Farrow and Ball Borrowed Light Review: A Bathroom Update

Are you a fan of Farrow and Ball paint? I’ve featured their paint and wallpaper on the blog before, but have to admit that I’d never used them personally in my own home, until now.

We’ve been decorating the bathroom recently, (yes, I know, we started it quite a while ago!) and it’s starting to come along quite nicely. In the last week, we’ve been testing out some new Farrow and Ball paint, courtesy of Kent Blaxill, so I have first hand experience of the product. Here’s our Farrow and Ball Borrowed Light review.

About 18 months ago, I attended an inspiring event hosted by a local interiors store, where Farrow and Ball colour consultant, Joa Studholme spoke about how to use colour in your home. It was a fascinating evening, and really interesting listening to Joa’s opinion and advice. Since then, the post I wrote based on that night, has been one of the most popular on the blog. Amazing.

Colour Testing:

Initially, we had the idea that we might like a sort of fennel type, acidic green/yellow colour for the bathroom. Hard to describe but we had the idea and tried to find the paint that would suit. This didn’t go well. As you can see from this picture, the colours looked harsh and dull in the small bathroom. I can assure you, they didn’t look like this in the pot!

Bathroom before

This is why you should always test your colour in the room before you buy or apply. It never looks the same, and this room, being quite small and lacking in natural light, changed the colours completely once on the wall.

A couple of these patches are Farrow and Ball paints though, and I was intrigued at how the changing light affected the colour. What looked like off white in the morning, soon looked grey, and almost beige in the fading light.

Farrow and Ball paint:

The range of Farrow and Ball Colours available from Kent Blaxill as part of the beautiful collection is unrivalled, and the depth and quality of each colour is stunning in comparison to many others. With 132 colours available, you will be able to find just the colour to suit you, within the great variety.

Farrow and Ball is very different to many others.  This is what they have to say about their product:

It’s the high levels of pigment, rich resin binders, and the high refractory nature of our key ingredients that produces that signature immersive depth of colour.

I’ve chosen Borrowed Light, a pale shade of blue (or is it grey) that is ‘the precise colour of sunlight across shade’. It’s a soft blue, sometimes bordering on pale grey and off white, but is very calming and subtle. Ideal for the room, and much better than the harsh colour we were used to.

Farrow and Ball Borrowed light review

bathroom after

Colour close up

There’s no blind in the room at the moment, that’s on order, so it’s hard to take a decent photo, and give you the proper sense of the colour.

My Thoughts:

The paint is low-odour, which is nice when you’re decorating the only bathroom in the house. The coverage is great too, very easy to apply and seemingly going a long way. The chalky finish is perfect and very modern. You will need two coats to get that Farrow and Ball depth of colour, and we used the F&B undercoat too to cover the stronger initial colour. Each 2.5l tin retails for just under £40, and we went for standard Estate emulsion which was just £36.

Kent Blaxill kindly sent us the paint for this review, but if you spend over £45 with them then delivery is free to the UK Mainland. It only takes a few extra paint brushes and masking tape and you’re there.

So, would I recommend the paint? Will I be using it again? Oh yes. It’s well worth paying a little extra for the quality and depth of colour; it’s really in a different league. Thumbs up for Farrow and Ball Borrowed Light.


<< Farrow and Ball Paint: The New California Collection >>

<< Farrow and Ball Wallpaper: Living Room Inspiration >>

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an award winning digital publisher and has been creating interiors and home decor content for over 10 years.
She has an insatiable love of home interiors, has worked with hundreds of brands, and currently supports many bloggers within the creative industries to share their expertise through writing.
She spends most of her time in her little garden office pod, has 2 daughters and 2 (fighting) cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram


  1. Mummy Barrow
    April 29, 2014 / 10:57 am

    I desperately need to repaint our kitchen and this is has given me some great ideas.

    Then I need to do the hall.

    And the spare bedroom

    And the landing

  2. otilia
    April 29, 2014 / 11:01 am

    i really like the colour you chose. I am also on the look out for some new paint. the walls already are too full gf little fingers and crayons!

  3. Penny Alexander
    April 29, 2014 / 1:30 pm

    I think you recommended me some Farrow and Ball paints for the den makeover, I will dig out that email and invest as you will be thrilled to know we are going to turn the playroom into a Moroccan den! They look great here, love that it is the colour of sunlight across shade!

  4. becky
    April 29, 2014 / 1:38 pm

    Lovely Jen and I love that your towels match your logo!

  5. Mum of One
    April 29, 2014 / 2:18 pm

    I am the WORLDS WORST decorator and I often pick the wrong colour. We have a hospital green living room and a vomit coloured guest room, both chosen by me. Perhaps I should, check out their range.

  6. Emma
    April 29, 2014 / 8:22 pm

    Ooooh Jen, it looks brilliant, I’ll definitely be looking for the paint next time we need to decorate.

  7. Mammasaurus
    April 29, 2014 / 11:11 pm

    Love the grey-blue colour – good choice! We’ve just picked a Farrow and Ball paint to paint the outside of our house in – beyond excited about it!

  8. Molly
    April 30, 2014 / 8:25 am

    It looks lovely!
    I agree how hard it is to choose a colour – in my last place I had lots of test pots on the wall before I opted for ‘Wax Myrtle’ from Fired Earth. Haven’t tried Farrow and Ball paints, but agree it is worth spending more for these types of paint as the colours have much more substance to them than cheaper ones.

  9. Amanda Cottingham
    April 30, 2014 / 8:54 am

    How strange we both did bathroom ones on the same day!
    Love the colour, I think it looks quite chalky in the photographs, which I love. I dfinitely think it pays to pay a little more for paint.
    Isn’t it hard to take photographs in a bathroom? I really struggled.

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  12. Lucy
    October 28, 2015 / 4:04 pm

    Hi, just to say your bathroom looks gorge. I’m slightly obsessed with Farrow and Ball and have been debating as to which delicious shade to use in my kitchen. I finally decided on Off White, but had to live with a large tester patch for a while as it does indeed change with every part of the day! that’s the amazing thing about farrow and ball paint! what I actually wanted to ask you was………..where are your gorgeous multi-coloured towels from? I love them!!

    Lucy x

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