A Colour Transformation at Kemps House

Written on 5th May 2022

Kemps House has been the home of British brand Maker&Son, the sustainable furniture and homewares business, for over four years, but it’s also a very special family home for founder Alex Willcock.

“I’d never thought it would be possible to fall in love with a house…”, says Alex, “but there’s something about Kemps that is truly special.”

Thanks to the opening of a Showroom next door to the house, Alex has been able to relocate more of the business outside of the family home and reclaim some of this special space, including his daughter Song’s somewhat neglected bedroom. 

A heritage home in need of a little love and a fresh coat of paint, what could be better suited to Farrow & Ball? Especially as our pigment-rich paints already filled many of the walls of the house. To guide the transformation, we brought in the extraordinary talent of Joa Studholme, the Colour Curator for Farrow & Ball.

About the Colour Consultancy experience

The way each of our shades reacts to light is what makes them unmistakably Farrow & Ball, and our colour consultancy service is all about finding the best colours to interact with the available light, something Kemps House has plenty of.

“It has amazing light, but no personality and it desperately needs to be a special place”, says Alex.

Using her expert understanding of light and colour to bring Alex’s vision of a special, personal family home to life, Colour Curator Joa set about creating a beautiful path starting from the front door up to Song’s bedroom. 

The Porch

“When I walk into a house, it’s all about the feeling” says Joa, “and as I was walking up the country path towards the house, I was thinking all about soft greens. That’s what it feels like this lovely country home should have.”

In this case, the green in question is Chine Green, an earthy dark black green from the Archive Collection. Named after steep sided coastal gorges, this dramatic, inviting shade beautifully reflects the house’s surrounding foliage, which guides you up the path into the porch.



The Living Room

It can be tempting to over-decorate when trying to transform a space, but in rooms with strong anchor points, such as the dark wood floors, fireplace and staircase of this living room, there’s really no need.

For this central hub of the home, Joa and Alex chose a strong shade; Treron, a dark grey-green with underlying black tones, for the walls. Traditional in feel, it really suits homes where a lot of natural materials are used.

For an extra dimension, Joa suggested adding Wet Sand to the back wall of the room’s inbuilt bookcase. A rich caramel-hued Archive Collection neutral known for its ability to invite the eyes, this shade was chosen to complement Alex’s favorite furniture colours.



Staircase and Hallway

In the hallway, Joa demonstrates one of our favorite tricks for creating a cohesive flow throughout a space, using Treron again to continue the path from the living room.

“I love this colour and it almost feels like it’s giving you a great big hug” says Joa “at night when there’s not much light, it feels like it’s coming round you.”

Making a feature of architecture is another way to create flow, and the newly-painted hallway alcove above Song’s bedroom is a shining example of this. Joa and Alex’s choice to use French Gray in this little space, a shade that characterfully flits between the green and grey depending on the light, creates a lovely transition between the deeper Treron leading down the hallway and the bedroom.



Song’s Bedroom

“I want it to have more personality. I love pink and yellow together, it’s quite fun.” Song remarked about her childhood bedroom.

Happy to oblige and create a two-toned space full of personality, Joa suggested Hay, a modest yellow with distinctive green undertones that carry the feeling of the rest of the house, and Cinder Rose, a wildly romantic rose pink.

Song’s newly transformed room is a perfect example of choosing a scheme to suit the architectural features of the space, taking into account the rustic exposed wood beams.

“We probably wouldn't put two different colours on the wall because you’ve got a lot going on already with the exposed beams” says Joa “so the secondary colour would go on the wooden floor.”



Walls: Hay No.37; Woodwork: Wimborne White No.239

Visit Maker&Son at 49 E.10th Street, NYC or visit one of their mobile showrooms, inspired by Kemps House.

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