Farrow & Ball Adventure Part I

F&B Advisory Council

What an honor to be asked by Eileen McComb, VP of Farrow & Ball Brand Engagement, to join their American Advisory Council along with five fellow American designers from New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Dallas. All of whom, turns out, are terrific travel companions- game, energetic, curious and ready to go, go, GO! We traveled to England for a week of inspiration, insight, good times, and- believe it or not- mostly good September weather!


Stop One: Dorset, England

Dorset, a seaside county known for its lovely beaches, is home to Farrow & Ball Headquarters. We arrived in an English drizzle at our hotel, The Green Hotel, in the charming town of Bournemouth, just as the quieter off-season was kicking in.

The colorful, summer beach cabanas with their promise of happy, idle Summer days were shuttered, so we donned our September sweaters and set off for tea at Dean’s Court.

Deans Court

Greeted by pups and the lady of the house, Ali Hanham, we were ushered into a lush, crimson colored dining room, decorated with the requisite family portraits (along with one of Jane Austen, who was a houseguest back in the day) and flowers from the garden for scrumptious homemade scones, clotted cream and tea.

Post this much-needed caffeine infusion, we then satiated our visual appetites as we toured and instagrammed images of the 16th century house.

Deans Court Website

F & B Factory

Wimbourne, England: Our visit to Farrow & Ball headquarters to learn about their extraordinary paint and wallpaper and to see their impressive operation in motion was “WAY COOL”. The warehouse that houses their factory is a surprisingly intimate setup with the paint manufacturing and wallpaper printing being done in the same big, open room. 

Most of the employees or “specialists” -all looking smart in lab coats and Farrow and Ball polo shirts- have been working there for ages, insuring that quality control is kept to the highest standards at every stage in the process from mixing pigments to tying up wrapping tissue with ribbon as the products ship off to the customer.

Super Sexy Paper!

Watching the wallpapers roll out in sensuous waves of wet, freshly printed paper was by far the hugest hit, as was seeing the paper painted-before it even got printed-by two ,small hand brushes on automated arms swooshing back and forth… EXTRAORDINARY! No wonder Farrow and Ball’s product is what it is. As efficiently as the production lines run, the team takes time to care and invest in old world techniques and quality and how their products look and FEEL when used and installed.


If you are a designer, did you know you can create your own Private Label Paint Library through Farrow and Ball that suits your personal design needs and aesthetics to a “T”? And that they will keep these formulas on record to insure accurate matching every time you reorder your custom colors? How special is that?

You can also order “archive” paints that are no longer in their formal catalog. Farrow & Ball aims to please!