From the blacktop tones of Tar to the lush green of Palm, the influence of West Coast landscapes can be felt in every shade of our new California Collection. But there’s also a more subtle influence at play – the expert hand and unmistakable style of design maven Kelly Wearstler, who last year visited our home in Dorset to get our sun-soaked partnership underway. We sat down with Kelly to get the inside scoop on her visit to Farrow & Ball HQ, her signature style, and her favourite looks from the collection.
How was the experience of partnering with Farrow & Ball?
It was a dream partnership. I’ve been using Farrow & Ball paint in my projects for years, so to design my own collection crafted by Farrow & Ball was amazing.
The creation of the palette was also such a learning experience for me. I visited the factory in Dorset and we delved into the craft of making paint, which I loved. We spent hours deciding from over 50 shades of colour and testing it with a lightbox to see the effects of different lights like LEDs or natural light. I also got a glimpse behind the scenes.
One of the things I love about Farrow & Ball paint is that it’s water-based and in recyclable tins, so it’s environmentally friendly. But this ethos also extends into the production where vintage cloths are cut into rags and used to clean the factory floor! I was so surprised that when you walk into the factory there is no smell, because of the low levels of VOCs used in the paint. It was like walking into someone’s home.
How difficult was it to narrow down all your ideas into eight final colours?
It was so difficult! I love all colour equally, so to choose a select few was really hard for me, but having the California landscape in mind really helped guide my choices. We captured cornerstones of the Golden State, some of which will be unexpected!
If you were to create a colour based on your visit to Dorset, what would it be called?
What are your top tips for our readers who’d like to bring their homes to life with the collection? Any favourite colour combinations?
There are so many ways to play with colours in the collection! One of my favourite things is to go monochrome. I love to paint everything – all the walls and millwork – to completely saturate the room in one colour, or you can add in layers with materials and texture.
For example, in the kitchen, where there are a number of planes, you can paint one surface Faded Terracotta and then layer in different textures and materials that follow that hue, like a terracotta or a marble tile, on others. I think Faded Terracotta is also an amazing but atypical neutral that can be used as a backdrop in spaces.
Palm is perfect for a sunroom or a room with a large skylight, since it captures the brightness of the natural light. It also brings the elements of the outdoors indoors, which creates a relaxing space. Citrona is also amazing in a room flooded with natural light, on its own or teamed with Salt – those two work really well together. You can paint all the walls in Salt and then colour the ceiling Citrona.
Can you describe your interior style for us in five words?
Free spirit, evocative, unique, authentic, evolving!
What is your favourite thing about The California Collection?
I love inspiring people to use colour and I love the idea of bringing the spirit of California into the homes of others. What I love about colour is that it captures so many moods and emotions and I wanted this collection to epitomise what California means to me: warming sun, cold ocean dips and fresh sea air.