Historic British colour experts Farrow & Ball are one of this year’s Amara Interior Blog Awards platinum sponsors and on Monday 5th September they invited a selection of bloggers to join them in Wimborne, Dorset for a day of discoveries. Karen and Emily from the IBA Team were also invited along and took Jenny from Seasons of Colour, Cate from Cate St Hill, Cat from Cat Dal Interiors, Ruth from Design Soda and Natalia from Fleur de Londres with them for the trip. Meeting bright and early at London Waterloo, the group grabbed a quick bite to eat before making the journey to Bournemouth.
The first stop of the Wimborne tour was Deans Court, a grade I listed property which has been in current owner Sir William Hanham’s family for over 500 years. When they arrived they were greeted with tea, coffee and Dorset apple cake made from local apples at the estate’s restaurant, The Squash Court. The IBA group joined a host of international bloggers also invited by Farrow & Ball which included Clara Moring of Taste Sheriff, Marie Carr of Dreamy Whites, Mandy Kellogg Rye of Waiting on Martha, Celine Giusti of Miluccia, Patricia Goijens of No Glitter, No Glory, Ricarda Nieswandt of 23qm Stil and Elisha Jacobs of Interior Junkie.
The day kicked off with an introduction to Farrow & Balls’ latest wallpaper release by Head of Creative Charlotte Cosby who is also a member of the 2016 IBA judging panel. Here the group discovered the three new designs first hand and where the inspiration for the collection had originated. Celebrating their 70th year this year, the new wallpapers have been inspired by patterns found in the decade Farrow & Ball was founded.
Arcade is a soft, romantic take on the classic curve motif characterised in the Art Deco movement. Its tactile scalloped design dances lightly across the paper and is available in both matt and metallic hues. The Gable design is a somewhat unique design to be added to this year’s collection and features a charming rural scene filled with ploughed fields, picket fences and farmyard animals. An intricate design, it has many playful details and is described as a wallpaper for all ages. Last but certainly not least is Enigma named after the German World War II coding machine deciphered by Alan Turing. A bold geometric, it contains interlocking rectangles and can also be found in muted neutrals and pastels along with dark and metallic tones.
After the talk from Charlotte, the bloggers were given a tour of Deans Court which was chosen as the venue for the morning as it holds numerous local events and weddings throughout the year and Farrow & Ball have been involved with the task of helping update the house’s many rooms. The home’s current owner Sir William gave the tour himself and regaled everyone with his extensive knowledge on the property which was first built in the 8th century, over 1300 years ago. From the Blazer shaded portrait room to the Hague blue library, subtle Farrow & Ball touches could be spotted throughout and the bloggers were particularly enamoured with the couple’s three dogs, Bunny, Gumdrop and Buster.
The large group split into two teams for the after lunch activities. The creative workshop entailed creating handmade lampshades using the Enigma & Arcade wallpaper designs which everyone was surprisingly a dab hand at and couldn’t wait to get their new creations home to style. Known for their expert knowledge of paint and their paint printed wallpapers, it was no surprise that each piece would undergo an extensive manufacturing process to match the brand’s high quality standards. The factory tours allowed the group to delve into how the famous paint is made from the fresh white base paint made from chalk, china clay and titanium dioxide, to the exact pigments added to give the paint the signature depth of colour and how batches are matched twice as close as the industry standard.
The wallpaper is first painted with a Farrow & Ball base colour using mechanised rollers and large paint brushes which give an authentic brushstroke effect. Once quick dried, the base paper is printed with the wallpaper design also using Farrow & Ball paint which is either printed using another roller or a large rubber stamp carved with the motif. After the whirlwind tour of the factories, it was then time for everyone to make their way home and the IBA group headed back to Bournemouth for the train ride back to London laden with their lampshades, goody bags and other treats from the day.