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Interior inspiration: Sophisticated geometrics and texture

Geometric wallpaper

If floral patterns, conversational designs and intricate prints just aren’t your style, then why not consider a geometric or textured wallpaper for your home? 

Far from being psychedelic and retro, modern geometric wallpaper designs can be used to create many different effects, injecting pattern and adding striking visual appeal to a space. 

Dependent on scale, finish and colour, textured wallcoverings can range from sophisticated and understated to bold and statement-making – the possibilities are limitless. 

Here are our recommendations for geometric wallcoverings and textured wallpapers that will make a stylish and contemporary addition to your home…

If angular patterns feel rather stark and linear, why not look at a softer iteration of geometric design?

Our Butia wallpaper is a contemporary geometric design, inspired by exotic woven silk and rendered in soft, shimmering gradients of colour on a pearlescent ground. The gentle grading of colour, from dark to light, in a vertical column is reminiscent of the folds of a heavy silk curtain.

The Butia design is available in four deliciously muted colourways, featuring palettes of plum and coral; black, cream and taupe; teal, indigo and sage; and greige with wine and burnt sienna. 

On a smaller scale from Butia, our Garnet design consists of a textured ground with fine horizontal threads of sparkling metallic ink weaving across its surface to resemble the sheen of woven silk material. 

Printed on a pearlescent ground, our semi-plain Lucia will add a subtle textured finish to your walls and gives the overall effect of raw silk or raffia material. During the design process, we were inspired by the walls of desert island huts and the luxurious billowing drapes on an exotic beach-side cabana, but the beauty of Lucia is that it is very versatile and can easily be paired with an array of other patterns.

Inspired by the metallic lustre and intricately repeating angular cube forms found in the mineral, pyrite (or ‘fool’s gold’), our Pyrite design is a small coordinate that adds texture and dimension to walls. The colour range features exotic and jewel-like hues of emerald and amethyst as well as more neutral shades of sandstone and larimar. Featuring a combination of metallics and soft raised inks, Pyrite works beautifully anywhere, from living rooms to bathrooms. 

Our Morganite and Quarry wallpaper designs combine softly raised inks with shimmering metallics and contrasting areas of matt texture to add an understated and almost industrial edge to interiors. Morganite mimics the sheen and patination of aged metals, in a largely neutral palette with accents of tarnished rust and muted green. In an array of light tones, Quarry gives the delicate effect of bare plaster or raw, unpolished stone and would add interest to an airy Scandi living room or minimal bedroom.  

To achieve a smart, elegant and timeless look in your home, a crisp linear pattern could be the answer. 

Inspired by Art Deco motifs with a modern twist, Coleton is a striking trellis design which has been traced in metallic and raised inks on a large scale to add to its drama. This design would work especially well in a formal living room, hallway or dining room. 

If you’re looking for something a little less dramatic, Kemptown offers a simple and clean geometric trail design in a palette of appealing neutrals which is contrasted with a textured grasscloth paper ground.  

A subtle repeating pattern in a tonal palette can add visual interest without demanding attention. 

Our Fontwell wallpaper features an elongated harlequin diamond design, with a lustrous surface and gently varied hues for a restful effect. Fontwell is available in tones of cream and stone; plum and mauve; aqua and sage; sandstone and slate grey; and amethyst, berry and navy.

Similarly, Bosham features diamond shapes – on a smaller scale and this time mimicking a stylised depiction of the refraction found within a cut gem stone – in a variety of serenely cool mid-tones. 

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Not all geometric designs feature crisp lines and sharp angles. Add softness to your interior scheme with a curved pattern, such as the repeating scallops of our Paxhill design.

Paxhill is available in a variety of shimmering hues, featuring scales of differing texture, patination and metallic qualities, which are soft and pretty for a bedroom, bathroom or living area.

Do you feel inspired by our geometric wallpaper and textured designs? For help and advice about any of our designs or collections, please email us on enquiries@elizabethockford.com

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Expert advice: Choosing wallpaper for darker rooms

Decorating a north-facing room, or space with few or no windows?

A light-starved room needn’t pose a problem – here’s our advice on choosing the perfect wallpaper for your home and aesthetic…

Infuse your room with light

Maximising the light in your room doesn’t mean that you’re restricted to clinical white emulsion – wallpaper can be a strong choice for making a dark room appear brighter. Wall coverings in soft dusky pastels, such as Faroe in pink, pale blue or sepia, will work wonders in a children’s bedroom or nursery.

Faroe wallpaper in sepia
Faroe, Sepia - W-01064
W-01061-Faroe
Pink - W01061
W-01063-Faroe
Blue - W-01063

It’s worth noting that the light in north-facing rooms can be a little cooler, so choosing warm-toned wallcoverings can rebalance this. A wallpaper like Martinique in sunny yellow, with its light warm palette and gentle pearlescent finish, will maximise how much natural and artificial light reflects around the space.

Martinique, Yellow - W-01022
Martinique, Yellow - W-01022

Likewise, a light-toned wallpaper with a subtle print, like Nevis in white/grey or Montserrat in black/white would perfectly suit a living space.

Nevis, Grey - W-01063
Nevis, Grey - W-01063
Martinique, Black - W-01023
Martinique, Black - W-01023

Other suggestions to maximise the light flow in your room include:

  • White or light colours on the ceiling and for the woodwork
  • Streamlined window dressings to avoid obstructing any natural daylight
  • Large mirrors to bounce the light around
  • Pale flooring – we love painted floorboards
  • Low-slung furniture

Embrace the atmosphere

Instead of fighting against the lack of light, why not go with it?

Adding darker, richer colours to low-lit rooms can accentuate the space and create something really interesting. Darker colours absorb light, which makes walls appear closer and the room feel more intimate and cocooning.

If you’re looking to create drama and sophistication in an occasionally-used room, such as a formal dining room or living room, then the rich and vivid tones and larger scale pattern of Pearl River in black or Bahama in wine would work beautifully.

Pearl River, Black - W01082
Pearl River, Black - W01082
Bahama, Wine, W-01051
Bahama, Wine, W-01051

Or, for a cosy and relaxing feel in a bedroom, snug, or study, opt for the woven linen texture of Lucia in black/gold.

Lucia, Black/Gold - W-01033
Lucia, Black/Gold - W-01033
Lucia, Black/Gold - W-01033
Lucia, Black/Gold - W-01033

Checklist...

  • Consider your lifestyle and how you use the space

If you’re mainly going to be using the room in the evening, with low lighting, then darker wallpaper can add atmosphere.

  • Think about the light you’re working with

The light in north-facing rooms typically brings out the cooler tones of a colour, so be aware that anything with green, blue or grey base will appear even stronger.

No matter how much natural light you have, your home can be packed full of style and character when you opt for wallpaper.

We hope our article has given you some inspiration for wallpaper for your low-light space but if you’d like some more advice then please email us and we’ll be happy to help – Enquiries@elizabethockford.com

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Community post: Design Havens for Heroes

Elizabeth Ockford Ltd is proud to have teamed up with Design Havens for Heroes, an initiative that will provide interior havens for NHS workers who have been on the front-line during the Covid-19 pandemic. We will be donating free wallpaper to several schemes working closely with one of the fantastic Interior Designers who have pledged their time.

Design Havens for Heroes was founded by Francesca Rowan-Plowden, of Rowan Plowden Design Ltd, as a way of bringing together people from across the interiors sector to help give back to the NHS workers.

You can nominate an NHS worker by tagging them in any post on the Design Havens for Heroes Instagram page. The team will match the nominee to one of the many Interior Designers who have volunteered their time and services. The Interior Designer will then work with an extensive list of companies who have donated their products to the cause to help create a beautiful haven for our hero.

“Design Havens for Heroes is a collective from all areas of interior design; designers, brands, suppliers, makers, and trades, who will pull together their talents and resources, donations of products and time, to create havens for frontline NHS workers which they can retreat too post the coronavirus crisis passes and lockdown eases.” 

– Francesca Rowan-Plowden, founder of Design Havens for Heroes

How to nominate your NHS hero

Visit the Design Haven for Heroes Instagram page and tag your NHS nominee in any of their posts or you can email nominations@designhavensforheroes.org.uk.

This initiative has created a beautiful sense of community spirit, and we are so glad to be a part of it.

Before you go...

In a previous blog post we mentioned that we are offering a 20% discount to all key workers who order directly through us.

Take a look through our extensive range of wallpapers and once you have decided how to spruce up your home, email info@elizabethockford.com with your order (along with proof of key worker employment) and we will apply the 20% off.

Featured wallcoverings in this post: 

Quote taken from Francesca’s interview with Good Homes magazine.

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Interior inspiration: What inspires us…

Before we start designing a new wallpaper collection, we normally sit down and talk about a mood, a theme, and maybe a colour palette. We might bring along a piece of inspiration – a scrap of fabric, a postcard, or something torn from a magazine. We then create a mood board for our studio wall which becomes our reference point – it usually grows and develops as we go along.

As for our overarching creative inspiration, many things – from music and film, to artists, locations, historical eras, fashion and found objects – shape our aesthetic…

Elizabeth reflects on her creative influences

“Browsing in vintage shops and antique markets is one of life’s little joys – I seek out pieces of treasure and imagine where these items have been before they were in my possession. I’m drawn to anything that’s shiny, bright and vivid – colour and metallics always catch my eye. Over the years, I’ve amassed a collection of decorative objects, textiles, jewellery, furniture, books and imagery that I often reference in my wallpaper designs. I love to extract from a cherished piece of vintage art or design from my archive, then use modern techniques to create something that’s completely unique and unexpected. Some of the designs from our latest collection, The Islands, were inspired by antique prints and illustrations from my archive – in particular, Faroe and Kitts.

Milton Avery’s Meadows and Mountains, 1946

Milton Avery is one of my all-time favourite painters – the freedom of his marks, the stylised forms, and the luminosity of the colours he used are endlessly compelling – soft and yet vibrant at the same time. Recently I’ve been enjoying the works of Dame Elizabeth Blackadder – for her delicate botanical pieces – and Mary Fedden – delightful naïve still life paintings, flooded with colour.

“Still on a colour theme, the Italian fashion house and homeware brand La DoubleJ also inspires me. JJ Martin’s rather fabulous maximalist designs feature geometric, kaleidoscopic patterns and sassy florals – she’s resurrected vintage prints that had previously been archived and used a palette that’s saturated with luscious, eye-popping colour.

 “In the world of interiors, I’ve recently discovered Calico Wallpaper. The New York husband and wife team have re-appropriated traditional techniques and combined them with modern digital technology to create themed collections of wall coverings. Fusing handmade art with digital enlargement and print creates these wonderful custom-made murals which bring texture, colour and pattern to living spaces – they’re beautifully atmospheric. 

Fragments – hand-painted with raw pigments and minerals
Microcosmos – bubble prints, seen through a microscope

“Another new find is Newton Paisley – a textiles and wallpaper brand. At first glance you’ll see gorgeous intricate depictions of nature, in a spectrum of rich and vibrant colours, but each design showcases neglected or endangered species and sales of fabric contribute to the preservation of wild habitat through World Land Trust – ethics in line with our own commitment to sustainability.   

Madidi Clouds – featuring the endangered Andean spectacled bear – along with toucans, frogs and hummingbirds – in the cloud forest of Bolivia

“I also follow the interiors writer, broadcaster, and influencer, Michelle Ogundehin. Michelle used to be the editor of Elle Decoration and she’s just released a book – ‘Happy Inside – how to harness the power of home for health and happiness’ which explores the link between our homes and wellbeing – this is something I’m really interested in. Michelle has some fantastic Instagram stories about using bold, rich colour combinations with all sorts of texture, from antique mirror to anaglypta, in her home. I love how playful and bold she is with colour and texture – although it’s varied, it just works so well together.

“Retro and fashion-oriented TV shows and films are really inspiring me at the moment. I love the styling of Killing Eve – the assassin Villanelle’s diverse wardrobe features Dries Van Noten, The Vampire’s Wife gowns, gothic Alexander McQueen couture and frothy Molly Goddard tulle. The costume design for Spike Lee’s movie, BlacKkKlansman also caught my eye. It’s all about 70s style with prints, earthy tones, metallics and exaggerated wide collars. And I’m loving the 80s resurgence and how it’s being referenced in current design – our Bahama wallpaper captures that opulent ‘more is more’ character of Versace’s flamboyant silk shirts and scarves.

Lauren, our senior designer, shares her inspirations

“I don’t usually go looking for inspiration – it often finds me, unexpectedly!

“I was out in the garden recently and noticed the blossoming apple tree. Just seeing it made me want to get straight to my desk and draw the delicate pale pink petals and closed buds which contrasted with the slightly gnarly branches. I’ve always been inspired by flowers – especially spring blossoms and the more sculptural magnolia blooms. 

“Like many people, music puts me into a really good, happy place and makes me want to be creative. I lose myself in rock music – my favourite band is Enter Shikari, an electronic-based rock band – but I also love 70s rock. 

“Nature and the seasons are a constant source of inspiration for me. Walking my dog means exposure to the ever-changing scenery, all year round. We’ve been taking Baxter to Friston Forest, along the South Downs, and found a hidden gem of a vantage point where you can see for miles and miles. Eventually I’d love to create a design based around the sweeping views – at this stage I’m not sure how literal it would be, it might end up being something quite abstract.

“Films with a strong identity, like The Great Gatsby, also spark my creative side. The fusion of style, costume, set, soundtrack – and mood they evoke – really inspires me. I’d love to do a collection based around an iconic film, where I’ll sit and watch the film and pull together a set of designs.” 

We hope our article has given you an insight into what inspires us – and how this filters through into our design style.

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Showcase: A bespoke project

As well as designing our own collections we also accept commissions, creating bespoke wallpaper designs for our trade clients’ commercial and residential projects.

In addition, we can digitally modify designs from our newer collections – for example, tweaking a colour palette or removing certain details – to meet the specific needs of a client’s brief.

The client

We were approached by Jacqui Smith of HomeSmiths Interior Design. Trained in Applied Colour Psychology, Jacqui provides interior design services to a variety of clients including private residential clients and care home operators. Jacqui invited us to work with her on a project for a prestigious new care home in Henley-on-Thames. 

The vision

Jacqui’s vision for Henley Manor was to design a series of distinctive zones – using wallcoverings that are appropriate for residents who might be be living with sensory and/or cognitive decline – to create a homely and inviting space. 

The outcome

We created a bespoke wallpaper design – a palm stripe – especially for the care home. Elizabeth hand-painted the palm design in our studio and we then digitally repeated the motif. The subtle colour palette and vertical forms are elegant and soothing on the eye – ideal for a social area.

Jacqui asked us to adapt one of our existing designs – Baxter, a dainty botanical style in a fresh colour palette –  in order to make it more appropriate for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. We removed the copy and shadowing from the original design (shown on the left), giving the botanical illustrations a plain light background which instantly make it simpler to look at. 

We also designed this light and airy wallpaper especially for the project. Inspired by New England clapboard houses, the simple and timeless design adds subtle texture and character to the walls and works really well with the neutral décor in this area of the property.

A glowing testimonial...

"We commissioned Elizabeth and her team for the design and supply of wall coverings at Hallmark Care Homes’ luxury home in Henley-on-Thames. From initial ideas to seeing the paper on the wall, the process was incredibly easy. Elizabeth grasped the brief straight away, providing beautiful large format samples and options, perfectly meeting the client’s timescale expectations. Whilst Elizabeth produced a new design for us for this project, we also asked her to recolour and adapt some of her existing designs. This enabled us to produce a truly bespoke scheme for our client, one which has received many positive comments. We fully intend to work with Elizabeth again."
Jacqui Smith
HomeSmiths Interior Design
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