Graham & Brown

Tempting damasks, prints with attitude and a new angle on trompe l’oeil. It’s time to dust off your decorator’s trestle – patterned walls are back as we turn our spotlight on Graham & Brown...

BY CLAIRE BINGHAM

Creased Up, £50 a roll, Graham & Brown.jpg

It isn’t entirely a coincidence that as our autumn wardrobes are going all seductive with richly textured fabrics, dark florals and a whole lot of bling, our homes are similarly morphing into something more spectacular. Velvet has surfaced as an important trend, as have jacquard brocades and romantic prints. So, it is perhaps no surprise that damask, despite its vaguely housewifey air, has unexpectedly begun to creep back into our homes. A velvet and damask cushion here, a silk-tasseled lampshade there... In fact, it was only after a recent trip to Graham & Brown, the British wallpaper powerhouse, that we were realised how fashionable the old Dame had become.

Damask, like a good velvet blazer, is opulent without being OTT. Often in silver and a pleasing ornamental design, it adds splendour to a room in an easy, normcore way. To be fair, we have long been admirers of damask – ever since the cool duo at Glasgow-born design studio Timorous Beasties added their subversive twist to the pattern – so it is with glad tidings we (tentatively) welcome it back.

ABOVE: 'Portuguese Tile' (middle print) is a sea of rich greens
ABOVE RIGHT: Trompe l'oeil reigns in 'Creased Up'
BELOW: 'Burlesque White' damask by Julien Macdonald

ABOVE: 'Paradox' wall mural by Kelly Hoppen and Dynamo

Graham & Brown has stacks of knockout looks for Autumn/Winter 2016. The UK wallpaper company’s wide-reaching style stems from the passion of Mr Graham and Mr Brown who founded the business in 1946. Never losing sight of its family-run values – today, two of their grandsons still lead the firm – an impressive 50% of its workforce has been with the company for over 25 years. Rolling out wallpaper from its Blackburn-based HQ to a global clientele, G&B also collaborates with luminaries, including Kelly Hoppen and Marcel Wanders, whose contemporary designs bring a little 21st-century sparkle to the mix.

ABOVE: 'Brian Eno Flower Mask' abstract prints; 'Fresco Palm' 

Of the designer cahoots, the new Brian Eno abstract print is one of our faves. There’s a cool new green 'Portuguese Tile' print, a fab gold spot and hidden away in the design studio, the Spring 2017 Kelly Hoppen designs are looking extremely swish. The company has also started doing murals which, at a starting price of £80 for a 3 x 2.5 metre piece, we think is really good value for a picture wall.  

BELOW FROM TOP: 'Dotty Gold'; 'Marbled Black and Grey'

Lose your fear. Try the heavily embossed, silver 'Metallic Tile' on the ceiling. Impress your floral-obsessed friends at dinner with the tropical 'Fresco Palm', or opt for opulence with the gloriously swirly 'Marbled Black and Grey'. Whether you go for graphic, glittery or a mash-up of damask and encaustic tiles, now's the time to get your wallpaper swag on...
grahamandbrown.com

La Chance

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Cutting-edge design that takes no prisoners is the name of the game at La Chance, the French company with plenty of va-va-voom...

BY DEE IVA

Parisian design company La Chance is on a mission to bring contemporary French style to your attention. Since its launch in 2012, founders Jean-Baptiste Souletie and Louise Breguet have forged links with designers from the new wave of French design as well as international talent to produce modern statement pieces that have oodles of personality.

Charles Kalpakian’s ‘Rocky’ cabinet is a case in point. Made of lacquered steel, its Escher-like angled sections play havoc with your brain while forming a unique and eye-catching piece of storage for your home. Available in three colours, we’re particularly pashing on the cobalt blue version. For glamour with a twist, Sebastian Herkner’s metal and marblelicious 'Salute' side tables are incredibly beautiful with just the right amount of quirk and the animated ‘Anémone’ rug by François Dumas makes us come over all Jacques Cousteau.

ABOVE: Charles Kalpakian's optically challenging 'Rocky' cabinet
ABOVE RIGHT: The 'Salute' side tables mix white carrara and black and green marquina marble with copper, steel and lacquer to create a bona fide future classic
BELOW: The wavy undersea world of François Dumas' 'Anémone' rug (seen with Sebastian Herkner's 'Salute' table)

It was the iconic 'Tembo' stool (above) by Note design studio that first caught our eye, though, with its whimsical shape and use of cork (see our trend feature on cork here). It's perhaps the piece that best captures La Chance's Jekyll and Hyde approach to their collections. Many items from La Chance are given contrasting finishes; the Jekyll version will be sober and distinguished while the Hyde version tends to be more colourful and playful. It's a simple concept that can induce 'love' or 'hate' reactions but in our opinion it's a brave approach to furniture design. Bon courage La Chance, bon courage...
lachance.fr