Who remembers when House of Hackney arrived on Shoreditch High Street three years ago? The first standalone shop for the brand, it’s been a huge hit, bursting with imaginative prints.
At the time its signature design was Palmeral (“an explosion of palm leaves reminiscent of 1930s Palm Springs”) a print covering everything from lampshades on brass pineapple stands, to comfy sofas, fringed lampstands and the most desirable sunlounger ever created.
Now, this summer, the whole world has caught the vibe, taking its cue from the recent resurgence of real plants into the home (on-trend rustic potted succulents, herbs and all that retro trailing ivy). Add in the new-season prints artistically painted with leaves and flowers (see Henry Holland for Habitat) along with “tropical” rattan furniture, and it’s a dynamic, uplifting, bold, colourful trend that you can mix and match with abandon.
So, here’s one easy instant update – the botanical wall. The classic is, of course, Cole & Son’s Palm Jungle, which works oh-so well papered over all four walls of the smallest room in the house. It comes in different funky colourways that look amazing, giving the theme an amusing twist.
Then there’s the brilliant company Surface View. If you don’t yet know them, then you are in for a treat. They are best known for murals, but they also customise images onto wallcoverings, prints, cavasses, lampshades and tiles, plus they have rights to the archives of the V&A, The New York Botanical Garden, Royal Horticultural Society and The Natural History Museum. A 3m by 2.4m mural costs from around £430, and you can crop and customise the image; then when you do fancy a change just paste over it with something equally new and exciting.
Everything Pierre Frey does is to die for (find him at the Chelsea Design Centre). His Jungle collection includes Papagayo (wallpaper and fabric), inspired by South America – as he explains it: “In the depths of this equatorial jungle, there is a hidden Aztec door which holds great promises.” In a good-size room go big with Papagayo wallpaper, or hang the fabric, tapestry-style.
In a more intimate bedroom, go with the natural simplicity of a wall of Beech wallpaper in Document Green from Lewis & Wood. This delicate design by the artist Alexander Hamilton is of fresh beechwood saplings, and feels light and airy.
Lastly, the hand-printed wallpapers from Waybreads are by the fine-artist and botanist Helen Morley, printed to order and commissioned in any colour. Her designs are “inspired by long wanderings in the English countryside”. If you don’t yet have a second home in the country then it’s the next best thing.
For more inspiration, visit the Tate Modern from Wednesday to see American painter Georgia O’Keefe’s magnified flowers.
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