The Wallpaper That Made Antique Prints Feel Fresh Again
We’re committing to pattern.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 7:14 AM
This story originally appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Domino, titled “Fresh Prints.” Subscribe to be the first to receive each issue!
In a world where temporary decor hacks like removable wallpaper and peel-and-stick tile are so readily available, it can feel unnecessary to commit to the real thing. However, taking a leap of faith and opting for a more permanent design can be totally worth it when the design in question is so striking—and John Derian, the legendary decoupage artist, proves this. His collection of antique print wallpapers is worth taking the plunge for, especially for any devout maximalists
Like all of us, Derian admits to being intimidated by the commitment wallpaper requires. Last year, when he opened his fifth store on Christopher Street in New York’s West Village, he challenged himself to repaper the walls often—and was surprised by the ease and low cost of installation. “If you’re a curious person,” he says, “you can change the pattern every five years.”
No designer has done more to unearth the strange beauty of 18th and 19th century ephemera than John Derian. In recent wallpaper collections for companies such as Designers Guild and Studio Printworks, he exhumed illustrations of sea plants, cabbage roses, and delicate spiderwebs. Within his archive of roughly 20,000 images exists a painted Chinese panel, discovered 20 years ago at an antiques shop in Hudson, New York. Working with Pierre Frey, Derian digitally restored and translated the pattern into Le Paravent Chinois, an exquisite repeat of climbing vines and flowers. “You feel something when you’re surrounded by natural beauty,” he says. Derian shared his recommendations with us, and we’re totally on board.
When you think of floral wallpaper, your brain might automatically gravitate toward an overwhelming amount of green. But this pattern is proof that you can incorporate nature motifs like florals in muted tones, too. The perfect marriage of vibrant flowers and calming neutrals, we can see why Derian loves this Nathalie Lété-designed paper.
Birds, when not a pigeon or a seagull, can actually be quite charming. Consider this print for a bold accent wall of blue skies and teeny birds.
For the lover of all things geometric, this green linear patterned wallpaper is casual yet colorful. Install this in your powder room for an awesome 3D feel.
Add dimension to your kitchen in the best way possible with this playful print. Whether used as an alternative to a traditional backsplash or as an accent wall for your breakfast nook, it’ll bring whimsy to your space.
Created by Derian for Pierre Frey, this a classic pattern that will make a timeless addition to your home. Imagine this crawling up the staircase in your entryway—leading visitors to a secret garden, perhaps?
Make your walls look hand-painted with this stunning floral moment. A different take on the botanical print trend, this wallpaper sees the floral motif reimagined in a larger, bolder manner.
See more ways to style wallpaper: