Shocking grey.


Farrow & Ball. One doesn’t need to explain this English brand’s achievements. They psychoanalysed our taste, discovered our need to be perceived as subtle and refined, as some spun eccentric, and came up with colours, well, not colours, tones, tones that were completely new to us, perfectly indescribable to the human eye, even to theirs. How else could you explain tones being named Dead Salmon, Elephant’s Breath or Mouse’s Back (the latter being Mousey’s choix du cœur). Pitch Black, however, made my friend Katja from Luxembourg lose her mind while applying it. It really wasn’t what she expected at all, it turned out light grey, far from anything black, it didn’t even try to make a pitch to appear black. So she rushed to the store to ask for help, wondering if she had turned colour blind, tone blind at the very least. But the shop’s sales personnel were developing the same tone blindness after trying it on an Eames chair in their showroom, just imagine, Eames being used as a guinea pig. That chair didn’t turn out black either, just shocking grey. So they phoned Farrow & Ball, the headquarters based in Paris, as Luxembourg hasn’t one of its own, just the European Parliament and a Grand Duke named Henri, a Nassau, which makes him a real Royal Highness, not like this Albert guy from Monaco who’s not royal at all, just serene, anyway, Katja and the people in the shop were all ready to cause a commotion, ready to have the colour’s name changed to Deceptive Black. Farrow & Ball, however, stayed calm. Wait for the colour to dry, they told Luxembourg. Aha. And so they did. And both that Eames chair in the shop and Katja’s Louis Something commode turned out wonderfully black, sorry, pitch black.


One thought on “Shocking grey.

  1. So funny! Sadly, I cannot find you a section in Proust related to paint or even black to leave you an intellectual comment as befits such an erudite article. Part of me wishes I had thought of using some of their colours when I redecorated my kitchen last year as I wanted a particular tone of grey, slate really. I bought dozens of samples from all different brands but every time I applied a coat, it made everywhere look like a prison! But on the other hand, I think I would have freaked out even more than Katja before letting the paint dry. It’s such a pleasure to discover your wonderful stories and photos and now I even know Mousey’s favourite colour.

    Liked by 1 person

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