Wonder walls

Hand-drawn wallpaper designs that push style boundaries

Wallpaperis a little like perfume. There are hundreds of sensory possibilities outthere: some with immediate impact that fades too soon, some too overpoweringfor daily consumption, some so light they hardly make waves at all. But findingthe perfect one for you, one that you can live with 24/7 for a number of years,can prove a problem that is anything but insignificant.

KateUsher, creator of highly original, detailed, graphic and colour-loadedwallpapers, has a solution in the form of a new bespoke wallpaper service (from £550).Clients first have a one-on-one with her to talk through influences andinspirations. Then the designer – who trained at the Cleveland College of Art& Design, and consults for style forecasters such as Trend Bible, as wellas the International Colour Authority (yes, such things exist) – puts togethera mood board of chosen themes and hues, before finalising ahand-drawn design for approval, all within the space of three tofour weeks. The final commission can be worked up in a number of finishes,from matte or pearlescent FSA-approved papers to Swarovski-crystal-sprinkledofferings, and is then digitally printed.

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Despitebeing a committed colourist, and having designed the quirkiest of papers forher own off-the-peg collection (including a brilliantly out-there meerkatdesign for children’s rooms), Usher’s bespoke commissions varyhugely. Her work can include elements of illustration, digital design (example in second picture),watercolour and collage. A recent commission for a boutique bakery in Berlin featuredhand-drawn macaroons on a white background, and a new paper for a privateclient’s bedroom included a subtle off-white design featuring grey roses with ahint of electric pink (first picture).

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“Offering a bespoke designservice is an exciting move for me,” says Kate. “Having the opportunity to workwith clients on a one-to-one basis to produce unique wallpapers not only givesme great customer insight, but also gives me the opportunity to push designboundaries, which I love to do.”

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