A New Facility From Farrow and Ball
by Miranda Lipton
The Paint Dealer accepted an invitation to visit one of Farrow & Ball’s newest showrooms [we’re the media, after all], in Brooklyn, NY, and we thought it would be a great opportunity to see what the company’s design stores are all about and pass on any tips to help you in your own store’s setup. Farrow and Ball advertises a strong emphasis on quality and a distinctive way of doing business—just like you! The staff told us about how they work to create a special experience for their customers from the moment that they walk through the doors to the time they leave. The company values customer service and strives to foster an engaging environment for showroom visitors.
“It is an experience different than going to any other paint store,” says Eric Stogner, manager of the Brooklyn location. “We are constantly helping the customers in any way that we can. It starts by color consulting when the customer first walks in. After that, if we are able, we go to their house to get a feel for the lighting and other factors involved in making the best color decision.” You can see Farrow & Ball’s focus on service for yourself by observing the customer-employee interactions. The staff is not only available for help, but is eager to guide customers through the process of selecting a color, or anything else they may be in need of. “We never want a customer feeling lost when they are in our store; we would rather help them along the way to figure out exactly what they need,” says Eric.
A Peek into Unique
While Farrow and Ball showrooms provide this unique experience, they are nearly identical to each other. The interior of the Brooklyn showroom is meticulously kept up, with nothing for sale other than Farrow and Ball products in order to ensure that customers receive the highest quality service, Eric reports. This mirrors the setup of all other Farrow and Ball stores, although each one has slightly different characteristics. “As a newer showroom, Brooklyn has included such features as a large touch-screen to view our wallpapers, and a garden with furniture painted in our paint.”
The website states that while inside the showrooms you are able to “browse the palette of 132 versatile colors, flick through books of our handcrafted wallpapers and get advice from our expert Color Consultants.” The walls are covered with the company’s handcrafted wallpapers and carefully decorated with paint cans and its pristine color display.
The store is furnished with minimal furniture—just enough to display a few table books and fan decks, keeping the display area aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to browse around in. Farrow & Ball plays a significant role in the interior design world, which makes the setup of its showroom even more important in its need to reflect that.
What’s in a Can?
In addition to the layout, the company distinguishes its paint from other brands in a variety of ways. The paints are all water based, and, they tell us, the higher pigmentation that they use creates a more powerful color, allowing for a smaller spectrum of colors to suffice. “Ask us what the single most important characteristic that makes Farrow & Ball paint so very special is, and we’ll tell you this…it’s the extraordinary way our deep and richly pigmented colors respond to light throughout the day, bringing walls to life,” says the company website.
The small color palette also sets the company—and its dealers—apart. All of the colors have an intriguing story behind them that is reflected in their names. The stories often come from historic houses, people, places, or nature. As a dealer, this would be a great conversation to have with potential customers. Stogner tells us that the relatively compact color range is a way to enhance your customer’s experience by allowing for an easier decision-making process, while still offering the range of neutral and vibrant colors that the customer seeks.
Farrow & Ball has over 60 showrooms, most of which are located across Europe and the U.K., however the company is now expanding its presence in the U.S. and along with its showrooms is making its products available to independent dealers. The Brooklyn location recently opened to cater to its sizable clientele in that area. The showroom is a positive addition to the dynamic community that it was built in, and it hosts events at the store with set designers, artists, and museums in order to foster relationships with existing and potential clientele.
Farrow and Ball showrooms also offer a way for independent dealers to learn about store setup. Mark Lipton, owner of Tremont Paint in The Bronx, NY, and well known as The Paint Dealer’s “Mark My Words” columnist, recently arranged to take on the line. He found that visiting the showroom helped him in creating his own retail environment. “As an independent dealer, I do not know as much about store layout or interior design as I would like. Seeing these showrooms can be helpful to guide me on how to better set up my own stores,” he said.