A 19th-century color guide used by the likes of Charles Darwin has been brought back to life via Farrow & Ball’s new Colour by Nature collection. The 16-hue line was released last fall in collaboration with London’s Natural History Museum, which holds an early copy of the work, Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours, in its rare books library.
Based on shades found in nature, the 200-year-old handbook was assembled by Scottish painter Patrick Syme, who built off the findings of German geologist Abraham Gottlob Werner. Syme carefully prepared his palette by deriving pigments from animals, plants and minerals; painting the colors on paper; and cutting and pasting them into the book by category. Darwin carried a copy on his famous HMS Beagle voyage, and scientists and artists still reference the guide today in pocket-sized versions printed by Smithsonian Books.
Farrow & Ball selected 16 hues straight from Syme’s pages to create Colour by Nature, which extends the brand’s timeless 132-color paint library. These shades include Emerald Green, which Syme culled from a “beauty spot on [the] wing of a teal drake,” and Imperial Purple, inspired by the inside of the saffron crocus flower.
Colors in the collection come in five interior finishes, each blended using the brand’s signature eco-friendly, water-based formula. Says Charlotte Cosby, head of creative at Farrow & Ball, “With the expertise of the Natural History Museum, we hope to inspire homes across the globe—and what better way to do that than with eco-friendly colors inspired by nature?” farrow-ball.com
CLEVELAND PARK—37th Annual Christmas House Tour
December 6 & 7 • The St. Albans School’s holiday house tour guides visitors through decorated homes in DC’s Cleveland Park neighborhood, as well as the Sayre House at Washington National Cathedral. stalbansschool.org
MARYLAND—Countryside Artisans Holiday Tour
December 6 to 8, 13 to 15 • Visitors can tour the galleries and studios of talented visual, sculptural and textile artists during two weekends in December. Participants enjoy scenic drives, artisan meet-and-greets and holiday shopping in rural Montgomery, Howard and Frederick Counties. countrysideartisans.com
OLD TOWN ALEXANDRIA—Holiday Home Tours
December 7 • In conjunction with Old Town’s Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, this tour spotlights splendid homes decked out for the holidays by local designers and florists. campagnacenter.org
WASHINGTON DESIGN CENTER—Fourth Annual Holiday Fête
December 12 • Local interior design teams partner with Washington Design Center showrooms to create inspiring holiday tabletops. Highlights from last year’s fête included a mod, Gio Ponti-style tablescape by Caryn Cramer and Gretchen Everett in Romo; and a “Game of Thrones”-inspired “feast” by David Anthony Chenault in Hines & Company. Home & Design is a media sponsor; proceeds benefit Children’s National Foundation. designcenterdc.com
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL, DC—Light Up the Season
December 15 • Thirteen notable DC-area designers will collaborate with Children’s National patients to create holiday trees, mantelpieces, wreaths and menorahs. These unique designs are available for purchase, with proceeds benefitting Children’s National. The family-friendly event also features ornament-making, pop-up boutiques and musical performances. childrensnational.org/lightuptheseason
BMW expands its family of sleek sports cars with the four-door 2020 8 Series Gran Coupe. While retaining the brand’s familiar elegant lines, the model stands out with sculpted sides that lead back to a wide posterior and fin-like trunk. The spacious M8 coupe does not sacrifice performance for comfort; this eight-cylinder model with a turbo engine produces 523 horsepower and reaches a top speed of 155 mph. From $84,900. bmwusa.com
Buben&Zorweg, a German luxury brand known for its safes and timepieces, recently unveiled Illusion—a state-of-the-art cache designed to safeguard jewelry, watches and other valuables. After Illusion is unlocked via fingerprint recognition or a transponder chip, a unique mechanism automatically raises multiple levels of storage for easy access. Its stainless-steel exterior is covered in hand-stitched Italian leather; the deluxe model features a signature Buben&Zorweg timepiece on top. From $21,900. buben-zorweg.com