Wallpaper Wonderlust with Graham & Brown

Wallpaper Wonderlust with Graham & Brown

how is wallpaper made?Earlier this Autumn, I was invited to take a VIP tour of the Graham & Brown offices as International Wallpaper Week approached – a little behind the scenes excursion learning all about how wallpaper is designed and printed. As a self-proclaimed interiors geek, I couldn’t very well say no, could I?

Probably why I ended up taking about 300 pictures. Oops…Fancy taking a sneak peak?

The Studio

I’m a big believer that to be creative you need the right environment. It’s why so many of us have home offices that are designed in just the right way that makes us feel like we can sit down and feel really confident in our abilities. And you can tell this was the goal at Graham & Brown.

The reception area is full to the brim with murals and wallpapered everything, from mannequins to couches to lampshades – with a Union Jack SMEG fridge that I was completely envious of – just one of the many nods to their British heritage.

The studio is gorgeous. Natural light streaming in. Inspirational shelving. Colour coded bookshelves. Patterns galore. It’s a beautiful space for an artist to work, and whilst many will shrug off this task when I call it artistry, watching the skill involved for designers to paint a watercolour floral canvas which will one day form a repeat pattern is really an amazing thing to watch.

Of the showrooms which adjoin the main studio, none are dull. Each has a different vibe and style. Whether it’s beautiful meeting room chairs, or quirky ways to display their latest ranges (chairs as wall art, anyone?), this bunch sure know how to decorate.

Graham and brown office

Graham & Brown Office DesignGraham and Brown tour
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design

The Factory

Following the more glamourous part of the tour, we were given an uber sexy hi viz jacket and took a wander through the factory. The detail of a wallpaper ‘recipe’ is far more complicated than I ever thought could be and I really enjoyed seeing some of the ‘vintage’ rolls, some of which were decades old and are now coming back into fashion!

When it comes to the mass production, colour mixtures must be precise and correct screens are stored in very particular locations and are unique to a pattern. It’s a really well oiled machine which is why they’re able to print wallpaper all year round. Pretty impressive, no?

Graham and Brown tour

Graham and Brown tourGraham and Brown tour
Graham and Brown tour
Graham and Brown tour
Graham and Brown tour

The Wallpaper

I’ll admit, my opinions of Graham & Brown were pretty middle of the road before visiting. I’d always associated them with the damask patterns that I’ve so far found quite old-fashioned and just not to my personal taste. However, seeing the incredibly vast range, all displayed with real pride, I’ve changed my mind.

Not only do I genuinely believe there is something for everyone, dare I say it, I think they’re leading the way a little, in terms of mainstream wallpapers anyway.

You only need to walk down the high street to know that copper is the favourite metallic in town and marble isn’t going anywhere as consumers reach high for that super luxe look. And Graham & Brown have all of these eautiful features ready for pasting to your wall!

I actually think that the home depo stores have done them an injustice a little, because I believe Graham & Brown are far more relevant and bold than the DIY aisles would have you believe, and I for one am loving their latest collaboration with the 2 Lovely Gays.

Just take a look at a small (oh who am I kidding, I couldn’t control myself) selection of wallpapers below.

Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design
Graham & Brown Office Design

If you got to the end of this post, WELL DONE. I know, I’m such a happy snapper with the camera – can’t help myself!
I’m personally loving the succulent design from the Paradise collection and the fun pastel prints in the new children’s range. Which of the wallpapers is your favourite?

Thanks so much to Graham & Brown for a lovely day out!

If my gazillion pictures weren’t enough and you want to see more, take a look at these posts by some of the other lovely bloggers who joined me on the trip:
Sequin This
Apartment Number 4
Remies Luxury Blog
Follow:
  • Karen

    Looks like a great tour Karen. What a fab creative to work in. Love the wallpaper under the bridge outside. I was like you with Graham and Brown, their range is much broader than you think and they have some really good designs which are also much more affordable than some other brands.
    Ps. Is that an actual/faux bird in doors? The blue one…

  • Nancy T.

    There is definitely far more variety available in wallpaper than I had imagined! It looks as though you had an amazingly informative, interesting tour of the facility. I loved the pictures that you shared showing the wide range of prints, and also of the pride they obviously take in their product. I was anticipating a bland factory plain concrete floors and oily machines, but you showed quite the opposite — this company truly seems to take great pride in what they produce, and the displays you shared show it quite well. If they put that much effort and care in to their facility, I would feel confident they’d put even more care and quality in to their wallpaper products. Very impressive variety, and company. Thanks for sharing the pics, they’re a treat to view. (sidenote: I loved the snapshot of your shoes – I’m going to be on the lookout for a similar pair 🙂 )

  • Jacqui Stewart

    This was interesting! I’ve never been a wallpaper type of person. Mainly because I don’t have the patience to try and hang it. So, I’ll take the easy way and paint lol. But, I love learning how things are made. Sounds like this is pretty intensive. Love the many many pictures! LOL. They were great!

  • Censie ‘Mumby’ Sawyer

    Wow this is really interesting. I had no idea about this process. I really love all the colors and patterns. So updated and fun. I have never been into wallpaper but some of those look amazing!

  • I had no idea how they made wallpaper! How interesting, what a day out 🙂 There are some beautiful patterns in these collections, I love the jungle ones.

  • maxine

    Wow. What a creative place to work in. Love the wallpaper under the bridge by the water.

  • Carole King

    I did the G&B tour a few years ago and yes! isn’t that design studio something? It seems such a lovely company to work for too. I think I need to go and take a second look at those jungle print wallpapers……..

  • Modern wallpaper designs fascinate me in the age we’re in. I find these designs are similar to very popular phone cases and there’s good reason for it too! Very striking!

  • Antonia Ludden

    Brilliant behind the scenes peek! I do like Graham and Brown wallpaper, we’ve got a botanical print of theirs in one of our rooms which I get lots of nice comments about. That succulent wallpaper is wonderful! I also really like the copper trees on a dark background.

  • Wow! I love a good behind the scenes post! Especially as I was meant to be on the tour but couldn’t make it. Looks like I missed a treat. The palm print wallpaper is just divine. If I could hang wallpaper, I’d be opting for that one!

  • Dee

    I have never heard of Graham & Brown, but I am loving their artwork. I can appreciate the time and effect it takes to make unique wall paper and I so glad I read this post.

  • katyatapartmentapothecary

    I love seeing behind the scenes and it looks like such a great tour! Some amazing prints, too x

  • Kristy

    Wow! What a beautiful place! I have always loved the look of wallpaper and all of the different options that are available. But I know the pain of removing wallpaper so I’ve always been a bit hesitant to make the commitment.

  • I had no idea how much work went into wallpaper! I love using wallpaper as a fun background in blog photos. I would love to make my own “studio” with colorful wallpaper walls so all my photos would have a cool colorful background!

    • Nor me! You’re right, that’s a fabulous use for wallpaper! Brilliant idea, I’m going to have to remember that one 🙂

  • What a lovely post! I love Graham & Brown and it’s great to see what goes on behind the scenes! Love it!

    http://www.ariannasdaily.com

    • Thank you Arianna 🙂 I’m now a big fan of the brand. Who knew they had SO many ranges?

  • Stacey Sheppard

    What a fantastic post and how lucky are you getting to go behind the scenes like that? I would absolutely love to visit G&B and see how wallpaper is made. Loved all your photos too.

    • Thanks Stacey 🙂 It really was a fun day out. Colour colour everywhere!

  • Love the botanical influences in their more contemporary styles. Great post!

    • Me too! If only I had enough walls to use them all haha