· By Studio

Making Waves

Recently we've been thinking a lot about the unpredictability of life. How often we have to bend with the tide, to navigate winding paths in order to forge ahead. This idea seems to have seeped into several of our wallpaper designs, as we've eschewed the traditional rigidity of stripes for something a little more... flexible.

Waves, of course, share their strongest connotations with the sea: its vastness, depth and constancy. Water is both a dangerous but life-giving force, something we depend upon and are also constantly in awe of. Its hidden leagues, and the otherworldly relationship between the moon and the tide, are ideas that have influenced art and literature since time immemorial. Hokusai's 1831 woodblock print Under the Wave of Kanagawa (Kanagawa oki nami ura) immediately springs to mind as a classic work that captures the majesty of the sea: boats tossed around with ease, the towering wave rising up like a clawed hand, rendering Mount Fuji in the distance miniscule.

The waves found in Edward Bawden's wallpaper are a little more contained, though no less pleasing. The 'starved' inking gives the effect of light winking on water, whilst the mermaids and sea creatures peep out, breaking the predictability of the pattern repeat. This design captures Bawden's witticism and willingness to play, along with his constant concern for the natural world. Like Hokusai, Bawden has harnessed the essence of the ocean. The result is a wallpaper ideal for any bathroom or seaside cottage.

Of course, waves do not apply only in the obvious sense of Bawden's design. We often turn to wavy lines to bring a feeling of motion to a design, preferring to think of waves as the stripe's unsung sister, an alternative to conventional hard lines. A wavy line is like a meandering path that forces you to slow down, take your time, and to cherish the beauty of the present.

If you're on the hunt for something to give a sense of whimsicality and flow to your interiors, look no further than the designs below...

Bawden's Wave, styled in the most serene of bathrooms by Waldo Works at Dunton Destinations' Kilchoan Estate. The precise white lines of the panelling and silver accents help to bring the wallpaper to the fore.

Climbing Curios by Fee Greening, pictured here alongside the Curios tiles, available at Balineum. Spot the seashells and nautical nods in Decurate Interiors' shower room. The wavy blue stripes in this design remind us of a serpentine stream.

The soft curves of Kilburn's Old Oak (in Pomona Green & Fawn) mimic autumn leaves tumbling from trees. Here, Laura Stephens' bathroom scheme is both clean and cosy.

Finally, the unconventional lines found in Ribbons Wrap You Up ~ White, used brilliantly here by Thirteen ID at the Imperial.

Order your samples here, and get in touch with any questions at info@commonroom.co.


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