We have a rather large design project at PLG coming up and we decided to do several rooms in wall coverings. Well…. It tums out the ‘making the decision to use wallpaper’ is the easy part! What followed was an unprecedented psycadelic, Alice in Wonderland, experience as my mind was exposed to an endless battering by deliciously creative musings from wallpaper artists, Yes Wallpaper artists (It’s a thing apparently).
Wallpaper, back in my day, echoed of hideous mathematical shapes in equally horrendous patterns that never seemed to work with…. Well….anything. I remember in the industrial North of England, where I grew up, that wallpaper was a cheaper alternative to paint and it could engulf large areas with annoying little geometrics that felt like a bad video game on acid. Thus I was scarred for life! ….or so I thought. Then a designer I was working with dragged the previously banned word of ‘Wallpaper’ out into the light and with it my attached preconceived childhood prejudices. My pulse quickened with anxiety as she dropped the first book on the table and I prepared myself for the worst…..then….
…..as I was shown the first page I was pleasantly surprised, it was not the dark scene from ‘The Shining’ I had been expecting, it was in fact the miraculous moment when ‘The Wizard of Oz’ transformed from black and white to glorious technicolor. With this unexpected delight I was reborn!! I now plundered the various books and catalogs in my designers possession, devouring each volume in the same manner a starving shipwrecked sailor devours their trapped meat. It was on! I began to deeply respect the artistry and undeniable creativity of the collections and a whole new world of interior design was upon me. Even the dreaded geometric shapes had seen a 21st century twist and were not just palatable but were joyus. From historical Asian motifs to frightfully Britsh foxhunting, from a perfect purple tartan to a soft angelic ‘animals of the kingdom’ scene and every imaginable variation between.
For your reference I have included the papers that made ‘the cut’ here in a crescendo of opulent endulgence and I could not be happier. It took a while to root them out but if you are looking to totally transform a room, and furniture and paint just are not enough, try pulling back your own Wizard of Oz curtain on a few wallpapers and I am sure you too will soon be living in full, glorious technicolor too!
Words and Pix by Peter Lorimer
(For recommendations of wallpaper vendors hit me up and I will be glad to spill the beans)