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Color Inspiration, Travel

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

February 6, 2016

I just returned from England and spent a beautiful day in the southwest along the coast for an exclusive tour, interview with Head of Creative, Charlotte Crosby, a special lunch at The Squash Court Cafe, and a tour of the Farrow & Ball headquarters along with a private showing of the Deans Court Home. What a great day it was because there was so much to see and just be inspired by, so first I’ll start with the tour and then wrap up with my very informal chat with Charlotte. Located in Wimborne, Dorset, their headquarters consists of several office spaces, the wallpaper and paint factory, and a showroom. When I arrived, my tour of the paint factory began so l’ll share that with you now…

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

Farrow & Ball was launched in 1946 by John Farrow and Richard Ball who shared a passion for creating paint in accordance with the original formulations, using only traditional methods in making paint (and later, wallpaper) by skilled craftsman and they wanted the ingredients to be only the best quality.

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

While touring, I spoke to several of these “makers” from the guys in the lab who do quality assurance to ensure that all paint pots are 100% perfect before leaving the facility, to the guys who mix the colors, work on the lines and pack the paints. They were so polite and clearly dedicated to their trade; you could sense the pride and that alone was inspiring since I always pictured factory work as being either stressful or passionless (or both).

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

I want to buy and support their products even more now that I’ve seen them being made first hand, and meeting so many of the men who work hard to create the perfect tints and tones. While touring, I heard a little story about how some of the guys get excited when they blend a color that may not be correct for Farrow & Ball (more of a happy accident) and so they pull it but they show the staff anyway because they sometimes think it’s a great color and should be considered for the next collection. I thought that was very sweet, because they too enjoy being involved in the creative process and are inspired by the colors around them, tuned in to the work they are doing and feel a sense of pride for it.

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

I was also struck that none of the paint or wallpapers are mass-produced in some factory overseas. Everything is made right there in Dorset.

After touring the paint factory, it was on to the wallpaper factory only a few buildings away. First, their wallpapers are not made using ink (most today are), which is already impressive. Another thing that impressed me is that each background color on the wallpaper is painted with a layer of eco-friendly water-based paint (they have over 70 background colors!). Not only do I love that each roll is painted first but that they are using non-toxic paints and vanishes. I knew this though the moment I walked in because I have allergies and normally get headaches when I’m around paint and wallpaper but the paint factory only smelled a bit like clay and the wallpaper factory, like a newly cracked-open book.I am impressed by their dedication to producing products that don’t make your home smell toxic for days after it is installed. In fact, when I painted my son’s nursery a few weeks before he was born, I was surprised by how it didn’t smell at all. It made me feel safer to put a baby in the room.

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

It was actually refreshing to be in a factory that was so bright, clean and fume-free with cheerful workers. These points really stood out for me. So now, back to the process… After the papers are painted, they then move through a large machine where they are dried.

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

You can see the paint being applied above inside of the red machine, see the large brush sweeping the color back and forth? Applying paint to the rolls first gives the paper that tactile texture that their customers love so much for that truly one-of-a-kind feel.

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

Rolls are then stored until pattern is applied. From there, there are three different methods to applying pattern: roller block printing, flat bed block printing or trough method. I was able to experience all three and was so impressed by how much care is giving to a single roll of paper. It also impressed upon me why I love their wallpaper so much – it is so tactile and beautiful.

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

I loved watching the flat bed block printing and the roller printing. The machines were working hard but none were left alone, each had a dedicated professional keeping their eagle-eye on every step ensuring the best quality. They had to even check to see that the prints were always being applied straight and that the new print that was rolled on was perfectly aligned with the one before it. The worker and the machine, were one. A strong team churning out incredible wallpaper.

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

After touring the wallpaper factory, I met with Head of Creative, Charlotte Cosby (pictured below) who combs the globe for color inspiration both new and old, many of the colors are repurposed from historical properties. Their historically-derived paint colors and patterns is such an inspiration to so many who have purchased old homes and want to inject them with color that fits the style or era but others simply love to put their chalky-matte colors in their modern homes to make them even more beautiful.

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

Charlotte studied Management Science at University and worked in finance only to realize that banking wasn’t for her. She moved to London to work for an ad agency but still wasn’t “feeling” her job, she yearned to be more creative so she took on work as a freelance interior designer and then, gallery owner. In only her early 20’s at the time, she got a job at Farrow & Ball and her career really set off. Now in her early 30’s, she heads a team of creatives that choose new paints and wallpaper patterns for upcoming collections. A dream job to so many!

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

This is primarily where Charlotte and her team plan and invent new colors and ideas for the brand.

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

Charlotte is here showing the 9 new colors for their collection, I wrote and shared the colors a few days ago here.

I’m so glad that I was able to visit Farrow & Ball and spend time around their busy makers and creatives for the day. I learned so much about how much work is truly involved in making their products which gave me even greater respect for the brand overall. I hope you have enjoyed this tour and my photographs… I’ll be back next week with some inspiration from London and Paris for you, so stay tuned.

A big thanks to F&B for having me!

This post was brought to you by Farrow & Ball. All photography and words are my own.

(Photography + Text: Holly Becker)

 

 






Color Inspiration

9 New Colors From Farrow + Ball

February 4, 2016

Hello everyone! I have so much to tell you about… I’ve just returned from 5 days in Paris, then I was home for 3 days to be with my little boy, then I spent 8 nights in London. What a whirlwind adventure. It was all for work, though I had plenty of fun, so you can only imagine the overwhelming amount of inspiration that I picked up along the way. I want to share a special visit to Farrow & Ball that I had last week when I toured their factory and headquarters in southwest England, but first, I simply must share their 9 new colors for 2016 while I’m working on the factory tour post. I saw the new colors actually being made and they are gorgeous. Meeting with Creative Director, Charlie Crosby, discussing the process of color naming and development was just fascinating, too. It was great to be in the factory experiencing the process from beginning to end for both wallpaper and paint, and to chat with the color lab guys to learn how extremely dedicated they are to each and every can of paint being made so that it is just perfect. Want to see the new colors? I’m sure you’ll love them. I’ll tell you my favorites below…

9 New Colors From Farrow + Ball

Left: Shadow White, “Shadow White is the lighter version of Shaded White so the two are linked and work perfectly together. Both names are taken from the soft tone created when whites are covered in a deep shade.” It has a shaded feeling when used in south facing rooms. // Right: Drop Cloth, “We’ve named this colour Drop Cloth in honour of all the painters and decorators who have worked with Farrow & Ball paints for so long, as it’s the traditional name for a dust sheet. The colour has a subtle touch of mystery about it.” Great choice for east facing rooms because it appears strong in the morning and more muted as the day progresses.

9 New Colors From Farrow + Ball

Left: Worsted, “Taking its name from city suiting often made from flat woven fabric, and the sleepy Norfolk village where the yarn was originally created.”  Looks strong and gritty in north facing rooms which can be super moody and fantastic. // Right: Cromarty, “The Shipping Forecast is very much part of the fabric of British life – warning all sailors about impending gales and wind. Cromarty’s name is taken from the Cromarty Firth estuary and conjures up visions of swirling mists.” Color changes from blue to neutrals in west facing rooms, a nice choice there.

9 New Colors From Farrow + Ball

Left: Peignoir, “Chemise, Blazer and Babouche are all names of colours in our paint palette that have been inspired by pieces of clothing. So with that in mind, Peignoir is named after the sheer floaty garment traditionally worn by ladies while brushing their hair in the mid-20th century, perfectly summing up the romance of this hazy grey-pink.” Suggested to pair with all white in south facing rooms for a contemporary and clean look. // Right: Yeabridge Green, “This colour was found at Yeabridge House, an 18th century Georgian Hamstone farmhouse, when the original gun cupboard was removed. This vibrant verdant green had laid untouched for many years but was amazingly still reminiscent of the lush Somerset grass that surrounds the house.” Looks great in rooms with northern lighting.

9 New Colors From Farrow + Ball

Left: Vardo “A Vardo is a traditional horse drawn gypsy or Romany wagon. A similar colour was used in the intricate patterning of these showmen’s vehicles (usually over red) which is seen as an important cultural high point in decoration during the mid-19th century.” Suggested for pairing with white and for using in west-facing rooms. // Right: Inchyra Blue, “This is inspired by a bespoke colour made for Lord & Lady Inchyra at beautiful classic Georgian Inchyra House in Scotland. Inchyra Blue is used on the exterior doors of their very impressive byre (or barn) which was restored in 2013. It nestles at the bottom of a rather grey and imposing brae (or hill) so needed to have a depth to it but also be sympathetic to its dramatic backdrop and work with the moody Scottish skies.” Looks best in west facing rooms.

9 New Colors From Farrow + Ball

Both: Salon Drab, “Room names have always proven to be popular choice for us and the use of the word Salon not only refers to the small outer room of a drawing room but also conjures up a cultural, intellectual conversational hub. A two-part name, combining Salon, the small outer room off a drawing room, with Drab, a term favoured by true colourists, which simply describes a colour as lacking in brightness.” It is suggested to use this color for darker north facing rooms to make them feel more cozy.

My favorite is Vardo. Their collection really need a teal and it’s such a great color for those who love the strength of Arsenic but want less green and more blue. Vardo is gorgeous. I also love Salon Drab because it’s the perfect brown. Brown can be SO WRONG but this brown is SO RIGHT. It’s exactly the brown I saw a lot in Paris and it looks great with tons of artwork displayed against it. Worsted is the perfect gray. It’s not too light and not too dark, it’s perfectly in the middle. Cromarty is another color I like because it’s so fresh and summery. It reminds me of my childhood days at the beach.

What about you, any color favorites from what I’ve shown above?

I can’t wait to share the Farrow & Ball factory tour with you tomorrow. Stay tuned!

(Photography: Farrow & Ball)

 






Color Inspiration

8 Ways To Decorate With Marsala: Pantone Color of the Year 2015

February 17, 2015

I’m not so sure about these colors of the year lately, are you? Last year, Pantone told us that radiant orchid (post here) was all the rage. Now color experts Pantone are now celebrating marsala for 2015 which is somewhere between a dressed up version of terra cotta and a less intense merlot. For fashion, I can see it – a nice marsala lip or nail works for Autumn just perfectly. But for the home, well that’s a harder sell for  me. In fact, this is a hard post to write because marsala doesn’t appeal to me but since I like to challenge myself, I wanted to source several great spaces that incorporate marsala that even I would like. Ultimately, you can judge whether or not you’d use it in your space but my 8 tips are a great starting point if you’re a little marsala shy. And who knows, by the end of this post, this color may even win me over.

8 Ways To Decorate With Marsala: Pantone Color of the Year 2015

image: Lonny

1. In a small, bold space. If you live in a charming apartment in Chicago or Manhattan or even a bungalow in LA, and you love a good global, well-traveled vibe, then marsala can be worked in to your interior if you accent with brass and mix in lots of blue and orange. The space below looks like a textile designer, buyer for a great interiors store, mag editor, stylist, author or designer occupies this space. Someone with class and style.

8 Ways To Decorate With Marsala: Pantone Color of the Year 2015

image: Elle Decor featuring space of Interior Designer John Saldino

2. Global + Bold. Marsala needs to be either all or nothing in a room, in my opinion. A simple accent or over-the-top flashy. This space is positively soaked in tones of red, including marsala. The creamy whites and natural woods ground it as do the white cherry blossoms which make the space feel less formal. I keep seeing textiles, ceramics and art from countries like China, Turkey, Morocco and India because this color is definitely more common in those countries – I’ve been to both Morocco and Turkey and found loads of marsala in the bazaars there in everything from pottery to throw rugs.

8 Ways To Decorate With Marsala: Pantone Color of the Year 2015

image: Staffan Tollgard Design Group

3. Classy with a bit of Hollywood glam. Marsala works in a space where the foundation is neutral and the lines very classic like this elegant flat which feels very Hollywood despite that it’s in Notting Hill decorated by Swedish designer Staffan Tollgard. It looks oh so glamourous. What works here is that marsala is only used as an accent color on the dining chairs. No where else. The flowers in tones of red and purple help the space overall to feel more balanced so there is less of a contrast between the deep dark chairs and the creamy white floors, walls, ceiling, built-in bank, etc.

8 Ways To Decorate With Marsala: Pantone Color of the Year 2015

image: Pernille Kaalund for Bolig magasinet

4. A bold single piece. This eclectic modern space with a bright white base and tons of natural light is a nice place to use marsala as an accent color.  Blue, yellow, orange and red work great with this color. If you want to use marsala in this way, stick to a single piece and mix in other colors.

8 Ways To Decorate With Marsala: Pantone Color of the Year 2015

image: Pernille Kaalund for Bolig magasinet

5. Rugs. Marsala works in perfectly in rugs, have you noticed? And you can find this color in so many rugs that are sourced in Turkmenistan, Turkey, northern Afghanistan, Morocco, Uzbekistan and India. And because they’re on the floor, and usually combined with other colors and patterns, marsala becomes a nice stable tone to ground the room overall.

8 Ways To Decorate With Marsala: Pantone Color of the Year 2015

image: Pernille Kaalund for Bolig magasinet

6. Small Accents in the Kitchen. A tea box, a frying pan, wood stain, or in a rug. Mixed with indigo, a hint of mustard, brushed metal and reclaimed wood it really works without feeling dated or bad 1980’s (vs. good 80s).

8 Ways To Decorate With Marsala: Pantone Color of the Year 2015

image: Houzz

7. With bright primary orange, light gray and red. In a contemporary setting, marsala works great with bright red and orange nearby because both bring heat and energy and marsala neutralizes them a bit. With gray, wow what a winning combo! Makes marsala feel more modern and clear somehow.

8 Ways To Decorate With Marsala: Pantone Color of the Year 2015

 

image: Brittany Ambridge for Domino

8. Artwork. You may not have noticed the painted above the sofa at first glance because the rug clearly dominates, also in marsala, but the painting really brings the eye up off of the floor and harmonizes the space from a color perspective. This room is really lovely and that rug lifts the room making it feel very peppy and even a little sexy!

So, you tell me – Marsala – Pantone Color of the Year – Hell no or hello? I like it but only if it’s combined in a pattern (like a rug) or in artwork, a pillow, etc. But I don’t like it as a solid color accent (like a chair) or as a wall color. What about you?

(images linked to their sources above)






Color Inspiration

Winter Styling With Metallics + Pastels

December 22, 2014

Dietlind Wolf has been on the blog before because she’s a huge inspiration to me. Whenever I need a creative lift, I dive into her blog and soak it all in. In fact, she is one of the best interior stylists in the world in my opinion – so forward thinking – nothing ever looks stagnant and I never feel like I’ve already seen it a million times. Several years ago we had a long chat on the phone about doing a workshop together and I’m still considering it because I’d love to be a part of any classroom experience with her. Have a look at some of her recent styling work which appeared as a supplement recently in Brigitte magazine. Isn’t this all just so fabulously inspiring?

Winter Styling With Metallics + Pastels

Winter Styling With Metallics + Pastels

Winter Styling With Metallics + Pastels

Winter Styling With Metallics + Pastels

Winter Styling With Metallics + Pastels

Winter Styling With Metallics + Pastels

Winter Styling With Metallics + Pastels

Winter Styling With Metallics + Pastels

Winter Styling With Metallics + Pastels

I don’t know about you, but seeing these pretty things and this fab color palette really made me smile today. This makes me think of Kirsten Dunst in the 2006 film, Marie Antoinette… I loved that film — the set design, costumes, all of it.

Winter Styling With Metallics + Pastels

Heavenly!

(images: dietlind wolf except for kirsten dunst, courtesy of fan pop)






Color Inspiration

Seriously Cool Color Combos For Interiors + Stylist Kate Imogen Wood

October 23, 2014

Want to see some amazing color combos for interiors today? Kate Imogen Wood is a British stylist from the lakes region now living and working in Copenhagen. She began styling when I started blogging, in 2005, and hasn’t looked back ever since – she is obsessed with Scandinavian interiors which shows in her portfolio which you can view online here. She was nice enough to write to me to introduce herself so I thought, since I really like what I saw when I viewed her work, that I’d choose and share some of my favorites from her work below. I choose these based on primarily the color combinations. They struck me as really current and unusual – lilac with shades of green and apricot with yellow – so good! See what you think.

Seriously Cool Color Combos For Interiors + Stylist Kate Imogen Wood

Seriously Cool Color Combos For Interiors + Stylist Kate Imogen Wood

Seriously Cool Color Combos For Interiors + Stylist Kate Imogen Wood

Seriously Cool Color Combos For Interiors + Stylist Kate Imogen Wood

Seriously Cool Color Combos For Interiors + Stylist Kate Imogen Wood

Seriously Cool Color Combos For Interiors + Stylist Kate Imogen Wood

What do you think about these color combos? Aren’t they bananas? ** love ** And I’m all for the tropical theme going on at the moment, you too? I predict it will go right into the new year and be a big part of 2015 interiors, what do you think?

(images: kate imogen wood with permission)






Color Inspiration

Fading Flower Prints By Trine Hisdal

May 26, 2014

If you are a flower lover like me, you just may love what I’m about to show you since it’s quite a unique take on the typical flower photography that you see on the walls of most homes. Trine Hisdal is a photographer based in Oslo, Norway who has captured flowers dying in a most stunning way through her new series of floral prints. Trine wanted to, “document the fragility of flowers and their short lived beauty, and how they look beautiful even as they start to fade.” This is just so, so pretty. But don’t take my word for it — Take a look, what do you think?
Fading Flower Prints By Trine Hisdal

Fading Flower Prints By Trine Hisdal

Fading Flower Prints By Trine Hisdal

Fading Flower Prints By Trine Hisdal

Fading Flower Prints By Trine Hisdal

Fading Flower Prints By Trine Hisdal

Fading Flower Prints By Trine Hisdal

Fading Flower Prints By Trine Hisdal

These limited editions are exhibited and sold at Røst, a design and interior shop in Norway. I’m in love.

(images: via Åshild Røssland by Trine Hisdal)






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