Colour Palettes: Bright Lights in the Big City

Recently we took a look at nature inspired colour schemes for your home – exploring how blues can be picked from scenes such as stormy skies or misty lakes to create an atmospheric look and feel. But it’s not just nature that we can draw inspiration from – our man made surroundings can lend themselves to some beautiful occurrences of clashing and complementary colours that can infuse your home with unexpected colour combinations, often with an industrial or architectural appearance.


City 14 - POR7O

Image credit: POR7O

This city scape has a lovely muted palette of warm neutrals. The mellowness of each of the tones works in harmony to create a tranquil colour palette. The cobbled streets and slightly rustic appearance has an almost vintage feel to it. This colour palette would work well when paired with retro signage, imagery and furniture to create a cool mid-century modern space. Punctuate the room with chrome touches, such as on side tables or picture frames, to emulate the light fittings and tram trim.

Image 1 - Trams

Left to right: Plummett, Yellow Ground, Borrowed Light, Wevet and Dove Tale, all from Farrow & Ball


City 7 - Andre Freitas

Image credit: Andre Freitas

When considering a scheme inspired by a more industrial landscape, it can be easy to slip into using architectural colours such as greys and more monochrome tones, but warmer colours can also be considered. An interior trend at the moment is for public spaces to have a more crafted, home-made feel which fits perfectly with these enamel mugs and warm wood table. This rich mix of colours is lifted by the white, making it a perfectly balanced colour palette for the home.

Image 3 - Cups

Left to right: Book Room Red, Railings, Wimborne White, Red Earth and Pointing, all from Farrow & Ball


City 11 - Jeff Sheldon

Image credit: Jeff Sheldon

This group of colours can be translated into a scheme for the home that is both current and contemporary. A dark foundation for the room, such as black in this case, will create a cosy, intimate atmosphere and mixing the bright touches adds fun. If it feels a little too man-made and you crave something organic then pale wood furniture or finishing touches sit perfectly with this type of scheme.

Image 4 - Off the Rail

Left to right: Black Blue, Charlotte’s Locks, White Tie, St Giles Blue and Arsenic, all from Farrow & Ball


City 16 - Jake Hills

Image credit: Jake Hills

Perfect for a teenager’s bedroom, these colours work together well and evoke a sense of effortless cool. The darker yellow tone has a young feel to it, but when paired with the darker greys and greens it becomes slightly more grown up. These colours have an almost grungy appearance which lend themselves to a converted warehouse or loft style kitchen. Using the green and yellow for finishing touches, darker greys for the wall and be bold with a light grey paint on the floor, which will in turn reflect light around the room.

Image 5 - Step Up

Left to right: Olive, Babouche, Lamp Room Gray, Pitch Black and Old White, all from Farrow & Ball


City 9 - Davey Heuser

Image credit: Davey Heuser

This image sums up the urban elegance of the city. The juxtaposition of the street art combined with the clean grid of the tiles is a wonderful relationship between fluidity and conformity. The grittier greys and beiges work well to accentuate the red telephone box and this can be applied to the home. Walls and large furniture items can be kept neutral and the red can be brought in with items of painted furniture, a side lamp or soft furnishings.

Image 2 - Phone Box

Left to right: Off-Black, Hardwick White, Terre D’Egypte, Dimity and Manor House Gray, all from Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist


The Chromologist is a colour whisperer. He understands and knows them better than they know themselves, translating their pleas to be used beautifully for humankind. It's unknown from whence he came. Some say the fraction of space between a prism and a spectrum, others say he toiled in the fabled colour mines of Svalbard for years untold, deep underground, speaking only to the reds and blues, cerises and aquas, bronze and golds...

The Chromologist 2019 | Farrow & Ball

The Chromologist