Charlotte Cosby, the Woman Behind Some of Farrow & Ball's Most Iconic Paint Shades, Shares a Few of Her Favorite Things

Charlotte Cosby
Courtesy of Charlotte Cosby

In the sea of paint chips out there, it's nothing short of a miracle to create not one (Elephant's Breath), but multiple colors with cult followings. Therein lies the magic of English paint and wallpaper company Farrow & Ball, where Charlotte Cosby, Head of Creative, has lent her vision for the past 13 years. (A recent SNL skit further proved the love is real.)

The Bournemouth-raised mom—of two kids and a tortoise named Julian—finds inspiration in Dorset's coastal beauty, travel, and historic British homes and books: A recent collaboration with London's Natural History Museum, for example, is "a mixture of bright jewel tones, enveloping shades, and enduringly popular neutrals" plucked from the color-classification system Darwin used in his writings.

Cosby's own restrained look ranges, she says, "from French exchange student to accountant." Her philosophy: "I'm a strong believer in following what you like rather than trends, for both fashion and interiors. If you like something, you'll feel comfortable and confident in it."

Ahead, the creative shares a few of her favorite things—from the barely-there beauty products that help her achieve her signature natural look to the bag that carries everything she brings along for the (colorful) ride. Pieces, like a cozy mustard wrap scarf, flattering high-waisted jeans, and a streamlined poplin button-up, from her go-to uniform (a mix of contemporary and vintage) are also included, as are the pencils she uses for designing and note-taking. Her must-haves help her live exactly how she creates—comfortably collected. The goal, in other words: Breathe easy.

01 of 13

Fresh Fragrance

Chanel Chance Eau Fraîche
Peter Ardito

"Ten years ago, my mother and I decided I needed a new scent. After weeks of looking, this was the winner. It's delicate and fresh."

Shop Now: Chanel Chance Eau Fraîche, from $62,

02 of 13

Cozy Scarf

Toast cashmere-wool wrap scarf
Courtesy of Toast

"It's big enough to use as a throw when I'm curled up on the sofa, and keeps out the chill when I'm out."

Shop Now: Toast Cashmere-Wool Wrap Scarf, $235,

03 of 13

Classic Blouse

Cos covered placket blouse
Courtesy of Cos

"For work, I wear a lot of pieces from the brand mixed with vintage."

Shop Now: Cos Covered Placket Blouse, $115,

04 of 13

Flamingo Motif

Surface View Greater Flamingo tiles
Courtesy of Charlotte Cosby

"I saw this at a trade show and couldn't get it out of my head, so I bit the bullet and ordered it. It's now in my bathroom."

Shop Now: Surface View Greater Flamingo Tiles, from $1,195,

05 of 13

Petal-Soft Sheets

Hawkins New York linen sheets in Blush and Petal
Peter Ardito

"They're so soft and come in so many gorgeous colors. I either use one shade or mix up light and dark ones."

Shop Now: Hawkins New York Linen Sheets in Blush and Petal, from $198 each,

06 of 13


Blackwing 602 Palomino pencils
Peter Ardito

"I like them for taking notes and sketching ideas. They're great quality and lovely to hold, and never smudge."

Shop Now: Blackwing 602 Palomino Pencils, $25 for 12,

07 of 13

Flattering Jeans

Isabel Marant Étoile Corsyj jeans
Peter Ardito

"These tapered, high-rise jeans are effortless and flattering."

Shop Now: Isabel Marant Étoile "Corsyj" Jeans, $290,

08 of 13

Comfortable Kicks

Veja Esplar Emeraude white leather sneakers
Courtesy of Veja

"I spend a lot of time on my feet, so a comfortable trainer is essential."

Shop Now: Veja Esplar Emeraude White Leather Sneakers, $120,

09 of 13

Rose Balm

Glossier Balm Dotcom in Rose
Courtesy of Glossier

"I tend to stick to a natural, barely-there look, and wear plain or tinted lip balms."

Shop Now: Glossier Balm Dotcom in Rose, $12,

10 of 13

Carry-Everything Bag

Coach Charlie Bucket bag in Saddle
Courtesy of Coach

"It holds my laptop, phone, notebook, pencil case, lip balm, wallet, and reusable water bottle."

Shop Now: Coach Charlie Bucket bag in Saddle, $375,

11 of 13

Alcohol-Free Aperatif

Seedlip Garden 108 alcohol-free spirit
Peter Ardito

"It reminds me of the countryside. I mix it with tonic."

Shop Now: Seedlip Garden 108 Alcohol-Free Spirit, $30 for 23.7 fl. oz.,

12 of 13

Signature Paints

Farrow & Ball paints
Peter Ardito

"I have Pavilion Blue on the walls in my bathroom. Peignoir is one of my favorites for its soothing, restful nature."

Shop Now: Farrow & Ball Paints, price dependent on selection,

13 of 13

True Coverage

MAC Mineralize Concealer in NW20
Peter Ardito

"It's difficult to find one that matches my skin tone, but this one is spot-on!"

Shop Now: MAC Mineralize Concealer in NW20, $25,

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