Sunday, March 15, 2009

What's in a Paint Name

I have a strange fixation with the names of paint.  We've been thinking about painting our place, and there's something about the way a paint is named that just fires up my imagination.  The right name sets the tone for the vision, and in my mind, I can conjure up an entire scene and lifestyle based on a name.  

I particularly love the names from Farrow & Ball.  Their brand is all about being fine purveyors of wallpapers and paint in the traditional style, and this shows in the way the colours are named and how their historic origins are explained.  I love "Mouse's Back", described in the catelogue as "a quiet, neutral dark stone.  Not recommended for use with white but very useful as an early 18th century colour"  Or "Elephant's Breath", a light greyish hue with a hint of pink.  And lastly,
"Chinese Blue", a personal fave which makes me think of a Victorian sitting room filled with Ming dynasty china on display and pretty ladies sitting around sipping Ceylon tea (perhaps with these pretty cups).  There is something very regal, formal and almost gritty about these names.

above: London Clay of Farrow & Ball

Contrast Farrow & Ball's approach with Ralph Lauren's collection of paints, thanks to a tip from my friend at The Anthology.  Lauren's paint lines are categorized as various "Lifestyle Colours", and each collection reflects a different lifestyle theme.  The Modern Light line is modern and serene, with names such as Indian Sky (a light grey purple), Lemongrass (yellow tinged beige) and Sanctuary (a cool blue-green).  The Urban Loft collection is obviously inspired by the industrial lofts of NYC with names like Greenwich and Galvanized. And as an equestrian, I love the concept of their Thoroughbred line, which represents the classic, clean, All-American lifestyle with names like Adirondack Blue, Rufford Hall and Polo Green (insert image of American blue-blood, Ivy league types, playing croquette or something in their backyards).

I could pore over these catelogues for hours, just fantasizing how my home and lifestyle would differ with each line of these paints.  Question is, which one is me?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those rooms are absolutely beautiful.