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'Grey Willow' wallcovering by Sophie Paterson

We are delighted to announce our renewed collaboration with interior designer Sophie Paterson. Following the success of our previous partnerships, we are excited to unveil our latest creation, Grey Willow. In a recent conversation with the designer, we explored the design's intricacies, sources of inspiration, and the journey that led to its creation. Join us behind the scenes as we uncover the essence of this beautiful silk wallcovering and Sophie Paterson's creative brilliance in interior design.

'Working with Sophie has been a real joy and a learning process. We had worked closely with Sophie on many projects. As we got to know each other, Sophie had such a clear vision and aesthetic for how our designs work within a harmonious interior. And that’s what I see in Sophie’s work: harmony and balance. We both find our inspiration in nature's beauty. Where Fromental revels in the explosive colour of flowers, Sophie tempers with the elegance of her more neutral palettes. The results are the best of both our worlds.' - Tim Butcher

What sparked your collaboration with Fromental?

Our collaboration with Fromental stems from a longstanding partnership. Over the years, we've integrated their exquisite wallcoverings into diverse projects, deepening our relationship with Tim and the entire Fromental team, and fostering a mutual understanding of our design sensibilities and creative visions. Understanding both our design preferences and Fromental's collection, I identified specific design elements absent in their main offerings. This collaboration became an exciting opportunity to blend our aesthetic with Fromental's craftsmanship, exploring textures, patterns, and colours for unique designs.

Can you reveal the inspiration behind your first design?

In the debut of our collaboration with Fromental, the first design unveiled was the enchanting "Ava." Inspired by a harmonious fusion of tradition and modernity, Ava embodies a refined chinoiserie aesthetic, thoughtfully curated to seamlessly grace both contemporary and classical interiors. Ava's charm lies in its understated elegance, a departure from the ornate extravagance often associated with chinoiserie. The design, marked by a tasteful simplicity, pays homage to timeless elements of the genre. Magnolia branches, delicate butterflies, and graceful birds come together in a dance of motifs, weaving a narrative that transcends eras and resonates with a sense of enduring beauty.

What sets Ava apart is not only its visual allure but also its conscious choice of palette. Opting for a more neutral colour scheme, I aimed to demystify chinoiserie for those who may shy away from bold patterns. The subdued tones not only evoke a sense of tranquillity but also serve as an invitation for individuals who might otherwise be hesitant to incorporate chinoiserie into their homes. "Ava" emerges as a versatile tapestry, beckoning homeowners to embrace the allure of chinoiserie without reservation. Whether adorning the walls of a sleek, modern space or enhancing the grace of a classical interior, Ava stands as a testament to the transformative power of thoughtful design. It embodies a delicate balance between tradition and contemporary sensibilities, offering a timeless aesthetic that resonates with the discerning tastes of those seeking sophistication and comfort in their living spaces.

Could you guide us through the creative journey of these unique wallpapers?

All of my designs have come to me whilst I have been walking in the countryside. The Grey Willow design was sparked by the silhouette of a tree similar to pussy willow against the sky. Its elegant and contemporary simplicity struck me, providing the foundation for a wallpaper design that leans towards geometric patterns and exudes a gender-neutral appeal distinct from more floral motifs. I kickstart the creative journey with a simple pencil sketch, capturing the essence of my vision. Filled with enthusiasm, I share these sketches with Tim, along with a detailed email outlining the intended use of the design, the desired atmosphere, and the envisioned painting style. This collaborative exchange allows me to create wallpapers that not only enhance aesthetic appeal but also carry the essence of the natural world into the realm of interior design.

How does the design reflect the synergy between your philosophy and Fromental's craftsmanship?

As a designer, I focus on creating timeless and elegant interiors with a classical contemporary style, characterised by soothing colour palettes. My collaboration with Fromental reflects this philosophy, where each wallpaper embodies enduring sophistication and tranquillity. I love to create designs that use beautiful finishes, impeccably crafted furnishings, and luxurious fittings to ensure spaces withstand the test of time. My approach to luxury is subtle, emphasising understated sophistication over extravagance. Our interiors convey luxury through a whisper rather than a shout, aligning seamlessly with Fromental's wallcoverings that showcase exquisite craftsmanship in a refined manner.

Fromental's wallcoverings serve as a canvas for my vision, allowing me to narrate a story of refined luxury that gradually unfolds, revealing intricate details to those who take the time to appreciate them. This philosophy celebrates the artistry and skill invested in every detail, fostering a deeper connection with the space as layers of craftsmanship become increasingly apparent during closer examination.
see the collection

Were there any unexpected bursts of inspiration during this collaboration?

During the collaboration, unexpected waves of inspiration were a constant presence. I immerse myself in the design stage with an obsessive focus, dedicating my attention entirely to the creation of the collection. This intense creative process unfolds as a dynamic collaboration with Fromental. The synergy of ideas flowing between us allows for a continuous exchange, where concepts are refined collectively until we achieve perfection. This collaborative journey spans several months, a testament to the meticulous attention devoted to ensuring that each design is not just good but reaches a level of excellence that satisfies our shared vision.

What aspect of this collection are you most proud of?

I take immense pride in the inherent versatility and the subtle yet powerful effectiveness of this collection. What sets it apart is the ingenious simplicity that, despite its understated nature, leaves a lasting impression. While the design pays homage to the enduring tradition of chinoiserie, I am particularly proud of introducing a unique and unprecedented element – the pussy willow branch.

What makes Grey Willow so special?

This exquisite addition to our collaborative collection is a testament to the artistry and attention to detail that define our creative partnership with Fromental. The focal point of Grey Willow is the delicate yet impactful portrayal of the catkin's soft texture. What truly sets this design apart is the meticulous hand embroidery and the application of metallic painted details that intricately bring the elegant curtain of pussy willow to life. The use of these artisanal techniques elevates the design, adding a tactile quality that captures the essence of nature in a way that is both visually and texturally immersive.

As a distinctive inclusion in our collaborative collection, Grey Willow offers a harmonious balance between tradition and modernity. The monochromatic foundation of both colourways, Doe and Tawny, provides a sophisticated canvas that is enlivened with subtle touches of colour. These nuanced accents are incorporated to replicate the natural hues of catkins, ensuring a connection to the organic inspiration that fueled the design. The Grey Willow design transcends mere aesthetics; it becomes a sensorial experience. Running your fingers across the hand-embroidered details and appreciating the interplay of metallic painted elements, you can feel the dedication to craftsmanship woven into every inch of this wallpaper. It's not just a design; it's a testament to the synergy between artistic vision and meticulous execution, resulting in a piece that not only adorns walls but also tells a story of nature's beauty, translated through the lens of unparalleled craftsmanship.

How did the transition from wallpapers to artworks come about?

The move from wallpapers to artworks came naturally, fuelled by the remarkable success we experienced with our wallpaper collections right from the outset. Aided by an engaged social media following, our wallpapers gained attention and admiration, with a recurring sentiment among our audience likening them to artworks.

The catalyst for this transition was the resounding feedback from our community expressing a desire to have these stunning designs framed as standalone pieces of art. While I had previously commissioned Fromental to create a bespoke artwork for a client's wedding gift, I recognised that the process of ordering a custom section of wallpaper and then separately framing it proved to be both time-consuming and costly. The concept involved offering ready-made pieces of our wallpaper designs, expertly framed and at a price point that was accessible. The idea was met with tremendous enthusiasm, and since the launch, these framed artworks have consistently sold out, exceeding our expectations. The challenge now lies in keeping up with the high demand, a testament to the widespread appeal and success of this seamless transition from wallpapers to framed artworks.

In this article:

Grey Willow

Grey Willow

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Sophie Paterson Collection

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