Posts tagged tour
My Farrow & Ball Factory Tour

I just returned from England and spent a beautiful day in the southwest along the coast for an exclusive tour, interview with Head of Creative, Charlotte Crosby, a special lunch at , and a tour of the headquarters along with a private showing of the . What a great day it was because there was so much to see and just be inspired by, so first I'll start with the tour and then wrap up with my very informal chat with Charlotte. Located in Wimborne, Dorset, their headquarters consists of several office spaces, the wallpaper and paint factory, and a showroom. When I arrived, my tour of the paint factory began so l'll share that with you now... farrowandball3

Farrow & Ball was launched in 1946 by John Farrow and Richard Ball who shared a passion for creating paint in accordance with the original formulations, using only traditional methods in making paint (and later, wallpaper) by skilled craftsman and they wanted the ingredients to be only the best quality.

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While touring, I spoke to several of these "makers" from the guys in the lab who do quality assurance to ensure that all paint pots are 100% perfect before leaving the facility, to the guys who mix the colors, work on the lines and pack the paints. They were so polite and clearly dedicated to their trade; you could sense the pride and that alone was inspiring since I always pictured factory work as being either stressful or passionless (or both).

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I want to buy and support their products even more now that I've seen them being made first hand, and meeting so many of the men who work hard to create the perfect tints and tones. While touring, I heard a little story about how some of the guys get excited when they blend a color that may not be correct for Farrow & Ball (more of a happy accident) and so they pull it but they show the staff anyway because they sometimes think it's a great color and should be considered for the next collection. I thought that was very sweet, because they too enjoy being involved in the creative process and are inspired by the colors around them, tuned in to the work they are doing and feel a sense of pride for it.

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I was also struck that none of the paint or wallpapers are mass-produced in some factory overseas. Everything is made right there in Dorset.

After touring the paint factory, it was on to the wallpaper factory only a few buildings away. First, their wallpapers are not made using ink (most today are), which is already impressive. Another thing that impressed me is that each background color on the wallpaper is painted with a layer of eco-friendly water-based paint (they have over 70 background colors!). Not only do I love that each roll is painted first but that they are using non-toxic paints and vanishes. I knew this though the moment I walked in because I have allergies and normally get headaches when I'm around paint and wallpaper but the paint factory only smelled a bit like clay and the wallpaper factory, like a newly cracked-open book.I am impressed by their dedication to producing products that don't make your home smell toxic for days after it is installed. In fact, when I painted my son's nursery a few weeks before he was born, I was surprised by how it didn't smell at all. It made me feel safer to put a baby in the room.

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It was actually refreshing to be in a factory that was so bright, clean and fume-free with cheerful workers. These points really stood out for me. So now, back to the process... After the papers are painted, they then move through a large machine where they are dried.

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You can see the paint being applied above inside of the red machine, see the large brush sweeping the color back and forth? Applying paint to the rolls first gives the paper that tactile texture that their customers love so much for that truly one-of-a-kind feel.

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Rolls are then stored until pattern is applied. From there, there are three different methods to applying pattern: roller block printing, flat bed block printing or trough method. I was able to experience all three and was so impressed by how much care is giving to a single roll of paper. It also impressed upon me why I love their wallpaper so much - it is so tactile and beautiful.

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I loved watching the flat bed block printing and the roller printing. The machines were working hard but none were left alone, each had a dedicated professional keeping their eagle-eye on every step ensuring the best quality. They had to even check to see that the prints were always being applied straight and that the new print that was rolled on was perfectly aligned with the one before it. The worker and the machine, were one. A strong team churning out incredible wallpaper.

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After touring the wallpaper factory, I met with Head of Creative, Charlotte Cosby (pictured below) who combs the globe for color inspiration both new and old, many of the colors are repurposed from historical properties. Their historically-derived paint colors and patterns is such an inspiration to so many who have purchased old homes and want to inject them with color that fits the style or era but others simply love to put their chalky-matte colors in their modern homes to make them even more beautiful.

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Charlotte studied Management Science at University and worked in finance only to realize that banking wasn't for her. She moved to London to work for an ad agency but still wasn't "feeling" her job, she yearned to be more creative so she took on work as a freelance interior designer and then, gallery owner. In only her early 20's at the time, she got a job at Farrow & Ball and her career really set off. Now in her early 30's, she heads a team of creatives that choose new paints and wallpaper patterns for upcoming collections. A dream job to so many!

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This is primarily where Charlotte and her team plan and invent new colors and ideas for the brand.

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Charlotte is here showing the 9 new colors for their collection, I wrote and shared the colors a few days ago here.

I'm so glad that I was able to visit Farrow & Ball and spend time around their busy makers and creatives for the day. I learned so much about how much work is truly involved in making their products which gave me even greater respect for the brand overall. I hope you have enjoyed this tour and my photographs... I'll be back next week with some inspiration from London and Paris for you, so stay tuned.

A big thanks to F&B for having me!

This post was brought to you by Farrow & Ball. All photography and words are my own.

(Photography + Text: Holly Becker)

 

 

Home Tour: Modern Farmhouse with Global Touches

Hey everyone, it's Holly Marder back again this month with another beautiful interior to show you! I have a sneaking suspicion you’ll love this modern home in the country so let’s jump straight in! IMG_2847lowres11

owner and interior stylist Nicole de Ridder and her partner Michiel Kok live reside in this renovated farmhouse in the Dutch countryside with their baby boy Tyn. After years of remodeling, the results are a calming and contemporary family home that boasts all the characteristics of an old farm.

Michiel purchased the 140m2 property a decade ago prior to meeting Nicole. The building, which dates back to 1922, was in a sorry state of affairs and he commenced reconstruction right away, a job which took him more than six years. After meeting Nicole, they decided to live together however Nicole felt that much was needed to complete the renovation, including a full restyle of the home’s interior. “The furnishing of the farm was pretty dark and rural, not my taste,” admits Nicole. “To feel at home, we did some redecoration together and decided to finish the job.”

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The former living room consisted of two smaller rooms. Nicole and Michiel broke through the wall separating the two rooms, resulting in a large L-shaped living space. They removed a large window and replaced it with French doors which gives them access to their garden. “We thought the adaptation would take two months at most, but in the end, it cost us more than nine months,” Nicole says. “Once you start, new things will pop up. The good thing is: now the whole house is finished right down to the last details.”

Their home is a mixture of styles. “I love to combine vintage with modern items and design,” Nicole explains. “The base colours in our home are white and grey. To create some warmth, I add warm colours such as brown, yellow, orange and red. I think wood is also a great way to give a room some extra warmth.” Nicole loves bringing souvenirs home from her travels, bringing with her unique accessories with a story and sweet memories. Her favourite pieces include the large wooden sculptures from the Philippines and the souvenirs in the shelving unit from Thailand and Laos.

Nicole and Michel do have different styles when it comes to decorating. “That can be difficult sometimes,” Nicole explains. “But finally, when Michiel sees how it turned out, nine out of ten times, he will like it anyway.” Michiel’s proudest accomplishment is the master bathroom, which he designed and created himself. The walls of the bathroom were given a ‘tadelakt’ finish, giving them a rustic aesthetic.

The size of the property commanded a lot of furniture, so the couple shopped together to fill each space. With an eye for beautiful products for the home, this was a process Nicole thoroughly enjoyed.

“Through my work, I find so many treasures. My apartment in Amsterdam was too small to collect things, but the farmhouse allowed me to finally get some of these pieces and give them a nice place in our home.” One of Nicole’s favourite brands is House Doctor, a Danish label she also sells in her “It’s affordable and of good quality,” Nicole explains.

The grey corner sofa in the living room is an item Michiel purchased when he lived on his own. The cushions on the sofa are from , a brand Nicole endorses in her webshop. Beside the sofa, is a second hand black vintage chair. The couple drove to Brussels to find one at an antique market and design fair, but didn’t succeed and drove back to the Netherlands with an empty van. In the end, they found the black vintage chair on Marktplaats, and online marketplace for used and vintage items in the Netherlands (similar to Craigslist). Small coffee tables, one white one and a black one by Hay, maintain a sense of spaciousness in the room. The hand-knotted carpet, as well as the one in the dining area, was purchased at .

 

The couple’s self designed and made floor-to-ceiling bookshelf was created using MDF boards. Michiel did all the carpentry and Nicole the polishing and painting. “It was not an easy job, but I really wanted this bookshelf,” Nicole says. “One day, we will move back to Amsterdam and the knowledge that we won’t be able to move this bookshelf with us makes me sad already.”

A segment of the bookshelf continues around the wall, connecting both parts of the living room and acting as a display for Nicole’s favourite objects.

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The couple purchased their dining table at , an Amsterdam-based furniture shop. Above it, are two white lamps. The white Panton chairs were a Marktplaats find, while the yellow one was purchased new from Loods5, a large Dutch furniture store where Nicole sells her products.

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The couple painted their monochromatic kitchen, brining in blue accents for a bright and cheerful space to begin the day. The kitchen table is by and the blue cabinet was purchased at .

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Adjacent to the kitchen is a guest room, where the couple accommodate their friends and family, boasting the same light and airy aesthetic as seen in the rest of the house. Many of the accessories can be purchased in Nicole’s webshop. The dotted cushions are a La cerise sur le gateau creation, while the concrete light beside the bed is from .

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The couple cleverly created a workplace in the hallway upstairs, a cosy space just under the diagonal roof that would otherwise have remained unused. Nicole uses this space to update her webshop, create new items for her own label making posters and postcards for kids rooms. A newly placed roof window means the space received ample light, while the black modern lights above the staircase add a modern touch to the rustic space.

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Upstairs, the master bedroom features the original wooden beams, painted white. Mint green and pastel tones create a fresh and light atmosphere, offsetting the old vintage chestnut desk and chair which belonged to Michiel’s great-grandmother. Wooden blinds in chestnut and a bamboo light overhead add warmth to the space, while the carpet brings the full colour palette altogether and adds a playful element.

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IMG_3160lowres13 Tyn's nursery features crisp whites with blue accents and naturally, a few posters from , a co-creation from his own mum.

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With ample space to spare, the couple were able to turn one of the upstairs bedrooms into a dressing room, which displays all of the couple clothing on neatly organized black clothing racks from . The runner is an item from Nicole’s .

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Light and bright, yet with the characteristics of the old farmhouse it once was, Nicole and Michiel created a comfortable family abode blending Nordic sensibilities with subtle ethnic touches. “For me it is important to be happy when I come home, it has to feel right and this house does,” says Nicole. “Besides that, a house needs enough space to draw back whenever you feel the need.”

Well guys, I hope you enjoyed today’s tour! What are some of your favourite things about this home? My favourite things about this home are all the old wooden beams throughout and the huge self-made bookshelf and the cheerful blue cabinet in the kitchen. See you here again soon –

(Photography, words and styling: Holly Marder | | Editorial assistant: Lotte Herink) 

Home Tour: Family Friendly Home in Australia

Hello friends, how are you today? I received such a nice email from Stella, and homeowner living along the central coast in Australia with her family, who wanted to share her home with all of us. Yay! It is surprisingly quite rare that homeowner's me, why is this? I don't get it, I'm not a tiger, I won't bite. They seem so shy or think I would not be interested for some reason but please don't be, I love seeing how people live and though I cannot publish all home stories, my goal is one per week so help me people! Saratoga-5017

Ok! So come out from hiding you people with your stylish homes, because we want to feature your world on cattledogs.

Okay, enough about that. How about a little show and tell? Stella, her husband Michael and their children Eva Grace (2.5 years old) and Luca (14 months) live in this lovely space in a part of the world that I'm longing to visit- Australia. What's with Australia anyway? Beautiful beyond words but then you have all of these great blogs and foodies there, incredible stylists and the homes. Oh the homes. Always so light-filled and posh.

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Stella teaches English studies and literature at their local University and her husband owns a golf business and they live about an hour away from gorgeous Sydney. That's their dining room above. Their home was built in the mid century and hasn't been renovated in about 30 years so, despite how aged it was, when they were shopping for a home in a neighborhood they'd be hoping to live, they snatched it right up in "as is" condition because all of the homes were selling so quickly and they were tired of missing out. 

When they viewed their current home they commented that, "We instinctively sensed this was an opportunity that we had to jump on. The waterview, the outlook, were its greatest features. Other appealing features were; loads of natural light, north facing, corner block, high ceiling and of course its natural backdrop. The home is very bright and airy." Since moving in, they knew it was the best choice as they never tire of the water views and find it a tranquil spot after a long day chasing toddlers.

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"Another to our home is the layout. It feels seamless and flows well from one space to the other because it is so open I can be preparing dinner in the kitchen and I can see the kids playing in their rooms." When Stella mentioned this is made me think about how layout is so critical when you have children. When you are a single couple, you have more freedom at home. You don't think about whether the children can hear the television at night or whether you can see the baby playing on the living room floor while you are preparing dinner. These things suddenly become very important once children arrive.

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I asked Stella where they like to shop for furniture and decorating objects and she confessed, "Our home is littered with bits and pieces from our travels, flea market finds and some pieces from furniture stores like  and for the furniture in the kids room we love because it is extremely functional and durable." Stella loves Scandinavian style best and tries to bring a nordic vibe to her home, "Our home feels open and fresh, we don’t have a lot of accessories. I like functional furnishings with a neutral palette. We have clean lines, whitewashed floors and a warm colour theme," all are the hallmarks of Scandinavian decor.

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There is lovely Stella and her little one shown above and below, there is a bit of an interview I had with her so she can share her house pride with you in her own words. I love it when people talk about where they live and you can tell their faces are glowing as they speak...

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What do you love the most about your home? 

Stella: Being so close to the water is a blessing. We often take the kids down to the water for a picnic and to feed the ducks and see the pelicans. We find it such a joy to unwind at the end of the day in a home we love with the people we love. When we have no schedule or events to attend, we love our time together as a family. Most weekends will start with eating pancakes around the kitchen breakfast bench. Michael loves to cook on his days off and the open plan kitchen makes it possible to be cooking and still engaging and interacting with the family. The kids will usually do some craft and drawing on the dinning room table and then we might go for a walk to see the ducks and fish at the waterfront. At the end of the day Michael and I will unwind with a cup of coffee on our deck, catching up on some reading and watching the sunset over the water. Our home is bright and charming and it’s always easy to just stay at home.

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What is your favorite piece in your home?

Stella: The cream Platter on the bench top is one of my favourite pieces in the home. My husband bought it for me soon after we got engaged. It is a sculptural piece that adds a touch of art to our kitchen. Also our bed linen is Vintage Washed Linen. It is pure, lightweight linen and gives a lovely lived in look. It is extremely soft and durable and always looks so fresh. 

How do you define “home”?  

Stella: Simply this -- All the riches in the world mean nothing without a home. 

What are some tips for keeping a stylish home with children? 

Stella: When you have children it’s important that they know where their things should go. That way tiding up time is more easier.  We have baskets scattered around the house, canvas bags and natural baskets that store lots of books and toys. It helps us feel organised gives everything its place.

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What is your dream piece for your home?

Stella: I would love to find a piece of art that I can not live without. That would make a statement and would stir something in me overtime I looked at it. 

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to decorating?

Stella: Trying to find pieces that are multifunctional and still beautiful. 

What comes natural when you're decorating?

Stella: Matching things with our clean lines and natural tones because I know our palette and the colours I am drawn to... I know if something will find its place in our home fairly quickly (or not).

How do you make simple, easy changes to the style of a room when you get bored and how often do you redecorate?

Stella: I play around with a vignette and change pieces around, I might add an unusual look vase with fresh flowers- that is a quick easy way to add life to a space. I am often rearranging things, I'll be looking through an interior magazine and walk away to change a single item around, for instance. It might be moving a frame or pulling similar items together like a vignette of similar coloured vases. I find inspiration to decorate all around me. 

Thank you Stella for sharing your corner of the world with us today. And dear readers, you can follow Stella on her Instagram if you'd like - just .

(photos: via magazine)

Studio Tour: The Oh Joy! Studio in LA
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Happy New Year readers! This is and I am thrilled to start this new year off with the studio tour of designer and blogger Joy Cho, of Nestled right in the heart of Hollywood, CA, Joy's high lofted studio is what she calls "grown-up Candyland." When Holly asked me to shoot it for cattledogs, I was thrilled. The studio is white, wood and gold with lots of pops of color and fresh flowers throughout and brick exposure. Below is Joy and her lovely team (Joy is shown in the gorgeous pink skirt). Are you ready to tour her inspiring workspace? Oh and you can see more photos from my visit to Joy's space .

Joy's party line at this past year was full of color, pattern, and whimsy, just like her studio. With the help of designer and , Joy's vision of bright colors, patterns and a functional and fun studio space came together. The studio offers Joy and her team an open concept office space equipped with a kitchenette, dining room, lounging area, storage space and a little living room.

What a beautiful mood board right? And below, a great idea for Joy's paper lanterns as display on top of a storage unit.

Some of my favourite features of the space include the colorful chairs, (when do you ever see cute office chairs anyway, right!?) the amazing props wall, the vintage dice and that green sofa!

Some of Joy's collection for Target above, along with the mini hat below. So dainty and merry!

Check out the tiny mint green Smeg. Have you see Holly's on Pinterest? Seems everyone covets these things.

Seeing Holly and Leslie's book, , in Joy's studio was a nice find.

 Check out that prop supply wall!

Psst: There's more fun from Joy at Target coming, we can't say just what yet here on cattledogs, but stay tuned! AND you can pre-order the new - click for more on that. We are just so excited about this book, it looks just as whimsical and full of color as her studio.

So, what do think? What inspired you most about this space?

- See you next month with another inspiring space or place! - Kelly

(Photography/Text: )