International paint and wallpaper purveyor Farrow & Ball shuffled its fan deck yesterday, which probably isn’t news in too many quarters but in Toronto, home to Canada’s only F&B outlet, the story is noteworthy if only because it points to home decor trends over the next half decade, or so. Every few years F&B culls under-performing colours and introduces new ones. Some of my favorites have fallen by the wayside — Dauphin, Biscuit and Ointment Pink, RIP — while recent intros, like Pelt (a dark purple), have caught on. In fact, if I can divine a trend from F&B’s new selection, it’s the continued ascendance of mauves and grays in home decoration.
New colours Calluna (a pale, pale violet) and Brassica (a grayish plumb) round out the purple selection but even the new Dove Tale (a soft gray) seems to have some lavendar in it, at least to my eye. The gray palette further expands with the addition of Manor House Gray, a cool, medium tone, and Plummett, a stepped-down version of the gun-metal Down Pipe, which I’ve used to great effect.
In keeping with Farrow & Ball tradition there are some wacky new names like Mizzle (a light, blue gray) and Cabbage White (a super-pale blue, named after the butterfly not the vegetable); but the colour that’s attracting the most attention is Charlotte’s Locks, a vivid, firey orange.
F&B paint continues to be thick and rich and expensive, clocking in at $80 per gallon for the standard flat finish, Estate Emulsion. I’ve never been disappointed with F&B and I have no problem with the fact that the palette is limited (just 132 colours) — in some ways it’s a relief not to be confronted by the entire rainbow.
It’s also worth noting that any now-discontinued colours can still be ordered, they’re just not part of the regular stock, which is good to know because I’m pretty sure there will be another Daupin room in my future, maybe even a Biscuit.