According to 19th-century English art critic John Ruskin, “The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.” Kingston-based Cabinet Designers Inc.’s paint department manager Joan Ffolliott has been an interior designer and professional color expert for over a decade. In the three years she’s managed Cabinet Designer’s paint department, Ffolliott’s developed a sterling reputation for helping discerning Hudson Valley customers craft an effective color scheme for their kitchens, which naturally leads to selecting an integrated palette for the whole house.
In 2006, while working as an account executive for Design Within Reach in San Francisco, she founded her own interior design business, Double FF Design. Ffolliott holds a graduate degree from the Rhode Island School of Design—she also taught sculpture, drawing and welding at the prestigious school in Providence for 11 years.
Ffolliott got a late start on building her impressive resume. After graduating from high school in New Hampshire in 1984, she went to Switzerland to study French and art, later living in an ashram in Italy. Next, Ffolliott zigzagged between the East and West coasts for about seven years, making jewelry she sold at craft fairs. She had a son, Nelson, now 21 and living in Brooklyn, where he works in technology for a major bank. Motherhood persuaded Ffolliott to take education seriously. To make ends meet, the single mom often worked at high-end hardware stores and DIY-friendly design centers while taking or teaching classes.
Ffolliott asks that color-consultation customers bring photographs of “something which is going to stay”—for example, flooring, “hardscaping” they intend to keep. “I also need to see the architecture—how does the light hit,” she says, adding that new construction poses different challenges. She once did a color consultation for a woman who’d gone blind later in life; Ffolliott helped her comprehend the colors around her.
In the high-quality pigment-intensive paint line C2, a North American brand launched 12 years ago and sold only to select dealers, Ffolliott favors rich chromatic grays accented with brighter shades such as chipotle. She’s underwhelmed by beige.
On October 13, Ffolliott’s hosting a paint-naming event at the Cabinet Designers showroom. If you’re interested in attending, contact the store. C2 Paint is adding 60 new shades to its existing collection of 496. Right now, the new colors are numbered. “Moldy Insulation” seems a longshot, but “Simmering Feud” might fly, says Ffolliott. If your name gets chosen by C2 Paint, you’ll win two environmentally friendly gallons worth $100. RESOURCES Cabinet Designers Inc
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