Changing colours…

16 March 2012
Ben Pentreath

What’s one of the most inspiring things you can do? Change your colours. As many of you know, we recently did a bit of a revamp in the shop, which at the back is now a glorious Indian Yellow thanks to Farrow & Ball. In front, a lovely smoky ‘Charleston Gray’ makes a perfect foil to the new collection of Bridie Hall at Home, which we officially launched on Wednesday – here are a couple of snaps:

(don’t you love Bridie’s Geometric solids in the window?  They are not yet on the website but contact Robin in the shop on 020 7430 2526 for more details).

But possibly even more exciting… a sneak preview of the new decorating studio, which we are getting ready. Here is Martin installing the most amazing wallpaper I think I know; David Skinner’s Malahide, a trompe-l’oeil Gothick paper based on an original at Malahide Castle near Dublin. You can find David’s website with his many superb papers here.  Order your rolls now! I have more coming for the hall in Dorset. I was emailing with him yesterday and said that the Gothick tracery strips were about to be papered over the lined background. ‘Make sure the decorator has a valium at the end of the day’ was the reply. You can understand why. Insane… but insanely beautiful too. A glimpse also of the Richmond Lantern by Robert Kime, looking splendidly at home.

More news of the decoration studio may follow in due course. But as if this wasn’t enough, I drove down to Dorset very early this morning with some trepidation. I’ve been up North and in London for a couple of weekends. So while I was away I had asked Kevin my builder to do a bit of a repainting job in the kitchen. More Farrow and Ball, this time ‘Wet Sand’, a dark yellowey orange from their archive range… and one of my favourite colours.

It was a little while ago – while I was staying down in Dorset over Christmas – that I thought it might be time for a change in the kitchen. Followers of this blog will know that I’m always in favour of a new coat of paint at unexpected moments; there’s nothing quite like it to shake things up. I sought inspiration in what someone living in the Old Parsonage might have done in, say, about 1972. Nothing too tasteful. Here is the result. I was pretty unsure how it would work – but I love it. Curiously—really curious—the room feels quite a lot bigger than it did before, yet simultaneously cosier. I’m sitting at the kitchen table writing this little blog and drinking a cup of tea, and I have to admit I’m quite happy! Darts night tonight in the village. Have a good weekend.

27 comments on this post


Howdy Ben! Ive recently bought a tiny 200 year old cottage and painted downstairs and landing in India Yellow. I have to say Wet Sand was probably more the depth I was after.
Your kitchen, albeit now a few years ago looks super.
Ive always been a fan of FB and love going bold! When I shared my plans with friends they really thought Id lost my mind. Reality is magnolia is for them not me.

George Shannon (Crick)says:

Hello Ben, thought it might amuse you that Ben Pentreath Ltd and your unchanged face popped up on my iPad when perusing paint colours for my kitchen (Hardwick White). Bit of a griege, I know…never quite archieved colour confidence! I’m glad to see things are going well for you. Best wishes, George.

Thank you Ben! I think I caught a glimpse on your facebook. Beautiful!

Glorious colours! The transformative power of paint knows no bounds…
But I have to ask, you wouldn’t have a photo of your India Yellow by chance? I’m considering it for my dining room…


Dear Annie – there are some photos on the Facebook page I think, or Bridie/Robin will be able to email them to you – the India Yellow looks great – an excellent colour for a dining room!


gorgeous kitchen – with An Aga #sigh. delicious.

truly inspiring.

waving from a skyscraper in new york city.

_tg x


Ask F&B to send you a swatch.


thanks Ben really appreciate you responding + i clearly never would have found it on my own! would you say your photo quite accurately reflects the colour? i see it as kind of a spiced pumpkin if you will, but it’s funny when i searched images of ‘wet sand’ in some of the photos that come up on flickr it looks totally different, more of a peachy/ terracotta shade


Hey Ben – what is the colour on the walls? i’ve been looking for this shade for ages and nothing i’ve found even comes close…


Hi – it’s ‘Wet Sand’ from Farrow and Ball – not on their current chart, but an archive colour – you can just call them and they’ll mix it for you. All best, Ben


Looks great. Funny but our 1890s Brooklyn kitchen is almost the same color (a shade lighter). The flipper we bought it from painted it that color. He has great taste, I’ve decided. I think we might keep it. Renovations have revealed that the kitchen was originally a deep green, like the Apple Smiles from Paint Library, with dark bead board wainscotting.

Matt. With the beautiful subtle ridges showing. K


Was the brown wrapping paper-very David Hicks- used on the matt or shiny side? My vote is for matt.
When is your book coming out?
Did you builder put the kitchen back, after painting or do you have a ‘treasure’ ?


Hey, I wish you had a shop in Wichita, Kansas…your garden too, as long as we’re wishing!
Speaking of color, what about the kitchen floor? I’ve wanted to ask before and this seems like the perfect time. Plan to be in London soon and your shop is already on my list.


The kitchen floor is ‘Hardwick White’ floor paint from Farrow and Ball. All best, and thanks again, Ben

The color green and orange have never caught my eye like it does this year. I am not sure why but I am flowing with it. Thanks for the peaceful ideas of how to incorporate these summer colors.

El color calabaza aporta calidez a la cocina invitando a pasar horas y horas ahí. Me gustan mucho las barras de madera elevadas para secar la ropa cerca del calor. Aquí en España en otra época también era así.
Gracias por compartir tu innovaciones de tu casa de campo.


We’re working Todd Selby (of on a new column for the magazine, and we’re looking for interesting, beautiful, odd homes in the UK for him to shoot.

Would you be able to post a request for entries on your site? We’re inviting people to submit pictures of their homes (along with their names, email addresses and location) to

Thanks, and let me know if you need any more info…


I often wish you had a shop in Holt, North Norfolk, your Morris Minor could meet Nelson, mine. I renaged on bathroom Sudbury Yellow but then, we are 180 degree Georgian Anyaglipta (sp?). Nice to see ‘Robert’ still in action…. Do I spy Plymouth Gin?


Dear Sarah. That is very very sharp eyed of you. Yes! Ben

Kitchen colour is great. Reminds me of my childhood house in Nottinghill in the 70s. My parents used parcel paper which was a brilliant wallpaper substitute. I’ve been meaning to replicate it ever since. Might have to be Wet Sand instead….


Dear Kate the brown parcel paper sounds absolutely dream like. the best. No do not use Wet Sand. 😉

All best, Ben


P.S. I very often wish you a shop in Sydney!!


It is heaven,especially with the white painted floor and yes it does look bigger,loved the pic showing that nice big fat window haven’t seen that angle before, so interesting to see the room from a different angle

The wallpaper looks great, you obviously have lovely flat walls, I hung some patterned paper in our sitting room last year and it was an experience I would not like to repeat, the walls had looked flat!
The kitchen walls look spot on. The colour has brought real warmth to the room and is a great foil for you artwork etc.


I very often wish you also had a shop in Paris!!


And we very often wish we were in Paris more often!

All best, Ben

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