1838 Wallcoverings Unveils Its Latest V&A Decorative Papers Collection

1838 Wallcoverings, a trailblazer in the realm of interior design, recently presented its second collaboration with the renowned Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A).

The latest creation, the V&A Decorative Papers collection, graced walls and redefined interiors from January 17th, 2024. This vibrant collection features nine captivating wallpaper patterns, boasting over 30 colour variations.

Each pattern is a testament to the artistry and craftsmanship found in the V&A’s archive, reaching back to the 1700s.

Unveiling Timeless Narratives

Working in close collaboration with the V&A’s licensing team, 1838 Wallcoverings has meticulously curated patterns with intriguing narratives dating back centuries.

From woodblock prints to watercolour sketches, textile treasures to upholstery fabrics, this collection breathes new life into historical designs. Each pattern pays homage to the distinguished history of the archive while introducing contemporary colourways suitable for today’s interiors.

James Watson, the Managing Director of 1838 Wallcoverings, expressed his excitement about this collection, stating, “It’s fantastic to be launching a second collection with the V&A; it is a privilege to be able to delve back into the archive and have access to these historic designs, recreating them in our family factory.” Watson highlights the innovative techniques employed, such as digital printing and traditional surface printing, to transform archival artworks into a contemporary and joyous celebration of artistry, craft, and design.

Rhododendron Revival: A Journey to the 1920s

The Rhododendron pattern draws inspiration from a 1920s wallcovering, representing a flourishing period for the UK’s wallpaper industry.

This vibrant design, with its geometric flair and rhododendron blooms, reflects the consumer preference for all-over floral patterns in the early 20th century. A transitional piece, it harmoniously blends elements from the Arts and Crafts Movement and the opulent patterns of the Art Deco era.

1838 Wallcoverings delicately redraw the woodblock printed wallpaper, maintaining its flamboyant spirit. Surface printing, a method originating in 1838, brings a unique textured effect known as “treeing” to the floral and leaf shapes.

This technique, combined with soft, painterly outlines, results in a wallpaper that pays homage to tradition while feeling contemporary. Available in three colourways, Rhododendron breathes life into any space.

Pineapple Garden: A Taste of 18th-Century Elegance

The Pineapple Garden pattern draws from the Leman Album, a treasure trove of 97 vibrant patterns for woven silk fabric, created by James Leman in the 18th century.

Leman’s design featuring pineapples, a symbol of prestige and hospitality, takes us on a journey through the opulence of London’s Spitalfields silk industry.

1838 Wallcoverings celebrates Leman’s artistic ingenuity by reproducing the design through the Sur-Flex process. This combination of Surface and Flexo printing techniques preserves the original’s hand-painted appearance and intricate details.

With five colour options, including the timeless yellow original, Pineapple Garden adds a touch of 18th-century elegance to contemporary interiors.

Garland of Rāgini: A Musical Tapestry from Southern India

Garland of Rāgini, inspired by a Deccan illustration from the 1700s, portrays stylised palms and lotus blossoms on a tranquil river. The mural reflects the musical mode Kakubha Rāgini, resonating with the theme of love portrayed through a variety of emotions in Indian painting.

Available in two colourways representing night and day, this contemporary rendition captures the enthralling symbolism, history, and artistry of the original. The digitally printed mural transforms a centuries-old painting into a timeless expression of romance and music.

Kilburn’s Maze: Navigating the Whimsical World of William Kilburn

Based on the intricate artwork of William Kilburn, a calico designer from the 18th century, Kilburn’s Maze invites us into a whimsical world where floral themes merge with exotic foliage. Kilburn’s detailed floral fabrics, born from his botanical artistry, find a new life in this contemporary wallpaper.

1838 Wallcoverings meticulously recreates Kilburn’s intricate and romantic textile creations into wallpaper. Through digital printing, the archive pattern comes alive in five fresh colour combinations, infusing a current aesthetic appeal into the whimsical world of Kilburn.

Calico Shell: Unveiling the Beauty of 18th Century Chintz

Calico Shell, selected from the V&A’s Prints and Drawings department, showcases a beautiful shell or wave motif from the 1760s–70s. The term “chintz” traces its roots to a Sanskrit word meaning “coloured” or “spotted,” reflecting the intricate designs created in India for the English market.

1838 Wallcoverings breathes life into this modest-sized gem from the archives, recreating it with a surface print mark for an appealing, hand-crafted appearance. With four contemporary colourways, Calico Shell transforms 18th-century elegance into a versatile and timeless wallpaper.

Date Palm: A Glimpse into Victorian Impressions of Egypt

Inspired by an 1860–70 watercolour sketch from Elijah Walton, Date Palm captures the English Victorian painter’s romantic vision of an Egyptian landscape. The lush foliage of date palm trees stands as a testament to Walton’s impressions during his travels to Egypt.

Enlarged and repeated, Walton’s watercolour sketch becomes a captivating mural, offering a dreamlike impression of an exotic land. Digitally printed and available in one colourway, Date Palm invites viewers to immerse themselves in the enchanting setting of an Egyptian oasis.

Laurel Leaf: Walter Crane’s Timeless Triumph

Laurel Leaf, a woodblock print designed by Walter Crane in 1911, captures the enduring motif of laurel leaves as a symbol of victory and success. Crane’s influence on the Arts and Crafts style shines through in this graceful, trailing leaf wallpaper.

Requiring minimal modification, the laurel design stands as a testament to the Arts and Crafts Movement. Sur-Flex printing enhances the pattern with a contemporary touch, available in four colourways that seamlessly bridge the past and present.

Floral Serenade: Morton Sundour’s Homage to Nature

Floral Serenade, part of Morton Sundour’s “Cumberland Prints” series, encapsulates the love for East Asian design in the 20th century. Trailing blossoms and birds intertwine, showcasing the intricate harmony between flora and fauna, a staple in high-end interiors.

1838 Wallcoverings lovingly reinterprets this classic upholstery fabric, ensuring a contemporary yet authentic feel. The digital print in four harmonious colour options transforms Morton Sundour’s timeless pattern into a modern masterpiece.

Flower Meadow: Walter Crane’s Botanical Haven

Flower Meadow, a woodblock print by Walter Crane from 1904, resonates with Crane’s devotion to exposing everyone to the transformative power of the arts. Dulce Domum, translating to “Sweet Home,” encapsulates the Arts and Crafts philosophy.

1838 Wallcoverings effortlessly reimagine Crane’s woodblock printed wallpaper, capturing the elegance of the original. Sur-Flex printing gives the design a softly flowing nature, creating a charming ambience in any room.

With five nature-inspired colour options, Flower Meadow brings the sweet essence of home into contemporary spaces.

Conclusion: Elevating Interiors with Timeless Elegance

1838 Wallcoverings’ latest collaboration with the V&A transcends the ordinary, offering a unique blend of history, artistry, and contemporary design.

Each wallpaper pattern is not just a piece of décor but a storytelling masterpiece, bringing the past into the present.

As we adorn our walls with these timeless pieces, we invite the richness of history and the elegance of design to take centre stage in our homes.

Salon Privé

Salon Privé Magazine is the quintessence of luxury lifestyle journalism, renowned for its sophisticated portrayal of the opulent world since its inception in 2008. As a vanguard of high-end living, the magazine serves as an exclusive portal into the realms of haute couture, fine arts, and the aristocratic lifestyle. With over a decade of expertise, Salon Privé has established itself as the definitive source for those who seek the allure of luxury and elegance. The magazine's content is crafted by a cadre of experienced journalists, each bringing a wealth of knowledge from the luxury sector. This collective expertise is reflected in the magazine's diverse coverage, which spans the latest in fashion trends, intimate glimpses into royal lives, and the coveted secrets of the affluent lifestyle. Salon Privé's commitment to quality is evident in its thoughtful collaborations with industry titans and cultural connoisseurs, ensuring that its narratives are as authoritative as they are enchanting. With accolades that include being voted the number one luxury lifestyle magazine in the UK, Salon Privé continues to be at the forefront of luxury journalism, offering its discerning readership a guide to the finest experiences the world has to offer. Whether it's the grandeur of global fashion weeks, the splendor of exclusive soirées, or the pursuit of wellness and beauty, Salon Privé Magazine remains the emblem of luxury for the elite and the aspirants alike.