A psychologist explains why we're all obsessed with these iconic Farrow & Ball paint colors

Their natural, grounding tones have become modern classics

Dark blue wall in a kitchen with shelving and white tiles
(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Thanks to its unique colors, Farrow & Ball is up there among the most popular paint brands. It has soared such much in popularity that many of its shades including Hague Blue and Elephant's Breath have achieved such iconic status they can be named on sight. 

But why can't we get enough of these rich shades? To delve deeper into why these colors are the most popular, we spoke to credited psychologist Lee Chambers.

It comes as no surprise F&B is one the most popular paint brand on Instagram with 1,238,000 hashtags. The best Farrow & Ball paint colors will elevate any room with their rich, heritage hues.

Recent research conducted by Hometree revealed that the most popular colors of all are deep blues and grey tones - we know, we're shocked too... Hague Blue of course remains a hugely popular choice.

Hague Blue

hague blue living room

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

With its inky undertones, it makes a refreshing alternative to a charcoal gray, and it currently has a total of 48,600 hashtags on Instagram. So what has us so captivated by the shade?

'A deep and rich blue with green undertones, it promotes both calm, confidence, and a feeling of being grounded,' says Lee about the appeal of Hague Blue. 'It also has a nostalgic feel, providing comfort in these uncertain times.'

Stiffkey Blue 

inky blue kitchen from Farrow & Ball

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Lee says the aquatic feel of this rich blue shade helps to brings the outdoors inside. 'It incites a feeling of adventure and freedom and gives a certain serenity and stability,' he adds.

Cornforth White

Cornforth white paint

(Image credit: Farrow and Ball)

Lee describes this warm white as a 'neutral that doesn't have the clinical edge of a brilliant white, which can be overstimulating.' He says it brings elements of grey and creates a space that 'exudes both light and warmth while giving a feeling of modern living outside of the hustle and bustle of a city.'

It definitely has that cottagecore vibe, working as a neutral base upon which to layer  more colors through furniture, curtains and rugs.

Skimming Stone 

skimming stone

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

'Once again, a light grey aspect brings a contemporary feel that really promotes restoration, while being bright enough to amplify feelings of joy,' says Lee. He says that Skimming Stone creates a feeling of space, particularly beneficial during the winter as it makes us feel less enclosed.

Elephant’s Breath 

Elephants Breath Farrow and Ball paint

(Image credit: Farrow and Ball)

'Taking a middling grey and adding a touch of warmth and intensity from pink or violet, Elephant’s Breath has a lovely contemporary feel which will create a spacious area where it is used,' Lee comments. 'It has an interesting balance of being both uplifting and calming.'

It makes total sense that our Farrow & Ball love come down to its calming, nature-inspired tones. Doing some DIY and decorating this weekend? Check our guide on how to paint a room for a seamless finish. 

Plus, if you're updating your workspace, this is the perfect gray shade to paint your home office, according to interior design experts.

Which paint would you pick for your next home update?

Millie joined Real Homes in early 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.