Color / Design Ideas

Coordinating Paint Colors for Farrow & Ball Elephant’s Breath

If you’re tempted to try the classic neutral paint color Farrow & Ball Elephant’s Breath, let me suggest these coordinating paint colors.

Farrow & Ball was started in 1946 in Dorset England by John Farrow and Richard Ball. The company is known for it’s age-old recipes  and richly pigmented colors which echo England’s historic interiors.

Farrow & Ball colors are mostly historic and occasionally playful. If you’re looking for that perfect sexy neutral shade that just screams class start here. Can you dupe the colors to be made up in other – cheaper – paint brands? Yes you can but you’ll be disappointed in the results. There’s no way to duplicate the intense pigmentation and low VOC water base formula that makes F&B unique. 

Launched in 2005, Elephant’s Breath No 229 redefined gray for interiors. Although technically not a true gray, it nevertheless gave the industrial hue a much needed makeover. To be honest it’s more of a greige, that happy marriage of gray and beige which can be so versatile when used in the right proportions. 

Yes I agree greige can be boring! 

But now we’re staying home a lot more, we’ve decided that actually soft cozy shades are much easier to live with so greige is having a bit of a renaissance. 

Especially warm fuzzy shades like Elephant’s Breath which are so chameleonic and versatile. Not only do they play well with most other warm colors but they work brilliantly with wood tones as well.

The trick to keeping this elegant greige from being boring is use it boldly.  Let’s see how it works with these architectural styles, shall we?

1. Country Cottage Style

  • Elephants Breath No. 229 : cabinets, wainscoting, moldings, doors, 
  • Skimming Stone No. 241 : walls
  • Wimbourne White No. 239: Cabinet interiors, window trim, ceiling, above wainscote
  • ACCENT Yeabridge Green No. 287: Lower cabinets, Welsh dresser, scullery, bathroom 

For a classic country cottage vibe let’s pick Skimming Stone a color close in shade to Elephant’s Breath. Choosing two colors of similar intensity creates a soothing monochromatic palette for a kitchen. Whether it’s a traditional kitchen or open plan, EB on the cabinets and Skimming Stone on the walls will make that white or cream apron sink feel right at home. 

Lighten EB with a warm white, such as FB Wimborne White. A white or cream always lifts other colors. Use Wimborne Whit above an EB painted wainscot for example, or inside the cabinets, on window frames and trim.

The accent color Yeabridge Green is a warm apple green to brighten and sharpen your neutral palette. 

Farrow & Ball Elephant's Breath

2. Georgian Terraced Home Style

  • Elephants Breath No 229: Walls, ceiling, upper cabinets
  • Stone Blue No 86 : Lower cabinets, wainscoting, radiators
  • Wevet No 273: Walls, windows, molding, ceiling
  • ACCENT Hague Blue No 30: Staircase, trim

Lift Elephants Breath out of neutral territory by introducing a crisp mid tone blue like Stone Blue. Georgian or Victoria mid terraces can feel modern yet still classic with this color combo when used in the right balance.

Wevet is a warmish white to offset and tie together EB and Stone Blue. It also lifts both colors, preventing them from feeling muddy or cold.

The accent color Hague Blue can be used for a bold accent, in a powder room or stair.

Farrow & Ball Elephant's Breath

3. Country Estate Style

  • Elephants Breath No 229: Walls, ceiling, upper cabinets
  • Sudbury Yellow No 51: Kitchen cabinets, island, boot room, pantry, hall, powder room
  • School House White No 291: Windows, trim, molding, ceiling, cornices
  • ACCENT: Eating Room Red No 43 or London Clay No 244: Dining room, study, library, staircase, powder room, hall

Use Elephants Breath as a backdrop to a more evolved country estate by adding deep Sudbury yellow for warmth to it’s neutral greige. This deep golden color is the antidote to large rooms and drafty entry halls.

School House White offsets these deep neutrals with a welcome dash of lightness.

Either accent color can be used, or both depending on your style. Eating Room Red is a deep dark crimson for when you want to shrink a room’s proportions or create drama. London Clay is deep gray brown that plays into EB pinkish tone while emulating the time honored tradition of black in a fresh new hue.

Farrow & Ball Elephant's Breath

However you utilize Farrow & Ball Elephant’s Breath, you’ll not only delight in telling your friends and guests its name but pat yourself on the back for choosing a timeless tint that reflects your good taste.


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Paint Finish Options

A flat or matte finish can be difficult to maintain as it has a tendency to show every single fingerprint and mark. Choosing a finish with some sheen such as eggshell or emulsion is not only easier to clean but it allows light to bounce and reflect around the room thereby infusing the color with a different personality depending on the day!

I suggest Modern or Estate eggshell finishes on cabinets and trim for a matte look that has ease of use and wearability. Estate or Modern emulsion finish are best used on walls. 

How to Use a Color Scheme Throughout the House

Choosing a color palette or scheme is the first step in designing any space. A curated group of colors that work well together gives you a blueprint to use. Using consistent colors throughout your home makes it feel calmer, more pulled together and intentional.

Does this mean you can’t use any other colors? Of course not! Absolutely use accent colors in accessories, furniture and flooring. But keep 2-4 colors as your main go to shades for each room.

These color palettes work when choosing paint for walls, but also when picking other wall and flooring finishes. Not sure about the tone in a rug sample? Hold it up to the paint swatch in natural light. Use your paint swatches to pick tile backsplash and bathroom tile. It doesn’t have to match but it should be in the same hue or tint. Don’t worry you don’t have to worry about what that means, just do the natural light test. Take both tile and paint sample outside or in a window with filtered natural light and compare. You want both colors to work together, cool to cool or warm to warm.

When choosing the color of any large piece of furniture like a sofa your color palette can function as a guide. The same is true for deciding on curtains or window treatments. Every time you repeat these colors, whether as a solid (painted wall), a texture (flooring) or a pattern (fabric) you’re making this color thing work. Your home will thank you!

As a go to decision maker when making those sometimes tough choices about what to buy, what to keep or what to get rid of in your home, you can’t go wrong with sticking to your palette. 

Still not sure what color is right? A quick affordable solution is my Color Clarity service. Why not try it!

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