Mell Meets… Emily Harrold from Farrow & Ball

For our first ever ‘Mell Meets…’, we sat down and spoke to Emily Harrold, colour consultant at Farrow & Ball in Mell Square, about her experience and her top tips when it comes to adding new patterns into the home.

Where did your interiors career begin?

After leaving university I worked for an interior design practice in Edgbaston, John Charles Interiors, where I developed a love for fine fabrics, paint and wallpaper. From there I threw myself into magazine styling, which led me into styling interior-based photo shoots across Europe. I also assisted renowned stylist, Katrin Cargill on sessions for interior magazines and UK book launches.

Where did you draw inspiration from when creating this colourway?

I first spotted this painting by American folk artist, Grandma Moses, in a magazine article a few years ago. I love the soft blue green hues she has used. This palette creates a whimsical, light fresh feel that I felt would translate well onto the Wisteria wallpaper design, as being versatile in its use around the home.

The Wisteria wallpaper lends itself to the informal feminine feel of the Edwardian era. I often draw inspiration from historical country houses; strolling through the grounds of Edgbaston’s Winterbourne house and garden, fuels my appetite for creating beautiful spaces.

Are there any unexpected places in the home where you’d suggest adding rich pattern and colour?

I love using heavily patterned wallpaper on all walls in a bedroom. It adds sophistication and makes the room feel complete. It also means you don’t have to work too hard at everything else in the room, all that’s needed is beautiful bed linen and a few antique side tables, et voila, the room is complete.

For those who are less confident with bold designs or bright hues, how would you recommend introducing this wallpaper into a scheme?

Don’t be afraid! The soft elegant hues of Ammonite, Light Blue and Churlish Green create a beautiful poetic movement to any room – sometimes you have to just take a deep breath and make the move, you won’t regret it.

You could also use wallpaper to make a simple but effective decorating statement within a space. Try using spare wallpaper as an accent inside cupboards, alcoves or shelving.  Nothing can give more pleasure than the discovery of a bold paper on the interior of cupboards, particularly within a neutral coloured bedroom.  Wallpaper can be especially effective inside wardrobes, glass fronted cabinets or as decorative drawer liners.

What are your top tips for creating a more considered and cohesive scheme?

  1. When choosing colour for your home, it is important to consider the amount of natural light and the direction a room faces, as this will have a significant impact on the appearance of a colour. The same colour can appear quite different from room to room, at different times of the day, and even depending on the time of year.


  1. Although it might seem counter intuitive, the use of bold colour like Black Blue is generally best suited to smaller rooms that are already starved of natural light, where instead of fighting the existing gloom with a white, you embrace it and make a virtue of its drama.


  1. Contrast is always visually exciting, so using bold colours to differentiate between spaces is a great way to create interior theatre. Strong halls in a colour like Down Pipe are incredibly fashionable and not only create impact on arrival, but result in the sensation of emerging from a dark, confined space into volume and light in the rooms off it.


  1. If you are wary of using bold colour on walls, then think about how you can incorporate it into your scheme in another way. Railings used on woodwork creates visual drama while keeping rooms light, particularly when used on the spindles of a staircase.


  1. Create a seamless connection between the wallpaper and paint by using the same colours on the ceiling or skirting, which is also in the ground or pattern colour of the wallpaper.

To find your perfect colour combination, visit Emily at Farrow & Ball on Mill Lane North or call the store on 0121 709 3360.

Or if you’re looking at doing a full interior overhaul of your home, see our store directory to discovery Mell Square’s furniture and homeware offering.

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