Over the past decade wallpaper has had a huge resurgence around the world, particularly in the borough.
“Brooklyn has become a hotbed for creativity,” says Jill Malek, a Brooklyn Heights wallpaper designer. “And with the comeback of wallpaper, and the introduction of great, modern wallpaper, it makes sense that a lot of these designers live in Brooklyn.”
It’s no surprise, then, to find a number of Brooklyn designers on the online showroom, Wallpaper Collective, which is headquartered in San Francisco. Says founder Cindy Weil, “I am obsessed with wallpaper…and the fact of the matter is there are two centers of gravity for wallpaper design in the world: one is London and the other is Brooklyn.”
We’ve profiled seven hot local designers who create modern, “artisanal” paper, and a few of the paperhangers they recommend. For tips on wallpapering your apartment, check out our guide, Wallpaper Simplified, and for a chance to win three rolls of Flavor Paper AND free installation, enter our Home School contest with The Sweeten before August 2!
Grow House Grow!, Williamsburg
Katie Deedy, Owner and Designer of Grow House Grow!, creates narrative inspired, hand-printed wallpapers. “Whether it’s my snotty friend from elementary school or a female scientist who invented the aquarium, their story is the first step. Then it’s drawing, screen building, ink mixing and hand silk screening for the final product.” She specializes in customizing color and design with hand-mixed inks. Grow House Grow sells wallpaper by the sheet (27″ x 36″, $48) and roll (27in. x 5 yards, $180). Some popular designs at the moment are Captain Smith, Cottontail, Ms. Ward, and Ms. Treat (all $180/roll).
Flavor Paper, Boerum Hill
“The best part of Flavor Paper,” an Apartment Therapy blogger once wrote, “is how the intricate designs nod to historic patterns with a jolt of whimsy and dose of smart ass.” Though not native to Brooklyn, they relocated here from New Orleans in 2009, and their showroom at 216 Pacific Street is worth visiting in person–it recently won the Best Showroom award from Interior Design Magazine. The price of Flavor Paper’s hand-screened wallpapers can vary depending on the number of screens used, but they start at $150 for a 27″ x 15′ roll and go up to $500 for a scratch and sniff design. Digital wallpaper, printed to order based on your wall size, ranges from $6-12 per square foot and can be ordered in a number of materials including a polyester, self-adhesive fabric called “Mobile Flavor” that you can remove up to 200 times (just select in their Purchase Options menu). Of their 100-plus designs, the most popular at the moment are: City Park, Shore Leave, Monaco, and Rio Crocodillo.
Eskayel, South Williamsburg
Shanan Campanaro, the Creative Director and Founder of Eskayel, creates wallpaper designs based on her own watercolor paintings. “I choose pretty or interesting sections of the paintings and mirror them to create pattern repeats. Then the design is printed using archival ink.” Eskayel can do custom panels, colors, sizes and designs. They sell wallpaper in 2’ x 18’ rolls ($490/roll) or in 2-foot-wide panels with custom length ($15/sq. ft.). The most popular design at the moment is Dynasty.
Kimberly Lewis Home, Ditmas Park
Kimberly Lewis designs wallpaper patterns by using a mixture of hand sketches and digital design, drawing her inspiration “from sketches done while traveling, modern fashion and textiles.” Her wallpaper designs come in 27”x5 yard rolls ranging from $155-190. They are also available in sheets or sample sizes. The most popular pattern to date is Sierra, Kimberly’s take on a classic chevron.
Jill Malek, Brooklyn Heights
Jill Malek’s hand-screened designs are inspired by “the fluid patterns of movement found in the natural world.” Frequencies, her collection of hand-printed patterns, “is composed of studies of birds in flight, of running horses, of leaves growing and coming to bloom.” She’s now working on urban frequencies—patterns of movement found in cities. They are all $165 per 27”x15’ roll, and the four most popular patterns are anemone; betta in persimmon; resurrection; and luci della citta, “the most recent pattern that illustrates the flickering lights of the city.”
Filthy Home, Greenpoint
Filthy Home specializes in sassy patterns like unpeeled bananas with pervy names like “Candy Tip” and “Golden Shower.” “The owner has an ‘inside joke’ that they can share with their guests,” says designer Ryan Cox—the joke being that their beautiful print has a dirty name, or in some cases has a provocative image hiding within the pattern. All Filthy Homes papers are self-adhesive and sold in two-foot-wide panels, at various heights (8 ft, 10 ft,12 ft and custom lengths) to make installation easy. “We recommend using professionals,” he says, but “most people can do it themselves. All you need are two people to help line up the pattern and keep the panels vertical and then just take your time. The best part about the adhesive paper is it’s forgivable. If it’s not perfect just reposition it.” Prices range from $90 for 2’x8′ panels to $130 for 2’x12′ panels. The most popular designs right now are Shoot Your Load, Slits and Tits and Dick Picnic, but Cox can create custom designs and colors.
Aimée Wilder, South Williamsburg
Aimée Wilder began in fashion working with graphics and textiles until her love of bedding drew her toward home design. She’s worked in-house as a designer for firms including Designspace, Dwell, and Martha Stewart Living, and her signature style is whimsical, graphic art. Her two most popular patterns are robots (who have broken hearts) and analognights, a mix of muted speakers, record players, boomboxes and cassettes. Her rolls range in price from $150-175 dollars per roll and vary from 26.5 to 28” wide by 15’ long.
The National Guild of Professional Paperhangers is a great resource for locating and pricing paperhangers. You can even search by zip code to find a paperhanger near you. Wallpaper designers will often recommend paperhangers as well. Here are three mentioned by the designers we profiled: Larry Cohen, (917-626-3083; firstname.lastname@example.org); Alan Rada of DecoRada (718-338-0645; email@example.com) and Jeff Strumeyer (516.770.3175; firstname.lastname@example.org).