Inspiration from David Lisle

Looking Beyond the Kitchen: Classicism and Wall Decor

When designing an interior, the finest of details can make all the difference. It isn’t just a case of imagining the overall layout and selecting pieces that you like. Every element should work within a refined scheme, effortlessly complementing each other yet still holding their own purpose.

The grand palaces, villas, and chateaux of 18th Century Europe capture this best with their Rococo and Georgian interiors.

There is an almost chaotic order to these interiors. Properties were filled with objects of interest, yet at the same time uncluttered and systematic, as though removing just one artefact would throw the whole space off balance. Adorned with furniture, wall coverings, upholstery, paintings and more, it is obvious that each piece was carefully selected to enhance the overall design, all the while keeping its own individuality.

The key when designing our New London display was to create a sympathetic 18th Century-inspired kitchen, using elements of contemporary design and technology suited to the modern lifestyle. Read more about the furniture design details here.

During the design process, we always envisaged the furniture being framed with a wallpaper. Something delicate and floral, harking back to the 1700s with a neutral, natural palette. We had a strong idea of what was needed; the trouble was finding it. Some papers were too busy, some were too sparse. Some were too vibrant, others too dull. After hours of research and dozens of samples delivered, we went back to the drawing board and focused on our original inspiration.

Colour pigments in the 18th Century were made using natural products, mainly discovered by accident or through experimentation with ingredients. Dusky grey blues, for example, were first created by mixing different carbons from burned foliage with white paint. So, we thought, as we can’t find the perfect wallpaper, why not experiment with our own?

Looking beyond the kitchen 01

We worked with a local artist, mocking up designs and colour palettes for a wall mural. Continuing the theme of period interiors, he used the traditional method of “rag-rolling”, (dipping a rag in paint and rolling it across a surface), to form a subtly mottled soft-grey background and creating an authentic aged effect.

Looking beyond the kitchen 02

The design of the flora and fauna was crucial. The key was to catch the eye without over-complicating the display or fighting with the other components. It needed to harmonise with everything else in the space, just as Rococo interiors did so well. This is the point where the bespoke nature of a hand-painted mural really lends itself. We were able to refine the curve of each branch, the placements of leaves and birds, the colours of each. If a bird’s feather was too vibrant, the hue was toned down. Even the ripeness of the berries was discussed- every detail was considered and fine-tuned.

Looking beyond the kitchen 03

The result is a truly bespoke work of art that evokes the 18th Century style perfectly and ties all of the aspects of the New London display together as the pièce de résistance. The flexibility and breadth of possibilities a wall mural provides is a perfect pairing to the bespoke nature of our furniture, allowing our clients and us as designers even more freedom to create a wholly one-off interior.