A Long Way From Woodchip

Exhibiting a keen eye for design even then, I chose for my teenage bedroom wallpaper what I thought of at the time as an appropriately manly faux woodgrain motif. Allied to a flatpack pine wardrobe, desk and bed, the overall effect was not unlike going to bed every night in a sauna, or perhaps the inside of a large tree.
Faced with the same choice today, I’d hope that I might pick something a little more tasteful, for there has been a veritable explosion in what we must inevitably refer to as “designer wallpapers” (check out Lachlan Blackley’s book). The latest to hop onto this little bandwagon is Habitat with its new range of Very Important Products, featuring wallpapers from the likes of Christian Lacroix, Julian Opie and even a graffiti version from Bernie Reid…

Exhibiting a keen eye for design even then, I chose for my teenage bedroom wallpaper what I thought of at the time as an appropriately manly faux woodgrain motif. Allied to a flatpack pine wardrobe, desk and bed, the overall effect was not unlike going to bed every night in a sauna, or perhaps the inside of a large tree.

Faced with the same choice today, I’d hope that I might pick something a little more tasteful, for there has been a veritable explosion in what we must inevitably refer to as “designer wallpapers” (check out Lachlan Blackley’s book). The latest to hop onto this little bandwagon is Habitat with its new range of Very Important Products, featuring wallpapers from the likes of Christian Lacroix, Julian Opie and even a graffiti version from Bernie Reid…

In fact, Lacroix has done two, an adult design uses a pattern apparently derived from a bullfighter’s cape (bullfighting being a big influence on him as a child)
lacroix_green.jpg

And a children’s one (below) where “I took inspiration in the whole phantasmagorical universe I was interpreting from the wall paper in my childhood”, which raises a number of questions as to exactly what was going on round at the Lacroix place.
lacroix-kids.jpg

The most beautiful is by Matthew Williamson, who gushes “I love interior design, so creating a signature wallpaper for habitat is like a dream project for me. I wanted to create something which would embody the work I do as a fashion designer. The design is decadent and exotic in its motifs, scales and colour palette. I wanted to create something fresh, dramatic and modern, but think the design also has a timeless quality, which is the most important thing. After all you’ll be living with it for quite some time hopefully!”
williamson_bird_white.jpg

He also did this equally gorgeous design:
williamson_black.jpg

Julian Opie says he got the idea for his “when snorkling in Bali. Fish can move in any direction and be anywhere in a picture, so they make the ideal tools for composing a picture. With a palette of twenty odd fish I can make a number of different images by re-arranging the fish, though they seem to like to stay in species groups. I have made prints, paintings and covered buildings with groups of these fish. By making wallpaper with them it leaves people free to create as much of an environment as they wish – one wall to look at or a whole room to float in.”
julian-opie-b.jpg

While, for the aspiring vandal, Bernie Reid came up with this:
reid.jpg

“For many years I’ve concerned myself with exterior walls only, so imagining that my design will now adorn the interiors of peoples’ homes is very exciting,” he says. “I wanted the stencil motif to have a definite old school hip hop aesthetic and I hope it serves to inspire budding aerosol artisans.”

The VIP wallpapers retail for £30 per 10m roll and are available in store now, but not online.

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