Friday, March 15, 2019

"Farrow & Ball paints cost about a hundred and ten dollars per gallon"

New Yorker:
The company is known for the originality of its names, which are cunningly vivid even for its most bleary shades: Elephant’s Breath, which might otherwise be described as taupe, far outsells less excitingly named grays. Farrow & Ball often draws inspiration from the natural world. Dead Salmon is a dark pinkish brown. Mizzle, a gray-green, gets its name from a colloquialism for that familiar British weather condition halfway between mist and drizzle. A favored Farrow & Ball trick is to take a simple word and translate it into French: a shade of brown that reminded the design team of a pair of pants became Pantalon, and a crisp white is named Chemise. A musty blue is De Nimes, after the French city that invented denim. Some names are proudly perverse: one off-white shade is called Blackened.


When David Cameron, the Conservative former Prime Minister who led Britain into the fateful Brexit referendum, installed in his garden a shed in which to write his memoirs, its exterior was painted with a Farrow & Ball shade called Mouse’s Back. The Guardian, noting that the shed had cost some thirty thousand dollars, mockingly described the color as “an affluent hue.”


For a while, she kept getting commissioned by young women married to Premier League football players. These clients were insecure about which colors to paint their wine cellars, screening rooms, and private hair salons. “It is really just nurturing them through it—saying, ‘Listen, you can do that,’ ” Studholme told me. Soccer wives, she discovered, often want to paint a room completely black.