I HAD BEEN MEANING to paint the living for a while now⏤something warm and pinkish by Farrow & Ball⏤Pink Ground or Peignor or Setting Plaster. That is, until I came across Edward Bulmer Natural Paint on Instagram and discovered that it was eco-friendly. All of their colours are created from just 12 earth and mineral pigments using gentle, plant-based chemistry with absolutely no pollutants or harmful toxins. Before I continue, I should tell you that this is not a sponsored article⏤we are just really in love with this paint, especially after using other brands that were so strong-smelling that we got headaches.
The paint is described as breathable on their website, and what this means that it is microporous, allowing walls and woodwork to breathe naturally. Acrylic paints, on the other hand, use petrochemically derived binders (plastic) that form a clingfilm-like layer on the surface of walls when the paint dries, trapping moisture in and causing mould. Alternatively, this eco-friendly paint uses binders made from plants that allow it to breathe, and the natural moisture that is in the walls and atmosphere to flow through without damaging the building. The result is a water-based, natural paint created with natural pigments and non-plastic binders with no need for microbeads.
After all of this careful research, I decided to place an order for a 2.5 litre tin without bothering to order a sample pot first because I’m impulsive like that. I did, however, spend a very long time beforehand deciding on the colour and was ultimately torn between Cuisse de Nymphe Emue (a dusty pink) and Jonquil (a yellow pink). In the end, I went with Jonquil, which is described as “a good yellow pink”, its name borrowed from a colour made with Dutch Pink in the 18th century (Dutch Pink was actually a yellow pigment). According to the site, “It might be called a plaster pink now that we use gypsum plaster for interior walls and has a wonderful soft hue that hovers between pink and yellow/beige.” This colour comes in four shades: 100%, 60%, 40%, and 20%; and three finishes: emulsion; water based eggshell; and water based gloss. I chose a full tint (100%) emulsion.
When the paint arrived, I didn’t really know what to expect, but all the packaging was plastic-free, which was a good start. When I opened the paint tin, I saw with relief that the colour was really pretty. And when I stirred it, I noticed that it was really thick. I brushed a little bit on the back wall of the living room with a small paintbrush and left it to dry overnight to see how the colour would look in the morning. It was lovely. We immediately began painting the rest of the wall and discovered that the paint had great coverage and would only require two coats. We got half of the living room finished with the 2.5 litres, so I placed an order for another tin in the same amount, which was enough to finish the room.
The result was beautifully warm soft pink room with an elegant chalky matt finish. The things that I loved best about using this paint is that while we were painting, there was barely any noticeable smell at all. It dried quickly and evenly with amazing coverage, and, to top it off, if you need to dispose of any leftover paint, you can actually just put it in your compost and place the empty tin in the recycling. Below are a few beautiful rooms we’ve collected that were also painted in Jonquil in varying shades, although most of them used the full shade like we did. Scroll through for some colour inspiration…
Photo above: A room designed by @theaspeke using the Edward Bulmer plaster pink ‘Jonquil’ on the walls
‘Jonquil’ (100%) on the walls paired with @jamb_london Milton reproduction chimneypiece in aged Portland Stone and other Jamb antiques.
Keith Johnson and Glen Senk’s Grade II-listed house in south west England, which, after restoration and redecoration, is a refreshing amalgamation of creative American spirit and English country ideals. Elizabeth Metcalfe writes for House & Garden: “A Murano glass chandelier by Yuichi Higashionna hangs above an 1840 English table bearing a pair of Jacques Adnet mid-century lamps. A David Hockney lithograph is showcased on walls in ‘Jonquil’ by Edward Bulmer Natural Paint. Below a Lucian Freud engraving stands a feather dog sculpture by Sally Matthews on a parquet floor of reclaimed oak pieces.”
A bedroom designed by Textile Designer, Jessie Cutts, in her Georgian terrace house (@townley_terrace) in Kent using the plaster pink ‘Jonquil’ juxtaposed against a red bed frame.
A downstairs room by Salvesen Graham using ‘Jonquil’ to create a comfortable and beautiful space to reflect the pretty English country garden this room opens out onto.
@nels_eyreinteriors uses ‘Jonquil’ as the perfect backdrop to some bold pieces of furniture, patterns and personal family possessions.
A kitchen by @houseabovetheriver, re-decorated from white to the plaster pink ‘Jonquil’ 40% shade, alongside an eclectic mix of furnishings such as the @peppermillinteriors chairs, period features and artwork. According to @edwardbulmerpaint, “Colourful kitchens have been enjoying rather a renaissance, from rustic farmhouse looks to more modern sleek designs, we have been seeing more and more colour on walls, cabinets & woodwork and even ceilings!”
Interior designer @ceciliahalling (who is also the Creative Director of @elicyon) repainted this home studio from green to the plaster pink ‘Jonquil’, creating a warm and comfortable space. This soft pink is perfect for a south facing room like this one, as it works well with changing natural light.
The ‘withdrawing’ room sanctuary at the former home of interior designer @clarenceandgraves and @joleneellis with ‘Jonquil’ on the walls
And finally, a glimpse into a corner of our living room, just as the first brushes of ‘Jonquil’ (100%) were being applied. We’re terribly happy with the results and will show you as soon as we have a chance to take a few good photos.
It’s been months and we’ve still not had a chance to shoot the finished living room, but here’s a small vignette to give you a glimpse of what the colour looks like…