What's the Color of Texas? Ask Bailey McCarthy

The designer and owner of Biscuit Home has created a Texas-themed palette for Farrow & Ball.

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen December 4, 2014

Pantone aficionados may be obsessing over Marsala (whatever that is), but we prefer a color palette created a little closer to home.

F&B's Drag wallpaper represents the Bank of America Center in downtown Houston.

Paint and wallpaper brand Farrow & Ball has tapped Bailey McCarthy—she of the Montrose home store Biscuit, the popular design blog Peppermint Bliss and her own emerging interior design firm—to create a palette of their products that reflects all that Texas represents. 

"I was so thrilled they gave me the whole state, because Texas is so diverse and I love so many things about our state, so I could bring more things into it other than just Houston," said McCarthy.

F&B Tented Stripe wallpaper in burnt orange was an obvious match for the clock tower at the University of Texas.

McCarthy started by picking some of her favorite landmarks across the state, and connecting them to colors or patterns. A florid blue-and-white damask pattern was deemed appropriately fancy to signify the sky-reflecting Fountain Place skyscaper in Dallas, while a plum striated paper was chosen to mimic the rich color of the Philip Johnson-designed Bank of America tower in downtown Houston. 

There's a paint color to represent bluebonnets, of course (Farrow & Ball's Pitch Blue) and another for the Alamo (Elephant's Breath), but McCarthy's favorite pick was inspired by a slightly less known icon, the pale pink Presidio County Courthouse in Marfa.

"That is such a great one because pink is a little challenging for people. The Farrow & Ball pinks are great because they are not too sweet and not too childfish. It's a pink building, but it's very powerful," said McCarthy.

One of McCarthy's houston picks that didn't make the final list was the vibrant Babouche orange, designed to mimic the sunrise at the James Turrell Skyscape.

For those looking for their next decorating project, McCarthy recommends Calke Green paint, representing the lush parklands of Austin.

"The olive-y green for the state capital I can picture in an office or a dining room—it's such a cozy color that would go beautiful at night with more sparkling light," she says.

Inspired? In Houston, Farrow & Ball products are sold at Boxwood Interiors. Tell them Bailey and the bluebonnets sent you.

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