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?
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.
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?
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.
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!