There have been some requests to go over the new Farrow and Ball paint colors 2020. Actually, I believe they came out in 2019, but they are still new.
These colors, Farrow & Ball, say they were inspired by nature in a collaboration with the Natural History Museum in London.
If that name sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve frequently featured the museum in my December holiday posts with their charming ice skating rink. You can see the Natural History Museum here.
And you can also see the museum in this Christmas post.
And, like the very popular post where I take the main Farrow and Ball colors and match them to Benjamin Moore, I am also doing the same thing with these 16 new Color (or Colour) By Nature colors.
In addition, I’ll also be doing a mini-review of each color. Some of them I think are wonderful.
And, some, not so much. At least for a wall color.
Or, at least, not for most of us, in the US
Below are the new Color By Nature Colors
Each color will have an associated image.
Please note, that the wall color in the image may or may not actually be the one I’m saying it is. I have tried to make it look like the color. And, I will also post the corresponding Benjamin Moore colors. However, there won’t be images of all of the Benjamin Moore colors. But, there will be, if I have a point to make.
Yesterday, I went on a long walk to a neighboring town and went to a store that sells Farrow & Ball.
The clerk in the store was very nice and gave me both the new sample card for the Natural History colors.
And, he gave me a fresh card for the regular Farrow & Ball collection colors 2020.
As a means of saying thanks, I told him that I would put a link to the store on my blog. He gave me a “thank you, that’s nice, sweetie” look. Not that I expected him to bend down and kiss my feet or anything like that. haha It’s just that some of you think I’m famous. Nope.
On the Farrow & Ball colors 2020 color card, they state the inspiration for the color via animal, vegetable, and mineral.
Although, some colors are inspired only by one or two of the above.
And, the first color is:
This is a very pretty off-white which is close to Benjamin Moore TIMID WHITE oc-39. It’s also very close to both IVORY WHITE and ACADIA WHITE. You might recall from previous posts about the best white paint colors that IW and AW are the same color.
This is another lovely color with an interesting name. And, it was not easy to match. The closest I found is PHILADELPHIA CREAM hc-30. However, I have two different fan decks with Philly Cream, and one looked a little closer than the other. But, it is a very good match, I think.
SKIMMED MILK WHITE
On the Farrow & Ball website, they really botched this color and the one below. Both are actually a gray-green. Skimmed Milk White is a lighter gray-green. It is close to Benjamin Moore MOON SHADOW 1516.
As I said above, it’s a light gray-green. The corresponding color is Benjamin Moore TREE MOSS 508.
Okay, since when is broccoli brown? I mean, admittedly, I’ve had broccoli in my fridge that has gone brown. And, that means it’s time to throw it out. Right? In addition, I could not discern any green in the color. If anything, I would say that it’s slightly taupe. However, the color samples on the card are roughly 5/8″ square. So, just a little extra challenge.
One color that looks very close is RUSTIC TAUPE 999.
However, just as good for my money is KINGSPORT GRAY hc-86. Kingsport was on the shortlist for the Laurel Home Paint Collection, but there are other similar colors I wanted to include. So, it didn’t make the final cut. However, it’s a very handsome color.
Or, sometimes known as Gymsuit Circa 1968 Blue.
Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s a fine color. But, like most Farrow & Ball shades of blue, it’s very difficult to get an exact match.
However, Benjamin Moore Nile Blue csp-560 is quite close.
This was another difficult color to match. However, I found one that’s close enough in the Color Stories fan deck.
That color is called APPROACHING STORM csp-535. It is reminiscent of Benjamin Moore’s color of the year from 2017 – SHADOW. You can see Shadow here.
And, you can see Shadow here, too.
I don’t normally associate Scotland with blue but I’m sure that’s just my ignorance. And, I just learned that this is the color of the throat of a blue titmouse.
However, we aren’t allowed to say “titmouse” in the new world.
I probably spent a good hour obsessing about this one.
Seriously, Goldilocks has nothing on me! You know. This one’s too green, too gray, too saturated… And, well. In the end, I went with a classic – HALE NAVY hc-154. It is very close, but just a hair warmer than Scotch Blue. It’ll do. Hale Navy is a fine color.
Okay, this is what Farrow & Ball’s emerald green looks like.
It is close to Benjamin Moore AURORA BOREALIS 565.
However, I am not fond of this green for a wall color. It’s just a little too intense for my taste.
But, I am quite fond of the 566 which is the next one down on the fan deck. And, it’s also a Laurel Home Collection color, BUNKER HILL GREEN.
Here you can see Bunker Hill Green in a post about a child who picked a horrid paint color. And, you’ll also learn how I recommend handling that if you have young children.
Farrow & Ball has some lovely greens in their collection. And, they claim that this was inspired by copper oxidating into green. Really? Well, I don’t think so; this deeply saturated green does not look like copper in any form.
That’s better. I don’t know what shade of green their copper is, but I would probably avoid that one in large doses.
This lovely green is closest to Benjamin Moore TIMSON GREEN CW-470. A lovely olive, but not too olive green. You might enjoy this post about a beautiful 16 color whole house spring color palette.
This looks closest to Benjamin Moore COLONIAL VERDIGRIS CW-530. That is another Laurel Home Paint Collection colors. So, of course, I love it. Also, I used it on the above mood board in this recent blog post about an open concept home with gray walls.
It’s pretty bright. It might be okay for some spaces. The closest Benjamin Moore Color is BRILLIANT AMBER 161.
I’m confused. Since when are lakes red? Anyway, I would call this one Bright FUSCHIA.
The closest match if you like this color is Benjamin Moore ANILINE RED.(above) It’s not exactly easy-on-the-eyes, is it?
However, I prefer the color below, I used many years ago. It’s a soft red with just the right amount of blue in it.
MEDITERRANEAN SPICE 1337
Here it is on a board from the Palette portion of the Laurel Home Paint and Palette Collection.
You know, I nearly forgot this one. And, I think I know why.
It just plain sucks. At least for us Americans.
And, please forgive me, but that is NOT crimson. It’s not even red. They are lying. Can they not plainly see that it’s mauve? Americans feel about mauve the way we feel about marmite.
It’s an assault to our senses. Yes, I’m making a sweeping generalization. And, I’m totally fine if it’s your favorite color. You’re clearly an Anglophile. I am too, but not when it comes to mauve in large doses. Small amounts of it mixed with a lot of other reds is fine. Or, as an accent along with chartreuse. But, alone and on all four big walls? And, oh God! Why did they pair it with blue?
Anyway, this is crimson, a deep saturated red. Thank you for humoring me. I feel better now.
And, the last color from the Farrow & Ball Colors 2020 – inspired by the Natural History Museum is:
DEEP REDDISH BROWN
I’m struggling with this color, as well. It’s not quite Aubergine (eggplant).
And, it’s not brown, either.
But, F&B says that it’s like the dead leaves of green panic grass.
I dunno. Call me crazy, but is it good marketing to call your product dead anything?
I guess it’s better than dead fish. (Dead Salmon) Or, dried blood. Remember that hot barfy mess?
However, if you like this color, the closest I found is BEAUJOLAIS 1259. It’s a hair brighter.
I prefer a true Aubergine like Benjamin Moore CAPONATA af-650. This color is stunning in high gloss.
please pin to Pinterest for reference
So, what do you think of this new collection of Farrow & Ball Colors 2020?
Please note that I do like or even love most of the colors. And, I also love Farrow & Ball. I would always recommend first going to that company for their colors. Their product is beautiful. However, not everyone can afford that premium paint. It is at least double the price of Benjamin Moore, I believe.
As always, please test your paint colors!
I made my matches based on tiny samples. And, colors, as we know, can change quite a bit once on the wall.
I hope that this was helpful.
Oh, I hope you didn’t miss my San Francisco post. If you did, just click the link. It’s gorgeous, and I worked hard on it. (not trying to make you feel guilty. haha).
But, I have one more.
Only, this isn’t San Fran! I took it yesterday, in Bronxville on my way to the paint store. Yes, for you locals, I walked up Sagamore to Tuckahoe, which can rival any hill in SF. Well, almost. And, it was dry and 70 degrees too! So mild for March 9th!
Well, that’s all for now.
Oh, and please don’t forget to check out the HOT SALES!
Serena and Lily are now giving 20% off of EVERYTHING. The promo code is on the hot sales page.
by Laurel Bern
Lake Red refers to the process of “laking” color to create the right pigment for paint. It’s a historic nod, as are all the other names for these colors. I quite enjoyed researching the name meanings, because of how much I learned about paint color creation from centuries ago.
I won’t spoil the fun of anyone else researching, but The Secret Lives of Colors is one interesting book for such hunts, if you haven’t picked it up already.
Great Jeopardy question. “I’ll take paints & pigments for $500, Alex.” :]
Hi Laurel, I am a little late to the discussion but wanted to comment on the color mauve. It actually evokes a sense of foreboding for me to the point that on a not so good day I could burst into tears.
I love aubergine when it is really like the color of an eggplant, not a lot of brown in it. I have 2 leather chairs in aubergine and love them as they pair so greatly with almost every color I have. They are dark enough that it may be black but the depth of the color is far more interesting.
I like mauve! (Maw-ve) I was my childhood bedroom color. Good luck where you are! Saw new Rochelle on the news, with the circle right there next to Bronxville & Tuckahoe.
Thanks! You’ve just made me feel so much better about pinning away for the fabulous, intense depth of color that I believed was in FB paint. Change happens. I’m so glad that you posted your review.
Love your blog, here in the UK Benjamin Moore is insanely expensive, $117 for a gallon, regular wall paint. But it is a much superior paint to F&B, coverage is miles better and professional decorators seem to prefer it. For that reason I will suck it up, have found your blog an invaluable resource.
The Scotch Blue feels cold. The mauve is the ugliest, muddiest shade of mauve I’ve ever seen. The fuchsia is odd for a living room, too. I can see taking a room that has a LOT of white and wall moldings and painting just the wall part that bright pink, and leaving the moldings white. Though I don’t think I’d ever do it. Loved your gym shorts 1968 comment! I laughed and laughed, remembering my mother wearing just that color gym shorts in some school pictures.
I was wondering, though, Laurel. I’ve seen some designers on television, and each one seems to start a room in a different way. Sarah Richardson begins nearly always with a fabric, but some start with a rug or a painting. What do you start with?
Thanks for the trip to San Fran last week. I’ve always wanted to go and was considering June. We won’t be crossing borders until the virus scare is over though, so at least I had a virtual visit.
As for the F&B colours…definitely underwhelmed. But how many colours can a company invent? Aren’t there enough paint colours in the world? Lol.
I howled with laughter at 1968 gym shorts. Brought back the memory of borrowing my friend’s (identical to that blue) gym shorts and got detention for it. Such were the tragedies of senior year in ’68…
And I agree that mauve is horrid. Especially since most people say “mawwvwe” instead of (a
u is pronounced long O) Mooove. I wish you would clear that up for people (in a snarky way that people will remember.) A service to mankind… Or wannabe decorators everywhere.
We have people all over the house working in my dressing room, bedroom, etc. and I had just given my beloved contractor the ceiling color for the dressing room. “Razzle Dazzle” two colors away from aniline red. The aniline looks so pretty on my screen. Thanks for cracking the F and B code!
Luarel- Thanks for this! I’m a huge fan of F&B paints. We have a family room painted Hague Blue; do you think the Duck Green would work on a floor to ceiling bookcase here? I don’t want to do white since most of the books are vintage…
While some of the names that are chosen for certain colors are quite clever, imaginative, and make sense, others make no sense at all to me, and I often wonder who has a say-so in naming colors. But I think it’s the same no matter whether the color is for paint on a wall, a car, a nail polish, a cosmetic color, or anything. Shakespeare was right. A rose by any other name… You really can’t pay attention to the name. The color speaks for itself.
Much though I love F&B, I sense that the verb is soon going to be in the past tense. What is unfortunate is that F&B keep to a limited range of colours, and so delete older ones to make room for the new. You can still get the older colours to order, but that means buying a large can, even though you might need a lot less.
I also had problems with the last can I bought — the paint refused to dry properly, apparently a frequent problem with the Estate Eggshell to judge from comments by professional painters I’ve seen. It’s the first time I’ve ever had a problem.
I’m afraid the company is going downhill on the novelty bandwagon, ever since it got sold to a private equity fund in 2014, although the trend to aggressive marketing after the arrival of a corporate financier in the 1990s may have sown the seeds of the rot which has recently become visible.
And I’ve never thought highly of F&B’s blue colours!
Hi Laurel –
I like Gymsuit Circa 1968 Blue! It looks gorgeous with the wood trim. But what I’d really like is your Mediterranean Spice Living Room, delivered ASAP. oh, that room would so make my life perfect! 😉 What do you think of that room painted Scotch Blue? I guess you’ve made it in the decorating world when you can tape up prints of pinapples with blue painter’s tape, and call it done. I’m not there, yet. 😉
Sorry Laurel, but I love mauve. I wouldn’t paint it on all four walls, but I love my mauve velvet recliner and I also use it in some patterned curtains & flowers.
Laurel…did I miss it or is there no BM match to Verdegris Green?
I love your Farrow and ball posts, and I come back to them over and over. Thanks for the wonderful work!
Laurel…thank you so much for writing this post. I do not live near a F&B store so this post is very helpful to me. I have their color cards and realize how complex the colors are and difficult to match. Thank you for being so kind and attentive to our requests.
Yeah, I really didn’t like this new collection from F&B. Not that your post isn’t great, I just find many of the new colors completely inapplicable. And I’m totally a color girl and LOVE F&B colors as a rule. Glad you enjoyed SF!
P.S. love your blog, and all the work you do!
“Lake” is a type of pigment used in paint used by renaissance painters. Rose madder is a lake.
So interesting to see the new F&B colors! A long time ago you recommended the Manhattan Next blog, which I’ve been enjoying ever since (so thank you), and in one post Daniel at MH used a gizmo to match colors around New Orleans to Benjamin Moore colors. I think he just pointed it at a wall or whatever and it magically gave the name of the paint. It might not work on small paint chip size samples, but I’m wondering if you know anything about it….? Also, I’m never going near F&B’s Crimson Red. What were they thinking??? Finally, I just painted our powder room using one of your recommended orange colors and it looks terrific – thank you!
Oh yeah Laurel,
I often wonder if the people responsible for choosing color names are actually color blind or just high
That dreadful gym suit, dear goddess, I wore for six years with my name In huge letters across the back…
I don’t think they still torture children in the same manner
Thank you, Susan
Thanks for doing all the legwork, and putting out the new list. F&B definitely have some interesting names for their colo(u)rs.
Scotland’s flag is blue and white, though not as dark as Scotch Blue. Maybe they were referring to the lochs? Generally the Scots take mild offense at being called Scotch – that’s their whisky, but they themselves prefer Scottish.