When I painted my living room in Farrow & Ball‘s new colour, Peignoir, earlier this year it was the first time I had painted a room myself for quite some time. I have to admit that I was worried I wouldn’t do a particularly good job (I’m not very patient when it comes to painting and can be guilty of a ‘rushed job’ or not following the guidelines so end up with a less than perfect finish) and Jules expressed the same fears about my abilities (didn’t bother to help though, did he?!). However, to my delight – and relief – the quality of the F&B wall paint and floor paint is head and shoulders above other brands that I have used before and I even got an impressed grunt from Jules as the finish I managed to achieve genuinely does look professional, even if I do say so myself 😉 What I also love about F&B is that I have instant trust in their colours – I never have that sinking moment of crippling self doubt in the middle of a paint job when I worry that I have chosen the wrong colour. I just always know it’s going to be exactly right.
All that being said, when the lovely F&B team invited Lucy, from the gorgeous Capture By Lucy blog, and I down to Dorset to visit their factory and Dean’s Court, the private house where some of their colours are showcased, I jumped at the chance. Lucky for us our visit fell on one of those gloriously hot days a couple of weeks ago, which made it even more of a treat.
We started off our visit in the paint factory and learnt how they mix and test the paint. I was amazed at just how much of it is done by hand and how much care and attention is taken to make sure every batch of colour is exactly the same as the last. One of the tests they perform on the paint is the level of viscosity and every batch of paint has to be able to cover the black card above with one stroke of paint. I can attest through my own experience that the excellent coverage of F&B paint is something that made my paint job soooo easy.
Next we went into the wallpaper factory and learnt about the three different techniques they use to print their papers. The time and level of detail that goes into printing each roll is extraordinary and is rewarded with the most beautiful textures and colours. I’m really looking forward to the new wallpaper collection being launched this Autumn that we had a sneak peek of whilst we were there.
All of the company’s production is based in Dorset and just around the corner in Wimbourne is Dean’s Court, a beautiful private house and garden owned by William and Ali Hanham, whose family has lived in the house for over 500 years. They work with Farrow & Ball by using their paints when they renovate rooms within the house and within the three holiday cottages attached to the estate.
We were lucky enough to be given a guided tour of this stunning home by Ali and this is just one quick snap of their kitchen – major house envy! I wish I could have captured the whole house as each room provided a huge amount of inspiration.
We had lunch at The Squash Court on the estate and if only we had a bit more time I would have bought everything in the shop!
I’d love to go and stay in one of the holiday cottages there – perhaps a cosy winter stay would be nice.
Such an interesting and enjoyable day with a great insight into one of my favourite companies. Thank you to the Farrow & Ball team for hosting us and to the lovely Lucy for such a fun day!
P.S. Apologies for the poor quality iPhone snaps – I broke my proper camera the day before our visit 🙁