November 2023 News
An important month for Francesca’s Paints – we will be celebrating our 27th birthday on 14th November. What an amazing time it’s been!
I recall the very beginning of this adventure as if it were yesterday. We started in a studio on Parkgate Road in Battersea. The studio was very close to the Thames, and we shared it with some lovely decorators but it was cold and humid, so industrial heaters were our saviour – but too expensive to run for our liking!
We later moved to the Business Centre in Lavender Hill. Our first unit at the Centre was small and a bit disorganised. We did not have water and it made things slightly more complicated. About 15 years ago, we settled into our studio where we are now, and we loved it then and still love it now.
There is a lot of natural light, and we have created an inviting, vibrant, and colourful space. All our colours are displayed and the atmosphere is calm and relaxed. We make and mix our paints by hand and our colour charts are hand painted. We still use the old pigment colour carousel – we pride ourselves as old-fashioned colour artisans. We are like chefs of colours – we can create and make a new colour as you wait. Our studio is a little gem, practical and functional. We have plenty of books you can refer to if you need any inspiration.
When we first opened in 1996, we were one of the first eco-friendly paint companies in the UK and were very much ahead of our time. We have always been conscious of the environment, and we have consistently strived to create paints and colours that are respectful of it and not dangerous to human health. When we started, we only had 24 colours and now we have 241 – we have created thousands of bespoke colours. Our work is our passion, we relate to colour in a very emotional way, but our formulas are precise and we can reproduce our colour perfectly.
I consider myself lucky because I am passionate, and I love what I do. I still get excited about colour matching and creating new colours. My work goes well with my lifestyle; I am a Yogi and have been practising for many years. It is fair to say that since I discovered yoga, my life has changed for the better.
Photography by Caroline Irby
I believe the combination of yoga, eco paints and colours all go together. So much so, that we have started doing yoga and colour retreats. The next one will be in the beautiful house of the glorious Miv Watts in France. Spring 2024 dates to be confirmed!
If you are curious about our retreat location, take a peek into my past stories. Miv’s house is truly beautiful, mostly painted with our lime wash in wonderful colours. Miv really knows how to transform any space, making it unique, cosy and special.
In other exciting news, the Freddie Bistro in East London, designed by Jermaine Gallacher, has finally opened.
We created a bespoke colour for the dining area in an oil-based eggshell. The paint has a subtle sheen that gracefully reflects light, creating a wonderful atmosphere. This is a very different project for Jermaine, as his style is usually vibrant and eclectic. For the Freddie Bistro, Jermaine has gone more for a mature and subdued look. Whatever his style, we adore working with Jermaine, it’s always a delight. The Bistro has already been featured in the World of Interiors. Thank you, Jermaine, for the kind mention.
Photography by Oskar Proctor
We have also provided our paints for the Swann Inn in Colchester. An old Pub, with roots dating back to 1600, has undergone a major transformation creating a modern extension – blending old and new. In the old part, they required breathable paint, so our Eco Emulsion was used. The rest of the pub has been painted in the Smart Emulsion. The project is nearing completion and I will be delighted to share images soon. For now, these images are a work in progress, showcasing lovely colours from our collections: Mullumbimbi Mud, Fallow Grey, Pithora White and in the bathrooms, Cohiba Brown and Starless Night.
COLOUR OF THE MONTH
Mist is a soft, versatile, calming neutral tone, between a beige and grey, changing with the light of day. It is made with raw and burnt umber, yellow oxide, and a touch of black and organic red. It is elegant and peaceful and is perfect in every room of a home.
Mist, as I like to say, is an eternal colour. I firmly believe colours should not be trends but should be timeless and classic. Mist goes well with every tone, especially dark black, blue, ochre, and green.
The collection was made in 2001, and it is the second collaboration I did with Miv Watts, the first being the Hougton Hall Collection.
If you ever find yourself in need of a specific colour that you can’t locate within our existing collections, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Crafting the ideal bespoke colour to match your vision is a challenge we adore. We look forward to hearing from you, regarding an existing colour or a new one.
As we start to lose more daylight, we are one step closer to cosy nights at home. Embrace the onset of winter and all the warmth it brings.