As we hit high summer, the wide plains, sun-bleached colours and wild beauty of the savannah are being channelled in interiors. And while the palette may be neutral – soft, sandy tones accented by deep brown and matt black – an abundance of texture stimulates both the eye and the hand, with intricate details that demand to be touched.
Natural wallcoverings are growing ever-more adventurous, with traditional grasscloth joined by materials such as banana fibre (known as abaca), coconut bark and sisal – often overlaid or stitched together in a single product to create beautifully irregular patterns. Nobilis’ ‘Galapagos’ wallcovering (above left) is made from painted coconut bark and abaca, while Mark Alexander’s ‘Panorama’ (above right; available from Romo) features cotton gauze overlaid on paper, broken up by horizontal bars of braided banana bark. Style them with effervescent dried grasses and flowers that have a tonal affinity with the natural materials used on the walls.
The wildlife and natural beauty of Africa were the inspiration for Travers’ new collection, available from Zimmer + Rohde. Out of Africa includes this ‘Safara’ embroidery (above left) teeming with life, from strolling elephants to a lazy leopard in a tree, as well as a stylised leopard print in a highly textured jacquard (above right).
Head to Colefax and Fowler for more decoration inspired by the animal kingdom: Manuel Canovas’ latest collection features this ‘Salvator’ wallcovering (above left) while Larsen’s new fabrics include (above right, top to bottom on cushions) ‘Daloa’, ‘Kayar’ and ‘Tigris’ – all have a dense texture that is almost rug-like.
Trim, accessories and lighting can help to define the mood too, with irregular shapes inspired by nature helping to create an organic feel. Texture is again the unifying factor: Samuel & Sons’ Nocturne collection includes this ‘Cosmos’ beaded trim (above left) while this ‘Iron Tree’ finial from McKinney & Co (above centre) is shown in a hammered brass finish. Arteriors’ ‘Arya’ pendant (above right) makes an intriguing alternative to a traditional chandelier, with carved wooden batons in a deep matt black descending from a brass frame.
Top image (left): ‘Benirras’ fabric (120917), Harlequin. ‘Panorama’ wallcovering (MW119-03), Mark Alexander at Romo. ‘Galapagos Carre’ wallcovering (ARC30/CA), Nobilis. ‘Lucido’ fabric (ZFLU-04), cosimo, Zak + Fox at George Spencer Designs. ‘Janas’ fabric (ZFJN-02), cedro, Zak + Fox at George Spencer Designs. ‘Diavolo’ fabric (ZFDV-02), tradimento, Zak + Fox at George Spencer Designs. ‘Tapinu’ fabric (ZFTP-01), zafferano, Zak + Fox at George Spencer Designs. ‘Splendour’ fabric (192) Jason D’Souza. ‘Kayar’ fabric (L9285-03), charcoal, Larsen at Colefax and Fowler. ‘Splendour’ fabric (36), Jason D’Souza. ‘Tigers eye’ paint, Zoffany. ‘Bone Black’ paint, Zoffany. ‘Gargoyle’ paint, Zoffany. ‘Metal Finish’ sample (1909), Decca. ‘Moonlight’ embroidered border (59052-03,) gold, Samuel & Sons. ‘Aniline Plus’ leather, chestnut, Altfield. ‘Alpina’ velvet border (04), maple, Samuel & Sons. ‘Aniline Plus’ leather, gingerbread, Altfield. ‘Rosewood Miramar’ solid oak wood sample, Decca. Tree of Life’ (MS053) finial, hammered bronze, McKinney & Co.
Top image (right): ‘Fjord’ wallcovering (50063 981), Zimmer + Rohde. ‘Mosaic Weave‘ wallcovering (T24076), natural, Thibaut at Jacaranda Carpets & Rugs. ‘Matrix’ wallcovering (50070/ 982), Zimmer + Rohde. ‘Galapagos’ wallcovering (463500.8), Nobilis. ‘Nitende’ wallcovering (112228), oyster/gold, Harlequin. ‘Clyde’ centrepiece, Arteriors
Arteriors, Third Floor, Design Centre East
Colefax and Fowler, Ground Floor, South Dome
McKinney & Co, Second Floor, South Dome
Nobilis, Ground Floor, South Dome
Romo, First Floor, North Dome
Samuel & Sons, Third Floor, Centre Dome
Zimmer + Rohde, Ground Floor, North Dome