Right at Home: wallpapers that take you on a trip
Wallpaper goes in and out of fashion. Right now, it’s enjoying an “in” moment.
There are wildly creative designs coming out of studios all over the world. Some of the best take us on a journey to far-flung places both real and imagined.
Londoner Nina Campbell’s new Fontibre collection for Osborne & Little is inspired by the travels of of her great uncle, watercolorist Robert Hello Hutchinson Keightley. Her design Keightley’s Folio is a gallery of his small landscape paintings, punctuated by little rosettes. Barbary Toile depicts a troupe of mischievous monkeys gamboling around the Rock of Gibraltar. (www.osborneandlittle.com )
Matthew Williamson, also of London, found inspiration for his new collections in pre-revolutionary Cuba and the Amazon. Tropical motifs meet lush colors in wallpapers that are vibrant and evocative.
Flamingo Club has a retro feel, with pale pink flamingos strutting among orchids and ferns against a turquoise background. A summer trip to Costa Rica led to the creation of Williamson’s Arici paper, on which playful parrots perch and swoop, their brightly hued wings brushed with gold. Slinky big cats prowl through a forest of peacock feathers on Leopardo, a print with a ’70s vibe.
“I usually reference leopards when I’m looking to create a print that feels powerful, dynamic and full of energy,” Williamson says. “The print is a little bit wild — just like the animal itself.” (www.matthewwilliamson.com )
Beastie Boy band member Mike Diamond and designer Vincent Ficarra of the company Revolver New York collaborated on a design for Flavor Paper called Brooklyn Toile. It incorporates Diamond’s favorite memories of Brooklyn, featuring vignettes of Coney Island, the elevated subway, stroller moms and rap artist Notorious B.I.G. (www.flavorpaper.com )
The Australian company Milton and King’s Funky collection of wallpapers depicts city life around the world, in far from conventional ways. Cheeky, colorful illustrations give us a sky-top view of giant robots battling between Tokyo’s skyscrapers; discos and firemen’s cookouts light up the streets of New York City; imps ride the London Eye. (www.miltonandking.com )
German designer Katja Behre, based in London, takes us in a different direction: a dream-like journey into surreal worlds. In a color palette that blends moody blues and grays with bronze and starlight, the wallpapers are playful and evocative.
In Les Voyages Fantastiques and La Terre a La Lune, characters in vintage photographs find themselves on faraway worlds, leaping from rocky promontories or boating on celestial seas.
Behre says she and her design team were captivated by Jules Verne’s stories.
“Tales of journeys through space, or deep into the center of the earth. We’re inspired by turn-of-the-century scientific discoveries and travels, as well as other worlds and the cosmos,” she says. (www.ellipopp.co.uk )
Finally, at Anthropologie, Louisianan artist Rebecca Rebouche brings us into her Enchanted Forest. It’s a whimsical wood where butterflies are the same size as hot air balloons, trees don party hats, and seahorses have tea on a sunken sailing ship. Wonderland’s Alice would love it on her wall. (www.anthropologie.com )