“From Concept to Completion” is a three part series on the process of designing a wallpaper pattern from start to finish.
A meeting is called and a suggestion is made. What are we missing, where are we going, who is the customer, what are they buying? The decision is made, and an assignment given for a stylist to create a collection based on a chosen theme.
Now the research begins; the magazines, the shopping, trend services, style directions and sales analysis. All this creative research becomes a pool of ideas. How does it all relate to wallpaper? Can we produce it, where will the consumer use it, how will it work in conjunction with current market trends in home decor?
A story board of ideas emerges from the mix and the concepts for a new collection are born. Our little pattern from the 1950’s is just one piece in the jigsaw puzzle that pulls together the information and ideas in our marketplace. Her lines are unmistakeably right for current trends and pattern placement is good. She now needs a contemporary color overhaul, and a style update to move ahead with the times. It’s a fit; a “retro” fit.
Our little makeover pattern attends the meetings, and she makes the cut! New and super upgraded, the wallpaper version of “America’s Next Top Model”; just imagine what a little lipstick and wardrobe can do! She’s a changed woman and she is in our new “Bistro 750” collection to stay. Our stylist not only saw her for what she is but what she could be, and as with all things beautiful you can guess where she’s headed next: photography.
We have an archive; a magical place full of revered images and textures. It’s the kind of place that feels like you’re holding time in your white-gloved hands. These lovingly collected pieces are the inspiration for many of our design studio’s fine works, some being surprisingly contemporary in feel and form.
I am inspired by the colors and ideas of these other times, particularly when they are just a bit off-key. Take this piece for example: ovals that looked like sliced onion, ducks with dots for legs, blue spoons and yellow beets all on a background of intense grey green I have yet to find in any paint deck.
This pattern dates from the late 1940’s or early 1950’s and I discovered it among the notes and images that inspired designer Judy Evanitis for a new York Wallcoverings Collection, as yet unnamed, now in story board form in our studio. I show you here what I have come to call “Vegas Dinette”. This little pattern has begun a new life , and I would like you to travel with me through her journey from past to present as we reinvent her for our new collection.
I continue to be amazed at the amount of wallpaper designs our studio produces each year. And often those designs have an interesting history.
When he purchased a silk tie in the early 1980’s, Ronald Redding, our VP of Design had no way of knowing it would serve as inspiration for one of his own designs thirty years later. As Ron told me:
Back when our management team wore suits to work, I had a large collection of ties. And naturally, I was drawn to the more unique designs. During one of my many trips to historic Williamsburg I purchased a zebra-print tie. The color and artistry really attracted me, but I don’t think I ever wore the tie.