Haute couture papers by Maida Vale duo add luxe to north London interiors
PUBLISHED: 10:42 28 September 2014
Using hand-painted and embroidered motifs on luxurious fabrics, Maida Vale-based husband and wife duo Fromental describe their wallpaper designs as “high end couture for walls.”
Both Tim Butcher and Lizzie Deshayes, who founded the interiors house in 2005 (in the same month they got married), have backgrounds in fashion and textile design and the attention to detail and meticulous craftsmanship that goes into each project is reminiscent of the work of haute couture fashion houses – artists can spend up to 600 hours hand-stitching individual panels.
Employing designers and craftsmen from both London and China, the company creates contemporary wallpapers, which are heavily informed by the styles of the past.
“Both of us have a very deep and broad knowledge of the history of design,” says Butcher. “As Lizzie always says, you have a sort of Rolodex of designers and images from the past in your mind and at the beginning of each project you flick through it to find inspiration.”
Although both have a list of favoured sources they constantly add to, at the moment Deshayes main inspiration is an obscure 1930s tapestry designer called Jean Lurcat. “He makes my heart throb and inspired what we’re doing with needlepoint tapestry at the moment.”
Butcher, meanwhile has been drinking in the raw, welded, heavily-worked metal of American Brutalist sculptor Harry Bertoia “although you wouldn’t necessarily know it looking at our pretty chinoiserie,” he jokes.
The wall coverings range from the delicately pretty to the richly sleek and often owe a debt to eighteenth-century chinoiserie.
Their Paradiso design in Blue Light adorns the walls of a room in Hampstead that one of Jane Austen’s richer characters might feel at home in.
While this emphasis on florals could be an overly feminine look for an interior, the couple’s preference for strong colours tempers the delicate designs.
The Cherry Blossom paper on an accent wall in a St John’s Wood home has a deep charcoal ground with the spray of branches only a few shades darker, while the Prunus in bitumen is slightly brighter and glossier but confines the florals to only one end of the room.
These are sophisticated, timeless design features that can work easily with the interiors as they evolve.
As Deshayes points out, the custom made papers are a significant investment of both time and money, so clients need to find something that will work for them for the long term.