COUTURE WAL LS
Bespoke craft techniques, such as relief plaster, cut leather and beading are transforming wallcoverings into works of art
At chef Ollie Dabbous’ new Mayfair restaurant Hide (above), guests can be forgiven for letting their gaze wander beyond the table: the venue’s bespoke wall finishes command attention. In the upstairs dining room, London artist Rachel Dein’s handmade plaster mural is adorned with a floral relief pattern, formed using casts of real foraged plants. In the bathrooms, Venezuelan artist Jeanette Ramirez of Twig By The Clorofilas has studded walls and ceilings with preserved moss, mushrooms and lichen. ‘The idea was to treat the walls as large-scale installations,’ explains Rose Murray, director of These White Walls, the design studio that led the project.
The walls at Hide are just one example of a new wave of handcrafted finishes that are as finely embellished as couture gowns. More adaptable than off-the-peg wallpapers, they can be customised to fit the shape of your space or to tell personal stories: the mural at Hide contains treasured objects hidden amid the flowers, including a necklace from Dabbous and one of Murray’s brooches.
For a private home in Hampstead, London, designer Daniel Heath created bespoke birdand-vine panelling that’s tailored to flow across the bathroom walls, snaking around fixtures and door frames (far left, from £500 per square metre; danielheath.co.uk). ‘ The look is delicate, yet luxurious,’ says Heath. ➤
Equally impactful are Fameed Khalique’s raffia weaves (top left, from £947 per square metre; fameedkhalique.com). They come in many hand-embroidered patterns, such as florals and geometrics. ‘ We can also create wood-veneer wallcoverings that resemble marquetry [£130 per square metre] and sculpted leather finishes [from £1,950 per square metre],’ says Khalique. ‘Because walls are such a huge canvas, there’s potential to create something with incredible drama.’
A heightened sense of materiality is key to designer Genevieve Bennett’s hand-carved leather wall panelling (far left), which adds sensual texture to any interior. Clad an entire wall or choose smaller panels (from £2,750 per square metre; genevievebennett.com).
At Fromental, there are endless options. Its ‘Ponti’ design (left, £556 per square metre; fromental.co.uk) is inspired by Gio Ponti’s geometric patterns and is made of silk, handpainted to resemble travertine. Likewise, the brand’s ‘Braque’ design’s collaged tea papers are coloured and scaled to transform a room into an artwork (£471 per square metre).
For interior walls at their most luxuriously embellished, look to specialist maker De Gournay, which has recently introduced beading and embroidery to complement its iconic hand-painted wallpapers. Sequins, delicate beads and metallic threads can be applied to custom patterns or any design in its permanent collection, so they glisten as the light moves across them. On the Japaneseinspired ‘Fish’ wallpaper on silver-gilded silk (top, from £1,344 per panel; degournay.com), the threads mimic the iridescence of scales. It’s as close to couture as walls get.
From top The stunning mural at Hide restaurant, London. A closer look at Hide’s plaster relief wall. Bespoke wall design by Daniel Heath
From top Woven raffia by Fameed Khalique. De Gournay’s luxe ‘Fish’ wallpaper. ‘Ponti’ wallpaper by Fromental. Leather wall by Genevieve Bennett