Spotlight

FARROW & BALL AW16

4th November 2016

I used to write for the weekly property pages in The Scotsman, and the sub-editor who worked on the section would tease me regularly about how often I managed to mention Farrow & Ball in the copy. He had a point – I was and am a fan, always have been, but also this reflected how many period properties I saw and wrote about that featured Farrow & Ball’s beautiful wall colours. I’ve always been particularly drawn to all those lovely whites that aren’t really white but are the most gorgeous and subtle hues, where even the pale tones have so much depth, like Cornforth White – a favourite of mine with a light grey tone. So yes, I’m sold on Farrow & Ball’s paint colours, but I’m also a fan of their wallpapers.

Farrow & Ball wallpaper collection AW16.

Which brings me to Farrow & Ball’s wallpaper collection for AW16. While this collection was launched in September, I couldn’t resist sharing these designs and these beautifully styled shots. Funnily enough, I featured this house back in June 2014 and loved the interior so much that I shared it in two blog posts – part one and part two – and on Steller in my round-up of my favourite blog posts of 2014. (And no, I can’t believe this was over two years ago!)

Farrow & Ball wallpaper collection AW16.Farrow & Ball wallpaper collection AW16.

This warehouse conversion was converted by its owners at the time, working with architects Flower Michelin, and the resulting spaces are so dynamic, with a beautiful open plan living space flooded with light on the first floor, and with the bedrooms downstairs having a more intimate feel but with clever features that draw daylight into the spaces. An amazing location for a photo shoot, in other words.

These photos by Farrow & Ball really caught my eye as one of the things I had loved about the previous interior was the colour palette, with walls painted in moody shades of grey. It was my dream palette basically. I’d never have thought of adding wallpaper, but how great does this collection look in this context?

Farrow & Ball wallpaper collection AW16.Farrow & Ball wallpaper collection AW16.

Farrow & Ball turns 70 this year and these latest designs take inspiration from the decade in which the company was founded: the 1940s. Embracing the paradoxical feel of the post-war period, a time of looking forward while also stepping back, these three textured papers offer contemporary interpretations of classic 1940s prints. Each design is hand made using the company’s own paints, so the colour combinations are beautiful.

Farrow & Ball wallpaper collection AW16.

Arcade, above, is a soft and romantic take on the classic curved motif and was inspired by the Art Deco movement. The scalloped design dances across the length of the paper, and the design is both elegant while also feeling very contemporary in its simplicity. I love the subtlety and distinctly retro tone of the colourway above, and I can imagine using this print at home in this super-subtle grey toned colourway below.

Farrow & Ball wallpaper collection AW16. Farrow & Ball wallpaper collection AW16.

And then there’s this colourway above, with a warmer grey backdrop and a flourish of yellow. Nice, right? Each of the three wallpapers in this collection comes in seven colourways, from these delicate neutrals to bolder hues, as with the rich blue-toned print. Quite simply, this is a wallpaper I wouldn’t tire of. It feels like a modern classic – quiet and understated.

I seem to be having it a real blue mood at the moment – I can’t get enough of dark inky blues in clothing and interiors – and this blue and black colourway of Enigma would add a dramatic edge to any space. The Enigma collection was named after the encoding machine famously deciphered by British mathematician Alan Turing during WW2, and features a bold geometric design.

Farrow & Ball wallpaper collection AW16.

Encompassing a series of interlocking rectangles, this deceptively simple print provides a dynamic backdrop whether in a rich colour palette – this navy and gold combo is stunning – or in creamy neutrals, as below, or with a more vibrant aqua colourway, second below.

Farrow & Ball wallpaper collection AW16.Farrow & Ball wallpaper collection AW16.

The third new wallpaper is called Gable. This intricate mural design depicts a rural scene of picket fences, ploughed fields and farmyard animals – a throwback to a simpler life, perhaps, but with a richly illustrative style and whimsical quality. This deep teal-hued colourway, below, is particularly beautiful, while the apple green print, second below, has a light and fresh feel.

Farrow & Ball wallpaper collection AW16.Farrow & Ball wallpaper collection AW16.

Made in the same way as all of Farrow & Ball’s artisanal wallpapers, these new designs are hand made using traditional trough and block printing methods to create a tactile surface finish.

Farrow & Ball wallpaper collection AW16.

Which would you choose? Arcade and Gable are firm favourites for me – and I say this as someone who has plain painted walls, but now finds myself hankering for a flourish of pattern.

See the full collection from Farrow & Ball.

All photography by Farrow & Ball.

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