IT’s just too gorgeous! The most brilliant and quintessentially British paint brand, much mocked for its high price point and many shades of grey, has been sold to a Danish company. Farrow & Ball belongs to Denmark following the sale to Hempel. And how we welcome it! Scandinavia been the spiritual home of Farrow & Ball all along…
Launched in Dorset, south west England, in 1946 by John Farrow and Richard Ball, the brand specialises in colours and shades that match historic buildings. In fact, it began by producing paints for restoration project on stately homes in England. Since then, it has become famous for colour codes such as Elephant’s Breath – mid grey with hints of magenta.
The pastel and neutral colours of Farrow & Ball
Despite the provocative colour names, Farrow & Ball became the go-to brand for design conscious, British upper and middle classes wishing to give their houses and city apartments a touch of grandeur.
Rather, we’d like to think: to give it a touch of class. The calm, dreamy – and yes, many neutral – colours and shades are just what we want to see when returning home from a long day at the office. They complement the rest: the furniture, the flowers and paintings. In fact, they set the tone…seen and not heard! That’s how we like our interior design to be.
Now the company is in the hands of Danish paint and coatings manufacturer Hempel. Price tag? Said to be around £500 million or $600m. And it will be very interesting to see what the Scandis can do with a paint brand of such……Britishness. We’re famous for our white walls, but perhaps that is about to change….
Farrow & Ball, hyped and overprice?
But we have great expectations. From personal experience with F&B here at DU, we know the quality is tip top – rolling the paint onto the wall feels quite different to painting with another brand. It’s smoother, behaves differently (better, more evenly) than some other household brand. Some call it hype and overpriced, such as eccentric design gury Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen in the Daily Mail. But we say it’s worth the price, which is why we are happy to say Farrow & Ball belongs to Denmark.
And the beautiful, subtle shades of almost any colour (they have well over 100) fit neatly in to the Scandi aesthetic. We can’t wait to see what plans the Scandis have for this very British brand.