Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue Paint Color Review

A paint can with Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue paint

Learn all about Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue in this paint color review. 

I recently started a series of Farrow & Ball paint color reviews, and this week I want to talk about Oval Room Blue No 85.

Oval Room Blue by Farrow & Ball is a luminescent blue-green; a mid-toned teal. I don’t know how they do it, but this paint color glows like an iridescent gem in the most beautiful way.

While photos of this color kind of catch the iridescence of the color, there is no substitute for seeing Oval Room Blue paint color in person. The color truly dances on the walls. I’m not a poetic person, but this color really brings it out of me!

A paint swatch of farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue
Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue No 85

What is the LRV of  Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue?

The LRV (that’s light reflective value) of Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue is approximately 32. Farrow & Ball doesn’t actually give LRVs for their paint colors. When I researched the LRV, I found a pretty wide range, so 32 is my estimate based on comparison with the other colors and their known LRVs.

What color is Oval Room Blue?

This may seem like an easy question, but Oval Room Blue paint is not simple. 

Farrow & Ball describes it this way:

Oval Room Blue is the most blackened of our blues, giving it a subtly aged feel. Named after the attractively shaped rooms of the late 18th century, it sits perfectly with our popular grays to create depth and balance in either a hall or a darker, cozier family room.

But while Farrow & Ball might put Oval Room Blue alongside their gray paints, this is NOT a gray. I have to disagree with Farrow & Ball on this one!

Oval Room Blue is an intense, saturated blue-green color. It’s truly like a gemstone on your walls.

Is Oval Room Blue teal?

Yes, I would describe this paint color as a mid-toned teal. While Farrow & Ball classifies it as a blue paint color, it’s very strongly blue-green.

A painted wall with wall decor painted with Farrow & Ball's Oval Room Blue paint color.
Photo by Kari Geha

Is Oval Room Blue a warm color?

Yes, it is a warm color. While blues are often thought of as being cool, this gorgeous color is a warmer hue thanks to its green undertones.

Is Oval Room Blue darker than Dix Blue?

The two colors – both from Farrow & Ball – are very similar, but Oval Room Blue is a bit darker. Dix Blue is an even brighter – and a bit greener – blue-green paint color. The only time Oval Room Blue looks even remotely gray is when placed next to the brighter Dix Blue.

When should I use Oval Room Blue?

Farrow & Ball recommends Oval Room Blue for a hallway or cozy family room. I love both of those ideas, but I also think there are a lot more diverse applications for this gorgeous paint color that really let it be the star of the show.

A console table stands in front of an Oval Room Blue wall
Photo by Kari Geha

Can I use Oval Room Blue as an Interior Trim Color?

I would not typically recommend this as a trim color, but I do love the idea of using this teal paint color for both an accent trim like board and batten. Using it for wainscoting and walls together would also be really beautiful, because the different textures on the wall would really let the iridescence of this paint color shine!

Is Oval Room Blue good for kitchen cabinets?

It can be! Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue kitchen walls would be beautiful all on their own, but also consider this glowing teal on the cabinets themselves. This color could work really well on lower cabinets paired with a warm white above, or as a really beautiful, statement-making kitchen island. 

Is Oval Room Blue good for a north-facing room?

Absolutely! That’s one of my favorite things about Oval Room Blue – it looks beautiful even in lower light. North facing rooms tend to get the least amount of natural light throughout the day, and the light skews cool, but that won’t stop Oval Room Blue. This blue-green paint color changes in tone with the natural light, looking greener during the day and warm at night.

Is Oval Room Blue a good dining room color?

The Oval Room Blue dining room is one of my favorite spots in the house. This color is really elegant, and it lends a certain level of sophistication to a dining room. It also pairs really well with tans, browns and creams, so it’s easy to coordinate with dining room furniture.

A dining room wall painted with Oval Room Blue by Farrow & Ball
Photo by Kari Geha

As some of you know, I constantly experiment with paint colors in my own house. The dining room – seen above in Oval Room Blue – has gone through many iterations before finally landing on Oval Room Blue. It started out as Agreeable Gray (along with the rest of the house) as a new build in 2019, and then Sherwin-Williams White Duck and Benjamin Moore Monroe Biqsue (a big mistake I’ll share more about later). You can see some of the earlier versions of this dining room below.

Most recently, the dining room was painted with Granite Peak paint. I loved this color but wanted to go a bit lighter which is what brought me to – finally – Oval Room Blue. I envision it staying this way for a very long time.

Is Oval Room Blue a good whole house color?

I would not recommend this for a whole house color. It’s just too bright and too saturated to use in every room. It really works better as an accent color. I love to use Oval Room Blue in this room in my house because there’s only three walls and it leads into my open concept spaces. While it’s technically a full room, I treat it like an accent wall.

An accent wall with console table painted with Farrow & Ball's Oval Room Blue
Photo by Kari Geha

When should I avoid Oval Room Blue?

Because Oval Room Blue is a muted color, I would typically avoid pairing Oval Room Blue with bright fresh colors, and sometimes cool white colors such as Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White or Sherwin-Williams Extra White.

However, my dining room does have SW Extra White trim and it takes nothing away from the beauty of the Farrow & Ball teal!

I also prefer not to use Oval Room Blue in too large of a space. Because the color is so saturated, it might end up feeling too overbearing. 

Instead, I like to focus this color on smaller spaces like dining rooms and bathrooms. An Oval Room Blue bedroom and/or hallway would also look beautiful!

What matches Oval Room Blue?

Because Oval Room Blue is such a full-on color, it works best when paired with many neutrals. When paired with a neutral color, it can be very versatile! It looks just as beautiful with gray tones as it does with beige.

Does Oval Room Blue go with gray?

In the photo below you can see it next to the butler pantry’s lower cabinets in the lower left corner, which are gray with green undertones and a similar LRV. I really like the way the green undertones of this gray coordinate with the green in Oval Room Blue.

A view of an Oval Room Blue dining room through a white and gray kitchen.
Photo by Kari Geha

Can you pair Oval Room Blue and Cromarty?

Speaking of green undertones…Cromarty is another gorgeous Farrow & Ball paint color that would look beautiful when placed near Oval Room Blue. Cromarty is a very light greenish-gray. I love the idea of painting using Oval Room Blue in a hallway leading toward a Cromarty room – the view of the colors would look really beautiful together.

A view from a Cromarty bathroom into a Cromarty bedroom
A bedroom wall painted with Cromarty by Farrow & Ball. Photo by M. Marceny

Choosing Oval Room Blue Complementary Colors

Speaking of the view…don’t forget to consider the view from your windows when planning out your paint colors. While it may seem silly to have to consider your neighbor’s exterior paint – or that very large pine tree outside your front door – they really do have an impact on the overall look and feel of a space.

Take my now Oval Room Blue dining room, for example. Back before it was Granite Peak but before it was Agreeable Gray, the room was – for a short period of time – a beautiful yellow-gold paint color called Monroe Bisque. While I loved the color, it clashed horribly with the taupe color of the house next door and every time I walked past the room it was all I could see!

The moral of the story is: don’t forget to think about factors outside your home too.

What are the Best Trim and Ceiling Colors For Oval Room Blue? 

Because Oval Room Blue is a warm color, the best whites for ceiling and trim are also warm. Farrow & Ball’s All White or Wimbourne White are both beautiful choices. Benjamin Moore’s Oxford White, Chantilly Lace, Cloud White or White Dove would also look really nice when paired with Oval Room Blue.

If you already have a cooler white trim in your house, it doesn’t mean you can’t use Oval Room Blue (or that you have to change your trim paint color). You should really have the same ceiling and trim white throughout the house. 

My dining room, for example, has Sherwin-Williams Extra White trim and ceiling. I’d actually be more open to going cooler with the white, but not much creamier than Benjamin Moore’s White Dove.

A dining room painted with Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue paint color.

What is the easiest way to sample Oval Room Blue?

You should always sample and test your paint colors – no matter how sure you are that you’ve chosen the right shade. The easiest way to sample Oval Room Blue (and any paint color for that matter) is via SAMPLIZE. Their peel-and-stick paint samples are easy to use and true to color. With Samplize you can easily see how different shades look on your unique wall.

Check out the SAMPLIZE website HERE.

The Best Oval Room Blue Alternatives

While there’s no true comparison for the gem-like glow of Oval Room Blue, there are a number of colors that come very close. If you’re looking for an Oval Room Blue dupe, then you’ve come to the right place.

Oval Room Blue vs Provence Blue (Behr)

Provence Blue by Behr is another very close Oval Room Blue alternative. It’s a little bit darker and a little bit greener.

Oval Room Blue vs Provence Blue

Oval Room Blue vs Mystic Lake (Benjamin Moore)

Benjamin Moore Mystic Lake is another very close Oval Room Blue color match. Mystic Lake is a little brighter and greener than Oval Room Blue, but they have the same LRV so they’re not that different.

Oval Room Blue vs  Mystic Lake paint swatches

Oval Room Blue vs Atmospheric (Benjamin Moore)

Atmospheric by Benjamin Moore is about as close to a Farrow & Ball dupe as you can get. This paint color is a little bit brighter and a little bit greener than Oval Room Blue.

Oval Room Blue vs Atmospheric

Oval Room Blue vs Jasper Stone (Sherwin-Williams)

Jasper Stone by Sherwin-Williams is a little bit more muted than some of the other Oval Room Blue alternatives. While both include some grayish hues, Oval Room Blue is a little bit bluer and Jasper Stone is a little bit greener.

Oval Room Blue vs Jasper Stone by Sherwin-Williams

Which Is the Best Oval Room Blue Paint Match? 

The paint color alternatives from Benjamin Moore (Mystic Lake or Atmospheric) and Behr (Provence Blue) are all pretty good Oval Room Blue dupes. I would stick with these instead of trying to get a paint match if you can’t order Oval Room Blue. They will get you a lot closer than trying to for an actual paint match.

In fact, just say no to paint matching! You won’t get the luminescence you get with Farrow & Ball. Even though your painter may truly believe it can be done, don’t do it. See results from paint matching Here.

The Verdict

Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue is a truly special color. It is a beautiful, mid-tone teal that adds elegance to any room. It is also a very saturated color, so we prefer it in single rooms vs open-concept areas. It’s like a jewelry box for your room!

No matter what, don’t forget to test your paint colors. Check out the SAMPLIZE website HERE. And NEVER, EVER use paint matches from a different brand than the one specified.  Results are poor.  Even though your painter may truly believe it can be done, don’t do it. See results from paint matching Here.

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Still need help to pick the best paint colors?  Discover our Online Color Consulting Package.

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A colorful graphic featuring a wall painted with Farrow & Ball Oval Room Blue

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We love your comments! Please note that the blog is meant as general advice, and it is not possible to give out specific answers to your paint questions.  If you want more specific advice, please consider purchasing a color consultation. Thank you for your understanding.

2 Responses

  1. I love the color Oval Room Blue. Do you think it would work with a gold couch and red leather chair in a west-facing small sitting room? I currently have Monroe Bisque on the walls. I want a blue/gray/green not gray.

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Driven to help clients fall back in love with their homes with intentional paint color schemes. She started the company based on her passion for color and its ability to make a house a home.

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