Design tips

Paint Colours for Country Interiors

21 March 2019

Paint can be so hard to choose with an overwhelming selection of options. A colour that looks great on a colour card can  look very different when the whole room is painted.

When it comes to making decisions my advice is to not rush. Paint the sample on each wall of the room and look at them at different times of day. If you can, just paint up one sample at a time. Comparing three or four close to each other can be confusing to the eye.

There are some tried and tested colours that in my opinion always look good. Below are my top 5 colours from Farrow and Ball. I also have covered my favourite paint colours from other paint companies here.


If I’m selecting a neutral I tend to choose Slipper Satin, Pointing and White Tie.  Slipper Satin is my absolute favourite. It has a lovely chalky look and is a perfect neutral to pair with darker tones on woodwork. I often combine with Shaded White for a sophisticated feel, as shown in the country bedroom below.

Lisa Bradburn. Interior designer, Sussex. Choosing paint colours for country interiors. Cream interior

Blue Grey is the perfect colour for creating a calming and relaxing scheme. Traditional in feel it has a lovely sophisticated quality.

The Blue Grey label is rather deceptive. I would describe it as a light sage green! It tends to look more green in the morning sunlight and reduces down to a blue/grey tones in the evening. I often use in bathrooms as its cool tones works well with country light.

Lisa Bradburn. Interior designer Sussex. Choosing paint colours for country interiors. Duck egg blue interior

Pigeon is my top choice for bootrooms, cloakrooms and kitchen islands. For high traffic areas it is a great option to disguise mud or the shake of a wet dog!

It works well in badly lit rooms where neutrals can end up looking dull. It has a warm rich feel and looks fantastic with antique brass handles and taps. I use White Tie as a contrast colour.

This bathroom image by Farrow and Ball is the perfect example of an atmospheric country bathroom. Pigeon looks wonderful in this kind of setting.

Lisa Bradburn. Interior designer Sussex. Choosing paint colours for country interiors. Green interior

Now on to darker tones. Creating a dark colour scheme can be challenging. And taking the plunge can feel very daunting! However, a rich colour can be used to great effect. Darker colours provide a real richness to a room, adding a level of depth that neutrals can’t match.

Small rooms are the perfect place to use darker tones. They often lack natural light and it’s tempting to paint them white to create a more airy feel. However, what often happens is that you end up with a dark, dull room. By using rich colours you can create an unexpected yet impressive look.

Use with a crisp white like Whimborne White for contrast. It also looks great contrasted with Manor House Grey and Cornforth White, as shown in the moodboard below.

Lisa Bradburn. Interior designer Sussex. Working with an interior designer. Fabric Fabric swatches

My latest paint crush is Inchyra Blue. One of Farrow and Ball’s newer colours, it is a wonderful aged blue grey with real depth. What is great about this paint is that it’s a mix of contemporary and traditional tones, so can work anywhere. In rooms with less light it can evoke a dark, rich and intimate feel.

I particularly love it on woodwork. The joinery in the picture below (by Amelia McNeil) looks fantastic when combined with aged brass tones.

When used on walls it provides a dark backdrop to showcase your favourite fabrics, furnishings and artwork. Use bright accents of colours for contrast for a bolder look.

Lisa Bradburn. Interior designer Sussex. Choosing paint colours for country interiors. Teal interior

I have also written articles on different colour scheme ideas you could use in a modern country home alongside tips on lighting design which may of interest. I hope you have enjoyed this article and do contact me if you would like help with your colour schemes and are Looking for Interior Design in Sussex.