Design Centre Stories

Beyond Wallpaper

Paper may be the standard material for covering the wall, but why be standard? The relentless ingenuity and imagination of design brands have led to the development of some incredible alternatives, with a particular focus on natural materials, from cork to shells.

Elitis (available from Abbott & Boyd) is an excellent first port of call to explore some unusual materials. ‘Écrin’ (above left) is made from shells and banana leaf, and possesses a subtle iridescence; while the Raw Raffia collection is all hand-made and includes wonderfully textured products in rich colours, such as ‘Boraha’ (above right).

Anthology 07 fabrics and wallcoverings, available from Harlequin, tell a story of contrasts, with brutalist architecture and the natural world providing opposing design influences that nonetheless knit together very well. ‘Escheresque’, above, is a homage to the optical art of MC Escher, digitally printed on natural cork to create a highly distinctive texture.

Arte’s mission has always been to focus on texture, with ever-more-unusual materials emerging with each new collection. New additions this season include a highly tactile ‘Lush Corduroy’ (above left), a ribbed velvet that chimes in with the vogue for all things seventies influenced, and the leather Les Cuirs collection (above right).

Abbott & Boyd, First Floor, North Dome
Arte, Second Floor, Design Centre East
Harlequin, First Floor, South Dome