Life is too short to live in black and white

Published: 28/01/2021

When it comes to improving your home, changing the colour scheme will give you an instant and dramatic effect, and with the least disruption or expense.

Choosing the perfect shade is a personal thing, but the choice of which brand to buy has become something of a dull experience for us Brits, with many opting for a tin of Dulux from one of the DIY warehouses.

But what if you’d like something rather more special?

Berkhamsted and Tring are full of unique, historic and remarkable homes, so wouldn’t it be fantastic if there was something more personal out there – and dare we say it, artisanal – to reflect you and your home’s, individuality?

As it turns out, there is.

Independent British paint specialists, Fenwick and Tilbrook is a small family-run firm making high quality, low VOC paint that’s made to your order and delivered the next day. Simon Tilbrook heads up the company.

“I had a background in printing, but I’d always wanted a business that actually made something. Creating Fenwick & Tilbrook felt like a real opportunity to bring a wonderful product to market with an unrivalled concept in quality. Beautiful British-made paints were in danger of disappearing.”

And so it was, that Fenwick & Tilbrook was born in 2016.

Today, the company offers more than 200 shades in 6 finishes, including a clay paint that’s ideal for the period homes and listed buildings you find in and around Berkhamsted and Tring. Colour specialist Clare Tilbrook will even work with you to create your own, bespoke colour if necessary. All the paint is lovingly hand crafted by the team at their factory in Norfolk.

As the business has grown, so have the team’s knowledge. “It’s easy to make cheap paint by putting more water in, or by adding cheap fillers such as chalk, but ultimately it will just need more coats and will end up costing more for an inferior finish. The intense depth of colour and light-reflective qualities of our paints are due to the high quality pigments in our unique recipe.”

Quality and credentials aside, an article about paint wouldn’t be complete without some colour advice, so we asked Anna Hill, Fenwick & Tilbrook’s brand director and former local resident, for the latest trends.

“We’ve seen less interest in the cool, stark whites and more people opting for neutrals with pink or taupe undertones. There’s been a shift towards bolder colours too, with deep dusty blues like Burnham Overy proving very popular”.

You can see Burnham Overy (pictured) on the bedroom walls of Admirals House, a gigantic Georgian naval property in Plymouth, where Instagram sensation Greg Penn - aka @manwithahammer - is restoring the house to its former glory.

Fenwick & Tilbrook can be contacted on 01362 684125, or visit their online shop at