Located in the heart of the La Cienega Design Quarter, a new Farrow & Ball showroom has just opened its doors. The new two-storey, 2,600-square-foot West Hollywood store is a celebration not just of the world-renowned colour expertise of Farrow & Ball, but of the thriving LA design scene. So when it came to transforming the standard showroom experience, we knew we wouldn’t have to look far.
To create the pioneering new space, we enlisted the help of Los Angeles-based design studio Project Room. By designing a three-dimensional display system that brought our paint colours and the unique stories behind them to life, they cleverly crafted a new way for customers and fellow designers to fully experience colour, rather than simply looking at it.
We sat down with Isaac Resnikoff and Sandy Yum of Project Room to find out how their innovative design elements help customers at our new flagship showroom interact with the colours, textures and stories of Farrow & Ball in a whole new way.
The three-dimensional ‘totems’ (above) are central to the immersive design of the space. Can you explain how Project Room LA worked with Farrow & Ball to develop such a unique concept?
We’ve always known that we were going to incorporate some version of objects that brought the colours into 3D space. After meeting with Farrow & Ball it was clear we needed something visually striking in the windows of the store. Before, we’d arranged the objects equally on a table. But from the street, you could hardly register them. That’s when we decided to stack them vertically into totems. That way, they could become visible from the exterior. We also did a lot of research and talking with the Farrow & Ball team about how they come up with their colour descriptions. We realised that totems are used all over the world to tell stories, so why not use this vertical stack as a way for Farrow & Ball to tell infinite colour stories?
How did being a part of the vibrant Los Angeles design community impact your design and creative process for this particular project?
Project Room LA is a collaboration between people who come from the worlds of art (Isaac) and architecture (Sandy). It was through this merging that we brought collaborators from both worlds. Michael Dopp is a local contemporary artist who is responsible for the beautiful silkscreen prints in the store. Designer Joakim Dahlqvist, who’s also local, helped us visualise the space. And for the upcoming roof terrace we involved David Godshall of the landscape design firm Terremoto. There’s a history of collaborations between artist and designers in Los Angeles, and we’d like to continue that tradition as it seems to cultivate interesting and beautiful work.
What is one of your favourite elements of the new showroom space that you designed?
The totems. By far. Always and forever. We love them. We loved the whole process. From translating the stories we read about the colours into 3D to creating the construction documents, visiting with the fabricators – Abaroot, who were the original woodturners for Ray and Charles Eames – to visiting with the painters, to finally stacking the objects in the store. Every step was extremely gratifying in its beauty and fun!
What elements of this project were most exciting to you as a design firm and individual designer?
We were thrilled that Farrow & Ball was willing to rethink the way they present their colours in the store. Now, actually seeing the built versions in the space, it’s extremely gratifying to see how they add so much depth to the experience of the colours.
As contemporary innovators and creatives, what did you love most about working with a heritage brand with a unique story and history and how did that influence the creative process?
Who wouldn’t want to work with Farrow & Ball?! We’d used Farrow & Ball paints on previous projects and knew the quality of the product. When we went to visit HQ and talk to the experts, that’s when it became really clear – all of the care that Farrow & Ball puts into getting this quality product out. A company that genuinely cares about its product is such a joy for designers to work with. It means the integrity, direction, and pioneering that was there all along can easily be translated to a genuine and beautiful experience of the brand in their retail environment.