Shock and Awe

I can give or take orange most days. I know, there are folks who are devoted followers and I like it just fine. In fact, there’s not a color I really don’t like except purple. Orange seems to scream for attention in a way regal red does not. “Look at me! Look at me!” waving its arms and jumping up and down. Or maybe it’s the heavy association with Halloween, a holiday which I’ve grown to fiercely abhor. Still, when this clipping of Charlotte’s Locks from Farrow & Ball slid from the envelope into my hand, well, I crushed. It’s rich, it’s bright, it’s bouncy. Orange you glad they did? (Couldn’t help it.)

Oh. And the purple I don’t really like? Well, it’s not these purples. Not these smoky, complex purples that might be right for reading poetry on a quiet day. Brassica, top, from the “family of vegetables” (do get back to me on that as I will forget to google it) and Calluna, its paler, breathier cousin, are both new colors from Farrow & Ball as well. There are six others, but I won’t spoil your fun – click here to see the rest when the collection is launched.

Why is she posting about paint? What happened to the white wall wonderland?
In my own F&B news, I sent off for a few pots of samples myself. Yes, yes, I know, I said white. And I meant it. Butmaybenoteveryroom. I think I told you that I painted the boys’ rooms. In addition, Mr. Blandings’s study is a tiny room. A dark room. Hardly a room at all, in fact, it’s smaller than a Manhattan socialite’s closet. So, light to make it bigger? Nonsense. Dark, dark green to make it better.

Walls, ceiling and trim. Most likely Calke, though Card Room has a fan.
“I put up paint samples today, what do you think?” “I like the lighter.” “Oh?” “You don’t.” “I didn’t say that. But I think with a little time you might find you like the darker.”
Don’t worry about Mr. Blandings. He knows better. He’s used to me.
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24 thoughts on “Shock and Awe

  1. Hehehe,

    A new home, a new hue 😉
    Embrace change, take the plunge into deeper, darker depths.
    Cheers, Alcira

  2. Brassica is a fancy name for the mustard family–everything from cabbage and kale to broccoli and cauliflower to mustard greens and arugula. I guess certain red kales might have that smoky lavender in them.

    My daughter's dear piano teacher taught her students in a small octagonal room (empty except for the piano) painted a color very like that orange. I always thought it was brilliant, and the children loved going there.

  3. Mmm orange. For years I thought the only thing it looked good on was early 70s Corvettes, now I seem to like it most anywhere.

    And Card Room Green has another fan, at least from the looks of it on my screen.

  4. Oh yes, and I do like the Caulk and the Brassica!

    I can see the wheels spinning all the time!

    Art by Karena

  5. Oh, those Farrow and Ball colors—one can see into them for days.

    I'm not very good at learning life lessons, but it was a real epiphany the day I learned to paint small dark rooms in rich colors—or, as the late Mark Hampton said, if you want to make a room brighter, turn on a lamp. You go girl. I await hte next installment

  6. Yay! Love color ….you have a great eye- the colors in your old house were great. I know you will make this house equally beautiful.

  7. I use a lot of Farrow and Ball. I have used Card Room in a media room – painting it over Calke Green which was not as soothing. Slightly too green. And by the way my sofa is the same orange as Charlotte's Locks, soft yet lively. The room is painted Pavilion Gray.
    Love you blog!!!!Who doesn't? merci.

  8. Like Calke, love Card Room, hate purple too. I have always told my mother, purple is for babies and clowns and grown -ups should never own it, yet she seems to wear only purple.

  9. I adore Card Room Green. I couple of years ago one of the shelter mags I take (I can't remember if it was Veranda, House Beautiful, or Traditional Home) featured a library in it that almost had a lacquered look. It was to die for! M.

  10. Love small dark rooms! Will you have to order F&B by the gallons? Wish we had retail and not to trade only. DRATS!

  11. I have pots of F&B whites and grays to play with over the next few weeks. Don't you love buying their samples? Can't wait to see the photos.

  12. Oh Mrs B, what a great relief it is to find that you're considering a deviation from white walls. I chose to
    remain politely silent when previous posts extolled the virtues of white rooms, since every white room illustrated seemed to be lofty or vast or paneled~in other words architecturally distinguished. But in a modest house, white walls are just plain bleak. The
    pale greyish purples of Farrow/Ball might be a refreshing neutral background, certainly more interesting than White. Calke green is a superb
    green but needs a very big room and I would draw the line at having it or any other rich tone advancing across the ceiling! But the big question remains:
    will the Le Lac curtains be used again and if so, where?

  13. I thoroughly agree that at a certain point you have to accept that you have a tiny room, stop trying to hide it, and embrace it.
    I had also have an office that is hardly a room, plus it was cold due to bad heating. BUT there was a big window and I fell in love with some F&B wallpaper in Red Earth so despite my husband's worries, I covered the room with that paper. Then, because the room was so small and I couldn't figure out a better way, I painted all the trim to match. It made the room feel so cozy! Definitely took the room from 'storage closet' to 'star!' I can't wait to see how the green works out.

  14. Alcira – we will see what evolves now that everyone is back to work and back to school.

    Anon – the thought of an octagonal room in just about any color is intoxicating.

    David – it appears you may both be right.

    Karena, Down East and Linda – it will be slow going for sure.

    JADH – taking your words to heart – bigger swatches on the way.

    Emily – I imagine it would be fabulous in your hands.

    Kerry – one more for Card Room, I see…

    Musings – thank you so much for the link – it is making me rethink the ceiling.

    Anon – done.

    HBD – you know, we did for a short time – there was a faux painting place in the industrial area off of 35 at @ 87th – a brief life. Tragic, but sweet.

    Anon – love playing with them

    Toby – living room – awaiting hardware.

    Nicole – your space sounds wonderful – I've always been a chicken about painting trim any color other than white.

  15. Totally with you on painting the small room dark – and of course ADORE Farrow and Ball. In my last house, I painted the cubby room (it was every mother's favorite room – along with the pantry) Lichen and Fawn – it was fabulous. But any of these would be lovely. And did I not mention the orange – I was already a fan, and now I need to find a room to use it in!!

  16. My two cents would be Calke, esp. if you're keeping the golden yellows/Le Lac from your old LR and the study is nearby. But then again my monitor shows those new F&B purples as being really grey, so what do I know. There's a nice Donald Kaufman green (no. 23) that might be worth a look. So much depends upon your light, though.

    RIP, Mr. White? Liked all the white, I still like white, but who can resist color in a new house? As long as the color flows, why not? I suppose a lot of people shy away from color because of those surprise-we're-changing-the-color- theme! assaults — dark jewel tones, say, followed by a pink sherbert study.

    In defense of purple, it's really not so bad as long as it's a good quality paint. That vinyl-y coated plastic looking stuff (in any color, actually) from the hardware store is way different from a Pelt or a Brinjal.

  17. F&B is by far the finest paint for interiors. Sample pots make chosing fun. The colors have wonderful "feel" just looking at them.

  18. You know, it's funny, but my husband says the same thing anytime he's given a choice between two shades of a similar color. "I like the lighter one." Though I think that might be a leftover knee-jerk reaction to my first round of paint in the house (torquoise in the living room, brick red dining room, and bright fuschia in a bath and a bedroom!)Even though each of those rooms has been traded in for a shade of grey, cream, or pastel, I think he was scarred… : )
    – Meg

  19. Oh dear – could have sworn I left you a comment yesterday. Well I just wanted to say that I LOVE the orange and think any of the greens would be lovely for the den. I used the lichen in combination with fawn for my mud room in last house and it was fabulous! Looking forward to seeing your results!

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