When you see the name Farrow & Ball, it may conjure up images of expensive English designer paint and wallpaper. As a residential paint and wallpaper contractor, I am familiar with their products and would use them when I had to. I have to admit that I did not appreciate their full value. However, several weeks ago that all changed. I was fortunate enough to win a trip to visit their headquarters and manufacturing facility in Dorsett, England. There I saw first hand what makes Farrow & Ball unique. I was one of the first five American paint contractors to ever be invited to their headquarters and manufacturing facility!
Upon arrival we were invited into their showroom, which was quite different from a normal showroom. The paint colors and wallpaper patterns are the focus, arranged like art in a museum or books in a library.
Farrow & Ball Facility in England
Farrow & Ball has been in existence since 1946. The company really carved out a niche for itself in the 1990’s when they introduced their 132 color palette and handmade wallpapers to the interior design world. They are now owned by an American investment firm and run by a Board of Directors. I immediately felt connected to their company and values because they parallel ours at H.J.Holtz and Son. These values are honesty, excellence, team, passionate, quirky and courageous. They do not want to be the biggest paint and wallpaper company, they just want to be the best they can be.
This starts with the way they manufacture their paint and wallpapers. Every can of paint or roll of wallpaper that gets shipped to more than 67 countries worldwide is handmade and checked for quality in their factory. This not only ensures a quality product when you receive it, but that same gallon of paint or wallpaper meets the most stringent standards in countries such as Japan and Germany. They use the best ingredients and more pigment, which in turn creates not only great colors, but finishes that are extremely durable.
The highlight of my visit to the factory was watching the wallpaper being made. All of their wallpaper is made on one of six lines. Two lines use a screen technique to create patterns, two lines use a roller technique and the last two lines use rollers to create stripe patterns. They use their paint and colors on the wallpaper which is great for coordinating with painted surfaces.
Farrow & Ball wants to grow a loyal following of American paint and wallpaper contractors. Not only did they educate us on the quality of their products, but gathered feedback on what we want and need from a high end paint and wallpaper manufacturer. I left feeling informed and educated on Farrow & Ball products and why we should use them more in our business. Whenever I see a Farrow & Ball paint can or box of wallpaper, I no longer think of a large faceless company, I visualize all of the employees that use their hands and minds to create some of the highest quality, aesthetically pleasing paint colors and wallpaper available.
If you ever thought about Farrow & Ball paint or wallpaper for your home but were unsure whether it was a good value, call us and I would be happy to share my thoughts. Our local retailer Palette Paint and Home in Richmond and Charlottesville is also a wonderful place to start if you need help with Farrow & Ball products and color choices.