With today being Hallowe’en and the dark nights drawing in, I thought it would be the perfect time for me to celebrate my love for darkly decorated rooms, by sharing my favourite inky coloured wallpapers with you. A lot of people veer away from decorating with darker colours, fearing that it will close the room in too much, or it will appear dull and dingy. But I actually love the drama that it creates, and with the right lighting, it can make a room feel incredibly comfortable and cosy, and create a space where you’re happy to light a fire, draw your legs up onto the sofa and seclude yourself away from a cold, winter’s night. Choosing a gorgeously rich paint colour is often enough, but why stop there, when you can choose from so many beautifully patterned wallpapers (asks the maximalist)? There are so many fabulous papers I could show you, but I’ve tried to narrow it down to a select ‘few’ favourites.
To start with, I have to mention the ones I’ve already used myself, because obviously (duh!) I love them. So, in fear of boring the pants off you if you’ve read my previous posts, here are the ones I used when decorating my most recent home, and also one I popped into a pub I refurbished.
Now, I know I’ve been extremely lucky to indulge myself with the sheer unadulterated joy of papering my walls, and those of my clients, with my most favouritist (favourite made-up word) papers of all time. But there are still some that I’m dying to use. Years of running an interior shop and browsing swatch books with customers has ensured a short-list of must-haves that, by hook or by crook, I will have to have in my life at some point. It’s quite a short short-list, but remember these are only my dark coloured must-haves; to see the full-blown comprehensive multi-coloured must-have list (don’t ask me to read that sentence to you later when I’ve had a few drinkies), we’d need a lot more time on our hands.
Right, now that I’ve got those longed-for papers off my chest and out of my system, let’s move onto a couple of wonderfully witchy, slightly macabre and deliciously dark wallpapers, in celebration of Hallowe’en.
If you’re more of fan of classical Morris & Co wallpapers (without House of Hackney’s take on things), and hopefully a few of you are, as more and more of us are cottoning on to the fact that they’re really well designed papers that can just as easily sit with modern decor as effectively as they do more traditional settings, then you’ve got to check out this little gem; it’s gorgeous and the colours are stunning. And you really could do quite a modern scheme around this, especially if you placed retro teak furniture with it, some 1950’s chairs, a contemporary arc lamp….that sort of thing:
Golden Lily by Morris & Co
Continuing on the more traditional theme, I’d like to introduce you (if you’ve not heard of them already, that is) to an American company I love called Thibaut, who produce the most beautiful, classically ornate wallpaper. Two papers in particular make my heart beat so fast that really, they should have been mentioned earlier when I was blathering on about papers-I-absolutely-do-need-in-my-life; but even I can’t keep abreast of all my decorating must-haves. I love how the black background elevates a traditional design to something that feels a little bit more current. And anything with a bird on gets my vote.
If you like the look of Lafayette, with all its dainty prettiness, you might like my next three choices. I love all of them for their delicacy, and their typical country bedroom style, but the introduction of a black background means that suddenly they’re a different breed all together, a lot more daring and contemporary than their pastel coloured cousins. Coincidentally, they’re all by Cole & Son, which is no surprise really as I do love their papers.
For a more modern, funky feel, and if you fancy a bit of hologram action in your life, you need to check out Osborne & Little. The following two papers are the ones I’d turn to if someone kindly asked me to decorate their night club for them. In the absence of such a person, I do dream of having a cocktail area in my own home one day and these would be the perfect papers to use for that. In fact, one of these holographic beauties ended up being the backdrop for one of my shop displays, where I teamed it with a 1950’s cocktail chair and added a deliciously kitsch palm tree lamp (a ‘forever piece’ that had to live in the shop as it was too tall to live in our flat, and now has to live in the garage as it’s too tall for our house!). In retrospect, I think my shop displays were a rather marvellous way for me to decorate vicariously and get things out of my system, but nonetheless, I do still intend to have my very own cocktail room one day. And my palm tree lamp will be there.
Now, there’s one deliciously dark wallpaper that I have my eye on, and I’m afraid that having eyes on it is all I’ll ever manage to do, unless I a). win the lottery or b). manage to snag the richest client in the world; because this paper costs an absolute bomb! But you can sort of see why. It’s made up of oodles of humanely collected feathers that have then been individually hand applied to a paper backing. The work and effort that has gone into making this thing of beauty is beyond belief, and that is why, if I had the money, I’d SO be buying this. It’s stunning. I’ve only ever seen a sample of it at a trade show, and the lady rep made an admirable effort to ignore the fact that I was rocking backwards and forwards with saliva dribbling down my chin, whilst feverishly stroking the feathers and murmuring sweet nothings to the paper (she looked enormously relieved when I eventually moved on to the next stall). I can only imagine what it looks like en-masse on your walls. Perfection no doubt.
And finally, I’d like to share with you how I love the use of black wallpapers in childrens’ rooms. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a candy pink girl’s room and a fire-engined themed boy’s room with the best of them, but sometimes it’s great to see something a bit different. And why shouldn’t a kid’s room be dark? Surely it gives a child a sense of cosiness and security, of being enveloped and snuggled and all tucked in; or is that just me? Anyway, have a butchers at these rooms and tell me what you think.
I could go on and on, as I’ve got loads more papers tucked up my sleeve, but I’ll leave those for another day; we’ve all got Hallowe’en parties to go to. Or Hallowe’en hiding in your house watching Strictly Come Dancing and ignoring the door because you’ve forgotten to buy sweets for all the trick-or-treaters. Either way, we can’t be staring at dark black wallpapers all day, as much as we’d like to. I hope my choices have inspired you and maybe tempted you to experiment with more dramatic decor, and if you’ve already used some dark wallpaper in your house, I’d love to see some piccies. Happy Hallowe’en everyone.
© Carnival Of Colour 2020