Why Use Naturally-Pigmented Paint? Toniton Explains

“Take a look at the Brick Red next to the Terracotta,” says Sebastian Storm, co-founder of Swedish interior design brand Toniton.

They’re not colors you might normally pair together, but sliding the paint samples next to each other opens up an entirely new world. It’s remarkable how colors contextualize each other, and the ways in which they bring out new and surprising elements depending on their pairing.

“We like to do that, make unexpected recommendations and see how our customers use them. It’s one of the best parts of working with color – the surprises!” says Sebastian.

A narrow hallway with pastel-colored walls, a blue door, and bright yellow stairs features natural paint. The stairs and hallway have a modern, minimalist design with clean lines and soft light from above.
A wooden desk with a chair located in front of three tall windows in a room painted with Toniton Naturally-Pigmented Paint, featuring green and pink hues. The windows offer a view of an outdoor scene with trees.

Launched in 2020 with his co-founders Tekla and Sander, Toniton set about creating a new “interior design toolbox” based around the inclusion of color in spaces from the private to the commercial. This toolbox is in direct response to what the Toniton founders saw as a need for greater availability of (and inspiration for) using color in the home.

“Scandinavians, and Swedes specifically, have mostly used paint to decorate our walls for a long time. But in recent years it seems that we forgot to add color! Luckily this is now changing, as people are starting to rediscover the beautiful ways of enhancing walls, ceilings and moldings with color,” says Sebastian.

A corner bathed in Toniton Naturally-Pigmented Paint, featuring a peach hue with ornate white crown molding. There’s a circular mirror, an arch niche shelf adorned with various objects like a mannequin hand, and a glimpse of the tiled wall in the background.
A group of seven rectangular prisms, painted with Toniton Naturally-Pigmented Paint in red, blue, orange, white, peach, and yellow, arranged on a concrete surface.

Toniton offers not only paint, but also tiles, countertops, taps, and more. Recently, Toniton has launched their range of eco-paints.

We’ve all heard the term “eco” enough for a lifetime of skepticism, but Toniton actually delivers on the promise: these paints are made with no microplastics. The binders in the paint are biodegradable and all colors are formulated with natural pigment. The result is both healthier and more beautiful paint colors that are just as durable and pigmented as traditional paints.

A modern bathroom featuring a floating wooden vanity, white rectangular sink, red faucet, and a stool with towels. The floor and walls are tiled in neutral colors complemented by Toniton paints, while a large mirror adds to the spacious feel.
Modern bathroom featuring a wooden vanity with a large mirror, a red faucet, Toniton Naturally-Pigmented Paint accents, and a wooden stool with a rolled towel. A glimpse of the freestanding bathtub can be seen behind the ribbed glass partition.

Sebastian explains further, “In addition to the fact that they have microplastics in them, conventional paint releases harmful gasses of chemicals to your room. These gasses are called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and they exist in all common household paints. Our natural paint, developed by Auro, doesn’t contain any harmful gasses, only natural, biodegradable ingredients.”

The clincher? The paint actually looks better on your walls than conventional paint, thanks to the way it interacts with light. “Natural pigments create beautiful shadows on your wall,” says Sebastian.

“Color is light, so shadows are vital to make the hues come alive. Conventional plastic paint creates gray shadows while the natural pigments in our paint makes the shadows shift with the daylight in subtle nuances of color.”

In addition to their wall paint selection, Toniton also makes a range for wood and metal, so you can paint the details in your home such as molding, furniture, and more. You can even use the paints outdoors, though they have not yet reached the right formulations for bathroom paint. “We’re working on it, but we haven’t gotten to the place where we’re totally happy with it. Making the best products takes time, and for us it’s better to do it right than do it fast,” says Sebastian.

A warmly lit store window labeled "Toniton Paint Boutique" with various items on display, framed by arched architecture on a quiet street in Stockholm.
Three vertical racks of Toniton Wall Paint Samples are mounted on a wall in Boutique Stockholm, displaying various shades of neutral and warm colors. The background wall is painted in a warm terracotta hue.

All of the eco-paints are available in a highly curated palette, developed by Toniton. It is, however, possible to mix almost any paint color you want – so don’t feel limited by what’s available. Sebastian notes that their palettes take an enormous amount of research and development, and the specific colors they come up with are chosen for a reason.

“Colors are affected by the things that surround them which is why we have a holistic approach to developing our color palette. Historical research and testing is at the core of the process but equally important is that we put our hues in the context of different lights and in combination with other colors, materials and surfaces. In addition to developing the colors for our eco paint, we design surrounding products that can be combined with the paint such as tiles, wall lamps and furniture,” explains Sebastian.

After the surprise success of Brick Red with Terracotta, what other colors combinations would Sebastian recommend?

“I will borrow a phrase from Toniton co-founder Tekla Severin who use to say that it’s a good idea to combine something flirty with something dirty.

“In other words: bright colors in combination with dull colors are often a good idea. Try our Ice Blue 01 Laquer paint together with Aubergine 07 Wall paint!”

Find out more about Toniton and their eco-paint.

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Rebecca Thandi Norman

Rebecca Thandi Norman is a co-founder and Editor-in-Chief at Scandinavia Standard.