This week is National Wallpaper Week – yes, it’s the first we’d heard about it, too – so we sent our resident aesthete Dennis Keighron-Foster along to the Trafford Centre to meet celebrity design guru Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen to talk… yes, you’ve guessed it, wallpaper.
Laurence is one of a select few designers who have created a range of new wallpapers for Graham & Brown which are specially designed to enhance your life – and Laurence, in true LLB fashion, has gone for an eye-catching textured flock called ‘Kinky Vintage’ which is meant to improve your sex life.
bedrooms. It’s as straightforward
Laurence presented his wallpaper wants to a boatload of unsuspecting shoppers and diners at the Trafford Centre, and it wasn’t long before he’d charmed them into stepping up to ‘finger his flock’ and getting them to come clean about the colour of their bedrooms – intimating at the health of their love life.
“In the bedroom, you can make a statement and express your relationship with rich, luxurious and passionate colours such as purple, red and gold. When it comes to patterns, flock designs scream glamour and sumptuousness,” said Laurence. To one woman who confessed to having an aqua bedroom, he painted a comical picture of her luring sailors to her siren island.
Laurence took us on a journey through the history of wallpaper punctuating it, where he could, with a few more flock–related innuendos and proudly teaching us that it was the British who made wallpaper accessible yet luxurious for the masses. Once the presentation was over, I had a chat with him to find out more about National Wallpaper Week and what Laurence was trying to achieve.
“I’ve been making wallpaper with Graham & Brown for 18 years,” he told me, “but it was quite extraordinary how it all began.
“I was actually heckled by Graham & Brown when I was speaking at a conference, accusing me of ruining the wallpaper industry by not using it as much in Changing Rooms. My argument was that wallpaper back then was rubbish, no body was investing in design.”
So Laurence’s range of wallpaper began with G & B willing to take a chance on stepping out of the box with Laurence.
He designed his latest edition ‘Kinky Vintage’ for the sole purpose of bringing the mojo back to the bedroom.
“I wanted something that has a real sense of ‘Ta Da!’ to it. People want something that they can fall in love with, that will transform their space. Darker more luxurious colours in the bedroom have been scientifically proven to improve your love life. Sexy people have sexy bedrooms. It’s as straightforward as that.”
I couldn’t resist asking Laurence what he thought my very tasteful Vivienne Westwood ‘Insects’ bedroom wallpaper said about me.
“You have a very historical interest in the Victorian way of life. You like your surroundings to have a nod towards the things that you like. Victorian curiosities, travel, a scientific approach. You’re a bit of a gentleman-explorer–adventurer, but you like to subvert all of these things, you like not being a part of the mainstream. A subverted tradition, which is what we do so brilliantly in this country’. Yep, I’ll take that!
Graham & Brown’s full range of bespoke wallpaper celebrations for National Wallpaper Week are available from their website www.grahambrown.com. So if you need a bit of a jump start in the bedroom, maybe it’s time to get your sleeves rolled up and the pasting table out.