, nor do we have any connection with, any paint company whatsoever!!


218 comments:

  1. Ah, I missed when you lived in Southampton. I suppose suggesting bright and cheery will make me sound ever so common, so instead I suggest let the building and previous occupants speak. It is too early surely. Sit back and relax for a time and let the building tell you.

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    1. Our time in Southampton is now many years ago, Andrew, but we have very fond memories of the house we had there. As for 'bright and cheery', perhaps we just lack the courage!!

      Your advice to allow the house to speak for itself is good. Whatever, once we see it we do believe we shall have a better idea of what to do and what not to do.

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  2. Dear Jane & Lance - my first thought was 'good grief' surely that can't be Lance up a ladder' - what a relief!
    Neither of us have ever painted a single wall or window in our life, like you we get a man who can. I would not have a clue where to start. However, I have flirted with Annie Sloan, and painted the occasional kitchen or conservatory chair, and find even I can use her paints.
    Don't you just love the names that Farrow and Ball give to their colours?

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    1. Absolutely not, Rosemary. How well you know us!

      We cannot truthfully say as you can, and how we wish that we could, that we have never painted a single wall or window in our lifetimes. On moving into our Southampton house, and with little money to spare, we did attempt to paint over the purple walls of one of the bedrooms. Needless to say, it was a disaster and to right what we had done proved to be somewhat expensive. We have never repeated our mistake.

      Yes, we love all of the Farrow and Ball paint colour names and do find ourselves seduced by them.

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  3. Whatever brand you go for we're sure it will look fabulous! But your love affair with Farrow and Ball are totally understandable and their reputation are second to none. And we'll done on using British paint on your apartment in Budapest, not just being patriotic but British paint are the best!

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    1. Thank you. That is indeed a vote of confidence! We totally agree with you about the quality of Farrow and Ball paint which although more expensive than some other makes has a depth of colour which it is hard to better.

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  4. I just bought a trial small pot of Farrow and Ball to paint the cloakroom. Skimming Stone is my choice but may have to search out that Little Greene paint company. I'm sure your kitchen is going to look fantastic with or without Lance up the ladder.

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    1. The Farrow and Ball sample pots are really good when it comes to trying out a colour, Sue. Although we have never used 'Skimming Stone' [have just looked it up on their paint chart], it is most definitely a colour we would use and I should think would be superb in your cloakroom.

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  5. In my ignorance, I have never heard of Farrow and Ball in Australia, but what an elegant palette you show us (even if declared 'so last year'!). I am naturally wondering as to the colour of an Elephant's Breath. Their colour names certainly are fun. But time to move on, it seems, and best of luck with Little Greene, which I am sure have something wonderful for your new home.

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    1. There is absolutely no reason why you should have heard of Farrow and Ball, Patricia. If you were no name any Australian paint company, it is highly unlikely we should know of them [or indeed much else about Australia] which shows our ignorance. Anyway, we shall have fun choosing colours no matter where they come from.

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  6. The shades of the Farrow and Ball colour wheel are not just deliciously named. They were the basis of scientific experiments in perception and colour in art schools as far back as Bahaus (and perhaps even earlier). Who knew that materials given to young students would one day be used to titillate modern home buyers and renovators?

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    1. Although we were unaware of the exact origin of many of the names used by Farrow and Ball for colours, and what you say is most interesting, we do know that a number derive from historical research , much of which has in recent times been carried out by The National Trust.

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  7. I too have been seduced by another, after a lifetime of devotion to dear old F&B. It my case it is clay paint, more out of necessity than anything else. If the Norfolk cottage is very old then check out the composition of the walls before going too far with modern emulsion.

    The good news is that clay paint comes in very fashionable colours and with names to match. I'd have had 'Piglet' but it did turn out predictably magnolia-ish so I've ended up with 'Mittens', a sort of cross between old and lime whites. Seasonal anyway!

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    1. You obviously speak from experience, Jessica, and that comes surely from living in what we take to be a house of some considerable age. Certainly we do realise the necessity of allowing walls to 'breathe', something which many modern paints fail to make allowance for. The clay paints that you make mention of sound most interesting.

      We love the sound of 'Mittens' which from your description would certainly be our choice too.

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  8. With the Annie Sloan chalk paint I think it's possible to paint onto almost any surface without preparation, which sounds thrilling - but, the downside is that it has to be sealed with some kind of wax and this is where the need for effort is implied. With this in mind, I think I will go the Hattatt way and check out the 49 shades of Little Greene. Thank you for the recommendation.
    Sx

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    1. 'Sealing' paint does sound exceedingly technical and something about which we had not previously heard. Also we imagine it incurs rather a lot of man or woman hours and we can see the pound signs flashing!

      We were rather thrilled to have discovered Little Greene which we came across on our aborted house hunting in Cornwall.

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  9. I have line white in my kitchen! It's funny bc I do think their colours are just unparalleled- what do they fo? I try using other brands but it doesn't sit as well especially in the British light. Although I find it does well in the states even in LA. There is something in their mix that makes the eye rest. I have found paper and paints is also very good but I'd go tried and true for a space such as your home.

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    1. Like you, we think that when one finds a brand, or indeed colour, with which one is happy, then one should think very carefully before straying in another direction. What we like about all the Farrow and Ball colours we have used is the way in which they look different as the light changes. And they never look too new!

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    2. The reason why they're so pleasing to the eye is that they're all slightly 'dirty' in that they have a drop or two of black pigment in them. Most other paint brands have colours the same, but they don't tend to show them off in their swatch palette for the year (I don't know why… maybe the general public are drawn more to clear colours?). Swatch palettes are built on what Pantone and other trend forecasters deems the in colours for the year etc… so while Dulux may have literally thousands of colours in their atlas, you'll only see a few on the sample cards at the paint store.

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    3. It is, Heidi, that 'dirty' look which, certainly in our view where we never wish for anything to look too new, appeals so much.

      Reading what you say here is most interesting and we think that you make a most valid point. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to respond in this way.

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  10. I have used Annie Sloan Paint...but only on cheap furniture. It is very thick and easy to paint with but not sure about using on walls. There is a whole waxing process (would definitely get an arm work out) which is a bit tedious and a bit smelly. I am still quite taken with Sherwin Williams Steamed Milk I painted the dining room with...really makes the art pop.

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    1. The waxing process, mentioned also by Ms Scarlet [see above], is rather off putting and something which, without really knowing anything about it, is probably best avoided. Your dining room colour really does sound fabulous.

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  11. Why is last year so yesterday... quality is quality... I think the color palette is lovely. I too would never get on a ladder to paint... that is for professionals, otherwise I'm not sure where the paint would end up...lol

    I agree with the above commenter that says you should let the house guide you. I'm sure the appropriate color will come to you.

    Although I love bright colors, I'm not sure I want them for a full room, this coming from a girl who has had purple in her hair ♡

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    1. Now this, Launna, you really need to raise with our friend, Enrico!! But then he, unlike you and the two of us, is often to be found on a ladder realising some new scheme. That said, he is a perfectionist and his results are to be envied.

      Yes, we shy away from very strong colours but purple in your hair is a very different matter. Fabulous!!

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  12. I love all the paint names, I'm sure just reading them out has brightened drab winter afternoons. I'm happily anticipating further reports on the Hattatt-izing of the Norwich house.

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    1. It is great fun, as you may imagine, poring over all the different shade cards. We shall probably have a better idea of what will work when we actually see the house.

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  13. I was introduced to the chalk colors last summer and fell in love. However, I had just had my son-in law paint my downstairs a few months before and had gone with the same colors I had before. Picking out new shades and fearing the results was too much for me to handle. However, if I had a blank canvas and a new house, I think it would be great fun to re-color my world. I know that with your taste and gift of joy, your new abode will be stunning.

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    1. We completely understand all that you say here, Arleen, and for our own part tend to stick with the colours we know and have used with some success in the past when redecorating.

      The Norwich house, which will only be used occasionally, gives us the opportunity to experiment although when it actually comes to it we shall probably fall back on being somewhat conservative.

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  14. Hello Jane and Lance: I have never heard of those paint companies, but I had to squeeeee! a little when I saw the photo of the paint chips/color wheel! Cannot wait to see what you both decide on for the new cottage. x

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    1. There are of course so many very good paint manufacturers, Carol, that one could not possibly have heard of them all and it is certainly not our intention to single one out as being better than another.

      Once we are settled, and decided, then there will surely be material for a post or two.

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  15. Hello Jane and Lance, You are in the enviable position of being about to choose purveyors and shades of paint for your new house. As to final decision, I cannot imagine choosing before spending some time in the actual house, to see lighting conditions, other colors that might be reflected in or beyond the room, etc. I do admire your considerations so far, which seem to come under the general rubric of off-white, which is probably the easiest to live with and most relaxing of colors.
    --Jim

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    1. We are very much enjoying the whole process of looking, Jim, but will not make an actual decision until we see the rooms themselves and can, as you say, gauge light, aspect and have a feel for the house itself. Dirty whites we have always favoured and they do make a satisfactory background for pictures.

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  16. Great colors...!!..i can't wAit till it is finished and you show us.....lovely week love Ria...x!

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    1. We too look forward to it all being complete, Ria, but that is still a little way off.

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  17. Really enjoyed reading your post on paint and colour choices for your decorating adventures. I too am considering a re-decor job in my sitting room, and am drooling over the Farrow & Ball colours...and yes we Canadians do make up our own rules on spelling. heh heh Love the old white and lime white together. gorgeous

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    1. What fun that you are considering the redecoration of your sitting room and possibly with Farrow and Ball paints. Because the colour range is so wide it does make choosing, or so we find, quite difficult.

      This is the first time we have put 'Old White' and 'Lime White' together, as in our Budapest kitchen, and we are more than happy with the result.

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  18. You are a couple after my own heart, Jane and Lance. I LOVE Farrow and Ball and have never been tempted by any other paint. No- one else ever seems to get that wonderful chalky finish do they ? We have Old White in the bathroom, Lime White and String upstairs in various permutations, Skimming Stone, Slipper Satin, Pointing to name but a few……. and, the woodwork on outside of our house is painted in Bone. Our children's houses are also painted all over with Farrow and Ball !! We haven't been seduced by any other paint for the walls or woodwork either although, I have painted some furniture with Annie Sloane and Autentico.
    Looking forward to lots of Farrow and Ball'ed' ' before's ' and ' after's ' of your Norwich home.

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    1. Oh, Jackie, we should know that you of all people would understand that wonderful, chalky depth of colour which Farrow and Ball have perfected in all their paints. And how splendid that you have used both 'Old White' and 'Lime White', two of our all time favourites, in your own house as well as all those other utterly magical colours within the same range. Now we have just looked up 'Bone'. What a fantastic choice for your outside woodwork, and so much more interesting than white.

      But we are not in the least surprised. The very first occasion, or so we think, when we discovered 'Home' was that amazing post you wrote on Dennis Severs' house which you described with such an eye for detail.

      Yes, do expect some 'before' and 'after' pictures of the Norwich house - at the risk of boring everyone silly!

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  19. I love those evocative paint names "Mouse's Back" and "Elephant's Breath" -- very creative!

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    1. We do so agree, Debra, that the names of the paint colours alone can lead us all into temptation.

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  20. I've never seen a painter mount a ladder like that - Hungarian style perhaps? I'm so glad you two are not planning to paint the new property - I can vouch for the enormous amount of energy and strong shoulders painting walls requires, did all my own until 10 years back, now have painter Bruce at beck and call. Have painted pieces of furniture with Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint more recently, the armoire, small tables etc., in Paris Grey and French Linen, but won't tackle much of that now unless I feel more able!
    My brother hauled many, many cans of F&B to France when painting their 200 y.o. 'corn merchant's house' in the village some 12 years ago - and then had his London painter move in for a month or so to slap it on the beautiful old walls. Lovely shades, however I know you will find similar in Little Greene. Wondering if it's less costly. Funnily, despite F&B being such a high end product, over here it never does well in consumer testing against other paints, the latest testing has it at No: 29 out of 30 tested! Haven't seen any ratings yet for LG - not sure it's available in the USA.

    Thanks dear friends for your kind and encouraging words - working on seeing you in April no matter what!
    Mary -

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    1. Before coming to Hungary, Mary, we too had never seen painters using a ladder in this particular way. What is more, they are all very adept at manipulating them to move around the room without getting off. It is, we imagine, a little akin to walking on stilts. We are most fortunate to have our own Bruce here, István, as pictured, but will need to find someone to 'do' the Norwich house. Several people have mentioned success with Annie Sloan's paints for furniture and the colours you have used sound so very evocative. We are sure the results are truly splendid.

      We can readily identify with your brother shipping paint to France. Even today in Hungary it is very, very unusual to come across water based paints. Even the emulsion used for walls is oil based. Very odd, or so we think.

      It is really interesting what you say about Farrow and Ball's rating when compared with other paints. Perhaps there is a far wider range of paint manufacturers in the United States.

      Now, you really must look after yourself, Mary, and get really fit for April.

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  21. Repainting the house is so much exciting, the whole procedure captures beautifully the mood. Never touched a wall with this intention, we always use a man.Farrow & Ball is a brand unknown to me.I have used Benjamin Moore and Dulux, if you ask me, the second one was far away better.
    Good luck,
    Looking forward to see the outcome
    Olympia

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    1. We do agree with you, Olympia, about the wisdom of using a man to paint the house both inside and out. That said, in Herefordshire we always used a firm of women decorators who were excellent in every way, not least working tidily and cleaning up afterwards. Now Benjamin Moore is a company of which we know nothing; we shall have to look them up.

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  22. Planning a new project is quite satisfying. Skipping over the execution, the outcome generally is, too. I hope it takes only a reasonably longer time than anticipated to be done, because you will love it.

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    1. We do agree, Joanne, that there is something immensely satisfying about working on a new project that is providing that it does not go on endlessly which, where builders are concerned, can often be the case. Already we find ourselves looking forward to the end - and we have not yet started!

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  23. What I don't have the slightest doubt of is that you, Darlings J & L will arrive at the right hue in due time, I'll be among the multitudes who enjoy this informative journey.
    I have no doubt that your artist friend, Enrico, whose note should be taken is a man quite worthy of the esteem you hold him in but do let us take another perspective from his 'note.'
    When GSL hears 'so last year,' alarm bells go off as I wonder whether it was merely an offhand comment as it implies 'so this year' is the corrective which only makes it next year's lamentation.
    I'm sitting in 40 square metres of 'drab bunker' that would have those hens at World of Interiors clucking a retraction in the next issue.

    **I also saw that 'peekaboo of naughtiness' this morning and do pass along a wolf-whistle from Saint Helena.

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    1. How could we not, Darling G, delight in the confidence which you place in us and in our skills, totally unproven, where interior design is concerned? Sometimes, or so we think, we are not so far removed from the proverbial fools who rush in where angels fear to tread! Whatever, time will tell.

      We love your analysis of dear Enrico's casual remark and its implication that all is lost even before it is begun for that surely must be the conclusion which we should all draw. And the sad thing is, Darling G, you are probably right. Whatever, your proposition must, and will, be put forward to the absent Enrico who, it has to be said, we love dearly and would defend to the end!!

      But is not a 'drab bunker' such a wonderful description of.....something?!! Would that we had coined it.

      As for the 'peekaboo of naughtiness', what a FABULOUS dress!!

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  24. Busy little bees you are. I have always wondered what elephants breath looks like! I myself have always kept a clean palette of tones of white or beige through out my little bungalow, except the bedroom where I did a deep chocolate brown. I have been dying to do a red room, but haven't braved up yet. I would be interested in seeing the finished kitchen. The tile wall has me in love already. And is it me, or do paint swatches make one happy with all the hues and tones???? Happy painting!!!! I'll be doing much the same come late spring.

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    1. Actually, Darling Maddie, for fear of accusations of misrepresenting ourselves, let us make it quite clear: we can never, in a month of Sundays, be thought of as 'busy little bees'. Know us, if you will, as the world's laziest tarts who have perfected the art of idling time away. Indeed to flick through the colour charts of Farrow and Ball, let alone Little Greene, we have come to regard as intense labour and more than a day's work.

      The palette you have used for your bungalow residence [such a wonderful evocation of dear, dear India] sound perfect and are certainly colours we should choose. Our red dining room, of many years ago, was not, it should be said, a complete success. But at the time we were not living in a Woburn, Wilton or Waddesdon with the odd Gainsborough to cover our mistake.

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  25. Who could possibly resist Mouse's Back or Elephant's Breath? So much more exciting than dull brown or light grey. Please do show the finished article.

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    1. The more we read the colour charts, the more difficult it all becomes. A final decision will not now be taken until we are in possession of our little house when, doubtless, we shall return to the subject once more!

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  26. What wonderful names for paint colors...who could resist. I have such a difficult time selecting paint and always seem to need to try 4 or 5 samples before I finally decide. Paint makes such a difference in a room. I am looking forward to seeing the results in your new cottage.

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    1. We do so agree with you, Adrienne, both on the difficulty of making a decision where colour is concerned and also on the way in which paint can totally transform a room.

      Now we are increasingly excited for the house finally to be ours after which we can really see what is what.

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  27. I have often wondered how one gets the job of naming paint.....I would like to apply!! Love a bit of decorating it will look fabulous I am sure...!

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    1. What fun it would be to be in charge of inventing names for new paint colours. And a transferable skill to all manner of other things!!

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  28. Oh you are going to have such fun. I go mad (in a good way) in the stores that have paint chips. I have such a huge collection. I've never used Farrow and Ball, but I discovered a paint called C2 that is wonderfully complex. Once you see a really good paint it's hard to use any other. I look forward to seeing your choices. xo, Jen

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    1. Already we are enjoying the whole process of choosing, Jen, although we think that it will be even more exciting when we are on the spot and can look at paint samples in the exact situation.

      We do not know of the paint called C2 and will certainly now look it up.

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  29. I have not visited for some time and regret it!
    How well I remember the Hungarian manor house the dream upon dream - with the asbestos...
    How we crave cols this time of year and Farrow and Ball are most seductive.
    Also read your post about houses near the sea.
    We used to go to SeaGrove Bay, Seaview IoW every August. Ah bliss!
    All the houses were slipping about in the most alarming fashion.
    My father, a chartered surveyor was quite appalled.
    Life in New York is depressing.
    Ice pellets today - it couldn't even bother to snow properly...

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    1. That is most kind of you, Elizabeth, and we are delighted to have you with us, so to speak. But we do know all too well the demands that are made on the time of each one of us and at times some things do have to be let go. Or certainly so we find ourselves.

      Yes, we sometimes think wistfully about the 'house' that was never to be but do think that it could have become something of an albatross. As far as we understand it, it is still for sale or was last time we looked.

      We were a little disappointed not to find something suitable by the sea but are pleased with our final choice of Norwich although we have yet to see both house and city.

      Sorry to learn of the continuation of your dreadful winter in New York. Today in Budapest we have had sleet and cold but it promises to be warmer tomorrow.

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  30. Dear Jane and Lance
    I have to say that with the cheaper brands the paint never seems to come out the same colour as the charts. The last room we decorated we used those little trial paint pots first and they looked totally different than we expected - all we wanted was a soft white but trying to get it was like pulling teeth. We should obviously gone down a different route and tried a more expensive brand of paint - but, you live and learn I guess.

    I hope you are brave enough to use some adventurous colours in your new home and look forward to seeing your choices.

    Elaine

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    1. Dear Elaine,

      We are in total agreement. Alas, and why it should be we fail to understand, but the cheaper paints are never finally as satisfactory or pleasing and, in the end, represent poor value for money.

      Your description of obtaining the desired shade of white as being akin to pulling teeth is simply wonderful. Nothing in life, as one slowly comes to learn, is ever completely straightforward and, somehow, one does not always live and learn!

      We are now looking forward to completion and actually seeing which colours will work best.

      J&L

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  31. To enter a dissenting voice Farrow & Ball doesn't give you good cover until you've got the third coat on, by which time you're bankrupt. At least that was my Father's vehemently, but secretly held view. When was decorating some attic rooms, at my Mother's insistence, with some of F&B products there was a great deal of sotto voce complaining. 'Give me a good industrial paint any day, rather than this faux distemper.' Can't say I knew what distemper was, other than a disease of dogs, but from Dad's contemptuous tone I knew it was intended to be derogatory. (I've just learnt that apparently it was a form of whitewash.) Your piece reminded me of those dusty, hot attic days. I seem to remember he wasn't overly impressed with F&B's ability to survive knocks. I don't think F&B had reckoned on their paint being used in an indoor cricket school which was the principal function of the long attic room. At least in our eyes. I have F&B to blame for bringing that activity to an abrupt end. From her expression I think Mum thought our treatment of the august firm's finishes as nothing short of lese-majeste. Love, Alec

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    1. Darling Alec, somehow or other we never associate you with the practicalities of life in the form of how many coats, of Farrow and Ball or other, are required to cover a wall. But then there is so much about you we have yet to discover. Why else are we buying a house in East Anglia but, having failed to get you to Budapest, we hope that you may trespass up the line at least as far as Norwich?!!

      But to be more serious, we do rather think that your father has a point although we should argue that, possibly, a 'good industrial paint' is not available in such a wide range of attractive colours. Actually we have not heard 'distemper' mentioned in a paint context for more years than we should care to remember. Nor, come to that, in a dog context. You may well have a point, in defence of Farrow and Ball, that their products are not necessarily designed to withstand the wear and tear inflicted on them by a cricket ball and certainly not indoors. And on this we should have been entirely on the side of your Mama.

      You have our email. Do be in touch should you wish. J&L, xxx

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  32. I am about to embark on another house purchase, this time all by myself with the kitten of course. The house is more like a cottage. I have all sorts of decorating ideas. I never paint rooms in homes colors .. only shades of white. It just works best for me. this little house I hope to buy is so small, white is the smartest thing to use . I will probably use a tried and true brand here rather than the "special" brands that are expensive and not always durable.

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    1. How very exciting for you, Candice, and we do so hope that everything will work out for you as you wish. We are totally in agreement that shades of white always work well and are, of course, such a good foil for pictures as well as other decorative items. And it is always good, particularly where paints are concerned, to go with what you know.

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  33. I have never previously thought about paint, being of the mind, oh just have at it Mr. Painter! But, having recently had my whole house redone, I now understand that brand does matter. Benjamin Moore, or the Home Depot brand, are known to be high quality here in the US.

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    1. Some of the more specialist paint companies do, in our view and experience, produce a wider range of colours, or certainly more interesting shades, and tend to have a depth about them which is often not to be found in other, often cheaper, brands.

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  34. I cannot wait to see what paint colors you select. I'm sure they will be wonderful.

    I'm a huge fan of Farrow & Ball. I have yet to try Little Greene, but will look into their offerings.

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    1. Nor can we wait to decide!! But, realistically, we do feel that before making up our minds we should wait until we have completion on the house and can then make more informed choices.

      We too have always been completely happy with Farrow and Ball. Little Greene was only recently recommended to us.

      Thank you so much for your comment. We shall hope to welcome you from Baltimore again.

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  35. I would never declare Farrow & Ball dated, as your friend did, but then it is a rather recent discovery (within the past 15 years) for this green American. What you say about the pigment levels of Little Greene is intriguing to me, as I have lately immersed myself in antique interiors and the history of colors. I wonder how Little Greene paints would hold up in the blistering Florida summers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed not, but our friend Enrico is always, or so we think, in the vanguard of the latest ideas and trends when it comes to interior design and decorating.

      Yes, Mark, we can well see that the heat of a Florida summer is something that needs to be taken into account.

      Delete
  36. And what's so wrong with last year, Enrico? It was a very good year, made especially better because I made it through! LOL

    Hello Jane and Lance...trends, and those who follow trends, tend to frighten me. I'd rather have tried and true, lasting, traditional even, than a trend. F&B names have always put a smile on my face. I'm not familiar with LG paint; are their names as good as F&B? Although, anyone who has been around since the 1770's has earned their stripes, Id' say!
    Now, off to read about the coastal home...lovely!

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    Replies
    1. Now that is something you will have to ask Enrico yourself, Sandra!!

      We can so well imagine that, rather than frightening you, trends simply hold no interest for you. Knowing you as we do, which is sadly not nearly well enough, we should argue that you are far too much your own person, strong and totally independent, to be swayed by what is in today and out tomorrow. And how wonderful is that.

      Yes, Little Greene do have some interesting names to their colours. What we love is, as you say, they have been going since 1773.

      Delete
    2. P.S. Thank you too so much for the comment left on 'Home and Away' and to which we have made reply. To see it, scroll down to the bottom of the comments, click on 'Load More', then scroll down again to the bottom of the page.

      Delete
  37. Dearest Jane and Lance,

    At first I thought it was Lance up that ladder, but you were right: hiring a painter is much better!

    I never used Farrow and Ball paint myself, but I know it is popular in The Netherlands too. I do like the beautiful names the company gave to their colours. It makes them sound special and expensive. :-)

    The name 'Little Green' is new to me, but when the two of you are seduced by it, I have no doubt their paints will be really good!

    Can't wait to hear which colours you will choose for your house in Norwich, which I hope to see for myself one day ;-) Let me know if you need and extra hand with the paint work!!!

    Have fun choosing!

    Love,

    Madelief xox

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    Replies
    1. Dearest Madelief,

      We are both far too scared to go up a ladder, and far too incapable to wield a paint brush, so we are glad to be able to call upon István when there is decorating work to be done.

      We have used Farrow and Ball paint for many years now, first having heard about them, or so we think, through The National Trust who have certainly contributed to their popularity. In truth, we had not come across Little Greene before our recent trip to Cornwall but are very much drawn to many of their colours.

      Of course you will see the house, and that goes without saying! We should like to think that you will be one of our very first visitors.

      Take care from a very cold, sleety Budapest. J&L, xxx

      Delete
  38. I get a 15% discount with Farrow and Ball. Jealous?

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    Replies
    1. Because you employ an Hungarian painter?

      Delete
  39. Whatever you choose for the Norwich house, won't it be nice not to have to ship it out of the country this time? I've never used any paint but Benjamin Moore—wonderful stuff but their colors (well, the names) can't hold a candle to those of Farrow & Ball. I've just been to F&B's website, where I found a slightly bilious color with a great name (Churlish Green) and a lovely color with a most unfortunate name (Dead Salmon—they might want to rethink that one). As noted already here, it would be pretty hard to pass up something called Mole's breath or Savage Ground. And I wonder if the Cambridges will choose Middleton Pink for the nursery if the baby is a girl.

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    Replies
    1. Alexa, you are so right. Often life in Budapest becomes so very complicated as so many things we should like are not readily available and then it is such a business, and expense, getting them here. Until very recently we did not know of Benjamin Moore paints but so many people have spoken very highly of them.

      Farrow and Ball, as you have seen, do have an interesting range of colours; we are told that 'Dead Salmon' is very popular. Each to his, or her, own!! As for 'Middleton Pink', a sure fire winner!!

      Delete
  40. Hello Jane and Lance!
    I have some experience with Farrow and Ball, I used a pot of it to paint my front door. I didn't do a very good job, I am a terrible painter but the colour is so perfect I won't be changing it anytime soon (I believe the colour I used is Red Earth, a very terracotta shade, suits my brick house).
    Now this new company you'll be using, Little Greene, I've never heard of it but their website is delightful. I also see they have a blog, I'm going to go read all about it.
    I'm very interested to follow your adventures in decorating. I hope you are both happy and healthy. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have always been hugely impressed with all the Farrow and Ball paints we have used and certainly they do have an excellent colour range. We have just looked up 'Red Earth' and we can easily imagine how well it would go with your brickwork.

      Little Greene is very new to us too and we came across them purely by chance. Once decisions are made, and the paint is on the walls, then doubtless we shall post on the successes or otherwise!

      Delete
  41. I have everything white here in Norfolk as it is imperative to cover up the magnolia as soon as one moves in. I must admit that it is not Farrow and Ball but any white there is but mostly Fired Earth because there is a little branch here in Norwich, however, they are only a little helpful I regretfully have to say.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, the dreaded Magnolia. As we have only seen our new house online, we are fairly certain that it will be wall to wall Magnolia when we see it in the flesh, so to speak. So, a cover- up will be imperative.

      We have heard people speak in glowing terms about Fired Earth paints, but we have never used it ourselves. We are looking forward to investigating the Norwich stores so we shall see what FE have to offer. However, it is sad that you do not find the staff overly helpful since they make such a difference. A shopping experience should be joyful!

      Delete
  42. My husband and I are always at odds when it comes to paint colours. I like the pastel-coloured soothing ones and he prefers intense pigments. Very Intense. So re-decorating around here often turns into a major headache. Although good sense almost always prevails - with some, ahem, persuasion from my end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A difficult situation, Loree, but we are sure that you find compromises or, over time, that 'persuasion' works. With such a wide range of available colours, choosing is never easy.

      Delete
  43. Love the names of this paint, regardless of colour I would happily buy Smoked Trout and Mouse's Back just because I liked the name :) We have painted the two offices, and the small spare bedroom upstairs white because we wanted to have bright rooms. No windows as such except velox. The remainder of the house I really enjoyed decorating once I had removed the orange and flowery wall paper!!! I cannot remember all the names now as it was a while back but I do remember Soft Stone. That was mostly in 2006 I did that, it will soon be time to start again. We have already ordered the Tikkurila paint for the shutters and they will stay the same. They are green, but a fairly soft green. Over the road they have green that knocks you over!! The Tikkurilla is amazing, expensive but it really does last so well.
    Have a good week Diane

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    Replies
    1. The names of the paint colours can be very alluring, Diane, so much so that one ends up wanting them all. White will always work well and, as you point out, where there is perhaps limited light it is always a good choice.

      Orange and flowery wallpaper do represent something of a challenge!! We are sure that you were relieved to see them go to be replaced with colours such as 'Soft Stone' which sounds to us most appealing.

      Tikkurila paint is not known to us but it is always good to find something with which one is happy and which lasts. At the end of the day one really does get, or certainly most often, what one pays for. We very much like the sound of your soft green shutters and do agree that some shades of green can be somewhat harsh.

      Have a good week yourself.

      Delete
    2. The paint comes from Finland but can be bought in the UK and Europe.

      Delete
    3. Thank you so much, Diane. We shall look into it, perhaps even this evening since we are invited to a reception at the Finnish Embassy!!

      Delete
  44. Messing around with paint colours. What a luxury. When you have to finally plump for 'the' colour, that's when it gets stressful. Have fun!

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    1. We are inclined to agree, Katharine, that the mulling over paint charts is the easy part as one can switch and change at will. There is something rather final when one is faced with the actual tins!

      Delete
  45. I do love the names paints are given - Mouse's Back and Elephant's Breath, how fantastic! Our front door is a deep turquoise shade, and was rather strangely called Californication. I know - very odd.
    Good luck with your Norwich revamp, I can only imagine the two of you making elegant and tasteful choices, and I'm looking forward to the Big Reveal! xx

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    Replies
    1. We do so agree, Curtise, that it is very easy to become carried away on the strength of the names alone and one is in danger of ordering far too many different shades of paint simply to end up colouring one's imagination.

      'Californication' does indeed sound very odd. Very odd indeed!

      The 'Norwich Revamp', such a splendid term which we shall now coin for ourselves!!

      Delete
  46. "Farrow and Ball, it is so last year!", I just don't believe it! I adore their products and I doubt they'll be out of style any time soon as their paints are of very high quality (goes on like butter!), and their colors sublime. I'm not entirely sure how Little Greene has escaped my notice, but I am grateful for the introduction. It is heartening to learn that paint of such high quality and depth of pigment is still made in the UK. Here in America, Benjamin Moore is of superb quality and their paints come in a large range of colors (dizzying in fact). Sherwin Williams too is of similar quality, but F&B has somehow crept into my house.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. To be fair to our friend, Enrico, we do not think that his throw away remark was to be taken too seriously - or at least we hope not. If it were, then we are not just 'last year' but actually decades behind the times!! Indeed, as we write this our painter, István, pictured above, is just in the process of finishing the kitchen, totally Farrow and Ball, and is about to move onto the cloakroom.

      Many people here have spoken most highly of Benjamin Moore paints although we doubt very much that they are available in Hungary where choice in so many areas of life is still very limited.

      Delete
  47. Dear Jane and Lance,

    It has been so much fun to read this post, as well as many of the earlier comments. At this time of the year, I felt as if I were reading love letters to colors, and that seemed a fine romance. Sometimes a sampling of paint may prompt a flirtation, another sample might lead to true love.

    Farrow and Ball have several shops here in New York, and I think I have seen the Annie Sloane chalk paints around here as well. The Little Greene brand I know only by name.

    I am imagining that I might now have some dreams about painting walls and ceilings. I know that I frequently do dream about color.

    It's easy to tell how much you all are enjoying these early explorations of how you will truly make that house in Norwich your own.

    xo

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    1. Dear Frances,

      You are always so very kind and generous with your comments and also so very reassuring. What a wonderful thought, 'love letters to colours', and such a nice way to categorise, if one indeed needed so to do, all of the lovely comments we have received on this post.

      We are not surprised to learn that Farrow and Ball have shops in New York. Very recently they have opened in Budapest but appear only to stock a very limited range of their paints, anything else to be ordered from England at huge expense and with a delay of two to three weeks. This calls for forward planning!

      Dreaming about colour sounds so very special and soothing. Do you find yourself actually applying that colour in different situations?!!

      We now have a date for the completion of the purchase of the Norwich house and only yesterday booked our flights to the UK. It is all becoming most exciting.

      Delete
    2. Dear Jane and Lance, in answer to your question, often my dreaming about color does seem to derive from something color-related in my waking hours. Could be a creative painting or knitting project, could be something I saw on a walk, or on a subway car or in a book or magazine. Anything really. I think that the dreams do feed creativity and vice versa.

      Lots of swirling around can go on in our minds! Continued congratulations to you all on the Norwich front. xo

      Delete
    3. But, and how silly of us, you are an artist in your own right and so reflecting about it, which we now are(!!), we can well imagine that you are very receptive to all manner of stimuli and that colour, wherever it may be found, is very much part of your thinking and daily life. xxx

      Delete
  48. I love F&B and Little Green paints, but leaf through The World of Interiors -
    Mylands, Albany, Paint Library, Zoffany, Earthborn, Marston & Langinger, Fired Earth...Too many paints, not enough walls!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 'World of Interiors' is the only magazine that we take in regularly. It is, as you will know yourself, temptation itself. Yes, not enough walls!

      Delete
  49. The perennial problem of paint! And what is one person's perfect shade of white, is not another's... in a room with different light levels, locale and other vagarities that change a colour ever so subtly. I heard of Little Green back in my London work days, and of course Farrow and Ball has reached cult status. But I'd suggest avoiding Annie Sloane chalk paint like the plague it is. This will be passé in a short space of time - there is some sort of marketing genius going on as it's been blogged to death, and promoted all over the world in a warped speed.
    Good luck with your painting!

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    Replies
    1. Of course, as you rightly point out, the whole question of colour, whether paint shades or otherwise, is very subjective and does to such an extent depend on the extraneous factors which you mention here.

      We are most interested in what you say about Annie Sloan chalk paint. Actually we have already been somewhat put off on account of other commentators suggesting the need in some way to seal the painted surface. Whatever, we shall pass on it!

      Delete
  50. Impressive paint tins, and have never heard of some of those brands, but of course considering where I live that says it all.
    It is fun choosing colours, or lack of and always looks different when completed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are of course so very many paint manufacturers that it would be impossible to know of them all. And, indeed, to what purpose?

      We are inclined to agree that the finished effect always looks a little different from the colour on the paint chart.

      Delete
  51. I am sure you will choose the perfect colors for your home. It must be so exciting to have blank canvases to work with and I know you will create a beautiful space. Just before I read this post, my husband carried a nightstand into the house from the garage that he has been building for our daughter. He painted it with milk paint, which I think may be similar to chalk paint. I love the finish on this piece of furniture. It's very matte and soft and a bit sheer. I'd never seen milk paint used before but he wanted to try it and I'm glad he did. It's amazing how many different kinds of paint there are. You can do anything with paint, just about.

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    Replies
    1. It is generous of you, Jennifer, to suggest that we will choose the 'perfect' colour for the Norwich house. We are not so certain about that but it is fun looking and we shall, sooner or later, arrive at some decisions,

      The nightstand, which we assume is what we should call a bedside table, made by your husband sounds positively lovely and we are seduced by your description of the milk paint he has used. We are certain that your daughter will love having it in her room.

      Delete
  52. Those names of colours (or shades) are so evocative, aren't they! Dayroom Yellow sounds exactly like my kind of thing, yellow (but by no means all shades of it) being my favourite colour.
    Another one I love, although you have not mentioned it here, is Duck Egg Blue.

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    1. We do, Meike, get somewhat carried away with the names of the paint colours and do need, occasionally, to be brought down to earth. We can certainly vouch for 'Dayroom Yellow' as indeed we can for so many other shades!

      'Duck Egg Blue' we have never used but is the most wonderful colour. Now you have given us a new idea!!

      Delete
  53. I'm a white man. I don't mean this in relation to the obvious, but I think mixing different whites creates a very subtle but sophisticated palette, so I approve of your choices for your kitchen in Budapest. We mixed old white for the skirting board door corbels and mouldings, and bright white for the walls; a very slight mushroom would have substituted well for the latter too, but the white (through) out concept was a reaction to the red dining room, and the eau de nile drawing room, and something peachy in the morning room and yellow in the upstairs sitting room...and the dreachy days in the New Town. But I've continued that here, where the sun does shine. A lot. The merry band of decorators have substantially completed their little tasks today, which is a relief after their no-show yesterday and the rather later than scheduled commencement this morning. They will complete by lunch time tomorrow. Apparently. So maybe I will pay the full price despite the irritation of the wasted day yesterday. I should never be surprised by Thai time, but always prepare for them to arrive at the appointed time, lest I am left scrambling to dust-cover and wrap the whole place in cling film; it's stressful enough having an additional 4-6 people hovering around. Light bulb changing and the number required thereto was invented here I think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How we identify with Thai time which seems, from what you write, to be remarkably similar to Hungarian time. We too have said goodbye, within the last hour, to our merry band of decorators [actually only one, István, pictured above] with the kitchen and cloakroom completed although privately we rather thought that all could have been done yesterday without running into today. But not so!

      Where all white, in various shades, is concerned we completely understand your point and reaction to the colour palette of the New Town house. Too much happening, however large the space, is never a good thing, or so we believe.

      Delete
  54. Last week I was in ou local paint shop with a F&B paint chart trying to get them to mix the nearest to "cooking apple green" . It is to be seen how successful they have been as I haven't opened the pot yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do hope that the result is as you want it. The problem arises if you want more of the same when the 'mix' might not be identical. Good luck.

      Delete
  55. Its always so exciting to choose colors for our walls.
    Your choices of colors sound just perfect.
    I mix my own colors. Most of my walls in my little cottage and my apartment are white.
    I use paint pigment with a top quality white or off white and then with a paint mixer.. i get the color that i want.
    lots happening at the moment for you both Jane and Lance.
    I love projects. Keeps us going and our minds alive .
    happy days
    val x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To mix your own colours, Val, is surely the ultimate state to which we would all aspire and, as you say, a way of ensuring that you achieve exactly the colour you wish for.

      Yes, we are much occupied at present with the new house, upon which we shall have completion very soon, but it is all exciting and most certainly does 'keep us going and our minds alive'.

      We do hope that all is well with you. J&L, xxx

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  56. Dear Jane and Lance –The F&B Color Wheel is beautiful. The color name is interesting, some I can picture in my mind and some I can’t. I wonder what color “Elephant’s Breath” is. I think it would be fun to do a game of matching between the color and its name. You’ll be pleased with the new look of the room with furniture when the repainting is over. Take your time and enjoy the process for your new Norwich house.

    Yoko

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    Replies
    1. We do agree, Yoko, so many very, very enticing colours making choices exceedingly difficult. Indeed, some of the names can be very confusing, and not a little misleading. 'Elephant's Breath' is a soft grey but within the pink spectrum - definitely an unusual and interesting colour.

      We are much looking forward to having everything completed but that is still some weeks off.

      Delete
  57. Dear Barbel

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I felt that I should reassure you that I'm OK. I have been through a rocky patch towards the end of last year and have had to make some difficult decisions but things are looking up for me now and I'm feeling more positive with each day. I'm working on some new writing and a new blog too, which I may make public, I'm not sure yet. I value our blog friendship and will of course let you know if I decide to go public.

    With love and best wishes.
    Jeanne
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were indeed not a little concerned about you, Jeanne, and it is so kind of you to take the time and trouble to write. That you are feeling more positive about everything is most reassuring. We are only sorry that you have experienced difficult times of late and sincerely hope that you have, as we are sure must be so, the support of family and friends for moments when things are not so good.

      Writing, whether private or to be made public, can be very helpful. But we have no need to remind you of this.

      Our love, J&L, xxx

      Delete
  58. Dear Jane and Lance

    Many apologies if I mis-typed your names in my previous comment.

    Jeanne
    xxx

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  59. Given your years of loyalty, dear Jane and Lance, Farrow and Ball should be naming a hue after you, something dignified and intrepid in a burnished gold. I look forward very much to your posts to come on the Norwich revamp. You will understand, I know, as very few do, the prolonged heartache of being unable to find the right cocktail table.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Mise, just imagine!! And what fun to go down in the annals of history as a paint colour, for ever recorded on some shade chart and, should fortune be on our side, painted for posterity somewhere below stairs [we know our place] in some rescued, previously crumbling pile restored in perpetuity by that illustrious body, The National Trust.

      The planning of the Norwich Revamp continues apace. As yet the house remains unseen!!

      Delete
  60. For weeks I've been in a state of uncertainty about what colour to paint my bedroom walls. Then I made up my mind on a calming Eau de Nil, but now, after viewing the Farrow and Ball colour wheel I'm considering the Arsenic.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Darling Mitzi,

      'Arsenic' by all means, but not 'Old Lace'!! Whatever, glad to see you are still in fighting mood!

      Delete
  61. Colours have to be true don't they? My husband recently replaced two 'white' tiles in the bathroom and it drives me mad that he can't (or pretends not to) see that they are not the same..just not right. Mind you I am hanging my head in shame as..yes...whisper it...there is 'magnolia' in my home....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In our experience, which we hasten to say is not considerable, no two whites match. And how very annoying that you should find yourself with replacement tiles that stand out as just that.

      Now, be positive. What an excellent undercoat 'Magnolia' will make for the colour of your choice!!

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  62. I shall have Whiter shade of pale running around my head all evening now!
    Gosh, what wonderful names for paint....Elephants' breath has me enchanted...I imagine it to be the colour of fog!
    I love heritage colours that graced the big houses back in the day....but you need enormous rooms!
    Little Green it is then, I shall look forward to seeing the refurbishment.xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Elephant's Breath' is certainly a wonderfully seductive name and we love your description of imagining it to be 'the colour of fog'.

      So many interesting paint colours are to be found on the walls of large country houses, we do agree, but also, when chosen with care, many can look very stylish in smaller, even contemporary rooms.

      We are certainly very drawn to Little Greene paints at the moment but a final decision has yet to be made.

      Delete
  63. My dearest Jane and Lance,

    What a beautiful selection of colour choice you have from Farrow and Ball. I don't think you can go wrong with Lime White especially this understated elegant colour works so well with so many artworks on the wall as well as some old furniture as it splendidly compliments rather than compete other colours in the room.

    F&B's most famous name, "Elephant's breath" does not work quite well if one lives in the most northerly place where the light goes out at 3 o' clock in the winter months. My old flat in the city was painted entirely in that colour. It's too grey and sombre. Now I live in the house entirely covered with the old wall-paper.

    I am quite adventurous when it comes to choosing colours. I look at what are the most dominant colours in the paintings in the room and then go with that colour. I've been known to choose Nancy Lancaster yellow (Babouche from Farrow and Ball) one year for the walls for the paintings from The Barbizon School. It looks absolutely stunning. But the colour yellow can be very hard to live with if one lives in the small dwelling. But it can be very flattering if one has got a large room with high ceiling. Another colour that I love from Farrow and Ball is called Porphyry Pink. It's a very rosy colour which reminds me of Frances Partridge's living room, which I remember seeing it in a book, in London. I think that she lived in one of the elegant Nash's houses in London and this colour looks incredibly mellow when it catches the sun in the evening.

    "Little Green" sounds most promising. I believe you will be exploring a lot of ideas for your new home. I'm tremendously excited for you. Thank you so much for your lovely email. It's very much appreciated.

    With love, ASD x

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    1. Dearest ASD,

      The Farrow and Ball paint chart, as you will know yourself, is always a source of inspiration and we do agree that so many of the colours work really well as a background for paintings and furniture. We find that particularly so with 'Lime White' which, as we mentioned, we have used extensively here in our Budapest apartment.

      How lovely that your former flat was painted throughout in 'Elephant's Breath'. It must have looked very stylish indeed although we can well imagine, as you say, that it would be less successful in your more northerly house. Growing up in houses which were decorated in the years before the war when wallpaper was much more popular than it is today, we look back with a certain degree of nostalgia on those papers of the past.

      Nancy Lancaster's drawing room in London, painted that superb shade of yellow, remains one of our all time favourite rooms. But then, as you know yourself, one has only to pick up a book by one of the leading decorators or to flick through the pages of 'World of Interiors' to fall in love all over again.

      Completion on the Norwich house approaches and we have now booked our flights in readiness. It is all most exciting.

      Delete
  64. I've never used Farrow and Ball although I believe we can get it in the States. Sounds like you've had some interesting paint colors in the past. Elephant's Breath? Can't quite imagine...

    Jane xxx

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    1. From what others have said, and judging by what you think too, it would appear, Jane, that Farrow and Ball is available in the United States but perhaps not all over. Yours is a very large country!!

      Delete
  65. I have never used Farrow and Ball but every room I have ever seen painted in its glorious shades turn out amazing! It is a classic and to me that never fades!!! Wishing you fun times choosing your new colors! Keep us posted!! Nicole xo

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    1. Certainly we can vouch for the fact, Nicole, that all of Farrow and Ball paints are of the highest quality and have a wonderful depth to them which seems even to improve with age.

      Delete
  66. Oh I do wish they would export to Australia. What beautiful colours and what names! I'm thinking of painting our house and would love some of those choices. You have such a fun blog.

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    1. We are very surprised to learn that Farrow and Ball are not available in Australia particularly as, very clearly, they are to be found in the United States. But we are certain that you will have equally good paint manufacturers.

      Delete
  67. Thank you for stopping by my blog this morning and for your very kind comments.

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  68. PS. I just spotted a typo in my spelling, "complements".

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    Replies
    1. Easily done. Doubtless we ourselves have littered the internet with errors!!

      Delete
  69. I was looking forward to photographs of Lance or yourself donning whites and painting..or at the least, pretending to!

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    1. In that case, Matthew, we are most sorry to disappoint you!! Now, where would we get hold of the overalls?!!

      Delete
  70. very interesting ! I am a real disaster for home works !!
    very kind regards and thank you for your support :-)

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    Replies
    1. You really cannot be worse than us. Nowadays we avoid any attempt at 'Do-It-Yourself' for to do otherwise is to court disaster.

      Delete
  71. Darling Jane,

    I would never have guessed in a million years that you once lived in Southampton. Well, every girl loves a sailor, right? The colours are wonderful and I love the use of those bold fonts to name the shade.

    I painted my living room KitKat Brown, the 3rd west wing bathroom was done out in Atomic Vomit Green, the laundry room slapped with Benjamin Moore Kitten Whiskers paint, and the study was Match of Pittsburgh 1013 Puppy Paws. The only mistake was my 5th bedroom, in the south wing, which was painted in Melted Fondu Sunrise, which gives me terrible headaches followed by bouts of hebephrenic behavior.

    Fanny xx

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    1. Darling,

      Yes, Southampton, and Highfield to be exact in the sweetest of houses, or so we thought. Every girl may indeed love a sailor but it is our belief that they are heavily outnumbered by boys!

      Well, you clearly chose some very delicate shades when it came to redecorating Love Towers/Hall/House/Grange/Old Rectory/Park [delete/add as necessary]. 'Match of Pittsburgh 1013 Puppy Paws' sounds so very attractive. We wonder if it would do for the Norwich Revamp?

      We have to confess that 'Melted Fondu Sunrise' sounds remarkably like, in translation of course, the most dreadful dinner dish we were once served in Germany. J&L, xxx

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  72. We found an American company that imported Farrow & Ball to paint our living room Cooking Apple Green in 2002. It cost more, but less paint was needed so we had enough to paint the master bathroom too. When it came time to repaint 11 years later, we re-ordered the same paint. That is happiness. My art professor friends love the color too. It looks great with art. I don't mind being so last year if it lasts more than a decade without losing its allure. Best of luck decorating your new abode!

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    1. Generally speaking, as you suggest here, Sarah, one does get what one pays for and we certainly have found that all the Farrow and Ball paints do cover exceptionally well. 'Cooking Apple Green' is a wonderful colour and we can well imagine that it 'works' really well with most other things. And regardless of trends, we are all for anything that lasts.

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  73. I love the colours of Farrow and Ball but have never used their paint.. We have plain papered walls all over our house but when our new kitchen has been completed I'm pretty sure I want the walls painted with one of those gorgeous greens. Lovely post. P x

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    1. We should certainly have no hesitation in recommending Farrow and Ball paints to you, Patricia, but that said there are very many equally good manufacturers. A green for your kitchen sounds lovely.

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  74. Dear Jane and Lane, what exciting news, purchasing and now having to decorate a new space. Might I seduce you into using Abigail Ahern's paint from her new paint collection, the colours are quite 'seductive'! Sharon

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    1. It is, as you will imagine, Sharon, somewhat difficult to make final decisions about colours until we have actually seen the house and the rooms themselves. Abigail Ahern's paints are unknown to us. We now see that they are London based and so will look them up. Thank you.

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  75. As I think you know Little Greene is a favourite of mine too. And a new love is Edward Bulmer's potsofpaint.com.

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    1. So very many wonderful paint manufacturers, Annie, and now yet another to investigate. What fun all of this is. Thank you.

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  76. Such sophisticates! Little Greene, Annie Sloan - you're right at the cutting edge of decorating savoir-faire! We plebs are still splashing on the Crown and Dulux with gay abandon. I must say we're not too bothered about the pigment levels or the subtle light changes. How unambitious are we!

    And I have to say Lime White looks more like cream to me. Or even a light grey. I rather like Mizzle myself.

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    1. We think, Nick, but may be entirely wrong, that if, when next redecorating a room, you were to branch out with some of the paint manufacturers, such as Farrow and Ball, you would notice an enormous difference.

      'Lime White' has long been a favourite of ours as it has a somewhat dirty look and so never appears too new - which is what we like!!

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  77. Such delicious colours and evocative names for their paints. I guess the proof is in the way they have stood the test of time and in their discerning clientele. David.

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    1. Certainly so many brands, such as Farrow and Ball, have definitely passed the tests of both time and discernment as they are widely used, as you will be aware, by such bodies as The National Trust and English Heritage.

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  78. Dearest Jane and Lance

    I always learn something new from you and thank you for introducing me to Little Green. We have used Farrow & Ball for a long long time. Borrowed Light on our bedroom which received a reflection from the canal just outside our window. Cornforth White is another favourite. I did work for Farrow & Ball, as a colour consultant for a couple of years and have fond memories of homes decorated in spectacular colours. One client who moved frequently and always painted each new home in Babouche. A daring colour but perfectly suited to her heirloom collection of French furnishings.
    Lime white is such a perfect choice for your Budapest home and museum collection of artwork.
    Fondest wishes
    Helen xx

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    1. Dearest Helen,

      You exaggerate, but thank you.

      Little Greene really is very new to us and we came across it, and were hugely impressed, quite by chance in the midst of our, now aborted, house hunting foray in Cornwall.

      Farrow and Ball have long been firm favourites with us and, like you, we have used their paints extensively. But how fascinating to have worked as a consultant for Farrow and Ball and to have had an entrée to assess and advise into what surely would have been many most interesting houses. Now that is a job we should have loved [sigh].

      We wonder if you have had to do very much in the way of redecoration of your new old house in Ireland? And, if so, what you have gone for!!

      Love from us both, J&L, xxx

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    2. Good Morning my dear friends,

      I am chomping at the bit to research Little Green. The pure pigment used by F&B on a chalk base without fillers is the secret of the colours obtained. Our house in Ireland was a second home to a designer and coincidentally was painted in F& B Dimity, which we just touched up where needed. We have decided to live with it through the various seasons before making changes and so far love the colour, as the house receives great light. We chose Picture Gallery red for the office/den.
      You are right, I feel you would both be perfectly suited as F&B consultants. F & B would benefit from your exquisite taste. It was a most interesting and rewarding job and I loved every minute of working in the showroom and in particular the friendship formed with clients and being invited to see the finished projects.
      xx

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    3. 'Dimity', which we see is very close to 'Lime White' but a little paler, we can well imagine makes an excellent background to all of your pictures and furnishings. It is probably an excellent idea to live with it and, maybe, after a year you will have no reason to make any changes. As it happens, 'Picture Gallery Red' we had in the hall, on the stairs and landing of our Herefordshire house and loved it. Paintings we found looked very good against it.

      The Norwich house has been completely renovated but the walls everywhere are, we suspect, 'Magnolia' which we could live with but would find totally uninspiring. Hence we have decided to have decorators in on Day 1 at least to repaint the drawing room, dining room and possibly our bedroom. The rest can wait.

      xxx

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  79. Oh I know how tricky it can be to choose the right colours and that is hard enough when one is simply thinking Dulux. Imagine the conversation that went when I hired a colour consultant for the beach house, my husband not impressed to receive her bill together with an announcement from me that I had chosen white!! White he said, couldn't you have come to that decision without professional help? You are a perfect example that all whites are not the same as Lime White shows!! I imagine I'd need counselling and therapy after a a Farrow and Ball decision, but I would have Elephants Breath whatever colour it was, it sounds perfect for my place!

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    1. What a superb story!! And whilst we agree totally with you that not all whites are the same, indeed we stand by the fact that no two whites match, nevertheless our sympathies do, in this instance, run in favour of your husband!!

      So many colours to choose from you will not be surprised to know that, as of now, no final decisions have been taken.

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  80. Trends mean nothing to me, so I do share your desire for originality. I love the smell of a freshly painted home, it reminds me of new beginnings. Sending love to you both.

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    1. It is, and on this we are certain of your agreement, so important to buck trends and remain true to one's own ideas and beliefs. Individualism is, we maintain, of paramount importance.

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  81. 49 shades of gray? Pure bliss!! (Enjoyed your reference to the movie :) I'm not familiar with Little Greene....not aware of their products in the DC area. But I'm headed to the UK in March. Thanks for sharing this (new to me) source. And to think they've been around since 1773. By the way, that was the height of the Gustavian Period - talk about shades of gray! Cheers

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    1. Somehow or other, but not of course entirely, we associate grey with you, Loi, and are finding ourselves moving in somewhat the same direction. That said, we have always yearned for a lemon and grey drawing room and think that, when the time comes to redecorate the drawing room here in Budapest, we may well opt for that.

      As for the film, only yesterday did we read a very indifferent review!!

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  82. Greetings from Oklahoma! Please excuse my manners to show up after a long absence from the blog world. The grind of life prevented me for a prolonged period to not actively participate in the blogosphere.
    Congratulations! on your new cottage on the shores, hope it will provide you comfort and peace during your stays. Will eagerly follow the renovations on that,
    Best wishes

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    Replies
    1. There is NEVER any reason to apologise. Of course you are missed when absent, but then the joy of your return becomes so much greater. We know ourselves how 'the grind of life', as you put it, can so often get in the way of other things which, usually, one would prefer to be about.

      We are now becoming very excited about the new old house and have booked flights to the UK in readiness for completion.

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  83. You two certainly have exquisite taste! I'm not fond of a decorating fad either, a home should always reflect the owner, it would be awful to be constrained by fitting in a de rigour concept. I do like a home to be freshly painted, however when faced with too much choice, I always pick badly. I have improved, I learned along the way paint often dries darker. The neon yellow that I once painted an old living room in radiated through the curtains with a nuclear haze. x x x

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    1. What a wonderful, and very funny, description of your neon yellow paint colour radiating 'through the curtains with a nuclear haze'. Love it!

      Like you, we rather hate the whole process of having decorators in but we do try to keep things up. Shabby chic can become more shabby than chic. One needs to recognize the dividing line!

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  84. Taking a quick break from "Must do" to pop in and say that I think your recent comment on LT was one of the dearest, sweetest ones I've ever received. What a spirit-lifter and hat-stretcher, all in one. I had that one and this next-to-come---Part II, all ready weeks ago, and it's a good thing.

    Moire non on this and your previous post, re: PAINT, I LOVE paint. Haven't applied any personally in about twelve years, the week before DS and Sweetpea's Mama were married---we'd just had the kitchen stone-tiled, and why NOT go ahead while all the appliances were out.

    Did I say that it was a week before the wedding, several houseguests and catering the wedding dinner for 200 out of THAT SAME KITCHEN?

    Oh la. The exciting life I lead. (Just Freudian slipped "exacting"---apt in a zany Lucy way).

    r

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    1. But, dearest Rachel, it is all so true and posts from 'Lawn Tea' never fail but to amuse, interest and inform us. In short, they enrich our lives and we thank you for that.

      We too avoid anything which comes even remotely close actually to lifting a paint brush, dipping it into a paint pot and applying it to some surface or other. But, apart from the inconvenience of decorators in the house, we do rather like having rooms freshened up. Our kitchen here looks so good now having been repainted after ten years.

      Having a make-over in the kitchen immediately before such an event as a wedding must have been something of a nerve racking undertaking. But clearly you survived!

      Happy weekend from a cold but very sunny Budapest. xxx

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  85. Dear Jane and Lance,

    Farrow and Ball are, undoubtedly, the elegant international superstars of the paint world, and since you've always been very satisfied with their alluring colours, (and their catchy names), it is wise to continue using their products. But, it has been my experience that, sometimes, the place, its surroundings, and the vibe of the culture demand a different hue, a new wave of wonderful tones and textures, tints and effects, that highlight its natural brilliance.

    Standing by for an update!

    Happy weekend from a cold, rainy, SNOWY Crete!

    Poppy

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    1. Dear Poppy,

      How splendid of you to confirm our experiences, encourage a new direction and, at the same time, advise in this most positive comment. Thank you so much. Most likely now we shall wait to see the house and then, bearing all of this in mind, act on our instincts of the moment.

      We wish you a very peaceful and restful weekend [not withstanding the snow in Crete!!!] fro a very chilly but sunny Budapest.

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  86. How lovely to see that you'd left your card on the hall table whilst I was out and about just now! I'd put on red cape, black fedora, dark glasses and bright lipstick and gone out into this marvelous sunshine on a few Valentine-preparation errands. Picked up Chris' gift at the store, dropped into the grocery for some sumptuous strawberries for Sunday's brunch, and just generally enjoyed being incognito, blending in, standing out or whatever a Lady of a Certain Age is allowed to do without causing a disturbance, striking a pose, falling down or getting her name into the newspapers.

    I thank you so very much for your faithful visits and the generous, kind comments. You are a generation behind, I think, and do not share quite the same memories, but you're quite knowledgeable about "my era" and that's a lovely thing to know. (And I unabashedly sent out Valentines to all and sundry for a decade or so there, until High School curtailed our postings to one at a time, except for a few particular girlfriends. I'm doing a little piece on one of them soon, for her hand-drawn cards for occasions were and are works of art. We may have been the only sixth-graders in existence who received ILLUMINATED Valentines. We corresponded until last year, when her passing left a gentle gap in the tenor of my days, and I still think she's there most of the time til I remember. And she's the one to whom I always signed off "Moire non,"

    We're also VERY chilly, but the sun is delightful streaming in doors and windows. I think I shall spend an hour drawing hearts in the dust. Couldn't hurt.

    love and,

    r

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    1. Strawberries for Sunday brunch does sound very desirable, delicious, and decadent. Alas, here in the People's Republic we shall not see sight of a strawberry until they are once more in season, most likely in June. You would probably be aghast at what is not to be found on the shelves here the absence of which in the great cover up we refer to as National Shortages!!

      We really do suspect, Rachel, that not so many years separate our 'eras' but none of it [it being the years] is of any consequence at all. What is important is that we all live life to the full - something you very clearly do. Meanwhile we shall much look forward to the post based upon your friend's hand-drawn cards but are so sorry to learn that she is no longer with us.

      It is becoming increasingly cold here as the day wears on. Tonight promises to be cold so our drawings will be in the frost!!

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  87. PS Could you please post another post soon? For the enjoyment factor, and for the fact that every time my eye strays to my sidebar, I start singing. Having Procul Harum circulating mongst my few remaining brain cells for days on end just ain't helping my get-up and go.

    love and,

    r

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    1. Future posts we do promise but as to when, now that is something to which we do not have an answer!!

      But we do send love across the airwaves. xxx

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  88. Hi. Attracted by the title of your post, I was quite prepared to get lost in a wave of 60s nostalgia (not what it used to be). I wasn't prepared for such knowledge of paint manufacturers - very impressed - way over my head - though I do agree that F&B paint seems to be jolly good. Thank you so much for popping into A Bit About Britain, leaving your kind comments and following. I still struggle with many of the technical aspects of blogging, but I am sure we are going to be great friends!

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    1. Not at all sure that we wish to remember the sixties quite as clearly as we do!! As for knowledge of paint manufacturers, well.....mostly from what can be read on the side of the tin!!

      We were delighted to have found 'A Bit About Britain' and will certainly look forward to future posts. Meanwhile, thank you for your comment and we shall very much hope to see you here again.

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  89. oh the wonderful world of white!

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  90. amazing paint companies can stay in business so long, We';ve been thinking of paint recently for our two bathrooms since thye are both painted a drab tan a dreaded tan, one may go pale blue and the other not sure. our new tile is burnt orange and gray, like a stone on a mountian first I thought gray but now not sure. it isn't easy choosing a paint color. once we lived in the mountains and I tried more than eight colors of trim till i got it right. ha. the chalk paint is talked about here quite a bit, may have to look into that.good luck with your paint color choices

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    1. We really should recommend any paint which has a chalky depth to it, Linda, as it does produce a completely different effect. Choosing any colour is always difficult and it is terribly easy to be influenced and swayed by whatever one has looked at most recently. The right shade of blue does work exceptionally well with burnt orange but it may prove a little too dark.

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  91. We discovered when we moved into our new house that all the paintwork had been done using Farrow and Ball paints and we love the depth of colour. As to whether they are so last year I can't judge, but they give the house a very warm and welcoming feel and we will use them again. I look forward to hearing about your exploration of the wonders of Little Greene.

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    1. What a very pleasant surprise to find the house already decorated with Farrow and Ball paints. We do hope that they are colours you would have chosen yourselves.

      Yes, we shall certainly 'trial' Little Greene but think that it would be foolish to make any final decisions until we actually see the house and have something of a feel for it.

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  92. Decorating is fun and you are doing a lovely job.
    I love those colors. That Little Green intrigues me.

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    1. That is most encouraging of you, Julia. Only time will tell.

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  93. My darlings, you are too kind. I am currently without words for the sweetness, the kindness, the warmth conveyed in your message, defending my honour that I am merely more to this mortal coil than simply "poor, white trash" (as referenced in my recent blog entry).

    It is good indeed to have such friends.

    I'm crying into my hat after my recent London soirée. What a terrible night it was... all will be revealed tomorrow!

    Fanny xx

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    1. Darling Fanny,

      Not so!!

      But we are on tenterhooks [whatever the exact meaning of that is] to know all about your said London soirée. So disappointed for you but, as we all know, 'all that glisters is not gold' and the bright city lights can be quite harsh!!

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  94. I still love F&B. Our dining room is Picture Gallery Red even now, although it is beginning to look a bit dated.

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    1. 'Picture Gallery Red', dated or not, we love and had it for many years in the hall, on the stairs and on the landing of our Herefordshire house.

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  95. Hello my dear Hattat's on trend as ever! I do love paint. I love F&B, and also Little Greene, and have been tempted lately by Mylands, their London colour names are just so evocative, and I tend to prefer Autentico to Annie Sloan.
    I could talk colour charts all day, but I have some painting of my own to get on with. How thrilling that you are going to have a place in Norwich, it is a most delightful town. Hoping all is well with you, and looking forward to hearing all about your plans. Good luck with the colour charts! Much love, Linda xx

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    1. Where you lead, dearest Linda, we follow. It is only very recently that we have been introduced to Little Greene paints and we are most tempted. Such wonderful colours. Mylands we do not know at all so will go immediately to investigate!

      We expect completion on the Norwich house in the middle of March and are now becoming very excited. Much planning lies ahead but it should all be fun. At least so we hope!! J&L, xxx

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