With an established tradition for breathing new life into old designs, Little Greene has once again delved into the English Heritage archives, scouring for historic designs that can be successfully adapted for 21st century interiors. The company’s most recent collection, London Wallpapers IV, is a glorious compendium of authentic motifs, rescaled and recoloured for contemporary living. The collection comprises twelve designs in both classic and contemporary colourways and will be launched this week at Paris Déco-Off.
Wallpaper: Upper Brook Street, c.1920 (shown here in Minuit, £170 per roll)
The design features brightly coloured kniphofia flowers, commonly known as torch lilies or red hot pokers (African in origin but named after German horticulturalist Johan Hieronymous Kniphof). They were recorded by English Heritage as having been hand-painted and stuck over a pre-hung wall covering in a late-18th century Upper Brook Street house as a bespoke decoration. To replicate a natural scene behind the pokers Little Greene has adapted a motif from its Stag Toile paper.
Skirting painted in: Jack Black 119
Floor painted in: French Grey Pale 161
Door edge painted in: Citrine 71
Props: Chair Three, £365, Another Country. Wicker Trumpet Pendant Light, £140, and vase in smoke and rose, £49, both from Holly’s House. White Hemingway vase, £49, John Lewis. Black ceramic bowl from a selection at Sarah Jones Morris Ceramics at Lost and Found.
Wallpaper: Albemarle St. (c.1760)
Reminiscent of Spitalfields silks, this paper, found in Albemarle Street, off Piccadilly, had an enormous pattern repeat of 6ft. Originally produced in a dark blue flock on a light ground, it was a grand paper, designed to have been on show – more often in a downstairs reception room where guests would be entertained. £71 per roll.
Dado rail painted in: French Grey Mid 162
Skirting painted in: French Grey Dark 163
Wallpaper: Bayham Abbey, c.1880 (shown here in Monarch, £61 per roll)
Whilst the original fragment was discovered at Bayham Abbey, on the Sussex-Kent border, the paper is likely to have been produced in London. On a red ground, reminiscent of gothic style, the original paper was made from cellulose wood pulp and machine-printed.
Wall painted in: Córdoba 277
Props: Hardy Chair, £505, Workstead Orbit Table Lamp, £1,475, both Another Country. Smoked carafe, £34, tumbler, £14, both Rowen and Wren.
Wallpaper: Cranford, c.1765. (Shown here in Wheat, £61 per roll)
This mid-18th century paper, found in Cranford, Middlesex, has a yellow floral ogee motif printed on to thick, hand-made rag paper. It is unusual because yellow, although a popular colour, was expensive and prone to fading. It was manufactured using ‘slip-printing’, a technique to make the paper appear more expensive than it really was due to its ‘shadow’ effect, which was achieved economically by using the same block to print two different colours.
Wall, skirting, bath & door painted in: Jack Black 119
Props: Waffle towels, £11, Hammam towels, £26, both Future and Found. Light find similar at Felix Lighting. Black ceramic jug, from a selection at Dove Street Pottery.
Wallpaper: Old Gloucester Street, c.1870. (Shown here in Tome, £76 per roll)
Each inset panel within this design originally contained an ornate scene, a reflection of its origins in Bloomsbury, an affluent area with a rich history. Having removed any extraneous detail, what remains is an unrefined but elegant wood panel-effect trompe l’oeil that could be used all round a room in a traditional style, or to bring a timeless architectural feel to a single wall in a more contemporary interior.
Woodwork painted in: French Grey Mid 162
Floor painted in: French Grey Mid 162
Props: Coup de Lune Bedlinen, £180 for a flat sheet, Holly’s House. Soft Linen Jacquard throw, £275, Fringed throw in Chalk, £110, White Oxford Square pillowcase, £37.50, all The Linen Works. Dolly tub, £70, find similar on Ebay. Concrete candlestick, £49, Caravan Style.
Wallpaper: Great Ormond Street, c.1890. (Shown here in Signature, £82 per roll)
A colourful parrot motif, closely based on one of a multi-layered group of papers removed from the ground floor rear closet of a very early-18th century terrace house opposite Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. This design was subsequently machine-made on cellulose paper in the late 19th century.
Kitchen units painted in: Dolphin 246
Side wall painted in: Grey Moss 234
Floor painted in: Cool Arbour 232
Props: Lighting from a selection at Felix Lighting. Terracotta Serving bowl, £65, Terracotta pitcher, £58, both Another Country. Terracotta vase (with flower), £59, Sarah Jones Morris Ceramics at Lost and Found. Bassam Fellows Spindle bar stool, £600, Lassco.
£19.25 for 1L Absolute Matt Emulsion
£22.00 for 1L Intelligent Matt Emulsion
£27.00 for 1L Intelligent Eggshell
Also available in 2.5 litre pots.
Little Greene wallpapers and paints are available nationally and internationally, through a network of independent distributors. For stockists tel: 00 44 (0)20 7935 8844. They can also be bought via email & phone order and online at www.littlegreene.com