At this year’s Paris Déco Off, the Little Greene showroom will welcome visitors to the launch of London Wallpapers V from 17th to 21st January. This collection is a compendium of heritage designs to complement existing wallpaper collections. The showroom will be decorated with the 11 designs from ‘London Wallpapers V,’ which include 4 new designs and 15 fresh colour ways from seven existing patterns found in London Wallpapers II and III.
During this launch, expert colour consultants will be running a series of colour workshops on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th January to guide visitors through the Little Greene palette. Colour workshops can be booked here.
Spanning 250 years of interior decoration (from 1690 to the mid 20th century), ‘London Wallpapers V’ is a compendium of authentic heritage designs, each one sensitively remodelled and expertly coloured for the 21st century home.
With one exception, the 11 designs in the collection are based on fragments stored in English Heritage’s wallpaper archive at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire, which were removed and preserved during the conservation of 18th and 19th century London houses. The exception is a first for Little Greene and English Heritage – the original design still hangs on the walls at Brodsworth Hall, an elegant and faithfully conserved Victorian country house in South Yorkshire.
The oldest source material for London Wallpapers V actually pre-dates wallpaper: a decorative piece of leather from 1690 that would have been displayed as a hanging mural rather than glued to a wall. Other remnants include hand-blocked damasks, delicate neoclassical fragments, hand-stencilled patterns and authentic designs from the Georgian and Arts & Crafts periods.
London Wallpapers V introduces four previously unseen designs and amalgamates seven popular patterns from London Wallpapers II and III, which have been updated with the addition of 15 fresh colour ways.
Brodsworth c.1863 – 3 colourways
A lively and engaging design featuring striking birds and delicate floral motifs. Slightly raised and incorporating rich gilding detail, the pattern was originally designed to be an imitation of stamped leather. Based on early-18th century French textiles and furnishings, encompassing panels, scrolls and cross hatching, this wallpaper was found at Brodsworth Hall in South Yorkshire, an elegant, Victorian home belonging to the Thellusson family. Used in both the library and the morning room in reverse colourways, this paper was certainly a family favourite and can still be seen in situ today.
Below, Brodsworth in 'Empress'.
Brook Street c.1895 – 5 colour ways
In entirely different eras, two neighbouring houses in Mayfair’s fashionable Brook Street were homes to the baroque composer George Frideric Handel and rock musician Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix spent some of his short-lived musical career in a flat at No. 23, the same property from which this pattern hails. The woven cane-like design is typical of the late 19th century: an all-over pattern, which sits on a lightly brushed ground and incorporates a soft texture within its motif.
Below, Brook Street in 'Etruscan'.
Carlton House Terrace c.1885 – 5 colour ways
A flamboyant peacock feather design, found in the attics of 18 Carlton House Terrace, a beautiful stucco-faced London town house overlooking The Mall. Originally machine-printed in green on a yellow background, the contemporary surface-printed technique used to recreate it accurately reflects the original, whilst a judicious splash of colour in the feather provides something on which to anchor a contemporary scheme.
Below: Carlton House Terrace in 'Blue Plume'
St James’s Park c.1940 – 4 colour ways
This large damask pattern was found in Marlborough House, next to St James’s Park, a grand abode designed by Christopher Wren and home to the Duchess of Marlborough, friend and confidante of Queen Anne. Originally a dark blue flock on a pale blue ground, the paper is believed to be comparatively recent, though the origins of the general design are Victorian (as a wallpaper) and older still (as a silk fabric).
The twist in this interpretation is the light-to-dark ombré effect, which puts bolder colour at the base of the wall and lighter above, with the effect of making a space feel taller and lighter than it would with a conventional damask design. It is a panel design, with three panels making up one full repeat.
Below: St James's Park - Suede Fade
At Seasons in Colour we love Little Greene wallpapers and have used them throughout the Seasons home.
You can find their Archive Trails I Paradise wallpaper in 'Feather' in the guest bedroom. Paradise (c1940) celebrates a truly rich mix of styles. The English Heritage-owned document from which this paper is drawn is actually a 20th Century piece, but the subject – exotic flora and the familiar oriental ho-ho birds - is classic ancient Chinoiserie, whilst the colouration in the original is very much in the style of a 19th Century French paper. The colour way is actually quite modern with a mix of neon colours.