I’m off to Hamburg today but first, I have to show you something that I’m very excited about! My wallpaper! I worked on a beautiful project for Farrow & Ball that gave me a chance to select any wallpaper for my home that I wanted for one room, so I scooped up the Hornbeam pattern shown below. Why? It’s neutral, understated and just so pretty – I kept going back to it again and again. I love that it goes with anything. I wanted time to live with the wallpaper before reviewing it here on my blog to see how it would look over time – would it stand up, would it peel, would it fade, could I still even live with it after time passed… In fact, that was always my decorating fear. Choosing a pattern and then feeling stuck with it or getting sick of it in a month. Luckily, I chose the perfect pattern for me because I actually like it more today than I did when we had it installed – and I loved it then!
When I was looking for the right pattern, I made of short list of what I wanted. First, it needed to have a natural, organic pattern. We live on the border of a massive forest in the city, so it needed to feel urban enough but also forest-y. I also didn’t want anything geometric and whatever pattern I went with had to complement the ginko leaf stucco on the ceiling. Another essential was that it needed to be strong and somewhat thick because the walls are 117 years old and not perfectly smooth. We smoothed them out but still, you can’t get perfect in a home this old. I also wanted it to feel a bit feminine and curvy. I know that sounds strange, but the windows and the room itself has a lot of lines. The room itself is a massive rectangle. That’s why I went with a soft, feather pendent light to work with the wallpaper and soften the lines of the room too. Another must was that it can’t fade and in this spot in my living room, wallpaper is prone to fading because it’s in the sun all day long (I never close my linen curtains). Hornbeam ticked off all the boxes, so I ordered it!
After two years the wallpaper looks the same as it did the day we installed it – the color and pattern are still perfect.But the wallpaper did exactly what I set out for it to do.
Farrow & Ball is a gorgeous company through and through but keep in mind that it’s not budget. It will not be at the same price point as something Made in China or in some massive factory. I toured their small but mighty workshop in southern England (remember this post?), met their Head of Creative, Charlotte Crosby and watched their elaborate process for both making paint and producing wallpaper – it’s intensive, expensive to manufacturer, and they have to employ true experts to work on every part of the process. I met many workers in the factory and all were like a part of the F&B family; their pride was evident. I left with nothing but respect for the brand.
Thing is, when you make something time-consuming, beautiful and of quality, and have to pay experts to make it, your products will not (and should not) be at the same price as what is cheaply made in sweat shops. That is the beauty of Farrow & Ball, it is a pure luxury to have them in your home and you take pride in that ownership. It’s not just wallpaper or paint, it’s Farrow & Ball wallpaper and paint produced in England by a company who really, truly loves what they do.
Here is the Hornbeam BP 5002 wallpaper in my living room, shown throughout this post. While I’m currently on the hunt to add-in some art and a few pieces of furniture, I am very happy with how the wall looks. It’s just the right amount of pattern without overwhelming my moody and calm living room.
If you have a copy of my latest book, Decorate For a Party, this room may feel familiar to you. You can see it in the book only not as a living room. For the party theme in the book, I transformed this space =into a dining room and worked the theme around the Hornbeam-patterned wallpaper. This paper works beautifully in any room of the home.
I hope that you like my choice, it was definitely a great pick and came out exactly how I had envisioned it. My next goal: Add color to the room through accessories. I really want a cozy new sofa, more comfortable chairs, a large round white marble coffee table, art for above the sofa, new table lighting, new sofa side table. What will I do with everything currently here? Move it to another room and use in other ways, of course. But the wallpaper STAYS.
Thank you Farrow & Ball for the beautiful wallpaper, what a truly lovely statement it makes in my space.
(Photography: Holly Becker for decor8)