Farrow & Ball Colors to Love + Euro-Country Interiors brings together a few of our European inspired favorites! Find ideas for beautiful colors created by Farrow & Ball, get a feel for how they work in different settings, and collect interior design inspiration from gorgeous spaces with rustic elegance. There’s nothing trendy, overly fussy, or too show-offy in the mix since understated sophisticated simplicity is the timeless look we’re always striving to emulate here.
Farrow & Ball Colors to Love + Euro-Country Interiors
Which design elements and guiding principles contribute to Euro-country beauty for these interiors? The photos essentially answer that, but I’ll try to address anything that I believe may be hidden or not easily translated.
Down Pipe No. 26
We tend to think of pale palettes and quiet color stories when it comes to Euro-Country inspired rooms, but no need to think the elements must all whisper.
If it’s drama you’re after, maybe this dark gray is calling:
Of Down Pipe, Farrow & Ball say it is “a dark lead grey, has definite blue undertones to it which deepen the complexity of the finish. Originally inspired by the colour used to paint downpipes and guttering, it has been embraced for use inside the home with fanatical zeal! This daringly dark hue is fabulous as a background to art, and extremely effective for use in halls to create a deeply dramatic entrance to the home.”
Farrow & Ball Ammonite 274
This is a gorgeous light grey you can use just about anywhere.
“Ammonite is named after the treasured fossils often found on the Dorset coast. It has a fantastically understated quality, and sits effortlessly with our Relaxed Neutrals. Neither too warm nor too cool, its subtle grey tone creates a hushed and calming feel in homes both old and new. Try pairing with All White to accent its light grey feel.” – Farrow & Ball
It’s the understated quality that I most love about Ammonite.
There’s a pared down simplicity and a mix of old and new in this multipurpose space with Old World charm above. Ammonite paint color on the walls feels atmospheric and lends a spaciousness to a room that could be for dining, studying, or crafts.
While I’m not sure if it is Ammonite on the walls above, it is just the sort of interior where I imagine it works so beautifully.
As we explore more paint colors, let’s discuss practical and actionable ways European country influences can be brought to life in our own homes which may reside far away from Europe. After all, have you even seen how designers can bring the aesthetic to a California cottage…
or a Texas bungalow…
Farrow & Ball Old White
When we built a French country home in 2007, I was finally able to experiment with European country inspired ideas. It was a very spacious home with many rooms that became my lab. My budget was limited, and that was fine since I wasn’t interested in investing in important antiques or art.
I found it easy to find cast-offs and thrifted finds that I tweaked with paint to please myself. In the dining room (above), I found the hutch and buffet (above) for a song and slathered on layers of various white paints. (Peek at All White 2005 for a similar look.)
The wall color in our dining room was BM White Sand which is similar to Farrow & Ball’s Old White as you see above and below.
What’s interesting about this white is how Farrow & Ball refer to it as a soft grey green. Knowing that is helpful so you’re not surprised when the green undertones are perceivable in a room with low light. In spaces with abundant natural light, it is going to feel more grey.
The most historic of all Farrow & Ball’s whites, it is indeed sophisticated and feels at home in historic houses as well as modern kitchens.
Wimborne White 239
Another warm white designers who are after timeless design swear by is this one: Wimborne White 239.
“This just off white is named after the market town of Wimborne in Dorset and home to Farrow & Ball. Only a shade away from a pure white, the addition of the smallest amount of warm yellow pigment creates a very versatile shade which is just a little softer than All White.” – Farrow & Ball
In some environments, you can sense that warmth:
I find it helpful to see multiple images of rooms with the same paint color because it always illustrates how different lighting situations and even geographical location influence its perception.
While the kitchen below likely has plaster walls that aren’t painted, the effect reminds me of the creamy nature of Wimborne White in the California sunshine:
So do the plaster walls in this amazing modern French interior in Texas:
Farrow & Ball says of this hue: “This fresh and uncomplicated white is named after the colour of lime pointing used in traditional brickwork. One of our Warm Neutrals, Pointing has a red undertone to it which creates the prettiest of spaces when used on walls and always softens the feel of a room alongside strong, traditional colours.”
One of the qualities I admire about European country decor is how it is perfectly acceptable to mix modern furnishings with antiques and traditional pieces.
In fact, that mix is often what prevents the look from feeling too heavy, historic, or fussy.
F&B Strong White
There’s a simplicity and elegance to country style when it is European inspired.
Such elegance seems to derive from a certain set of sensibilities, including this one: DON’T RUSH IT.
American culture is frequently colored by hustling and hard work, yet collecting the right pieces for a single room or a whole house demands a thoughtful use of time.
Sometimes the wait is about budget – saving funds to invest in antiques or handmade or quality custom designs.
In other instances, slow decorating is about the joy of shopping and hunting down the perfect pieces for your project.
In an age of instant everything, there’s a beauty to slow, yes?
Taking the time to get it right the first time (and often this involves hiring a designer to be sure to get it right!) is a wise investment in the future.
Farrow & Ball Green Smoke 47
We can’t leave green out of the discussion of lovely Farrow & Ball offerings since it is still wildly popular for those who want to bring life and vitality to their spaces.
I personally find this rich green appetizing and thus perfect for a kitchen!
Maybe I’m not alone. Is the rise in healthy eating and plant based diets influencing green’s star power in the marketplace?
Inside or out, it has an organic, timeless, and classic feel.
(Pssst. Green Smoke is perfect for outdoor pieces too!)
Ball Green No. 75
Here’s another green to consider if you’re after a restful one:
It comes alive with this layered wallpaper look, and notice the green is used on a wall and then trim:
In this setting with an entirely different lighting condition, the same green color appears sage:
What Adds Character to Euro-Country Designs?
Decorating with a European country mindset works particularly well when you enjoy juxtaposition, patina, aged finishes, and natural materials.
A mix of imperfect vintage pieces, antiques, family heirlooms, and collections can hang together if you take time to edit and train your eye for scale, balance, whimsy, and function.
And function should probably not be last on the list since a European influenced design is going to start with function.
Antiques and vintage pieces are not just for show as a strong sense of practicality and livability are valued.
Objects old and handed down are honored, and a collected, timeless look looks away from trends and the disposable.
This is not a look for those who would despair over scratches to wood floors or stains to white marble!
Such signs of use, age and developing patina can be joyfully welcomed. No wonder there are legions of young American parents with a passion for modern farmhouse style and country sensibilities! Young children are lovely natural distress-makers when it comes to finishes!
How can you begin to build a European country look?
Home decor and furniture suggestions are often shared here for ideas to bring elements of timeless and tranquil European country style to your interiors.
An added bonus to decorating with an elegant yet rustic country touch? Your bank account may thank you.
As long as you don’t intend to fill your online shopping cart with collected, rare, and imported European antiques and handmade bespoke finds, it is often an attainable, affordable look!.
In my own home (above), I find bargains all of the time, but I only bring home the ones I am sure I will never grow tired of. If boredom does come, I rotate pieces. This small round table has been in our breakfast nook, used in a guest bedroom, and sometimes serves as a desk. And European country interiors are not always rustic. In fact, in our prior home, rustic pieces looked right at home; however, here in the more fussy Georgian (it’s still in the country and a country house!), a lot of the same pieces don’t work.
Here’s an elegant French country inspired kitchen:
No rustic bread boards or crusty farm stools in sight – yet still charming and livable.
What qualities help European inspired country interiors feel distinctive from American country?
I think time factors into one of the main differences. The reason so many beautiful European country interiors look flawlessly layered and as if they evolved over time is because THEY DID.
Good things take time. And how could we ever expect beautiful things that appear to be timeless not take their own sweet time?
Taste comes into play for sure (plaques with pigs declaring ‘bless Le MESS’ in an American country entry may miss the mark. Hahahaha). *I’m lookin’ at you, Hobby Lobby. 🙂
Expect to spy: natural woven baskets, fresh flowers, ancient earthenware pottery, recycled glass bottles, branches from the garden, and beautiful linens growing better with use and age.
Antiques, personal mementos, painted furniture pieces in varying conditions and layered rugs (or none at all!) as well as plaster walls.
More authentic Euro country rooms will reflect an absence of plastic and synthetics: think furniture arrangements encouraging intimacy that won’t feel rigidly appointed.
Recipe for a Masterful Euro Mix?
The thing is, this mix is always best when it is personal and tells your story. It should evolve over time as a result of interests, collecting, travel, and experiences.
Euro-Country Ingredients to Consider
I scribbled down a list of European inspired ingredients that seem to color my own journey.
Natural, scrubbed, and raw wood finishes
Rugged stone and marble
Solid wood doors
Rustic freestanding cupboards
Exposed rafters and beams
Wood Ceiling Beams
Vintage Linens and Quilts
Matte finishes (non-shiny metals)
An absence of plastic/vinyl/disposable
I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.
If you missed THIS story about timeless kitchens, give it a whirl!
I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.
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