Change of season shouts for change of colour and this time we got inspired by the new colour palette Colour by Nature, a 16 colours collaboration between Farrow & Ball and the Natural History Museum in London. You can expect beige and greens, but you’ll be surprised what colors are found in nature. We picked two complimenting each other and went the whole way to paint all walls, ceiling and floor.
Have a look and read what the paint manufacturer’s colour expert Tanja Meyer from Farrow & Ball showroom Munich has to say.
IRMA: What makes the colour pigments of the latest Colour by Nature collaboration between Farrow & Ball and the Natural History Museum so special?
Tanja Meyer, Farrow & Ball: Our new Colour by Nature palette, created in collaboration with the Natural History Museum, is bursting with jewel-like reds, vivid oranges, organic greens and earthy neutrals to bring the true colours of nature into the home. Our 16 new colours were drawn directly from Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours, a remarkable book which classified the colours of nature by animal, vegetable and mineral and was used as a colour guide by Charles Darwin aboard HMS Beagle. Colour by Nature is a celebration not only of colour, but of our shared respect and curiosity for the natural world.
IRMA: Which are the things you start looking for in a room first before doing a consultation?
F&B: Every house is different, so I start by visually scanning each room from top to bottom, taking in the architectural features, the direction of the light and any furnishings. It’s important to consider how and when the room is used – whether it’s a south facing open plan kitchen flooded with natural light and enjoyed by all the family at breakfast time, or a cosy living room to relax in during the evening.
IRMA: Everybody has favourite colours, but how do you manage to convince a client to take a colour which might not be on his/her bucket list?
F&B: Generally speaking, we always encourage our clients that it’s best to go with the colours that you’re drawn towards, but we’re happy to help people to choose bolder colours – if that’s what they want to do, and just need a little encouragement. We then try to simulate with colour sample pages the scheme of the room to show them how the preferred colour interacts with others and which atmosphere they create.
IRMA: Is there a rule when choosing a colour for a room?
F&B: There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to decorating and choosing a colour scheme. Pick the colours you love and the ones you cannot wait to escape to at the end of a long day.
It can be really effective to embrace the darkness of a small space by using strong, dark colours such as Imperial Purple or Deep Reddish Brown to create a dramatic, intimate feel. In rooms like these, it’s best not to fight nature, as if you default to a white it will often just result in a small dull room. Instead, lighter colours are often best suited to big rooms because they maximise the space and won’t feel overpowering.
IRMA: What is the best way to test & see if you really like the new colour?
F&B: We always recommend testing your favourite paint colours in-situ using sample pots to see how the pigments gently shift as the light changes throughout the day. Try painting yours on a large sheet of white paper and move about the room to see the colour in light and shade, checking both in the morning and at night.
But follow your gut instinct too, choosing a paint colour is as much to do with your lifestyle as it is with the light and the architecture of your home. For example, if you lead a busy schedule try calming colours such as Ash Grey or Sap Green in the living areas to help unwind and promote relaxation.
IRMA: The new Colour by Nature paints are very intensive and vibrant. Is there a way to work with them even when one is not ready for a vibrant coloured room?
F&B: If you are wary of strong colour, try it out in a small space like a bathroom or a room you don’t use very much such as a spare room or dining room. Or why not try painting the interior of a cupboard bright Lake Red! You will soon fall in love and start embracing darker tones like magical Imperial Purple or luxurious Scotch Blue.
IRMA: How do you plan a consultation – especially for kitchens as in our example? Can you tell us a bit?
F&B: Also, here we have started to look at architecture, light situation and furnishings. There was a lot going on in the kitchen – different type of furniture, corners and decoration. The challenge of the new colour scheme was to achieve more tranquillity and unity.
IRMA: Which parts are the tricky ones and which part/ aspects of the room had been ideal for the new Colour by Nature hues?
F&B: There is not too much direct light coming into the kitchen and the dark brown furniture was also absorbing lots of light. There was also a less charming radiator in the kitchen. Therefore, we decided to give the walls, flooring and ceiling the same colour, which looks stunning now and to paint the radiator in the same colour as the wall so that it is standing back. The vibrant colours of the new Colour by Nature collection are adding freshness to the kitchen.
The painting work has been done by Tatjana Blaske
All porcelain by Meissen
All flowers by Blumen die Leben