plants on walls

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Plants on walls…need some convincing? I do too. Last time I checked out botanical wallpaper, it was still under the thrall of William Morris, with dense geometric patterns wound so tight that having them on my walls would make me fear for my sanity. But take a look at this field of kniphofias from a post by desiretoinspire on designer Karen Knox (Making Spaces).

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The wallpaper is by Little Greene and has an interesting back story: “The design features brightly coloured kniphofia flowers, commonly known as torch lilies or red hot pokers (African in origin but named after German horticulturalist Johan Hieronymous Kniphof). They were recorded by English Heritage as having been hand-painted and stuck over a pre-hung wall covering in a late-18th century Upper Brook Street house as a bespoke decoration. To replicate a natural scene behind the pokers Little Greene has adapted a motif from its Stag Toile paper. Supplied in a standard 10m roll, there are three drops, each 3.25m in height. The pokers repeat every drop but the full background scene is only completed when all three drops are hung.”

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The designs are loosening up, with greater emphasis on the plants themselves. From Wallart you can cover a wall with flamboyant Oriental poppies or proclaim your love of euphorbias.

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Shades of Rousseau…with agaves instead of tigers — Paysage Boscage by GLAMORA

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Personally, I’d love to see something stark and simple with Mexican fence post cactus, and I’m not finding anything yet, but B&Q is covering Arizona cacti, albeit completely in teal, which to me makes it less vibrant, more sedate and vintage in feel.

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Applying wallpaper to my old lath-and-plaster walls scares the bejeezus out of me. I looked around a bit and found an Etsy artist who makes removable wallpaper. Vibrant and removable — definitely heading in the right direction!

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Some of the most exciting botanicals I’ve seen lately come from Katie Scott, whose Botanicum notecards I picked up at Kew Gardens last October. Some of her work appears to have made it into wallpapers, and one can only hope there will be more.

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6 Responses to plants on walls

  1. Kris P says:

    While the field of kniphofias would probably be easier to live with in the long run (especially with dark flooring and fireplace surround), the Rousseau-inspired wallpaper is more appealing to my eyes. Wallpaper seems to be having a revival. I wouldn’t mind trying it out as an accent but my husband, who spent a summer long ago removing wallpaper and apparently never recovered from the experience, would have me banished from the premises.

  2. ks says:

    I can’t imagine wallpaper-ing again-what a painful experience rife with spousal conflict. I did love my wallpaper back in the day though, and all of it was botanical in nature. Clearly the bar has been raised but I expect the prices have too.

  3. Jeremy says:

    Hey Denise, I just put up some wallpaper as a Hannukah gift to my wife. These modern pastes and papers are really easy to apply, with ample time to wiggle and readjust. I was able to paper one wall of a room without additional help; I think I posted a picture to Instagram a while back. The paper we used is from Dwell Studios (which I think is now owned by Wayfair).

  4. Alison says:

    I love some of these botanical-inspired wallpapers. I went to the Glamora website and they have more that I also like. But unfortunately, I don’t have the kind of house or design style or furniture or accoutrements where anything like this would look at home. Plus, all my walls are painted with orange peel-type textured paint. Preparing those surfaces for wallpaper would be as much work, maybe more, than all the wallpaper I’ve removed over the years. Ugh, can’t even think about it.

  5. Peter/Outlaw says:

    I love all of the papers you’ve shown but then I’m also a big fan of those busy William Morris creations. Anything to reverse the current trend of painting everything white.

  6. Denise says:

    @Kris, as open as your house is to the outdoors, I wonder if botanical wallpaper would be redundant.
    @Kathy, what I need to do is just paint the damn room, then worry about wallpaper, if any.
    @Jeremy, what a sweet Hannukah gift. You’re the man!
    @Alison, I’m leaning towards a removable for the bedroom — I like the idea of it as an inner sanctum that nobody gets to opine on except those that sleep there!
    @Peter, I knew you’d be a Morris fan! And your house has just the walls to experiment.

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