House of Hackney prides itself on being at the forefront of the wallpaper revival, with innovative and captivating designs central to its seasonal collections. When Frieda Gormely and Javvy M Royle set about renovating their Victorian townhouse located on the edge of Hackney’s London Fields, they knew wallpaper would play a starring role in their family home.
“There’s a bit of a misconception that you need to paint your walls white to make a home feel spacious and that wallpaper everywhere might make rooms feel smaller but if anything, it actually opens them up and makes them really interesting,” Frieda explains.
The house showcases a total of thirteen different wallpapers, with many rooms featuring more than one print. Prints from the House of Hackney archives sit alongside new-season designs as well as patterns created especially for the project. “It was very instinctual, we just chose the wallpapers that we love and that we gravitated towards,” Frieda explains.
To take things one step further, Frieda and Javvy experimented with putting wallpaper on the ceilings of a couple of rooms in the house. The ‘Red Room’, the space in which the family regroups at the weekend and where Frieda finds sanctuary during midweek yoga practises, features the new-season ‘Majorelle’ on its walls and the ‘Artemis’ floral print in a bespoke cream colourway on its ceiling to create a “tented feeling”. A daunting prospect for some, Frieda and Javvy “would definitely encourage wallpapering the ceiling in terms of the excitement and sheer delight it can bring.” Frieda adds, “It felt quite thrilling – I don’t think you can go wrong with it.”
A clear favourite, the ‘Mamounia’ wallpaper, an intricate Moroccan-inspired stripe created in collaboration with the lauded French interiors house, Zuber, can be found in three different colourways in various rooms. “This wasn’t a premeditated decision, but this recurring theme does create some nice points of continuation throughout the home,” Frieda observes.
Another theme seen throughout is that of art on wallpaper. The couple’s favourite artists, including Norfolk-based Nicolette Vine and London-based Jhuma Sharma Roy, feature throughout the house. “We hadn’t before played with this idea of art on wallpaper and I suppose the wallpaper itself does feel like art, but we wanted to really play with paintings and photographs and not be afraid to hang those pieces that really anchor the room.”
There’s just one wallpaper in the home that isn’t by House of Hackney and that is the Lincrusta design that swathes the walls of the hallways. In a pale shade of pink akin to that of setting plaster, this embossed wallpaper is quite different to anything used elsewhere in the house. Creating a light and airy entrance to the home was important, “We decided to keep the colour quite neutral, so it almost feels like an indoor/ outdoor space inspired by Victorian orangeries. This also keeps the centre of the home feeling really calm and serene.”
And for those still not convinced by a wallpapered ceiling, Frieda explains that although it’s a “brave decorating move, these slight risks – and it’s true of life itself – are really worth it in terms of pushing boundaries and achieving an enchanting overall effect.”