Right from the start, we’ve worked to bridge the worlds of art and interiors and blur some of the lines between fine and applied arts. We make wallpaper by artists – alongside other homewares – to make high-quality art accessible to the many rather than the few. We commission original designs from contemporary artists and produce an annual archival collection that commemorates the great history of artist wallpapers. Everything we do is underpinned by stories and a desire to make complex ideas simple while still leaving room for the viewer to bring their own meaning. Wallpaper has generally been thought of as background rather than foreground – but not at CommonRoom. Our wallpapers are designed to challenge and excite. Just like every great artwork.
Our environmental impact as a business is very important to us. We’re committed to responsible design practices and to being as sustainable as possible. All of our products are designed and made here in the UK. We minimise waste by manufacturing in small batches, often printing to order, and we offset our carbon footprint by using local suppliers. The bases of our wallcoverings are always from FSC certified forests. For 2022 and beyond, we commit to planting a tree for every roll of wallpaper sold. You can find out more about this and other sustainability goals here.
Our name celebrates William Morris’ newspaper, The Common Weal, first published in February 1885. Copies can be found in the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow. We continue to be inspired by Morris himself, his ability to move fluently between disciplines, his revolutionary outlook and above all, his collective approach. We like to work collaboratively with our artists and for every roll sold they receive a share of profits. When you buy a CommonRoom wallpaper, you’re supporting a small business, British industry and artists too.
Meeting by chance at an antenatal class London-based artist Kate Hawkins and marketing director Sarah McClean began working together on CommonRoom in 2015 after Kate launched the business the previous year. They started with a modest offering of four designs which have expanded to include an archival print line, home furnishings, contemporary artwork and wallpaper borders. Their aim is to continue to grow CommonRoom in an open and sustainable way.