Let’s give 2012 a proper entrance! At mydeco.com we’re all about making your home a happier, fun and vibrant place to live so we’re here to give you a nudge in the right direction – down the path of gorgeous statement walls.
I spoke to Louise Wakefield, the energetic, passionate co-founder of our new favourite wallpaper supplier Beware the Moon. Get ready for some skulduggery:
You claim to try to ‘keep the British wallpaper trade with its feet firmly on the ground, but its head in the clouds’. How do you achieve this?
‘I think it comes naturally to us as a design partnership because we [Louise and father John] both revere quality and tradition in manufacturing, but at the same time we become completely mischievous in the face of convention and can’t help pushing the specialists involved. I had no experience of the wallpaper industry, so we were blessed with harebrained ideas and the naivety to follow through on them!’
‘And given that John has worked within the commercial side of the industry for 40 years, his feet are on the ground when it comes to what is actually achievable with materials and pigments. We take it in turns to be mercurial, and in so doing we keep one eye on craftsmanship and the other on its evolution.’
How daring do you think us Brits are with our wallpaper choices?
‘Actually, we Brits are pretty adventurous. I’ve been heartened by people who have braved our papers in unusual places. My absolute favourite part of the job is when someone gets in touch for a good chat about their project and, to my surprise and delight, it’s mainly been residential clients doing up their homes and sharing their sense of adventure, as opposed to designers or commercial clients. We’ve had everything from people in stately homes completely papering four-poster bedrooms with the She design to one celebrity client who used three different colour-ways of the Skulls design in a studio flat. To my amazement, it really worked.’
‘If I can, I try to get photographs of the projects and it’s nice to see people are breaking out of the feature-wall paradigm, listening to their urges to go around corners and into nooks and crannies. I really looked forward to photographing one client’s downstairs loo. She papered it, ceiling and all, in the Skulls Bronze on Bronze.’
Why do you think the trend for statement walls is still so strong?
‘I think wallpaper over the past 10 years has become a medium for making a more personal statement – ones that are often humorous or thought-provoking. And using one wall as a canvas is an easy and affordable way for people to express themselves.’
Where is the best place in the home for a statement papered wall?
‘I’m a big advocate of papering small spaces. Papering around corners, doors, windows and features can really open a space up and add a new dimension to what might otherwise be ‘dead space’. The more we can make of the space we have in our little homes, the better.’
‘I did it in my tiny hallway, papering around five door-frames in the Skulls wallpaper, and it’s created a whole new room. So I always encourage people towards papering hallways, home offices, staircases, landings and the unsung hero of the household, the downstairs loo – I never tire of a busy loo.’
How will we be wallpapering our homes in 2012?
‘Beware the Moon pioneered the recent trend in holographic wallpaper and 3Ds and I think they’re still pretty unknown and the versatility of them as yet untapped by the masses. They take on the colours and shapes of the things around them, so they really do look different in every space and we’ll see more of them being used to shift the spacial awareness of a room. For instance, using green coloured bulbs on a dimmer switch turns a silver holographic wallpaper into a sea of green and the 3D designs have a phenomenal effect on the mind!’
Your design process seems to be inventive, bold and imaginative. How can customers implement these same characteristics after purchasing wallpaper?
‘I encourage clients to follow through on their instincts and lose their inhibitions. The less afraid of our own tastes we are, the more our homes will be a reflection of ourselves and the more comfortable and authentic it will be for the people who pass through it. I think the same goes for any space – if it’s a reflection of the people who are there the most it will be a good place to be, like a pub or a restaurant that ‘feels’ like its owner.’
‘A lot of people, not only designers, are finding really inventive uses of wallpaper and the off-cuts: papering the back of a heavy front door for instance, or covering a vanity unit.’
Take a look at the wallpapered furniture we have on mydeco.com, designed by Bryonie Porter, and see just how versatile and eye-catching wallpaper can be. And browse the creative range of Beware the Moon wallpaper on mydeco.com for unique patterns and textures designed by Louise and John.
Annabelle lives in London and worked as our wonderful editorial assistant until December 2011. Read more posts by Annabelle.