Great walls of colour
As bold, printed wallpapers surge in popularity, Crystal Chesters speaks to Scotland’s most creative wallpaper designers about their style, inspirations and top decorating tips
‘Art for your walls’ is how Fi Douglas, founder of Bluebellgray, views her work. ‘It’s all about fresh, uplifting and modern prints to add joyful colour to your home,’ says the designer who creates all of her prints in her Glasgow studio. ‘I’m a huge fan of statement walls and bringing colour into your home through wallpaper.’ Inspired by nature and Scottish landscapes, as well as the colours, textures and patterns she sees while abroad, Fi says even simple items such as a patterned tile, a brightly coloured door or a beautiful building can spark her imagination. Fi started out in 2009 with six cushions and the brand has grown to include a full range of homeware including bedding, fabric and wallpaper. Bluebellgray is stocked all over the world in department stores and boutiques from Tokyo to Toronto.
You might have spotted some of Tery McCowan’s designs on the walls of Crieff Hydro’s self-catering cottages. Inspired by the Highland cows, deer and sheep roaming near her Wester Ross studio, Tery describes her designs as ‘very Scottish’. She started out printing her own wallpaper, therefore the simpler the design, the easier it was and this has become her signature style. ‘I love to create simplistic and contemporary designs that are unfussy and not over-worked. Someone once described my work as “pleasingly scribbly” which I really liked,’ she says. The materials for Clement Design wallpapers come from small companies based in Scotland and England and Tery prefers using simple, untreated linens. In addition to wallpapers, Tery designs a range of textiles, home-wares and hand-printed items.
If you look closely you may see a narrative running through the intricate wallpaper designs of Ursula Hunter. ‘My designs are inspired by nature, particularly the wildlife of Scotland where I live,’ she says. ‘I often include rare or endangered plants and animals as a way of reminding us of our responsibility to preserve our natural heritage.’ Ursula loves the process of lino cutting and printing and set up Little Axe Blockprints just four years ago with the aim of making bold, original designs that have a handmade look. ‘My wallpapers originate as a single cut lino block; the design is printed as a repeat tile and then transferred to silk-screen to print on high-grade paper in ten metre lengths,’ she explains. The highly detailed designs create a bold statement wall in any room and because the wallpapers are hand-printed to order, they contain the quirks and quality of an original artwork.
‘Storytelling,’ is how fashion designer Iona Crawford describes her iconic painterly wallpaper designs. ‘Each and every design began life as an original artwork, and behind every collection is a captivating source of storytelling inspiration,’ she says. The designs are influenced by the landscape, natural environment, plant, bird and animal life, civilisation and evolution. All Iona Crawford wallpapers are manufactured in the UK.