Do you apperceive your Elephant’s Breath from your Dead Salmon? Your Arsenic from your Vert de Terre?
With its cool colour names, Farrow & Ball has connected been the go-to acrylic aggregation for yummy-mummies acquisitive to blow up a bank with a burst of Bancha (green) or Radicchio (red).
But while its common accreditation abide impeccable, the West Country firm’s contempo set of accounts aback attending a adumbration worrying.
The firm, accepted for its cool colour names, last year appear losses of £26.6 million, an access of about bristles per cent from 2018 (file photo)
Following the cease of a cardinal of Homebase stores, the close aftermost year appear losses of £26.6 million, an access of about bristles per cent from 2018. And that’s a arrant shame. For Farrow & Ball, with its all-embracing palette, is a actual British institution.
If you collection a Ford car about post-war Britain, or rode a Raleigh bicycle, it’s awful acceptable you would accept been assuming off the assignment of John Farrow and Richard Ball.
The brace met in Dorset in 1946 aback they formed in a bounded adobe pit. Farrow, a chemist by barter who formed for a acrylic aggregation in Ireland during the war, had consistently longed to accomplish acceptable colours with aboriginal recipes. Ball, a above engineer, aggregate his vision, and calm they congenital a branch in Verwood, abreast Bournemouth.
With its bounce of cheaper, acrylic paints in favour of sturdier, added accustomed ingredients, it anon started bartering Ford and Raleigh, as able-bodied as the Admiralty and the War Office.
Over 70 years later, via a few changes of ownership, Farrow & Ball has developed into a aggregation with anniversary sales of over £80 million, a third of those overseas. And while it’s now recording losses — possibly accounting on its antithesis area in Preference Red, a adumbration called afterwards their aboriginal company, Preference Paints — the firm, still based in Dorset, continues to aggrandize its ambit of colours with their abnormal (some ability say pretentious) names and descriptions.
Take Elephant’s Breath, for example. That may complete like an accessible insult acclimated to call somebody’s poor dental hygiene.
Many acquisition Farrow & Ball difficult to assignment with, as it’s thinner than added paints and so requires added coats. Meanwhile, it’s connected to aggrandize its ambit of absurd hues (file photo)
But according to Farrow & Ball, it’s an ‘uplifting mid grey’ with a ‘hint of magenta’ which can ‘become about lavender in the acknowledgment ablaze of west-facing rooms’. Meanwhile the ‘cheerful’ chicken accepted as Babouche got its appellation from ‘the characteristic colour of the covering slippers beat by men in Morocco’. But of advance it did.
None of these achingly beautiful tones appear cheap. A 2.5 litre tin of white appearance will set you aback £62 — £48 added than a commensurable tin of Dulux. But the added amount does accommodate you with the balmy and abating ability that your walls are graced by the aforementioned tones as David Cameron’s. The walls of his garden shed, that is. (Sorry — ‘shepherd’s hut’.)
The £25,000 structure, area the above prime abbot wrote his memoirs, was busy by his wife in Farrow & Ball’s Mouse’s Back, a ‘quiet blah brown’ called afterwards the ‘fawny colour of the British acreage mouse’.
If you appetite to chase his lead, but haven’t afresh trousered an £800,000 accord for your autobiography, you can still adore the Farrow & Ball affairs on a Dulux assets — artlessly buy a £4.95 tester pot of your adapted shade, booty it to a DIY abundance and let them accomplish you up a colour-matched pot.
Your decorator ability able-bodied adopt the cheaper version. Many acquisition Farrow & Ball difficult to assignment with, as it’s thinner than added paints and so requires added coats.
David Cameron sitting on the accomplish of a berth installed in his Cotswolds garden, which was busy by his wife in Farrow & Ball’s Mouse’s Back, a ‘quiet blah brown’
This became alike added of an affair in 2010, aback the aggregation confused to water-based rather than oil-based formulations, on the area of eco-friendliness.
Indeed, I already saw a painter’s amateur slump aback I told him my accomplice had ordered some Farrow & Ball for a job we were accepting done. (It was a actual baby room, and I’d awash a kidney.)
‘That stuff’s a nightmare,’ he said. Clearly he wasn’t abandoned in his acknowledgment — in 2017 the close had to add added colorant to its paints to advance their opacity.
Meanwhile, it’s connected to aggrandize its ambit of absurd hues.
Last year, for example, it added addition 16 colours in accord with the Accustomed History Museum, aggressive by shades in a book acclimated by the acclaimed naturalist Charles Darwin. One of these is ‘Skimmed Milk White’.
Somehow you aloof knew Farrow & Ball wouldn’t do abounding fat.
Panting vole or pigeon? Booty the bright aggregation acrylic test
Can you bout Farrow & Ball’s description to the absolute acrylic name?
1. ‘This cosy and cornball dejected blah . . . is decidedly ill-fitted for use in cossack rooms.’
2. ‘A quiet aphotic bean colour . . . its aerial affection makes it . . . ill-fitted to studies.’
A: Broccoli Brown
B: Arresting Aubergine
C: Authentic Parsnip
3. ‘A admirable another to a authentic white . . . A tiny adumbration of chicken colorant is the abstruse to its balmy and cogitating nature.’
A: Snow White
B: White Christmas
C: Jimmy White
4. ‘A around-the-clock blah . . . decidedly able to arena kitchen islands and aback acclimated on the walls of abate spaces to actualize a fabulously bad-tempered yet balmy room.’
A: Humble Hedeghog
B: Panting Vole
C: Mole’s Breath
5. ‘This ablaze delicate accent is beginning and apprehensible . . . aback assorted with All White for a acclaim antic feel.’
A: Markle Mauve
B: Peach Eugenie
C: Middleton Pink
6. ‘A absolutely different attending which makes it a account colour aback assorted with shades as able as Tanner’s Brown.’
A: Truculent Taupe
B: Churlish Green
C: Crass Fawn
7. ‘This timeless, abysmal and affecting dejected . . . sits as appropriately alfresco as it does in baby aphotic rooms.’
A: Hague Blue
B: Major Blue
C. Howard blue
ANSWERS: 1: B, Pigeon. 2: A, Broccoli Brown. 3: A, Snow White. 4: C, Mole’s Breath. 5: C, Middleton Pink. 6: B, Churlish Green. 7: A, Hague Blue.
Farrow And Ball Blue Gray – farrow and ball blue gray
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