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New collection: The Garden

Elizabeth Ockford Lady Penrose Wallpaper

As our lives slowed down last year, we felt very fortunate to be outside as spring turned to summer and we immersed ourselves in watercolour painting and botanical drawing… Fairly effortlessly, the idea behind our new collection – The Garden – started to grow.

The Garden is a collection of hand-drawn wallpaper designs which explore blooming flowers – from cheerful pansies to exotic orchids – as well as the array of insects typically found in the garden. A love for colour is evident throughout this collection – experimenting with an array of hues to achieve different results.

Here’s an insight into three of our new wallpaper designs from The Garden collection…

Our Cleo design features tiny bugs, beetles, dragonflies and butterflies and was inspired by the precision of entomological studies of insects in pen and ink. Elizabeth opted for a simple two-tone effect – setting delicate linear rows of insects against a contrasting hue.

“In the studio I simply wanted to enjoy drawing the insects. The result is a charming and very
useable wallpaper which takes on a different quality and mood depending on the
chosen colourway.”

Elizabeth chose names based on strong women of historical importance – she was inspired by Cleopatra’s iconic status as a powerful Egyptian queen and femme fatale.

  • Teal – pure emerald green on taupe
  • Sky blue – warm ginger on pale baby blue
  • Fresh green – grass green printed on a cream ground
  • Marine blue – cornflower on a yellow-cream ground
  • Noir – white print on charcoal ground
  • Indigo – an inky ground with vibrant pink print
  • Fuchsia – hot pink ground with deep blue print
  • Ochre – a golden yellow ground with red/pink design

Elizabeth started with delicate botanical illustrations of flowers, seed pods and fruits, before adding in some butterflies and setting them amongst tonal ‘ghost’ outlines of other plants.

Marianne North was a prolific Victorian biologist and botanical artist. North travelled the world in the 1870s and 1880s, making detailed illustrations of the plants she observed in exotic locations. The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew opened an exhibition of her work in 1880, and the North Gallery remains open to this day.

“Not only do I love the boldness and brilliance of colour in North’s oil paintings, I’m fascinated by the idea of a woman – in a corset and long skirt – journeying up the Amazon to discover and meticulously document native plants.”

  • Botany – fresh green, cornflower blue and rosy red on off-white
  • Noir – green against a black ground, reminiscent of an enchanted garden at night
  • Lavender – soft mauve and mint, for a pretty vintage effect
  • Sky blue – a fresh pale blue ground with blooms picked out in cream and pastel shades

This design began as a series of ornate swooping butterflies in jewel colours. Elizabeth opted to have them flitting over a tonal ground, with the classic floral and acanthus leaf motif of a softly faded damask.

Lady Penrose – widely known as Lee Miller – was an American fashion model, photographer, photojournalist and World War II correspondent.

“I’m intrigued by the facets of Miller’s life. She was fearless in her war-time reportage – documenting concentration camps and capturing rural poverty – but she was also a muse and collaborator of Surrealist artist, Man Ray. My favourite picture of her is in Hitler’s bath – it’s iconic, audacious and provocative.”

  • Dark blue – a denim tone overlaid by a stone design
  • Sky blue – pale blue against a white and stone ground
  • Pink – a soft rose on white
  • Taupe – a stone ground with lighter floral print
  • Ochre – a sunny yellow ground with lighter floral print

As with The Islands, interior designers can access our entire new collection via a compact style box which includes A4 samples of all designs. To order The Garden as a style box, please email Enquiries@elizabethockford.com

We hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into the new collection – we’ll be introducing more of The Garden in a future article…

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New collection: Horizon

horizon in pale blue colourway in a modern living space with table chairs mantle piece and a rug

It’s fair to say that we’ve all been through a challenging and anxious time for much of this year. However, as a positive side effect of lockdown, many of us have had time to pause, reflect and live more simply.

With our slower pace of life we’ve immersed ourselves in ancient woodland, roamed through rolling meadows, and meandered along beaches – rediscovering our appreciation of nature, as the seasons change.

rocket the dog
Baxter the dog sat in a misty foggy field
a rainbow in horsted keynes

Our sense of awe at the beauty of the changing light has filtered through into our atmospheric new line: Horizon – a range of tonally graduated wallpaper inspired by light fluctuations.

evoking a mood through colour

As with all our collections, with Horizon we’ve used colour to evoke a mood. In exploring the transience of light – at dusk or dawn, on fair days or in stormy times, through the seasons – we’ve created six core colour variations, from the freshness and serenity of a mist-shrouded field to the dynamic tonal shifts of a more dramatic climate and landscape.

Our sophisticated Taupe Horizon explores the perfect shade of neutral brown in a gentle gradient, from deep to delicate. The overall effect of Taupe is reminiscent of a view over fields of threshed wheat stubble, with the autumnal mist ascending.

Horizon collection in Taupe
Horizon, Taupe
Taupe moodboard for Horizon collection
Image source: Unsplash

The inspiration for this colour palette was that gorgeous early evening moment when – although the sun has gone down – there’s still a remnant of luminosity in the sky. Starting with an icy shade that passes through forest-like teal and into velvety ink, Deep Blue is peaceful and calm and also reminds us of swimming underwater, with the deepening shades of the ocean.

Horizon collection in Deep Blue
Horizon, Deep Blue
pale blue moodboard for Horizon
Image source: Unsplash

Off White is the airiest and most subtle option in our Horizon line-up. A perfect dove grey gradually fades into an understated antique linen shade, capturing the ethereal quality of an illuminated fog as it descends, or the intensity of light that often occurs before a flurry of snow.

Horizon collection in Off White
Horizon, Off White
off white moodboard for Horizon
Image source: Unsplash

There’s a wonderful freshness and purity to the tones of Horizon in Pale Blue. Our colour palette was inspired by the gradual shift in hues, when gazing over the distant horizon on a bluebird day. There’s also a resemblance to the milky aquamarine waters of the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, diffused by rising vapour.

Horizon collection in Pale Blue
Horizon, Pale Blue
pale blue moodboard for Horizon
Image source: Pixabay, Unsplash

Reminiscent of sunny walks through fields of rippling barley, our Ochre colourway will bring a hazy golden warmth to interiors.

Horizon collection in Ochre
Horizon, Ochre
ochre moodboard for Horizon
Image source: Unsplash

There’s a real intensity to Carbon – we wanted to explore the gradient from bitter chocolate through velvety mole grey with red and violet undertones. Atmospheric and electrifying, the hues found in Carbon were borrowed from dramatic landscapes: the point where a moody sky dissolves into an expanse of choppy sea, diffused by a filter of sea fret; or the purple-brown of heather-clad hills beneath a brooding cloud.

Horizon collection in Carbon
Horizon, Carbon
carbon moodboard for Horizon
Image source: Unsplash, Pixabay

If you love the graduated ombré effect of Horizon but you’d prefer it in an alternative colour palette then please contact us. Our customisation service means that we can tweak many of our designs, just for you and your project.

bespoke design service for horizon wallpaper

Horizon is digitally printed onto a softly embossed material with a texture reminiscent of linen.

Supplied as a 12 metre roll (4 x 3 metre panels), the product can be trimmed to fit wall widths and ceiling heights and applied with the lighter tone at the top and turning to dark or in reverse, according to your preference.

Please email us if you’d like more advice on Horizon – enquiries@elizabethockford.com

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Pantone Colour of the Year 2021

pantone color of the year 2021
title

Pantone Color of the Year 2021 announced – and it’s a pair of colours! This week we were surprised to see Pantone announce – not just one, but – two hues as Color of the Year 2021…

pantone colour of the year 2021
Image: Pantone

Experts at the Pantone Color Institute have chosen 17-5104 ‘Ultimate Gray’ and 13-0647 ‘Illuminating’ for 2021, declaring that they are a marriage of colour conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.”

Bold, bright, and uplifting, Illuminating is a cheerful yellow that is reminiscent of a child’s drawing of the sun or the visual zing of zesty lemons. By contrast, Ultimate Gray is steady and calm – resembling pebbles or sturdy urban concrete landscapes – and has a more timeless and resilient connotation.

After the tumultuous events of 2020, it’s no surprise that the experts at Pantone weren’t able to settle on just one colour to represent the year ahead. A Pantone representative reflected:

“It became apparent that there was never going to be one colour that could express everything that needed to be expressed — that it was, instead, critical to have two independent colours that could come together.”

In choosing the contrasting hues – sunshine yellow anchored by a steely grey – Pantone were not simply ‘hedging their bets’. They have chosen a pair of colours that reflect the world as we have come to know it: a juxtaposition of hope and despair; light and heavy; bright and subdued; dynamic and inert; fresh and enduring.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, commented:

“The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity s upported by fortitude. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a colour combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.”

opinion on pantone 2021

The announcement has been met with a mixed response. On social media, many have objected to the colours, likening them to hi-vis safety clothing, industrial cement and road markings, and the grey sweat pants of lockdown (!).

However, Vogue referred to the combination as “a chic colour duo for 2021, guaranteed to have a positive effect on your mind and wardrobe”. Pantone has justified the selection by stating that the colours are “conjoining deeper feelings of thoughtfulness with the optimistic promise of a sunshine filled day.”

how to use pantone colour of the year 2021

The experts at Pantone have created five colour exploration palettes that showcase Ultimate Gray and Illuminating to illustrate their versatility – we especially like the mood evoked by Sun and Shadow, with dramatic Blue Nights and earthy Wild Ginger and Oil Green.

pantone color of the year 2021 sun and shadow palette
Image: Pantone

We’ve been looking through some of our previous collections and have used a softer combination of these two hues in several of our designs.

If you would like any more advice on interiors or have any general enquiries then please don’t hesitate to contact us! enquiries@elizabethockford.com

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Colour theory: immersing ourselves in green

W-01013 Kitts fish wallpaper in the colourway aqua

Whether vibrant or subtle, we’re passionate about colour: how it makes us feel, its role in our designs, and how we use it in our homes.

Studies show us that colour can alter our brain waves, affect the autonomic nervous system and our hormonal activity, and can stimulate our emotions: we react physiologically and psychologically to colour.

From dazzling lime and vivid emerald to muted olive and moss; to delicate celadon, peppermint and eucalyptus through calming sage and aquamarine to deep teal and forest green – we love green in all its iterations.

Green is synonymous with nature and the natural world – it is the colour of grass, trees, woodland. An environment containing plenty of green vegetation indicates fertile land and the presence of water – little danger of drought or famine – so green is considered to be reassuring on a primitive level. These lingering associations with nature mean that green can make us feel grounded, tranquil, fresh and healthy.

green-woodland
english-countryside

Being in the centre of the colour spectrum, most shades of green require no visual adjustment and therefore, this is deemed restful. Green is also said to be soothing, uplifting and healing – in the presence of green, the pituitary gland is stimulated, muscles become relaxed, and blood histamine levels increase (decreasing allergy symptoms). In short, green is calming, stress-relieving, and also invigorating – researchers have found that green can improve reading ability and creativity.

For centuries, artists searched for a stable and truly green pigment – it was a notoriously difficult colour to manufacture from available natural substances. Egyptians used earth or malachite before the ancient Romans developed verdigris – a process where copper plates were soaked in wine or vinegar, causing a vivid blue-green surface residue to form – which they used as a pigment in mosaics, frescos and in stained glass. Subsequently pigments such as cobalt green, emerald green and viridian were developed in the late 18th century by heating and combining certain chemicals.

green verdigris

Green features in many of our designs – here’s a few examples of its use and explanations for our choices:

Our Pearl River design features a deep emerald ground with large circular Eastern-inspired illustrations. In this context, the green chosen as the background provides a calm coolness while also matching the strength of the saturated colours of the illustrations, allowing the eye to scan the design in its entirety.

We chose a soft aqua as a ground for a host of vividly coloured fish as this gentle shade allows the bright shoal to ‘pop’.

Although the overall design isn’t dominated by green, we love the energy and fizz created by the use of lime, aqua and jade on the lobsters in this version of Aruba. As well as using different green shades, we’ve played brights – hot pink, coral and turquoise – against softer lavender and olive to create a zing against the grainy black linen background.

If you would like any more advice on interiors or have any general enquiries then please don’t hesitate to contact us! enquiries@elizabethockford.com
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Interior inspiration: Sophisticated geometrics and texture

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.

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