7th Dec 2022 -

Choosing the right paint can make or break interior design plans. With so many brands out there, it can be difficult to choose the luxury paint that meets all of your needs. In this guide from Building Materials Nationwide, we’ll explore the major designer brands in the UK and talk about when to choose a designer option over a trade brand.

The Best Designer Paint Brands Available in the UK

Farrow & Ball

First founded over 70 years ago in Dorset, Farrow & Ball is a designer brand with humble roots. Today, they specialise in the finest paints and wallpapers, famed for their rich tones and signature naming system. 

In 2010, they made the jump towards planet-friendly business practices, overhauling their entire range of oil-based paints for eco-friendly and water-based alternatives. They reconfigured their supply line for wallpaper to more sustainable outlets, and transitioned to recycled paint tins. They also offer a unique consultancy scheme, providing expert design advice tailored to each customer. 

Little Greene

Little Greene is a family-run paint manufacturer who place an emphasis on eco-consciousness. Their range aims to recapture centuries of decorative history and reclaim colours and patterns of the past, whilst providing a line of paints and wallpapers that suit the modern day. Their range of paints contains the finest quality organic pigments and their wallpapers are crafted with non-toxic materials. They base themselves on low-impact manufacturing, offering a minimised environmental footprint. 


Lick are a newer company who have exploded onto the luxury paint market. Describing itself as a people-centred business, Lick specialises in sustainable practice and innovation. Where most designer paint brands align themselves with older demographics and classic heritage styles, Lick is aiming for the future with their eco-conscious manufacturing and fresh range of colours. 


With nearly 250 years of experience in the formulation of paint, Vintro paints offer a high level of quality. Their wide range is made using the finest pigments, offering a signature richness and creamy texture. Over their long history they have built up a catalogue of over 350,000 colours, giving them one of the largest portfolios on the market.


Another newer brand, Coat, prides itself on a plain and simple approach to formulas for fresh and reliable coverage, with no extra hassle. The range offered is perfect for contemporary homes and traditional settings looking to modernise. The paints in Coat’s catalogue are solvent-free and made to order, meaning less waste and better environmental performance overall.

Impera Italia

Bringing high-end Italian design to the British people, Impera Italia offers a stunning range of decorative products, including a signature Marco Polo range of metallic paints previously only available at exclusive trade shows in Italy, giving a beautiful textured finish. These paints offer world class looks, suiting modern architecture and high-class interior design.

When Should You Choose a Designer Paint?

Luxury paint brands are just that: a luxury. They come with inherent quality assurance and reliability, but that does not mean they are always the right choice. When decorating, it is better to use a mix of both designer and trade paint brands in order to get the most out of your money. When looking to choose the right paint for your project, you should ask a few key questions before choosing a designer option: 

  • Do you want a very specific colour? – Traditional brands usually have a much wider range of colours in their paint collections. Designer brands tend to have a limited catalogue, with a focus on quality over quantity.
  • Are you under a strict budget? – Designer brands are going to come with heftier price tags. If working on a limited budget, it might be better to opt for a less premium supplier, such as Dulux, Johnstone’s, or Crown.
  • Is the area you are painting large or small? – When trying to cover a large area with a base coat or simple wash, cheaper paints are usually the way to go. Designer brands tend to come in much smaller containers, meaning it will be harder and more costly to paint larger spaces.
  • Do you want richness in colour? – If you are looking for a deep shade, or a real statement colour, designer brands will deliver. Their range of pigments is of much higher quality, so they are able to achieve intense, luxurious tones in their paint collections.
  • Is eco-friendliness important to you? – Designer paint brands, due to their audience and pricing, are usually able to fund much more sustainable manufacturing processes. That does not mean to say that traditional brands are not doing their bit, but if you are shopping for paint with low environmental impact and high quality, designer paints could be right for you.
  • Is the area going to be obstructed? – In a similar vein to the size of the space you are painting, if the area is going to be obstructed by shelving, paintings, or other furniture, in the case of bedrooms and living rooms especially, then it may be best to not to waste money on a designer paint that will not even be seen.
  • Are you seeking help from professional designers? – Large-scale designer brands usually offer a professional consultancy service as part of their product line. If you need the help of a design expert, whether to help you choose the right palette for your space or even if you just need advice on the range available, it will be best to choose a designer brand.

Your Supplier for Quality Designer Paint

Building Materials Nationwide supplies quality building supplies to professionals across the industry. If you are looking for just the right brand of paint for your project, be it designer or trade, we can source it through our network of suppliers. With our trade accounts, you will receive exclusive offers and a dedicated account manager who can organise a huge range of products delivered to you. 

Sign up for a trade account today.