Friday, May 28, 2010


Yesterday, I (and a few other design bloggers) was invited to meet Nikki Chee (above), Communications Manager for Farrow and Ball from the head office in the UK. She talked about the company's exquisite paint and wallpapers as well as previewed a new collection of papers launching in September. We weren’t allowed to share any images, but I can tell you they are beautiful! Nikki was a treat too. Arren did a post on her awhile back.

Farrow and Ball was started up by two gentlemen (yes, Mr. Farrow and Mr. Ball) in the 1930’s and still uses traditional methods of manufacturing their paint and wallpaper.

What sets Farrow and Ball apart from other paint manufacturers is the quality of their ingredients. There is no plastic content in their paint which is made of natural ingredients like china clay, lime putty and linseed oil. All their paints are zero VOC (except the Interior Wood Primer and Undercoat which is low VOC.)


There are 132 colours in 13 finishes in the paint collection (interior and exterior) and although they retire some periodically, you can always get a discontinued colour. They have small test pots of all of their colours.

I know that some people try to colour match Farrow and Ball with another paint manufacturer to save money.  Nikki showed us Rectory Red matched by two paint companies and they weren’t even close to the original Farrow and Ball colour. The Farrow and Ball colour was richer and had more clarity and purity. So, spend the extra few dollars and get the real deal.


Nikki describes the paint this way: “it’s like you could push your hand through the wall,” describing the paint’s depth. A high level of titanium oxide in their paint creates depth when light hits it.

Their wallpapers are so beautiful and unique because paint is applied to paper rather than ink. They are either block printed or trough printed. Wallpaper is made to order but only takes a week to get from the UK to North America.

f&bwallpaper2 f&bwallpaper3

They also have a new book coming out in September called Living with Colour and features a number of UK homes. “Divided into chapters according to style, including Classical, City, Modern Country, Cottage and Country House, the first part of the book shows Farrow & Ball paints and wallpapers in a wide range of unusual and beautiful interiors. Part Two of the book is devoted to colour. From the themes of All White and In Neutral to Softly, Softly and Bright and Beautiful, each chapter explores a particular palette and shows how colour can be used to create atmosphere, character and charm.”



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