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This is how designers are using Kelly Wearstler and Farrow & Ball’s exterior collection in their gardens

Experts including Kelly Wearstler respond to summer's most stylish palette – and reveal how to take the California Collection outside

Outdoor dining table painted blue
(Image credit: Courtesy of Farrow & Ball)

When Farrow & Ball selected Kelly Wearstler to front their first externally designed collection since their founding in 1946, they made a perfect choice. 

The SoCal-based designer is synonymous with her state’s subtropical beaches, sea islands, and shorelines – complete with pastel-hued houses and oceanic blues. So, it is only inevitable that her aptly named California Collection pays homage to her native land through eight sun-soaked shades that look good far beyond the Pacific Coast Highway.

These tones have already brought an escapist twist to our paint ideas for the past year, but this summer, Kelly Wearstler has given us permission to take them outside. 

The collection is now available in Farrow & Ball’s Exterior Eggshell and Exterior Masonry finishes – both of which are durable formulas that will survive on your front doors, walls, and outdoor furniture long after the summer concludes. 

How to use the California Collection – according to designers

Outdoor dining table painted blue

(Image credit: Courtesy of Farrow & Ball)

The era of Cali-colored backyard ideas is here, but where should you begin? We asked some of our favorite designers, including Kelly Wearstler herself, how to bring the palette into your home this summer. 

1.  Surprise with pops of color

Outdoor dining table painted blue

(Image credit: Joyce Park)

'Bolder colors like Tar (opens in new tab) and Stoke (opens in new tab) can enhance key architectural features, while pops of color create unexpected moments and add synergy to a space,' says Kelly Wearstler in an exclusive conversation with H&G

The designer shares that she uses Faded Terracotta (opens in new tab) to emphasize the arched niches of her pool house, 'drawing a striking contrast to the greenery and vintage sculptures.' Meanwhile, 'the classic checkered pattern in Citrona (opens in new tab) for a tennis court provides an elevated take on hues associated with the sport,' Kelly adds. 

2. Play with the perfect yellow

Outdoor dining table painted blue

(Image credit: Courtesy of Farrow & Ball)

Los Angeles-based designer Rachel Bullock of LAUN (opens in new tab) is opting for Citrona (opens in new tab) – a welcoming yet stylish paint color for the exterior of a house.

'I have a lemon tree outside my kitchen window and seeing those bright pops of color makes me smile every morning,' she says. 'Pale yellow walls often feel too dated and bold yellow is not for the faint of heart, Kelly has struck the perfect balance here of softness and brightness; Citrona is a joyful color that won't overwhelm.'

3. Celebrate modern minimalism

Outdoor dining table painted blue

(Image credit: Courtesy of Farrow & Ball)

NYC-based interior designer Tina Ramchandani (opens in new tab), founder of Tina Ramchandani Creative, is a master at decorating with gray and has already brought Kelly Wearstler's Tar into her interiors. But how does it work outside?

'We recently used Tar (opens in new tab) on the interior of a home, in a specialty finish on a ceiling. It was the perfect dark grey - it has depth, reflects a mood without being too dark, and has a hint of brightness to it,' the designer says. 

'This color translates so well from interior to exterior. On the shell of a home, it will reflect the sunshine and feel modern and minimal while still adding warmth. Even though it's a dark tone, it feels reflective.'

Whether you're looking to create a talking point at your next party with a soft yellow or you're celebrating eternal color trends with a cool gray – your backyard is ready and waiting for the joys of the California Collection. 

Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.