DIY

DIY: Moroccan-Inspired Fabric Coasters

February 16, 2016

Hello! It’s Agata here with a design and travel inspired DIY story. But first, I am extremely excited to be a part of the all new decor8 team and to share my ideas with you guys in a monthly home-related column. In my projects, I’ll aim to create pretty details for your spaces following recent trends and styles, but no rocket science, I promise! All of my tutorials are very easy to follow, so you can try them at home with no stress. Having said that, it’s time to get creative and design some Moroccan coasters. Are you ready?

DIY: Moroccan-Inspired Fabric Coasters

Undeniably, there has been a lot of excitement surrounding Arabic fabrics in the last couple of years. And, when I say a lot, I really mean a lot. It seems like we are slightly obsessed draping every surface around our homes with the Beni Ouarain rugs, cushions, blankets, table runners, and everything else we can find with fluffy ends and zig zag lines. In fact, it appears the trend is still very hot as I saw Moroccan curtains the other day.

DIY: Moroccan-Inspired Fabric Coasters

In keeping with this Moroccan trend, I came up with a new accessory. It’s something I haven’t seen yet, a mini version of the rugs for our hot drinks or our plants. Before we get into the details I have a confession to make, I love pretty fabrics and all sorts of textiles. My cupboards are filled with many materials I bring back from my travels or find digging in the street market baskets, but when it comes to sewing, I’m not the girl for the job. Seriously. My skills allow me to sew a button to a jacket, but that’s about it. Any sewing jobs involving a sewing machine scares me, so I always look for alternative ways to bring my ideas to life. And, here it is, a very simple way to make no-sew fabric Moroccan coasters. Your drink will be dying to rest on these!

DIY: Moroccan-Inspired Fabric Coasters

You will need:
– Thin layer of cork
– Arabic style fabric in beige color
– Craft knife
– Scissors
– Fabric pens – black and blue
– Strong hardware double-sided tape

DIY: Moroccan-Inspired Fabric Coasters

Instructions:
1. First, you will need to decide how big you want your coasters to be – the standard size is 4 in x 4 in but since we are going for the look of the rug I thought 4 in (+1 in of fluff, 1/2 in on each side) x 3.5 in was perfect.
2. Draw the desired shape on thin layer of cork and cut it out, using a craft knife.

DIY: Moroccan-Inspired Fabric Coasters
3. Cut the right size fabric for each coaster, adding 1 in to the long side for the rug edge fluff and be sure to leave enough fabric to wrap it around the cork.
4. Cover both sides of the cork with the double-sided tape making sure to cover the entire surface.
NOTE: The hardware double tape is so strong that if you want to readjust the fabric at the later stage you might not be able to, so make sure to be as precise as you can from the beginning.

DIY: Moroccan-Inspired Fabric Coasters

5. Remove the protective layer from the tape and place the cork right in the middle of the fabric. Then wrap the fabric around it and press to the cork to the other side. At the end you should have cork tightly secured to the fabric.
6. Unravel a thread at the edges of your coaster, until you reach cork and tape. Then repeat it on the other side of the coaster.
7. Once you finish unraveling the edges of your mini rug coaster, stick double sided on top of the fabric ends to prevent from unraveling and give the bottom of the coaster a nice finish.

DIY: Moroccan-Inspired Fabric Coasters

8. Now comes the fun part! It’s time to make your own your pattern! Get the fabric pens and get creative. The good thing is, the lines on the original rugs are never perfectly straight so it can’t go wrong.

The best thing about this DIY is how easy they are to make. I do have an insane amount of coasters at home, suitable for different occasions, but I have to say, these are particularly eye catching.

What do you think of them? Are you also into the Moroccan trend? Have a great day and I’ll see you back here with another DIY story in March! – Agata.

(Photography, Styling and Text: Agata Dimmich. Editor: Jessy Senti)






Arts + Crafts

5 Spring Gift Wrap Ideas

February 13, 2016

Hello everyone, are you ready for some gift wrap inspiration for Spring? I really enjoyed putting together this post for you about gift wrap ideas for your upcoming celebrations. My fingers are crossed that you will like it too. Using some wrapping paper from Zazzle along with goodies from my craft closet, I pulled together 5 pretty gifts for 5 different types of people and occasions, all with a fresh Spring theme.

5 Spring Gift Wrap Ideas

Before deciding how to wrap your present, you have to consider who it is for and the colors that you think the recipient will like the most. Collect all of the little elements. You won’t use them all, but at least you have them laid out before you to build your ideas from.

5 Spring Gift Wrap Ideas

1. TEENAGE BOY BIRTHDAY – My first gift is for a pretend nephew with the first name Andrew, and he just turned 12. So I went with something that could be a little childlike but also cool teenage boy, too.

5 Spring Gift Wrap Ideas
I used two gift wraps from Zazzle, the Black and White Modern Concrete Pattern Wrapping Paper and the Customizable Black & White Grid Pattern Gift Wrap. I created a band using the Grid Pattern wrap, then I pulled out a straw from my kitchen stash and formed an “A” using scissors, then with black washi tape, I wrapped it together and added copper wire to the top.

5 Spring Gift Wrap Ideas
I really love the Black and White Modern Concrete Pattern Wrapping Paper. I have so many more ideas for it but this one works for a teenage boy. I added some stars for a little fun and tied the A with gold leather.

5 Spring Gift Wrap Ideas
For these two gift ideas, I’ve used the Modern Black and White Dalmatian Spots Wrapping Paper and the Black & White Grid paper. With various papers, handmade crepe paper flowers, washi tapes, etc. I created these two gifts shown below. I find it really helpful to decide on everything you want for the gift by land things side by side on a white bare table so it becomes a bit of a mood board to you. As you look at everything with a critical eye, you start to come up with some clever and creative combinations. The key is not to stress or think to hard. And have fun! Create some fun arrangements with color and pattern. Inject your own style and personality into your wrapping as well as taking into consideration the recipient – their age, gender, occasion, etc.

5 Spring Gift Wrap Ideas

BIRTHDAY TODDER BOY (OR GIRL) – This little gift, using the Modern Black and White Dalmatian Spots Wrapping Paper, is for my little boy who turned TWO this week. Instead of hiding such a pretty card away, I thought it should be part of the display so I folded back the envelope flap and tucked it into the front. I really love this paper, it’s so versatile and I can see doing all sorts of creative projects with it.

5 Spring Gift Wrap Ideas

EASTER BRUNCH FOR FEMALE FRIEND – Here is what became of the Black & White Grid paper and the flowers I showed a moment ago (above) laid out. I formed a little paper cone, put the flowers inside and hung some ribbons through the bottom and secured around the cone. It’s so simple and easy but very graphic and makes a bold statement. This is a gift for a stylish girlfriend, one who is a Kate Spade kind of girl – a bit preppy and definitely loves bold and graphic design.

5 Spring Gift Wrap Ideas

MOTHER’S DAY – My next gift idea is with the Gold Foil Polka Dots Modern Teal Mint Metallic Wrapping Paper and some supplies from my closet, including origami papers and washi tape. This is a very Japanese-inspired look. It’s for Mother’s Day, I know she loves pretty pastels and delicate prints.

5 Spring Gift Wrap Ideas

BABY SHOWER – I did the same thing with the card as I did earlier, I let the card show on the front of the package. I’ve used the Faux Bois Wrapping Paper and then the Herringbone Pattern Faux Gold Foil Teal Geometric Wrapping Paper to create a thin band around the gift. You’ll notice that I didn’t end up using a lot of ribbon on any of my gifts. I think it’s because I’m currently not that into it as much as I was in years’ past. We all go through phases. Currently, my obsession is paper of all kinds. Oh, and I tucked a Aqua Blue Very Merry Christmas Gift Tag inside, I just used the opposite side so you can’t see the “Very Merry” message. I believe in reusing Xmas tags all year round so they don’t go to waste.

5 Spring Gift Wrap Ideas

Those are some of my gift wrap ideas. I hope they’ve inspired you.

Other papers I have from Zazzle that I have used and love (not shown on my gift ideas) include:
Tiny Trees Wrapping Paper
Gold Foil Polka Dots Modern Holiday White Metallic Wrapping Paper
Herringbone Pattern Faux Gold Foil White Geometric Wrapping Paper
Black and White Stripes Wrapping Paper
Coral and Blue Girly Plaid Gift Wrap
Fresh Winter Evergreens
Faux Gold Foil White Arrows Pattern Wrapping Paper

This post was created in collaboration with Zazzle. All words, text and opinions are my own.

(Photography, Styling, Text: Holly Becker)






Recipes

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Pot de Crème with Rosemary Chantilly

February 11, 2016

Hi there, I’m a brand new columnist here on decor8 and my name is Gintare Marcel. I’m a cookbook author (4 of them so far) and an avid traveller. I’m originally from Lithuania, but now I divide my time between the mountain covered Swiss countryside and sunny Provence with my French husband, with a few other stops here and there. I’m very excited to join Holly and the whole team at decor8. Each month I’ll be sharing a delicious recipe and sometimes a glimpse of food from my travels. I hope to inspire you to roll up your sleeves to cook, enjoy food, and perhaps dream a little. To begin, I have something very indulgent and all about chocolate since February 14th is just around the corner.

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Pot de Crème with Rosemary Chantilly
Chocolate seemed like an appropriate topic for Valentine’s Day to linger upon and it is my firm belief that chocolate is indeed a quintessential ingredient to a happy life. What do you think? There can never be too much of it. So, how about a smooth and decadent cup of chocolate for you today?

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Pot de Crème with Rosemary Chantilly
Pot de crème is a French classic that has as many variations as stars in the sky but for a good reason. It is a quick and easy dessert that results in wonderfully indulgent chocolate cups with delicate orange notes and a touch of liqueur, if you like that sort of thing (wink).

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Pot de Crème with Rosemary Chantilly
However, the unsung hero of this desert is the rosemary. Yes, really. I love to add a bit of a savory kick to my desserts and rosemary goes so well with chocolate. It makes an easy dessert a little more special. The rosemary cream is simple to make and you can use the same method to infuse any regular cream with lavender, thyme or any flavor of your choice for experiment.

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Pot de Crème with Rosemary Chantilly

Chocolate Orange Pot de Crème
130g dark chocolate (70% cacao), finely chopped
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp sugar
1 orange zest, finely grated
1 cup/250 ml milk
½ cup/120 ml cream
1 tbsp Grand Marnier

Rosemary Chantilly
½ cup/120 ml cream
a few rosemary sprigs
1-2 tsp sugar

How To:
Place the chopped chocolate in a blender, set aside. Heat milk and cream until just simmering. Beat egg yolks with sugar and zest and pour in the milk stirring vigorously. Stir in Grand Marnier. Return to the stove and continue stirring on medium heat until it starts coating the back of a wooden spoon (it will take a minute or two). Pour everything on top of chocolate and blend till smooth. Divide between 4 cups or glasses and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Take out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.

To make rosemary whipped cream, bring cream with rosemary sprigs to simmer and let it steep for at least 10 minutes. Then, strain and chill until needed. Whip cream with sugar and top each pot de crème with a spoonful.

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Pot de Crème with Rosemary Chantilly

Enjoy, Happy Valentine’s Day, and I’ll see you in March with another delicious recipe from my kitchen to yours! – Gintare.

(Photography, Styling and Words: Gintare Marcel. Editor: Holly Becker)






Decorating Tips, Tabletop

Tabletop: Early Flowering Spring Party Ideas

February 10, 2016

Hello dear blog readers, this is Anke with my monthly tabletop column for decor8. How are you? I hope 2016 started off well for all of you! Are you enjoying wintertime or longing for spring like I am? 
At our home, it has been the same process as years past. I cannot replace the glitzy Christmas decorations with plain elements and early bloomers quick enough. So, here are some spring tabletop ideas for you!

Tabletop: Early Flowering Spring Party Ideas

My table is set in bright colors with white tulips, hyacinths, and snowdrops. Light-colored wood, glassware, and straight, clean shapes give your table decoration a modern, Scandinavian look. 
The great thing is that one doesn’t have to spend much money on it! Jam and preserving jars in different sizes will act perfectly as flower vases, and there is good news for those who like the tablecloth. It’s from IKEA from their 365+ collection.

Tabletop: Early Flowering Spring Party Ideas

I chose small enamel cups to plant the snowdrops. Look for similar vintage ones at the flea market. Enamelware from Falcon would be just as beautiful, as would their mugs or mini tumblers.

Tabletop: Early Flowering Spring Party Ideas

Of course I had to put something playful on the wall again. Keeping up with the latest trend I went with a pennant wall hanging. There is special t-shirt transfer paper that allows you to print text or an image of your choice and iron it onto fabric. Check your local craft store – just ask one of the employees for fabric transfer paper. Easy-peasy! For the next step I cut the fabric to size, created a fold at the top and stitched, then folded in the bottom edges and ironed it, then sewed the hem at the short end of the pennant. To finish this DIY, just thread a wooden stick or even a cooking spoon through the hole you’ve created. Add baking string to the top to hang.

Tabletop: Early Flowering Spring Party Ideas

The small culinary delight on each guest’s plate was juicy lemon-rosemary-cake. If you like the combination of fruity cake and sweet garden herbs you should definitely have a look at the Lemon & Thyme Syrup Cake from Holly’s new columnist Emma. I will be giving it a try soon, that’s for sure!

Tabletop: Early Flowering Spring Party Ideas

Tabletop: Early Flowering Spring Party Ideas

Tabletop: Early Flowering Spring Party Ideas

I wish you all a beautiful month of February! I am looking forward to meeting you here again on decor8 at the beginning of March! – Anke

(Photography, Styling, Text: Anke Illner. Editor: Jessica Senti)






Shop Tours, Travel

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

February 9, 2016

I just returned from a beautiful trip to Paris, then London, so I have a great deal to share with you but first, the highlight. My day at Merci in Paris with Artistic Director Daniel Rozensztroch. First, it was a dream come true to meet with him, not just for an interview, but for a store tour, lunch together and frequent chats throughout the day. He is such a creative man, a true artist, and I loved learning more about his life and travels which I’m thrilled to share with you now through my words and photographs.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

As Artistic Director, he is solely responsible for the overall image of this famed concept store which is a major design influencer in not only France but worldwide. Before coming to Merci, he was with top French interiors magazine, Marie Claire Maison, for 22 years as Editorial Advisor (Conseiller de la redaction). Now with Merci for 8 years as Artistic Director (Directeur artistique), it’s clear his attention to the brand, the customer, what’s happening globally in design and his own inner radar for what’s appealing fills his mind constantly and is something in which he possesses endless passion.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(One of the cafes in Merci, the Used Book Cafe, with walls of books to peruse while sipping espresso. This was born from Daniel’s creative imagination.)

Daniel combs the globe for inspiration and products to take under his wing and bring into the store but additionally, he organizes and curates massive installations in-store that frequently change, all based around themes which range from microtrends (he has the power to set them) and rising trends in either design, fashion, lifestyle, cooking or movements in thinking. He’s always watching the news to see how current events may influence or shape ideas for upcoming shows at the store. He likes to bring awareness to particular themes while also inspiring Merci customers. He likes to make people think. It’s not all about selling product to him, his passion reaches much farther than the wallet – he wishes to inspire collective consciousness to motivate people to consider their lives and the everyday decisions that they make to move towards greater positivity and joy. And products can certainly help aid in that, if you are shown the right ones, which is something he believes in as well – the power of the object and its ability to bring harmony to life.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

The current theme, for instance, is sports and wellness and is called Sport in the City. Clearly an important topic as cities globally are expanding awareness on the topic and more juice bars, sports clubs and fitness apparel shops are bursting open. Paris is currently experiencing a great awareness around health and fitness too. I observed this clearly as I saw about 50% less smokers than in times past when I had visited the city.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(We loved the Lumio lamp and walked away with one of the Marshall portable systems)

After the fitness theme, he gave me an insider’s tip that he’s worked with a team of talented people to develop a monochromatic theme based around African prints, patterns and design, which I cannot wait to see because I only think of saturated color when I think of most African textiles and furnishings.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris
Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(The men’s pop up shop, shown above. Daniel went home with that great camo coat and my friend Toni left with the camel jacket he is shown wearing. We had a great shopping day!)

What I noticed immediately upon meeting this talented man is that he listens more than he speaks. He believes in moderation, kindness, compassion, and in creating a meaningful home over time and certainly not to impress others. As we spoke, I sensed that he soaks in everything; which in turn helps him to later decipher what would be an interesting topic to explore for the store or for a future design (he is also a Designer). As a listener, when he does speak, there is something of substance to hold on to and consider later. I really appreciated this because it meant that conversation held more value and meaning, and wasn’t full of the typical surface topics which never really move you closer to the core of the person. He’s a lovely man to chat with, for sure.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(Adidas are so hot right now in Europe, especially these with the black stripes.)
Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

I also caught on rather quickly that Daniel is obsessed with everyday items that are aesthetically-pleasing but also practical and functional, from a collapsible strainer he showed me in the Kitchen section along with a Japanese hand broom, to black matte cutlery on the floor for Home. His obsession clearly is what makes him so great at curating, his attention to detail and his dedication to collecting are inspiring because I also get excited over the little things so his passion was completely relatable to me.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(I loved that they have an Aesop pop-up shop on their ground floor, I grabbed the geranium hand balm from the Auriga kit.)
Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(Upstairs, they have a gorgeous paper shop. Swoon!)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

With a home in central Paris (where he tends to his small garden, a huge trend in Paris at the moment is this sort of renegade gardener) and another in the South of France, Daniel is frequently flying between homes but even more, frequently between countries – he travels to lands far and near in search of something that will catch his eye – it could be anything and generally, not always what is obvious. The sign of a true artist is to see something in what others may walk by, tapping into one’s imagination. His imagination is always running wild and his heart, completely open and free to explore, which makes him perfect for what others may consider an overwhelming responsibility to oversee and curate one of the most influential design stores in the world.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(I spotted a sweet marbleware lampshade that I liked immediately as I began photographing the lower floor near the cafe.)

While lunching at Merci on the lower floor near the gardens, I was seated at a lively table with many languages being spoken, delicious foods constantly arriving before us, a bottle of wine because it’s France after all, and I sat across from Daniel and just felt nothing but warmth and joy as he spoke. During lunch, we spoke about Instagram (he isn’t using it currently but maybe soon, wink wink), social media and blogging in general, his role at Merci and how he decides upon the next big thing to show in-store. Here is Daniel below, this portrait of him really captures his personality well.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris
Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

It was a pleasure to be meet with someone with such a rich background who doesn’t bring ego into it. Our chat was relaxing and made me realize that there is no need to try to impress people when you are impressive enough, you know? Daniel doesn’t need to prove a thing. He is who he is and his confidence reflects that and it’s an endearing quality because it makes others feel at ease. When you leave ego out of your work, you can get REAL work done. You can do what is important.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(I loved these glass vessels in their Home section and below, all of the ceramics – quite gorgeous. I walked away with the white/black basket shown lower left on the floor for Aidan’s toys to discreetly tuck away in our living room.)
Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

After spending nearly a day at Merci eating, shopping, meeting lovely people and photographing the store with Toni, I walked away more excited to follow Daniel’s work going forward and to keep an eye on the Merci blog and IG to see what he will do for the next installation, and the next, and the next. I also want to return again soon to visit him and maybe steal some time for a coffee because I just liked him as a person. I can’t wait to see where he will go next with his imagination. For me, I loved meeting with someone who brings so much wisdom and value into his work. He’s not fresh out of college or eager, he isn’t insecure or naïve. He’s a seasoned professional, a creative guru, who has seen it all, done it all, and wants to do even more in a fresh, creative and better way.

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(Their linens are to die for. Seriously, the best linen and the best quality ever. They have table linens and an entire room of bedding, as well. You can also order it all online. I also loved the Massimo Castagna flatware with the openwork handles. 

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(I loved how many styles and periods they mix together but also how global it all is – it doesn’t look Scandi or French or Italian – it looks well-traveled and interesting, the contrasts are unique and add healthy tension, the focus is on comfort first.)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(Many of their pieces are handmade, one of a kind, like the lighting show bottom left. These are all sourced and made by hand and sold exclusively at Merci.)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(The stunning handmade Japanese pitchers on the table was a real highlight. I wanted so much to take one home and fill it with field flowers.)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(White enamelled metal flatware by Stefania Di Petrillo definitely had my attention and was something else I desperately wanted to take home with me. I also loved the black and white marble enamelware plates, which is trending currently in Europe for the tabletop. I saw it in London in all of the best stores, too. But I spotted it at Merci first!)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(I had to photograph the flowers and the simplicity of this tabletop. I loved the scalloped edges of this vintage farmhouse table. There is a lot of love in a table like that, and memories too.)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(So nice to see mustard and black, but even more, the pottery and linen… and glass. Everything was so cozy looking and welcoming but also stylish and current.)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

(I went home with the gorgeous chair above bottom right from HAY, I had to have it.)

Conversation With Daniel Rozensztroch at Merci Paris

I wish Daniel (shown throughout this post and above, with me) nothing but the best and thank him from the bottom of my heart (and my colleague, Toni, also thanks him too) for treating us like family and with such kindness – this was surely a highlight in my career that I’ll never, ever forget. And a big thanks to Toni for being the best travel partner ever and for all of the help, I couldn’t have done this without you!

Holly

(Photography: Holly Becker except bottom two photographs by Morten Toni Vinther)






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)

 

 






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