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  • Writer's pictureEvie Polkadot

My Top 5 Favourite Wallpaper Brands

I'm a huge fan of wallpaper! I love a bold print, a gorgeous palette and a pattern that shows the world what I love. So, this week, I thought I'd share with you my top 5 favourite wallpaper brands and some of the prints I love the most.

Let's dive in!


We have used wallpaper in our homes for hundreds of years; these days it helps us to express ourselves and our inner personalities. It isn't simply used to make our rooms look nice anymore and we no longer use it to make a statement with regards to our wealth or prosperity - well, not all of us anyway!


These days we use it to show off who we are as individuals and for those of us who don't have loud, proud or excessive characters, it helps us to shout about our identities without compromising our need to stay quiet.


I use bold colours and fun prints in my home because that's the person I am inside. Outside, I can be rather shy and withdrawn, but there's a big, confident person within me, dying to get out and it tends to spill over into my decor choices, rather than being out and proud for all to hear!


I've never been one to be overly vocal, or to put on a false front; I've tried many times, but it just doesn't suit me, people can see straight through it and I end up feeling like an idiot. Stay true to yourself and let out those vibrant urges with interior design instead! It's much more comfortable!



What Makes a Favourite Brand?

For me, it's all about pattern, colour and quality. I can't bear wallpaper that feels thin and flimsy, that creases the moment you touch it, or that soaks up all of your wallpaper paste and ends up peeling off the wall five minutes later.


I love a thick, heavy paper or a paper that feels more like a fabric. I like a bold print, crisp design edges and rich pigment. And I like high-end... sadly, my purse does not.


I can't often actually afford the brands I love most, but I will always do my best to save, or find a bargain. It's so true that you get what you pay for; and my 5 favourite wallpaper brands are all high quality and beautifully made.


Keep aiming high, that's what I say!



Cole & Son have been one of my favourite wallpaper brands for years. I love their bold, vibrant patterns and their vast range of designs.


I had a long chat with their representative, Simon earlier this year and he is such a lovely man. He spent ages speaking to me about the designs and some of the background of the company. We looked through numerous books together and he was so informative and friendly; which just made the brand even more of a favourite!


1875

FOUNDED BY JOHN PERRY IN NORTH LONDON In a vibrant hub of more than 190 block printing companies active during the 18th and 19th centuries, John Perry, son of a Cambridgeshire merchant began carving a name out for himself, opening his first factory in London in 1883.


In 1910, using a solution of ground mica, Perry creates the process to imitation silk, developing the lustre-like silk effect on paper which is still used today, giving his wallpaper the feeling and appearance of pure luxury.


In 1942, Cole & Son buy Perry's company, acquiring some 2000 wallpaper printing blocks, collected by Perry as wallpaper companies closed down around him. The company now exhibits the best in quality wallpaper manufacture from showrooms on aristocratic Mortimer Street in central London.


Cole & Son were one of the first companies to introduce screen printing to their factories in 1948; and between the years of 1950 & 1960, they went to market with some of the most iconic prints of the contemporary design movement. These prints include 'palm leaves' and 'woods'.


In 1961, Cole & Son are awarded a royal warrant, as a supplier of wallpaper to Queen Elizabeth II - and with equal passion and commitment today, their in-house artists continue to produce innovative and stunning wallpapers for us all to enjoy. They really are some of the most stunning designs out there!





I love House of Hackney! Unfortunately, I can't afford most of their gorgeous products, but that doesn't stop me looking at them (very) often and dreaming of the day I can... and will!


What I love most about this brand are the absolutely amazing designs; they are so bold, so vibrant and so eye-catching, you just can't help but be pulled in by them.


House of Hackney are stocked by the likes of Liberty - one of my favourite stores and another place I can barely afford to even walk around! One of my favourite items is their Saber Tiger cushion, which I managed to get a copy of for a much lower price in Homesense a few years ago. It's lovely, but it definitely isn't close to the real thing.


I adore their 'Hollyhocks' wallpaper, too. If you're not a fan of cottage-core, or granny-chic, then it definitely won't be for you and you'll probably hate the fact that House of Hackney team it with matching fabric for full-on floral effect, but I absolutely love it! It gets me really excited to design and fills me with maximalist inspiration for days whenever I see it!


2011

FOUNDED BY FRIEDA GORMLEY & JAVVY M ROYALE

House of Hackney started in the kitchen in 2011, when husband and wife Javvy and Frieda came up with the idea of creating an eco-friendly interiors brand which would pull inspiration from nature with it's incredible designs.


House of Hackney lives in a Victorian townhouse in London Fields; the kitchen is where it all began, the warren is where ideas are born and dreams are conjured up, and the bathroom is where this very talented duo reconnect and renew their energy.


Today, House of Hackney continues on with its three founding principles in mind:


"Creativity with Purpose. Integrity in our Actions. Compassion for our Planet and People".


If you wish to visit House of Hackney, then do so with this lovely little message in mind:


"Our house is your house. Welcome home".


As well as this, House of Hackney also have a very proud eco-manifesto, which I am far too lazy to type out! So, if you'd like to know more about what they're doing for our wonderful environment and how they are helping to save it, you can find it here.





Inspired by vintage design and nature. These are two of the reasons I love Sanderson as a brand. As well as these, Sanderson stand against racism and for equality for all, with a pledge that they will always include people of all races, gender and sexuality in their business dealings and decisions. In today's world, these are some of the things we look for when supporting a brand and, no matter what your opinion is on how people live their lives, this is something we should all be supporting.


I am currently yearning for floral prints constantly and Sanderson delivers this on a large scale. Their stunning 'Very Rose and Peony' print is one of my favourite designs, along with 'Hollyhocks', 'Palm House', 'Sycamore Trail' and the entire 'Water Garden' collection! Just beautiful!


If you like old-fashioned vintage design, then you'll love Sanderson!


1860

SANDERSON IS FOUNDED

One of the most renowned interiors brands worldwide, Sanderson combines timeless British subtlety with hand-drawn designs and bold interpretations from an historic archive, unleashing 160 years of daring patterns.





William Morris (1834-1896) was a political theorist, publisher, environmental campaigner, architectural conservationist, poet, novelist, printer, artist and an outstanding textile designer. He was one of the single most influential figures of the nineteenth century and under his direction Morris & Co. grew to the status of Arts & Crafts icon that it remains to this day.


Morris got his inspiration from nature, as so many of us do in the design world; his focus was to provide consumers with a choice of good design and hand-made, hand-crafted works of art. He was highly interested in the pre-Raphaelite work ethic, focusing on his love of medieval aesthetics and gothic architecture.


I've loved William Morris ever since I learned about him back in school; for some reason, I've always felt some kind of connection to his works and also to the pre-Raphaelite movement. His stunningly detailed designs have always stuck with me as I've grown and he has always been one of the people I come back to when I need inspiration, or when I'm designing a space. I just think his work is unbelievably beautiful!


The colours, the prints, the lines, the detail; it's just all so fine and femininely-pretty, but equally strong and boldly-masculine. There's some amazing balance he was able to create; his designs speak to any age, gender or sexuality and every class. In many ways, he was so far ahead of his time and yet his designs retain those classic, traditional elements that we look for when we want to come back to history. He was just a wonderfully creative and talented man.


1861

MORRIS, MARSHALL, FAULKNER & CO. IS FOUNDED

Along with his Associates, William Morris founded Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. - a decorating company creating handcrafted products and furnishings.


In 1875, William Morris took control of the company and Morris & Co. was born; best known for their wallpaper and fabric designs - in part, down to Morris' reputation as a pattern maker.


In 1940, Morris & Co. went into liquidation, but Arthur Sanderson & Sons bought their archives and thanks to this purchase, Morris' designs have been re-imagned, re-coloured and re-printed ever since; often being built upon for some of the new designs we see today.


In Autumn/Winter 2020, Sanderson teamed up with Ben Pentreath - a renowned architectural interiors designer - to re-invent some of Morris' classic designs in brand new, up-to-date colour-ways. The result is a stunning collection of bright, colourful, contemporary versions of Morris designs for a whole new era and generation of designers, decorators and home-owners all over the world. You can see these, here.





The final wallpaper brand to grace my favourites list is Woodchip & Magnolia. Their high-quality designs are completely and utterly beautiful; from botanical and chinoiserie inspired prints, to vintage patterns and damask - right through to realistic brickwork and animal print, you'll find a whole host of styles to suit your needs; and their fabric collection is absolutely stunning, too.


This brand also do the most amazing wall murals; some of the best I have seen. They give me museum and stately home vibes; feelings of walking in a mature parkland through the seasons and admiring the vast botany collection of a historical greenhouse at Kew. Designs fit for royalty!


Everything about their tree, landscape and botanical designs makes me feel content and happy; and each and every one of their prints brings with it a sense of luxury.


2016

NINA & PAUL TARNOWSKI LAUNCH IDEAS FROM THE KITCHEN TABLE

Since beginning its journey in the kitchen, Woodchip & Magnolia has become an established luxury British design house with a real place in the hearts of interior lovers.


When Nina was just 5 years old, she told her teacher she was going to be a wallpaper designer; and that's exactly what she did after graduating from Leeds College of Art in 1997. It is Nina's exceptional eye for detail that gives Woodchip & Magnolia the "bold, fearless and beautiful wallpaper" designs it has today.


With Nina's creativity and Paul's technical abilities, this couple are able to have complete control over the design and printing process from start to finish; and with their love of nature and our planet, Nina and Paul manage to remain as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible by producing all of their wallpaper and fabric in-house.


Inspired by the natural world, Nina produces her designs with inspiration from her doorstep in Lancashire. With every design having its own story, these designs inspire and delight their customers and I am sure they will continue to do so for many years to come.


As well as using their own in-house processes, Woodchip & Magnolia also have collaborations with the likes of Pearl Lowe and Fearne Cotton, meaning that each design retains love, passion, inspiration and stories from its designer and seamlessly combines interiors with the latest trends.






Conclusion

So, those are my 5 favourite wallpaper brands. In all honesty, I probably could have continued with another 5, as there are so many designs out there that I love!


I think I'll follow this up with another blog on my 5 favourite wallpaper designers, because there are definitely a few people sitting in my head that I wish I'd introduced you to. And I know you'd love them just as much as me.


Don't forget to check out these brands if you haven't already. Each of their names has a link to their websites. They'll definitely please your eyes and your soul!


As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog; I really do appreciate you all popping in to support my journey.


I'll speak to you again soon!

Lots of love!

Evelyn M



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