Designers’ favourite paints

best paints

Designers’ favourite paints

Country Life magazine asked eight interior designers to name their best paint colours that they couldn’t live without.

Their tried and tested recommendations are great additions to any decorating scheme.  Favourite colours suggested by Susie Atkinson, Katrin Cargill, Sophie Elborne, Luke Edward Hall, Lucy Elworthy, Emma Sims Hilditch,  Emily Todhunter and Henrietta von Stockhausen include:

NEUTRAL PAINT COLOURS (scroll sideways for gallery):

Farrow and Ball Wimborne White –  “A perfect, soft all-rounder that I like for ceilings if rooms aren’t too tall” Henriette von Stockhausen

Paint and Paper Library Slate II – ” The perfect neutral – at once warm pebble and sandy grey, it sits beautifully next to any white” Sophie Elborne

Dulux Subtle Ivory 3 – “Our go-to off white for ceilings, cornice and woodwork” Emily Todhunter

Farrow and Ball Slipper Satin – “A gentle colour that works especially well with stone, wood and brick” Lucy Elworthy

Paper and Paints SC292 – “A white that is neither too grey nor too yellow. I use it on woodwork or to paint out a room” Susie Atkinson

Dulux Jabot – “The perfect neutral pure white, neither yellow nor blue or green, that will sit with anything” Katrin Cargill

Neptune Shell – “This is a staple for cabinetry, furniture or walls, it brings a sense of space and light to a room” Emma Sims Hilditch

Farrow and Ball Setting Plaster – “Soft and delicate.  As the name suggests, it’s similar to a freshly plastered wall” Luke Edward Hall

SOFT PAINT COLOURS (scroll sideways for gallery):

Farrow and Ball Blue Gray – “Depending on the light, this can look slightly blue-toned, creating a serene atmosphere” Emma Sims Hilditch

Zoffany Half La Seine – “Fresh and serene, this works well with indigo, soft pink and almost any pastel or bright colour” Lucy Elworthy

Cassandra Ellis Faded Blossom – “The very softest of pinks with a luminosity that always makes a room feel uplifting” Sophie Elborne

Edward Bulmer Eau de Nile – “A pretty, gentle green that works well in a room with a garden view” Emily Todhunter

Zoffany Norsk Blue – “A beautiful green-blue, it’s ideal for hallways and cosy rooms” Susie Atkinson

Edward Bulmer Jonquil – “It creates a warm, comfortable atmosphere, as well as looking wonderfully old-fashioned” Henriette von Stockhausen

Little Greene Angie – “A soft, pretty pink that can work in bedrooms as well as sitting rooms – sweet but not cloying” Katrin Cargill

Papers and Paints Pistachio – “Green is my favourite colour and this ice-cream shade is calming.  Nice for a 1930’s style bathroom” Luke Edward Hall

DARK PAINT COLOURS (scroll sideways for gallery):

Farrow & Ball Inchyra Blue – “Good colour for bookcases or a TV wall, inviting and smart” Lucy Elworthy

Farrow & Ball Studio Green – “I have this colour in my kitchen and love its depth and how it looks by candlelight” Henriette von Stockhausen

Abigail Ahern Mulberry Red – “A hypnotising berry red that is so dark, it’s almost black, perfect for a moody hallway” Sophie Elborne

Farrow & Ball Picture Gallery Red – “This is a beautiful rich red that can be used to accentuate the grandeur of a building” Emma Sims Hilditch

Papers and Paints Camo 2 – “Good for a dining room with rich woods, reds and candlelight” Katrin Cargill

Papers and Paints 4-050 – “I love a 1970’s shade of chocolate brown – I used it last year on the walls of a disco drawing room” Luke Edward Hall

Farrow & Ball Down Pipe – “This is a colour we use often, because it works with everything” Emily Todhunter

Paint and Paper Library Georgetown – “A cosy brown that looks great with oranges and reds.  It sits well with brass or gilt picture frames” Susie Atkinson

BRIGHT PAINT COLOURS (scroll sideways for gallery):

Mylands Circle Line – “A strong, but great, yellow that can give a room gravitas and it works with so many fabrics” Katrin Cargill

Paint and Paper Library Deep Water Green – “An upbeat turquoise that works in rooms that need a little oomph!” Emily Todhunter

Edward Bulmer Invisible Green (main picture) – “This looks good on skirting and doors with off-white walls” Susie Atkinson

Rose of Jericho Dark Yellow – “This gives a facelift to any room and works well with antiques, gilt frames and treacly oil portraits” Henriette von Stockhausen

Farrow and Ball Yellow Ground – “It’s warm, and particularly good with dark reds and lavender purples” Lucy Elworthy

Paper and Paints Manhattan – “This is a wonderful shade of coral.  Lovely in gloss for a hallway or for a dressing room” Luke Edward Hall

Farrow and Ball Pale Powder ‘ “The most luminous of aquamarine tones that is both subtle and enlivening” Sophie Elborne

Farrow and Ball Cook’s Blue – “A deeply pigmented colour, perfect for use in both kitchens and exterior dining areas” Emma Sims Hilditch

Click link for stockists:

Abigail Ahern

Cassandra Ellis


Edward Bulmer

Farrow and Ball

Little Greene



Paint and Paper Library

Papers and Paints

Rose of Jericho


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