Mylands of London

As Smart As Paint

17th January 2014

This is the time of year when paint manufacturers traditionally reveal their new colours, hoping to tempt us with the promise of new beginnings. Grace Fuller touched base with Mylands of London and Farrow & Ball to check out their latest shades and their predictions for the coming season’s trends.

Colour is set to make a real statement this spring according to Mylands – think simple schemes but seriously big impact. Shades are fresh and warm; you could even describe them as happy, and they’ll certainly make you so. Reminiscent of the season itself and all it represents, they are clean and uplifting, bold yet quietly unassuming. Your paint shade or shades should work with your interior schemes, not dominate them.

For this reason, neither of these two heritage brands is eschewing neutrals this spring. Mylands have some new soft stone and sand colours with warm yellow undertones – Sloane Square, Parliament and the particularly lovely Rose Theatre – that you can team with crisp whites for a modern, clean look or use on their own for the ultimate in understated style.

Walls: Purbeck Stone, Farrow & Ball

Farrow & Ball have leaned towards the neutrals in their 2014 predictions ( Purbeck Stone and Mole’s Breath, for example), suggesting that the colours we will want to use in our homes over the next year will reflect our instinctive need to turn our backs on the hard flat surfaces which dominate modern life. Their aim in the Purbeck Stone-inspired scheme, for example, is to promote simple, calm, easy living. This strong neutral is neither too grey to be edgy, nor too creamy to feel out of date; combined with lighter shades such as Ammonite and Cornforth White, it creates an interior that could come straight from the very fibre of the natural world.

Mole’s Breath is a strong drab, ideal for softening even the most contemporary of architectural settings and looking great alongside glass and steel. And a top tip: Mole’s Breath is mesmerising on walls and woodwork, paired with Shaded White on ceilings, creating the most beautiful play of shadow and light.

Walls: Stiffkey Blue, Farrow & Ball

For the blue palette, think ‘cobalt meets navy with a touch of royal’, say Mylands, of Burlington Arcade and Eaton Square. These inky, sumptuous shades have an almost regal feel, and offer an interesting alternative to grey or black, both indoors and outside. Farrow & Ball have also launched a new blue for 2014: Stiffkey Blue. Reminiscent of the extraordinary colour of the mud found on a beach in Norfolk, it perfectly encapsulates the natural trend. Its rich strength delivers a fashionable dramatic interior, contemporary and relaxed, and thus perfect for use in both urban and country settings. Farrow & Ball suggest using it ‘in isolation in small spaces, with Hardwick White on the ceilings to create a moody feel that reminds us of slightly brooding, squally seas and skies’ – highly appropriate to the Norfolk coast that is its inspiration. It can also, though, be used in a more lighthearted fashion – on a feature wall, say, combined with Light Blue or Setting Plaster. These beautifully easy colours feel faded and natural: the perfect antidote to the intensity of Stiffkey Blue.

Walls: French Green, Mylands of London

Naturals underpin Mylands’ new pink and lilac hues, too. Palmerston Pink, Early Lavender and Greystone are soft and pretty shades that help to soothe and relax, just like the herb; Bloomsbury is darker but smooth and subtle. With an underlying warmth, they are exceptionally versatile and can be used throughout the home in almost any situation, as can the green palette. Mylands recommend these clean, airy shades particularly for kitchens and bathrooms, but show them off to great effect in a drawing room setting too.

Despite the trend towards the natural and neutral, both brands continue to have bright and bold and definitely-not-for-the-faint-hearted colours in their ranges, to let you add real drama to a scheme. Be brave: use exclusively for a rich, jewel-like feel or as an accent or feature colour to lift a scheme. If it doesn’t work out, a new theme is only a brush stroke away. That is, after all, the beauty of paint: one of the quickest and easiest ways, arguably the most cost effective way, of freshening up interior spaces.

for more information & colour charts, see and

Find Your Local