If there’s one thing my inner geek loves it’s a factory visit. So when Farrow & Ball invited me to visit their HQ in Dorset I was super excited! This mini trip to the UK on my own consisted of an afternoon in London, a night in Bournemouth and an exciting day with fellow bloggers from all over the world in Wimborne, the home of Farrow & Ball. The reason for this visit was to celebrate Farrow & Ball’s 70 year anniversary and the launch of their new wallpapers, inspired by the 1940s.
We kicked off the day in Wimborne at Dean’s Court, an amazing estate that has been in the hands of the same family for 470 years, and the current owners still live in it! (I went a little picture crazy so I’m planning a seperate post about Dean’s Court soon.) Here we had an introduction to the new wallpapers by Charlotte Crosby, head of creative, who told us all about the design process and development. The new wallpapers draw their inspiration from the 40’s, but it wasn’t so easy to find inspiration because of the second world war.
After a lot of back and forth the design team landed on three new prints: Arcade is a soft scallop design with a sophisticated feel, Gable depicts a rural scene with picket fences and farmyard animals and Enigma is a geometric interlocking pattern (named after the encoding machine mathematician Alan Turing deciphered during World War II).
My favorite is Enigma BP 5506 which is a beautiful bold wallpaper that will make a statement and be amazing in the right room.
Afterwards we had lunch and headed to the factory, where I was impressed by the efficiency as well as the lengths they go to to ensure that every Farrow & Ball color is the exact same color every time you purchase it, now or in 5 years.
Here are 5 more things that surprised me and made me love the brand even more:
- Farrow & Ball paints and are all water based and eco friendly. Can you imagine stepping into a paint factory and NOT being overwhelmed by the fumes? I can, it was quite strange and amazing. All paints and wallpapers are made in Dorset, which makes it quite the sustainable and efficient little factory!
- The company has been making paint since the 1940s but the wallpapers have only been in production since the 90s. All wallpapers are made with their paint in stead of ink. This creates a beautiful texture, and it ensures you can find a matching paint colour for every wallpaper!
- Because they use paint, colours can only be added one layer at a time. A wall paper with a base colour and two different colours in the pattern has been meticulously put through the machines 3 times.
- For the wallpapers there are 3 types of production: traditional trough printing to create striped wallpapers, flat bed block printing methods for creating large-scale designs with long pattern repeats and roller block printing to create the most detailed patterns.
- If you want, you can custom order a wallpaper. You can pick a design and ask for any of their 132 colours to be used if you have something very specific in mind. You do have to order a minimum amount of rolls which will probably be a bit much for smaller rooms, but this is soooo on my bucket list since the trip!
Well, there you have it, a look behind the scenes of this lovely British company!
I was invited by Farrow & Ball on this trip, but as always, all views and opinions are my own. Thank you Farrow & Ball for the truly inspiring visit!