Modernist mirage: Farrow & Ball and Christopher Kennedy brighten up Palm Springs

BY TOM HOWELLS for Wallpaper*

British paint brand Farrow & Ball is synonymous with a certain kind of muted, Regency-chic drawing-room aesthetic (and very refined it is too). But for Palm Springs’ Modernism Week, the company has teamed up with California-born designer Christopher Kennedy and modern furniture dealer Converso to create an interiors display channelling the vivid, nostalgic glamour of Palm Springs design.

‘Colourful Escape’, as the set-up is dubbed, is certainly eye-catching. Kennedy has conceived a wall design ‘reminiscent of Palm Springs breezeblock patterns’, covered with bright F&B hues like the dramatic orange of ‘Charlotte’s Locks’, the mint green ‘Arsenic’ and the lush pink of ‘Nancy’s Blushes’ (abstruse names are a Farrow & Ball trademark). This he surrounded with classic pieces from Converso (and ‘layered in artwork, rugs and accessories from some of my favourite vendors’ he explains).


The modern furniture designs chosen by Kennedy include an un-restored 1960s sofa by Raymond Loewy (a former resident of an Albert Frey-designed home in the desert city); Robert Venturi’s 1985 ‘Empire Chairs’, manufactured by Knoll and designed as response to the work of Ettore Sottsass’ Memphis Group; and a custom Wendell Castle ‘Lounge Chair’ from 1974. It’s a cohesive, complementary amalgam of timeless vibe and seminal style – a perfect fit for Modernism Week, then.

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