Decorating Tips

Painting With Farrow & Ball

November 27, 2013

Hi everyone! Aside from rugs, I’ve been dreaming about pale gorgeous paint colors lately that let in and bounce around a ton of light. Yesterday, my Farrow & Ball order arrived and tomorrow, it will go up on some of the walls in my new place. I truly cannot wait. Here are the colors I’ve chosen for my dining room (which doubles as a teaching space when I hold classes), kitchen and our baby’s room. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with our hallway so if you have any paint suggestions I’d be tickled to learn more because it’s the one space in the new apartment that I can’t seem to envision. I have this vision of every other room except the hallway.

Okay so Dimpse (pale gray) will be the color of my dining room/teaching studio.

Painting With Farrow & Ball

Painting With Farrow & Ball

Cabbage White (greenish) will go into the nursery…

Painting With Farrow & Ball

Painting With Farrow & Ball

And Borrowed Light (blueish though it looks green below, I know) is the paint color I’m undecided on. I was going to put it in my kitchen but when I opened the can, it looked way more baby blue than gray blue so I’m frightened but I want to rebel a little anyway and just go for it! I imagine it will look great with white tiles and black accents along with our shiny white kitchen cabinets and natural wood countertops. I’ll test it tomorrow on the wall and let you know… My current kitchen is Elephant’s Breath and I love it but wanted to try something new this time.

Painting With Farrow & Ball

Now for the hallway. Here is a photo I snapped a few days ago… I plan to get a radiator cover for the heater.

Painting With Farrow & Ball

The painters told me to paint the hallway pure white, which is fine, though I wanted to wallpaper the left wall to give the hall something a bit unexpected, but they told me it will not look good and I didn’t feel like battling them because I wasn’t convinced myself. Then they suggested wallpapering one strip, painting one strip, wallpapering one strip, painting the other… So alternating between wallpaper and paint, and I stood there and thought, “What the huh!?”. No way. So only paint will go up on the walls because I don’t have time to order wallpaper since they need to paint it this weekend. I don’t think pure white is the answer here but I’m undecided… It tends to not be a very bright hallway, and I love light and joy in my home, so I’m thinking the color really needs to be uplifting, understated and give the hallway a little impact. I almost wonder if Borrowed Light should go in the hallway instead so it doesn’t go to waste if it’s not looking right in the kitchen…Or a lovely pale stone color… Hmmm.

We are installing industrial white pendants down the hallway that we already own and don’t plan to get rid of, and they’ll just disappear into the whiteness of the walls. Unless I spray paint them! The floors, by the way, will be new Acorn hardwood with a matte finish and be installed sometime in early December.

So much work, but so rewarding… I will keep sharing photos as we go along so you can follow our progress.

Hope my friends in America enjoy Turkey Day! I’ll be dreaming of being at my mom’s house for turkey and stuffing…

(photos: farrow & ball, bottom: holly becker)


  • Reply Katrin November 27, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Hi Holly,
    I know what you mean about the Borrowed Light. It took me ages to make a decision, too. I bought test tins and painted test panels and found that on a bigger surface Borrowed Light looks quite bright. I like it. So I painted my girl’s nursery floor in Borrowed Light and my boy’s in Parma Grey, which in comparison really is quite blue. Hope that helps. x

  • Reply Emma Connolly November 28, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Hi, I had the same problem with borrowed light.. It’s gorgeous but way to blue for where I wanted to use it. In the end I chose Blackened… Beautiful very pale grey with a base hint of blue, it’s a lovely sophisticated colour and gives an air of elegance! In a room with lots of natural light it can appear very pale and in a darker room the blue tones creep in a little more, either way it’s lovely.
    As for your hallway it would look good in there to but Pointing would give it a classic feel and keep it from being to cool.

    Love your blog!


  • Reply Danielle November 28, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Hi Holly,
    Why not use a very light warm yellow? It.would make the hallway bright and friendly and show it in a warm light.

    Greetings from over the Atlantic

  • Reply Lucy Chen November 28, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Happy Thanksgiving, Holly.

  • Reply Polly Rowan November 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Lovely colours! Can’t wait to see the results.

  • Reply isabelle November 28, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Hey Holly,

    here is an idea for your hallway. You could paint one side in one color and let the other side in white. (I would use different shades of the color depending on lights and shades of the hallway), the white could also be an odd one.

    I like your blog very much!

  • Reply isabelle November 28, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Oh sorry, and I forgot….. another idea for the heater (instead of covering). If you want to create some “action” in the hallway, paint the heater in an outstanding color. Maybe you like it….

    Good luck with your baby! :-)

  • Reply isabelle November 28, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Sorry, me again. Normally I don’t leave comments. But the heater would really look good in a color which is similar to corten steel. I don’t know what you are further planning for your hallway…. but this could give the hallway some kind of an industrial image. In a soft way. And then another shade of grey (maybe some grey with a touch of violet would fit to the walls, but that depends on the floor).
    But now that’s it….. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Reply ella November 28, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Hi Holly,

    I have the same problem in my hallway. We bought F&B Hague Blue because it is already a dark, small space and I thought to embrace the darkness and have a moody area. In the end we kept it white, mostly because the hallway has no crown molding and I really don’t like painted walls hitting the ceiling without crown molding.
    We found a place that sells the styrofoam molding at reasonable prices and with lovely molds. We haven’t gone through with it yet as we’re not sure how long we’ll stay in this apartment, but just thought I may suggest it. Once it’s painted white you truly cannot tell the difference from it and plaster, especially not on the ceiling, and it really finishes a room.
    In my opinion, I would stick to paint. Because your walls are not one long, even surface, a patterened wallpaper may appear a bit strange. Though I think the suggestion of every other wall in wallpaper by the painters is perhaps even stranger!

    Best of luck from Berlin and can’t wait to see the results,

  • Reply Margarita O'Sullivan November 28, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Hi Holly,

    It looks like an spacious hallway with beautiful doors and woodwork. I would keep the look neutral perhaps playing with different tones of white, painting the door frames in Blackened in an eggshell finish for a sophisticated glow, and the walls in Pointing, and above the radiator I’d place a large size painting to create a focal point that would complement the contemporary element of the industrial lighting and the perfect background for the luminaire.

    Best of luck with your choice, and whatever you choose, remember, it can be changed if you don’t like it in the end.


  • Reply Mari November 28, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Holly
    regarding your hallway: what you have to keep in mind is that when your little baby starts walking the tiny fingers will be everywhere and the hallway is this one particular place where you’ll change your kid after being on the playground – mudand all kinds of dirt on your sweet one – and the chances that something of that finds its way on your wall is quite likely which is why I suggest colored plexiglass. I know, a bit out there but maybe one nedds to think outside the box. You let it cut to H100 and when you attach it to the wall, you can either have spotlights behind it and thus create a cosy atmosphere or you put shelves on top of the glass on which you put all of your framed pictures, so it’s like as if you were in a gallery or something. and the good part is that you can always clean it. What do you think?

  • Reply Lisa Barton November 28, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Personally I love white all over the house! Although I have 4 young girls so not always the practical choice ;) how about keeping your hallway white but adding your splashes of colour through large pieces of artwork/canvases? Then you could change them up to your hearts content to create different moods as the seasons progress :) looking forward to seeing the end result!

  • Reply Rusty Angel November 28, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    I’d paint the hallway a very light pinkish colour and then find a matching wallpaper for a heater wall: either dark green with birds or more saturated pink with flowers (maybe sometnig Asian-inspired?).

    • Reply decor8 November 28, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      My husband also suggested wallpapering only the heater wall… I’ve had my eye on farrow & ball pink ground for the entry but maybe I could continue it down the hallway… Hmmmm has my wheels turning now!!!

  • Reply Sujatha November 29, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Loving the photo frames

  • Reply Andrea November 30, 2013 at 3:40 am

    Speaking of “borrowed light”, why don’t you actually borrow some light? I am sure some light furniture/ light reflective opaque surfaces and the odd mirror, large small or collection of all the above will help bounce some light in an around, and selectively placing reflective/light things in other rooms to bounce some light through to the hall?

    Just a thought, which you probably already had right!! ;)

  • Reply Andrea November 30, 2013 at 3:43 am


    Funny, I just had the same thought, that return there is perfect for a really lovely paper section. Something quite patterned and bold, especially if you can get a shelf/mantle style cover over the heizung.

  • Reply Martha December 2, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Hi Holly
    Maybe your hallway is now already decorated but just in case it’s useful – we painted all three floors of our hallway – including cornice, skirting and doors – in F&B’s Strong White. A sample of on its own looked grey but when painted throughout it became the softest, most tranquil shade of white, simple but not startling in the way that pure white sometimes can be. Mx

  • Reply Jules December 4, 2013 at 3:16 am

    Embrace your dark side. My hallway doesn’t get alot of light and I originally painted it cream….but with 3 boys that was a mistake!!! I recently repainted in a dark grey (Guild Grey from Dulux…. I’m in Australia so not sure what brands you get over there) Anyway by painting the walls dark and the trims and doors in bright glossy white it has really transformed the space. The walls recede and the hall looks bigger. The white makes the grey really ‘pop’ and I don’t have to scrub the fingerprints and ball marks off the walls anymore!!! I have brightened up 1 section with childrens artwork hanging from an IKEA curtain track and another area with black & white photos on a photo rail. These 2 things are great, as they make it easy to change the display as often as you like.


  • Reply V December 6, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Hi there!

    Maybe it is too late for this comment, but especially with baby on its way you should consider eco-paint? The smell and chemicals from paint can be hazzardous- Unless you haven’t moved in yet and you can air the place properly- but still. I used earthborn fresh air in our living room and I am very impressed

    • Reply decor8 December 6, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      hello v! Don’t worry, paint in Germany is already non toxic, they have strict guidelines here… Plus we won’t move in until January so the house will have 5 weeks after the paint is finished to air out with open windows day and night. By the time we move in, it should be just fine. We also are keeping the floors matte, not staining them, just natural oil, and the crib and all textiles and the bookcase are all Eco. Also most of his clothing, so we’re being safe but also balanced. When I was born, my mother painted my nursery a few days before I was born with OIL based paint! Can you imagine? She also used oil paints in the house on her canvas for paintings…. But I’m fine and have good health. I wouldn’t do anything silly like that, but I often think people have become a little too worried over everything these days and it’s not really that great, you know? Like I was in the hospital and I’m pregnant and they served me caffeinated coffee, soft cheese and lunch meats to eat! The only thing missing was sushi and alcohol! Ha ha! And that was in a labor ward…. I haven’t touched caffeine since I found out I was pregnant – not a drop, and I immediately stopped eating soft cheese and prosciutto… My point is I often wonder if some things are as harmful as claimed or if there is just big money and big business promoting how much we all need to be more safe…

  • Reply Georg July 11, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Its looking really, really nice! Wonderful colors and interieur!

  • Reply luzie November 8, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Yes, really nice :-)

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