After Using This Iconic Wallpaper at Home, Shea McGee Is Putting Her Own Twist on It
New colors, same Cotswolds charm.
Published Mar 13, 2023 2:00 PM
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Shea McGee has always been a fan of English design. If you look closely at the Studio McGee cofounder’s residential projects, you’ll often find elements from across the pond, be it limestone worthy of rock walls in the Cotswolds countryside or decorative pleated lampshades that look like they belong in a London townhouse. And, of course, she loves a bold botanical wallpaper. Two years ago, McGee covered her daughter Ivy’s bathroom in iconic British brand Morris & Co.’s Pimpernel print. Little did she know she’d eventually get the chance to put her personal stamp on the treatment. McGee just teamed up with Morris & Co. to launch a collection of wallpaper and pillow covers in the company’s classic motifs.
The designer’s goal was to breathe new life into the traditional embellishments (some over 160 years old!) by introducing new, exclusive colorways for six of her favorites—Sunflower, Marigold, Honeysuckle, Pimpernel, Willow, and Arbutus. Naturally, drawing on her own experience, she envisions every single one of the wallpapers working in a powder room “because they are one of the most ideal spaces to incorporate drama,” McGee tells Domino. Her advice? Pair them with a contrasting trim paint color and keep the theatrics going with a heavily veined marble sink and brass plumbing fixtures “that will age and patina over time.”
If floor-to-ceiling flowers and vines sound overwhelming to you, the designer suggests breaking up the wall with chair rail-height beadboard and opting for a more neutral treatment, such as Sunflower in porcelain, yet all have a muted or monochromatic feel. But if you’re someone who thrives in maximalist environments, McGee recommends leaning into heavy pattern mixing. “A stripe is always a great complement [to a floral],” she says.
However, herbaceous wallpaper isn’t the only design trend from the U.K. that McGee predicts will become mainstream Stateside. “We’re seeing a British influence in cabinetry design, the types of stone we’re using (on both exterior and interior applications), dusty color palettes, and the resurgence of boot rooms,” she says. The latter is the perfect utility space, might we add, for a McGee and Morris & Co. original.