21 Apr Desert island paints
With a dizzying array of neutral paint and an ever increasing selection of brands, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Luckily Country Life Magazine has put together a list of paint experts favourite neutrals from their own ranges to help navigate through the subtleties.
“Off-whites and neutrals can be tricky, because lighting conditions and other influences on site affect them so much,’ says historic-paint consultant Patrick Baty to Country Life. ‘It is all too easy to choose an off-white with an undertone that only becomes apparent when it is on the wall.’ In his Papers and Paints shop in Chelsea, customers are often shown nine popular whites divided into neutral, warm and grey, but he says it is still essential to try a large patch on site. ‘People often think they want to avoid yellow, but ochre pigments can produce a warm, soothing white’. he says of his perennially popular Quiet White.
Interior designer and paint expert Edward Bulmer agrees. “The best off-whites are tinted with earth pigments – yellow ochre, red ochre, raw umber – and a little black,’ he advises. ‘These will have a little warmth and a bit of hue, ranging from yellow to red through green and grey. What works best is determined by “uncoloured” elements in the room, such as stone or wood, and what weight of colour the room calls for. Some off-whites look too bright against deep colours or old furnishings and other look too muddy for a modern aesthetic.’
Another way of tackling the conundrum comes from Cassandra Ellis, of Atelier Ellis. “Start by thinking about how you want your room to feel,’ she says. ‘If it’s warm and bright, then I recommend a white or neutral that has a sunny disposition, with a yellow ochre base. If it’s sophisticated and quiet, then something with perhaps umber and blue pigments.’ Atelier Ellis Warm White (main picture) falls into the first camp, Quiet Grey into the second.”
“Cotta is not pink, nor sand, nor grey – simply incredibly human in tone and soothing in nature. It suits every room and is particularly good in bedrooms and bathrooms”. Cassandra Ellis, founder Alelier Ellis. £51 for 2.5l Matt Emulsion from Atelier Ellis.
“Milk White, because it is an off-white that has some weight, combining all the earth pigments in balance with a hint of black for some greyness”. Edward Bulmer, interior designer, architectural historian and founder of Edward Bulmer Paint. £49.50 for 2.5l Matt Emulsion from Edward Bulmer Natural Paint.
“Minim is a white with a soft, warm grey base. Without blue, red or yellow, it is extremely neutral and can be used in most interior spaces”. Ruth Mottershead, Marketing Director, Little Greene and Paint & Paper Library. £50 for 2.5l Pure Flat Emulsion from Paint & Paper Library.
“SC292 is an 18th century stone colour that is equally effective in a contemporary context. We use it inside and outside our shop and have never tired of it”. Patrick Baty, historical paint consultant and co-owner Papers and Paints. £48 for 2.5l Absolute Matt Emulsion from Papers and Paints.
“Our Ivory paint is a beautiful white with a gentle pink undertone”. Susie Watson, founder, Susie Watson Designs. £45 for 2.5l from Susie Watson Designs.
For full article see Country Life Magazine, 8th April 2020.