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Farrow & Ball celebrates 70th anniversary
Oct 10, 2016

To mark its 70th anniversary, Farrow & Ball has launched a 1940s-inspired wallpaper collection inspired by the decade in which it was founded. The collection includes three designs, Arcade, Gable and Enigma. Also on the calendar: the launch of coffee-table tome and photo-laden instructional Farrow & Ball: How to Decorate. Charlotte Cosby, the book’s co-author and Farrow & Ball’s head of creative, sat down with EAL to talk past, present and future. 


Charlotte Cosby

What are some of the events planned for the anniversary? 
We’re celebrating our 70th anniversary throughout the year with new product launches and events. In February, we launched nine new paint colors, adding neutrals and colorful accents to our thoughtfully created color palette. The new hues are rooted in the archives, celebrating the classic Farrow & Ball look, particularly the new colored whites and muted drabs. Last month, we launched three new wallpaper designs inspired by the 1940s, the era in which we were founded. Again, we looked to the past for inspiration and created contemporary versions of classic patterns.

This year, we also launched a new book, Farrow & Ball: How to Decorate, which celebrates our unmatched paints and artisanal wallpapers in our anniversary year. The book is full of inspirational photography as well as practical tips and advice on how to use color and pattern in your home. [My fellow] How to Decorate author Joa Studholme and [I] will be touring our U.S. showrooms [starting] October 31, sharing more about the book and the homes featured in it, as well signing copies.  

How does the past continue to inform Farrow & Ball, in terms of both aesthetic and mission?
Following in the footsteps of our founders, John Farrow and Richard Ball, we continue to create richly pigmented paints and handcrafted wallpapers according to traditional methods in the same Dorset town in which they founded the company 70 years ago. Our paints and wallpapers are inspired by the past, creating timeless colors and patterns that transform modern and traditional homes, large and small, inside and out.

When creating new paint colors, we are often inspired by colors found in historic homes; our new color Yeabridge Green, for example, was first discovered when a gun cupboard was removed at a ham-stone farmhouse in Somerset. The verdant green behind was so life-giving that we had to add it to our color card! All our wallpapers are made according to historic trough and block printing methods, and the designs are found in archives. Whether florals, damasks, geometrics or stripes, every pattern has a unique history, and the paper itself is our interpretation of a classic design.

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